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Ferrets/My Ferret seems scared of me...


Hi... Thank you for reading this!!
Short History... I have 2 ferrets, one I adopted from a shelter in Oct. Her name is Rowen and she's just 7mo. Old. The second, I bought from a pet store in January as a friend for Rowen (who seemed lonely), his name is Colt and he is just 4mo. Old. The two get along famously and we have had no problems with behavior or anything from either of them... we even have cats and a dog... everyone gets along great.
Unfortunately, I listened to the pet store where I got Colt about introductions and caging... Rowen came along to choose her friend and the pet store said we could house the two together immediately without any problems. So, I did... Rowen got very sick within a week of Colt coming home... apparently he was a carrier for ECE and Rowen caught it.
We saw our Vet many times and treated both for the ECE... Rowen remains sick and stool samples show E-Coli and blood samples show low Albumin... Both are being treated for E-Coli but only Rowen for her low Albumin levels. That started today... hours after the first dose of Meds. I went to pick up Colt... He made a little noise but other then that was fine. I put him down after a quick snuggle and we went about our evening. Later, when I went to put them to bed, he would see me coming a take off running and hiding... like he was scared. When I finally rooted him out his little heart was beating so fast and he was squirming so much trying to get away. I put him to bed and checked on him later and he did the same thing. I checked him over to see if I somehow hurt him but he seems physically healthy. What could I have done?? He never acted this way before... I just want to continue to bond with him and hope I have not hurt that trust in anyway.
Thanks for listening...

Dear Elizabeth,

This would be an easier question to answer if your little fuzzy had not been sick.  This makes the situation a little more complicated.  So, there is much to consider.

First, it is possible that he is anxious about the ordeal he's been through. He's very young.  He's been to the vet; handled by strangers, prodded, examined, given meds, and he's in a new home.  He may anticipate that is his new life now.  He's hiding to escape any more of that.

Second, it could be a result of his illness.  Maybe the meds are making him anxious/afraid.

Be sure he is medically back on track.  Is he completely well now?  If so, try these two things.  1) give him time to forget about his ordeal and realize he is safe and you're not going to hurt him.  Each time you handle him, take it slow.  Maintain a sense of calmness about yourself.  If you are anxious, he will sense it and he'll be anxious.

2) When you approach him, lure him with a special treat.  I use tiny slivers of plain boiled chicken.  Or, you can try baby food chicken (like Gerber) just a dab on your finger.

It's important to know that when ferrets are anxious or frightened they may bite to let you know to stay away!  Because your little fuzzy is so young there is a strong possibility for him to develop this habit so you don't want that.  Rather than going to him and picking him up, try to coax him to you.  This will take time, have patience.

I hope I've offered some info that will help you, Elizabeth.  I sincerely wish the best for you and your sweet little fuzzies.  If I can help further, please call on me again.

Warm Regards,


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Janet Russek


I can answer questions re: Feeding(keeping that body weight up) General Care, Safety, Behavior, Best Cages, Proper Toys, Dangers to Ferrets (ferret proofing your home), Play Area/Room Suggestions.


I've raised ferrets very successfully for approximately twelve years. I usually kept three at a time. I presently have one. I've tried a variety of cages, habitats, toys, treats.

Highschool grad with some college.

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