Ferret Q and A
Do ferrets bite?
Usually, no. They are much like dogs and cats. However, like
dogs and cats, they sometimes mouth you when they're playing or if they're very
young. Usually they are taught not to draw blood and most ferrets would never
put teeth on you. But if you don't know the ferret, ask first. They can chew through
What do they eat?
Ferret kibble. It's a high-protein version of cat food. Their
cousins - weasels, skunks, and otters - eat meat, and don't do well with carbohydrates
or plant matter. Carbs are believed to cause pancreatic cancer, which is very
common in ferrets.
I've heard that wild ferrets destroy populations of native animals.
That's rediculous. A ferret lost outside will likely starve to death within a few days. They're imprinted on food as babies (kits) and don't recognize anything else as food. Also, almost all pet ferrets are spayed before sale to minimize odor and for the health of the females.
Do ferrets make noise?
Not really. They make small squeals when hurt, like most any animal. They also make a sound called Dooking when they're excited. It's a very soft, low chuckling sound. And they make a soft, muffled hiss noise when they're frustrated. Fairy hisses when she wants to climb up my pant leg and I won't let her. Other than those very quiet noises, they are silent!
I've heard that they smell bad.
They do have a strong body odor. The "bad" smell usually comes from the litter box, though. Ferret body odors are generally musky and it doesn't take long to like the smell. Suprisingly, the less you wash them, the less they smell. The oils on their skin have to be rapidly replenished after a bath, resulting in an abundance of musk!