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Reasons Ferrets Bite

What are the main reasons ferrets bite?

By Erika Matulich, Ph.D.

They don’t know any better and need training.

  • Play biting
  • Asking for attention
  • Other communication
  • Previously rewarded for biting behavior


  • They can’t see what is directly in front of them
  • Surprise (sleeping, blind or deaf ferret)

Situational circumstances.

  • Illness or injury
  • Irritating odors or sounds
  • Environmental changes or stresses


  • Insecurities leading to the need to dominate
  • Abuse or neglect leading to extreme fear

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Reasons Ferrets Bite

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Reader Comments
Good information
Lisa, Rochester, NY
Posted: 4/21/2011 4:28:41 AM
Very good article. I've owned ferrets since 1958 including 1 3-legged Black-Footed ferret named Charley. I currently have 6 including 1 former fear biter. All it took with her was patience and love. She was a rescue from a pet shop who was going to have her put to sleep. Her name is Little Britches and tho she is a small ferret she holds her own with the others. I initially partnered her with Large Cletus, a gentile giant who taught her as much as I did about good ferret behavior. Thanks for the article.
bill, jemez springs, NM
Posted: 9/20/2009 1:16:31 AM
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