Ferrets are full of fun and quirky behaviors that may leave us wondering what they’re really up to. Are they alarmed or excited? Is that a happy hop or a war dance? Are they shaking from fear, the cold, or their overactive metabolism?
“Do they love me?” Fortunately for ferret owners, ferrets often grow to love their owners and show their love in many overt ways.
Ferrets that love their owners are physically affectionate and will often greet, kiss, follow, cuddle with, or play with you to show their love. They may also make noises to show their love or get your attention.
Our post today will show you 10 ways how you can determine if your pet ferret trusts and loves you.
10 ways ferrets show love their love for you
Keep an eye out for the following indicators to determine if your ferret loves you.
1) They greet you.
It’s been a long day at work when you walk through the door and find your special ferret friend literally leaping against the bars of their cage.
There may be many explanations, but most likely, they’re very excited to see you and can’t wait to be let loose to let the fun begin.
Ferrets that love their owners often show visible signs of excitement like this and greet their owners whenever they enter the room.
Keep an eye out for this behavior to determine if your ferret has grown to love you.
2) They kiss you.
Like a dog or cat, ferrets approach their owners while interacting and try to give little ferret kisses. It’s very sweet and a telltale sign that they love you.
3) They groom you.
In the wild, animals often groom their young as a sign of affection. Ferrets with a strong bond and love for their owners do the same.
If you find your ferret nipping at you, licking you, or otherwise trying to get you to look your very best, it’s a sign that they love you.
4) They command your attention.
Ferrets are busy little buggers, always on the go, and they’ll expect the same from those they love. That includes you, first and foremost.
If you take a quick pause in the middle of a play session to look at your phone and find your ferret literally jumping into your hands to stop you from looking away, this is a sign of love.
Ferrets that love their owners love to be noticed, praised, played with, and want to be the center of the universe in their owner’s eyes.
5) They initiate to play with you.
Well-seasoned ferret owners have seen the trademark hopping war dance that ferrets perform when trying to entice a playmate.
If you let your ferret out of the cage and find them bouncing to and fro, they’re not hopping mad. They’re totally stoked that you’re finally here to play!
Initiating play may be even more determined in some cases, and ferrets are known to snatch up their favorite toys and objects and present them to their owner.
Are they bringing you the jingly ball and rope toy? That’s a sign your ferret loves you. Well done!
6) They try to help you with your tasks.
It’s important to lend a helping hand to those in need. Ferrets are conscientious and generous like that; they’ll rush to your aid when you’re in the middle of the task.
Are you fumbling to open the pack of treats? Here are two more little ferret hands to help.
Are you trying to attach the clip of your ferret’s favorite toy to the cage so they can play with it later? Little ferret hands to the rescue!
They don’t know that they often actually hinder the process, but don’t tell them! They love to feel helpful because they love you, and it’s rude to discourage them!
7) They cuddle with you.
Young ferrets often have loads of energy that keep them moving and grooving all day and all night long, but on some rare occasions, they do tire out and look to rest in their favorite naptime places.
This may include a fluffy bed, hanging hammock, an unassuming corner of the cage, or your lap!
That’s right– ferrets that love their owners will tucker out and retire to a cozy part of your lap or right in your arms.
This makes it difficult to get other things done while your ferret friend sleeps, but we love their tender company anyway!
8) They follow you around.
Have you ever seen ducklings waddle after their mothers?
There’s a similar principle at play here when your ferret follows you around. They quite literally can’t get enough of you and need to come along wherever you go.
Like a loyal dog, your ferret wants to be by your side because you’re their best friend.
9) They smile.
This is a subtle behavior because they sort of always look like they’re smiling if you look at the right angle. Nonetheless, ferrets that love their owners might smile while in their company.
It’s less overt than some other behaviors, but it’s an indicator to look out for regardless.
10) They squeak, bark, or squeal.
Your ferret is tenacious and will stop at nothing to get you to play or engage them.
They might squeak, bark, or squeal to show their excitement and enjoyment when you’re around. They may even erupt into bouts of laughter.
We’re not kidding. Called “dooking,” ferrets erupt into bouts of laughter when they’re happy, excited, or inviting you to play.
It might sound a little like a chicken clucking, but it is an unmistakable sign they’re having a good time.
How do I make my ferret love me more?
If they are not showing signs of love, it may indicate your bond needs strengthening. Try these tips to improve your relationship and build toward love.
1) Allow out-of-cage time.
Ferrets need ample out-of-cage time to burn off excessive energy. It’s also great for them to bond with their owners through interaction and playtime.
Make sure to let your ferret out of the cage for no less than 4 hours daily for health and bonding purposes.
2) Give them treats.
Ferrets are very smart creatures but not always so sophisticated that they’re above a bit of bribery.
Try giving them tasty treats to tempt them to be your friend. Always ensure that what you give them is ferret-safe, as they are obligate carnivores with specialized dietary needs.
3) Play with them.
Ferrets are social animals, and they generally don’t want to play alone. They want a playmate, and that’s where you come in!
Engage them in regular playtime activities, including tug-of-war, fetch, mazes, or puzzles.
4) Encourage cuddling.
It may be an uphill battle getting your ferret to cuddle if they’re lukewarm with you as it is. However, inviting them in for physical interaction and quick cuddles are great steps towards strengthening your bond.
Be patient, and never force them to come to cuddle. This will only risk injury to you and your ferret and will only negatively affect your relationship if it affects it at all.
5) Talk to them.
You may or may not feel silly having a conversation with your ferret, but studies show that they respond to our voices and come to enjoy our presence.
Speak in a soft and soothing tone to avoid frightening or startling them.
They may never talk back, but they will come to look forward to hearing from you, and it will provide a calmness to them when you are around.
6) Let them follow you.
If your ferret is following you, chances are they do love you or at least are curious and interested in finding out more about you.
Don’t discourage following behaviors. Instead, let them prance after you while you move through the home and do what you must.
However, be mindful of ferret proofing, and never let them get into a situation where they may get stuck or hurt somewhere.
Also, pay attention to hazardous items on the floor that could be toxic or cause choking.
Do ferrets have a favorite person?
Absolutely. Just like dogs, ferrets come to love their owners and prefer them over anyone and everyone else.
At times, ferrets may be warm towards people, but they will always prefer at least one or two people over everyone else.
My ferret doesn’t act like this. Is something wrong?
Ferrets are more like people than we may realize, and just because they don’t show the common indicators of love doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t care for you.
If your ferret is tepid, try our above tips to nurture a stronger bond and be patient. As with any other animal or person, you can’t force them to like you.
Do things to show that you care for them and their needs; in time, they may do the same for you.
Often, a blasé ferret is not indicative of health issues, but it’s always prudent to check with the vet to rule out medical conditions that affect their mood and/or energy levels.
Ferrets are more irritable when experiencing discomfort, so ruling out medical reasons for their grumpiness will provide you peace of mind and identify any possible illnesses in the early stages before it becomes harder to manage.
Ferrets are very affectionate and display various behaviors to show love to their owners. They usually have one or two favorite people and love to play and cuddle.
If your ferret is not affectionate, don’t panic. Be patient and try our tips to nurture a strong bond. If you are concerned that your ferret is not well, visit the vet immediately for a full checkup.
By encouraging a strong bond, your relationship with your ferret will blossom into a loving friendship you will enjoy for years to come!