I'm a new reader and owner (yeah, I know, she owns me! ;-) ) of Elsa,
adopted from a very dear friend who's older ferret (playmate of Elsa)
recently died. Elsa is about 3 years old...she was left on my friend's
doorstep when she was a kit...spayed and descented. I'm new to the ferret
coloring game so I'm not sure what color to say that she is. She is
lighter than a sable (I think), but does have the mask on her face. And
she seems to have adjusted to the move okay. She is very lively, eating
well, no diarrhea, etc. I have had her for just 6 days and, perhaps, that
is part of the problem.
Here is my situation. She seems to like to nip -- not hard enough to break
the skin or even really hurt, but I sure know that the potential is there
for it to REALLY hurt. She doesn't seem to mind being picked up and
petted and that is not usually when she nips. When she decides to nip is
when she is out playing and just saunters over to snif you leg or instep.
Then, before you know it, she licks then nails you. I first tried making
alot of noise, scolding her and hissing at her -- this was suggested in the
Ferret FAQ and I wanted to avoid thumping her on the nose, if possible.
Obviously, I'm adjusting to her and attempting to avoid allowing the
situation to occur where the biting usually happens. When she tried to nip
me this morning (when I was holding her), I did scold and tap her nose.
So, HELP!!! Is this typical ferret behavior?? (Yes, I know, all ferrets
are different.) Otherwise, she is very sweet. What has worked
for other owners of nipping ferrets?? How long did breaking the
habit take (if ever)?? Obviously, the lick is a usual preamble to the
bite, so I have a clue of when the nip is coming. BUT, I would like to be
able to let her out in my apartment without having to constantly be on
guard. I would love to get her a playmate, but I'm a little skittish of
having TWO nipping ferrets running loose!!!
I would appreciate any and all comments....to the list or e-mail me direct
at: [log in to unmask]
Pat O'Neal and Elsa ("Born Free" the lioness become ferret)
[Posted in FML issue 1211]