QUESTION: We recently purchased a young, 3-4 month old, female ferret and we were hoping to introduce her to our healthy, five year old lady ferret, fleur. Fleur is very sweet to us but does not get along very well with our cats so we were hoping she might gain from a ferret friend. We introduced them for the first time with fleur on a leash and she was very interested in the new baby but then she grabbed the baby by the scruff ad dragged her a little ways. The baby made an odd, honk-like yell but fleur did not let go until we separated them. It lasted less than 30 seconds. The baby does not seem very scared or concerned of fleur but as we are very inexperienced ferret owners we weren't sure if this was normal. What's the best way for us to introduce our new ferrets? Right now we have them I separate cages that are very close to each other but we hope to have the baby live with fleur eventually.
ANSWER: Dear Ashley,
Fleur grabbed the baby by the scruff because that's how momma ferrets manage/gather their babies. No harm. Introduce the baby, but stay on hand to separate if you need to.
After a little while the two will be just fine.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: We tried to allow them to do that but the baby ferret made alot of honking noises and then hissed and tried to hide after they got separated. We're afraid that fleur is being too agressive. Is there a gentler way we can introduce them again?
Hello again Ashley,
Sometimes it does take a little longer for new friends to learn how to get along. Since your older ferret is dragging the baby by the scruff, she definitely thinks she is in charge. And for the moment, she is.
When ferrets truly fight, they draw blood. When getting to know each other and establishing a pecking order, there will be some wrestling. More often than not, there will be some hissing and grunting. This usually doesn't last for long. Stay close (don't leave them alone# and be on hand if you need to make a separation.
For now, keep them separate but, place their separate cages close to each other so they can become acquainted at a safer distance. Introduce them for a few minutes at a time until they finally accept each other. Just keep in mind that it could take a few weeks. It is possible #though rare) that they may never get along.
Note: make sure your older ferret gets plenty of one on one attention from you and doesn't feel she's being replaced. They can get jealous and selfish about their owners.
I wish the best for all of you. Have patience, time will tell.