Home > Pet Care > Ferrets > How Do I Know If My Ferret Loves Me?

How Do I Know if My Ferret Loves Me?

By Eddie Chevrel


Updated on

When you bring home a ferret, you start to love him almost immediately and you might start to wonder whether or not your furry loves you too. Some exotic pets are not necessarily capable of love, but your ferret will definitely love you before long as long as you provide him with proper care and attention.

You can tell a ferret loves you by the behaviors he displays and the sounds he makes while being around you. For example, a happy ferret who has bonded with you will lick you, run up to you when you enter his room and will try to get your attention most of the time.

In this article, we will go over all of the signs that your ferret loves you, along with some of the signs that your ferret might still be more uncomfortable or scared. You will also learn great tips and tricks to bond naturally with your ferret over time.

Do Ferrets Show Affection?

Yes, ferrets are extremely affectionate animals. In fact, the fact that ferrets are so affectionate is part of what makes them such beloved pets. However, it is best not to force your ferret to be affectionate with you.

Instead, you should allow your ferret to get used to you and start to show affection on his own time. Before long, you will likely become one of your ferret’s favorite people, and he will not be able to get enough of your attention.

What Are The Signs That My Ferret Loves Me?

There is a long list of different signs that your ferret loves you. Your ferret may display all of them at different points in time, or your ferret may only display a couple. Just because your ferret does not display some of the behaviors or make some of the sounds listed below does not mean your ferret does not love you.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common behaviors and sounds that your ferret might make to indicate he loves you.

1. Licking you

When ferrets are big fans of someone or something, they tend to give it lots of ferret kisses. Your ferret will likely lick your face, your hands, or your arms to show you how happy they are that you are there.

They also tend to try to groom people and things that they care about. So your ferret could be giving you kisses, or he could be telling you that he wants to clean you up a little bit, but both are a sign that your ferret cares about you.

2. Run Up To You When You Enter The Room

When you enter a room that your ferret is in, does he run up to see you? A really easy way to tell whether or not your ferret is a big fan of you is to just walk into a room that your ferret is hanging out in. If he gets all excited to see you and runs up to try to cuddle or play, it’s a good sign that he loves you.

If your ferret is in the cage, you may also notice him get excited when you enter the room. Of course, if the cage is locked, he will not be able to run up to you, but he could jump around or show other signs of excitement.

3. Constantly Trying To Get Your Attention

If your ferret loves you, he is going to want to be around you almost constantly. For example, he will try to get your attention by climbing up your legs or nipping at your feet.

He will also try to get you to play with him by lunging or trying to start a game of chase. Or your ferret might be perfectly happy to just follow you around the house.

Your ferret might even try to help you with anything that you are doing. For instance, if you’re trying to tidy up the room, your ferret might try to get involved in the experience.

4. Ferret Dance

While ferrets do not only dance if they are around someone they love, they do tend to only dance when they are happy. If your ferret is happy in your presence, that’s a really good sign. The ferret dance looks like jumping all around, running in circles, and just a lot of silly movement.

5. Nipping

While you might think your ferret biting you is a bad sign, it is actually a really good one. However, it should be a more playful nip rather than an aggressive or painful bite. Ferrets nip when they want to play or really like something. It is important to learn the difference between these loving nips and aggressive, problematic bites.

6. Dooking

Dooking is a funny word that will bring a smile to your face, and that is also essentially what it is for your ferret. A dook is a ferret smile, and it almost sounds like your favorite is chuckling at you. Your ferret might do this when he feels playful or when he is really excited to see you.

Some people compare this sound to the sound of a chicken clucking. Now, just because your ferret is not doing dooking does not mean he is unhappy; some ferrets just prefer to be quieter.

7. Squeaking

Squeaking is one of the more common ferret sounds. They often squeak when they are around their mates or are playing. Most of the time, your ferret squeaking is a really good sound, but if it becomes excessive, it could be a sign that your ferret thinks the game they are playing with you or another ferret is too much, and you need to give them a break.

8. Barking

No, we have not confused your ferret with a dog. Believe it or not, ferrets can bark too, and they actually sound similar to some dogs. However, ferret barking is usually a higher pitch than a dog’s bark. Barking can be a sign that your ferret is feeling a whole host of different emotions.

Often, it is because they are really happy or excited. On the other hand, ferret barking can also be a sign that they are scared or want to alert you about something. Over time, you will likely learn how to recognize which of your ferret’s barks are happy and which are not.

