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How to know if a ferret is happy

How to know if a ferret is happy

Ferrets are lovely, friendly and playful creatures and love socializing. As they play in groups and so get along you. It’s no difference if you are keeping a ferret or a group of the ferret as they are smart and intelligent.  If you have a single ferret and have no other ferret or pet friend around. Then he will make a bond with you and need more interactive playtime. Let’s learn how to know if a ferret is happy.

So playing games with your ferret and cuddling, petting and giving him treats makes your ferret happy. Make sure you are feeding him right and healthy diet with other enrichment bins to keep him good and happy.

When ferret is happy?

There are ways to know if your ferret is happy or unhappy under below signs refers to the happy or unhappy ferret. It’s natural they cannot speak but you need to listen to it through your eyes, not your ears. When you will observe your pet well you will understand its body language, mood, interests, happiness or sadness, and also sickness. Find out the most common emotions of how ferret relays on them and expects us.

Several signs of happiness in ferret

Just like humans, there is a difference between existing and actually enjoying life. This also goes for ferrets as most people know what makes them happy and free. Ferrets are limited with such happiness and rely on us (owners) to help them enjoy existence and feel free. As they shouldn’t feel encaged but home. The following are the signs of how to know if a ferret is happy.

  1. Pay attention to the “dance of joy”

Ferret has a fluffy body. They look cute when back and forth along with you or bare its teeth, puff its tail. Throw its head back or hop around in all directions means an invitation to let’s play.

  1. Play with a ferret who’s pawing the ground

When you see your ferret is pawing on the ground and look energetic and active that means he is inviting you to play with him. You can also mimic this behavior by stroking the ground with your hands then pull it back quickly. Because they love wrestling with you or other ferrets it will encourage your ferret to romp over and wrestle with you.

  1. Jump in the fun when a ferret lunges

Just like the small kids want attention, your ferret will be lunging at you an invitation to play with him by jumping at you. Then run off so that you run after him. This chase will make him happy to let him chase you back. You can move your hands back and forth quickly to play with him. You can also try using some blanket to roll over the floor and let him chase that.

  1. Listen for chirping or barking

Keeps deep observation regarding your ferret. As when they are happy they make a sound like chirping with their mouths which are called dooking. Well, it depends on the ferret how eager he is in playing or not with soft and loud noises.

  1. Watch for the tail wagging

You may have noticed when the pet is happy. He wags his tail whether its dog and cat. In ferret, the tail wagging means excitement and saying that I got you to play.

He is totally attentive to you. Whatever you will do he will mock you instantly. You can see when two of them are playing and one corners other the captor’s tail wag rapidly.

  1. Look for the alligator roll

It’s very common in ferrets to roll over. Especially when the two ferrets are playing, one scruff and try to roll it over to others to show dominance. Moreover, it’s all fun they treat you the same by nipping your hand. Ferret roll over when they get excited. When they nip on your hand hardly just yell at them like you are in pain. He will learn then no to bite you so hard.

  1. Let them stalk up on you or their toys

You can use a battery-operated toy by putting it on. Leave on the floor your ferret will prey it as they love to stalk. As he will couch low and slowly move towards the things before pouncing on it. This is a perfectly natural behavior to the ferrets and it means they are in playing mood.

You can also use a squeaky toy or balls bouncing on the floor they would love to catch it like other animals or you can use stuffed toys as well. You can put some treats in the toy and let them search it or run with a blanket to let him stalk on you.

  1. Healthy environment

Your ferret feels happy if its surrounding is clean. Whether he is inside the cage or outside because they are very sensitive to the respiratory system. Do not use strong chemicals or perfumes around the cage. As he will be happier if he does not inhale toxic fumes like smoking, this is the time to quit this bad habit.

Several signs of unhappy ferret

Technically we cannot project human emotions to the animals which are called anthropomorphizing. Ferrets are intelligent and adopt emotional behavior from humans while living for years between them. As they learned them with the passage of time or living with us. So if these emotions have consistent failure then it can result in bad behavior.

  1. Recognize the difference between play and aggression

The dance of joy is an invitation to play. They can also behave the same when they are unhappy or threatened like puffed tail, bared teeth. It’s better to distinguish the behavior whether the ferret is happy or unhappy. As if he would be aggressive then will back away from you or hiss if happy then bark or chirp.

  1. Notice if your ferret is hiding a lot

It happens with the new pet like if you try to hold them they run away from you. They hide somewhere because they are upset or feeling strange. But if your ferret is old and trained and still hiding from you. Then it needs a proper checkup you must trip it to the vet. Ferrets love to explore the house and being around humans. You should try petting and holding it to help him get used to you. Give him some time to adjust to your home like a week to introduce to other people at home.

  1. Emotional upset

Ferrets also have emotional nature. As they are so sensitive and display pain and fear physically. If upset they must have some health issue or you can see other signs of sadness.

  1. Heed biting paired with hissing

When ferrets are happy they nip your hand or foot toe in excitement. While playing with you but if the ferret is hissing at you and tries to bite you. It means you should stay back and give your ferret some time.

  1. Listen for screaming

This is another sign of an unhappy ferret. As if it starts screaming at you how they chirp in the enjoyment. They switch over when they are upset.

  1. Depression

Yes, that’s true ferrets also can fell in depression-like humans. If they are engaged for long times or loss of any friend or other pet in the house. They are sad and spend time in the area. The other pet or ferret used to be by flattening themselves on the floor, unlike sick ferrets’ sad one won’t squint.

  1. The ferret is sleeping with a toy

When your pet sleep with a toy that means he is feeling insecure and lacking loving attention. That’s why he is sad and sleeping with the toy as it indicates medical concern.

  1. Companions

Everybody needs a friend in his life. So the ferrets being social animals also need a playful mate if they are alone they get bore. If you have another pet at home like a dog and cat they can become his buddy. But it’s not necessary all ferrets need an animal pal. A ferret can also make you his friend and play with you. You can introduce it with other pets while keeping him in the cage when they first sniff at each other.

  1. Illness

They seem sad and bore and not playing at all may be the reason it is a sickness. Which can be severe or mild. It’s better to observe deeply or take them to a vet.


Hopefully, the above article had clear the signs of happy and unhappy ferret but along these activities, you should be careful towards your pet. It is your duty to keep its cage and bedding clean. There should be no smell, put in the cage toys, sleep sacks and tunnels to play. You can also put a bean box filled with treats or beans with a hole in it. So he could try to pull some playfully as they love playing.

We have a lot of articles variety regarding ferret. Stay tuned for further updates. Thank you

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