9. Squealing

When ferrets get super excited, they often start to squeal. This is usually because they want you to give them some attention or provide them with some playtime. Your ferret may also squeal in his sleep because of an exciting dream.

What Are The Signs That My Ferret Is Still Not Comfortable With Me?

1. Hiding

While some hiding is completely normal for ferrets, you want to be on the lookout for excessive hiding. If your ferret is spending most of his time hiding rather than playing or being mischievous, it likely means that your ferret is uncomfortable or afraid.

If your ferret runs to hide whenever you enter the room, that is also a sign that your ferret is afraid of you. This could be because of previous traumatic events or just because your ferret needs some more time and affection to get used to you.

If your ferret hides a lot out of fear, try to lure him out with a treat rather than just reaching to grab him. This will both make your ferret feel safer and more secure, and it will ensure that you will not get bit.

2. Hissing

You do not have to own a ferret for very long to learn that the hissing sound is a bad sign. A ferret hiss is usually a low sound, somewhat similar to a cat’s hiss but less screechy. Most of the time, your ferret hissing is a sound that he is angry, but it can also be a sound that your ferret is afraid of. Occasionally, ferrets will also hiss when playing with other ferrets, but this is not all that common.

If your ferret is hissing, you can either leave him alone for a while or slowly and quietly approach your ferret to offer some comfort. With time, you will start to learn what your ferret needs most.

3. Screeching

If your ferret ever screeches, you will recognize almost immediately that it is not a sign of joy. Most of the time ferrets screech due to pain or anger. Because it is most often a sign of pain, you should always take the screeching noise very seriously. If your ferret screeches, start by trying to calm your ferret down and then check him over to make sure he is okay.

3. Whimpering

Your ferret might just be whimpering because he wants attention, but it also can be a sign that your ferret is sad or afraid. If your ferret is whimpering, try sitting down on the ground and inviting your ferret to come to cuddle or play.

What Can I Do For My Ferret To Love Me?

1. Shower Attention On Your Ferret

The most important thing you can do to bond with your ferret is to spend lots of time with him and shower him with attention. Take time out of your day every single day to play with your ferrets and spend time with them. Over time, you will learn your ferret’s favorite games and activities. You also should be able to figure out what kind of toys your ferret likes.

Most of the time, ferrets are very energetic and active creatures, but they also like to curl up and cuddle when they get tired, which gives you another great way to spend time with your ferret. Finally, even when you are busy, you can help your ferret feel bonded by letting him follow you around.

2. Treats!

If your ferret seems a little nervous or standoffish when you first bring him home, treats are a really great way to entice him out of his shell and get him to trust you.

You can specifically buy ferret treats, or you can use things in your kitchen, like bits of chicken. Just make sure that you check with your vet or from a reputable source to see if whatever you end up using is safe for ferrets.

3. Talk To Your Ferret.

Believe it or not, your ferret will really like it if you spend time talking to him every day. Greeting your ferret with a hello or good morning and saying goodbye or goodnight can really do a lot when it comes to helping you form a bond with your ferret. Of course, petting alongside the hello and goodbye is helpful.

You should also watch your tone. Ferrets can often tell when your tone is aggressive or angry, and it could make him afraid.

How Do Ferrets Play With Humans?

There are a number of different ways that your ferret might want to play with you. Some of the most common ways ferrets play with humans include playing chase, fetch, or wrestling with your arm. You can also buy a variety of different toys to use when playing with your ferret. In the end, you can let your ferret take the lead when it comes to playtime.

Do Ferrets Have a Favorite Person?

Yes, ferrets often have a favorite person (or two.) This will usually be the person that spends the most time with the ferret or provides the food. Additionally, your ferret will likely view his favorite person as the leader. However, this does not mean your ferret cannot bond with multiple people. Because ferrets are such affectionate creatures, they will likely bond with any person that he regularly spends time with.

Do Ferrets Like Belly Rubs?

Ferrets, like most furry animals, love to be pet and rubbed. However, it may take your ferret some time to warm up to you, and it is best not to force the issue. It may also take even more time for your ferret to warm up to you enough to let you rub his belly. Turning over for a belly rub puts your ferret in a state of vulnerability, so he will need to be sure he can trust you before he does this.

Resources and further reading:

Avatar photo
About Eddie Chevrel

Eddie Chevrel is an animal journalist and the founder of ThePetSavvy. He's very passionate about exotic pets and spends most of his free time doing research, meeting, and interviewing people working with animals. Learn more about The Pet Savvy's Editorial Process.