What Are The Dangers that Ferrets pose to Humans?6 min read

Ferrets are amazing animals, and they are excellent pets to have in your home. Some people even own more than one ferret nowadays. They are cute and friendly, and everyone wants to own one or more of them. However, ferrets as pets require a tremendous amount of care.

The owner needs to be fully aware of the actions and demands of their pet.

There are a few things that every owner must know about their pet ferrets so that it is easier for them to understand and cater to their pet’s demands well.

A ubiquitous question, however, is, “Can ferrets cause any harm to humans?” Of course, they make a wonderful pet, but there are some strings attached to having a ferret as a pet. 

People generally do not know about the dangers that their ferret as a pet can pose to them. To be clear, ferrets come with innumerable dangers, but it is seldom for a ferret to make a human sick.


If you have a ferret or plan to get one in the future, you need to get your body diagnosis done because people with a weakened immune system can become ill after coming in contact with a ferret.

But the good news is that these cases are rare, and most people have an immune system that is strong enough to overcome any dangers of becoming sick by owning a ferret as their pet.

So here are the few dangers that your ferret may pose to you as your pet:

Ferret Scratching

Your ferret may give you scratches on your skin. Ferrets are usually found digging in the wild. So it is a natural tendency to find things to explore to imitate the same experience at your home.

You may discover ferrets digging into their food bowls, but they sometimes get so excited that they may start scratching their owners. Ferrets have sharp claws that can give deep cuts to your skin.

So, while handling your ferret, it would be best if you keep it on your lap to prevent yourself from getting scratched.

You can also use clothes or towels to provide extra protection to your skin while handling a ferret. Keep in mind that you can also visit a groomer to get the nails of your ferret trimmed if you think they have become bigger than required. 

Ferret Biting

Ferrets can also bite humans. They have their reasons to do so. These bites can be extremely painful.

A ferret can bite you if he is scared, and this is the most common and painful type of bite that ferrets are known to give.

Some ferrets can be more aggressive than others. For example, some ferrets may try to run away when scared, while others may bite humans around them.

The most reliable way to prevent your ferret from biting you is to allow it some time to adjust to any new environment that you introduce it to.

The owner must not touch it when it is irritated or uncomfortable. The owner must also be careful while handling their ferret to a stranger because it may bite the stranger as it is not familiar to them. 

You can also try to distract your ferret when it is overly exciting. Most of the time, while playing, your ferret may see your toe or finger as a potential toy and may not realize that biting it can be so painful to you.

So it is better to get your ferret various toys so that they can focus on playing with them. 

It is most useful to use training aids to prevent your ferret from biting objects and humans.

You can prevent this behavior in your ferret by giving it a time-out. It’s an excellent habit to react and scold your ferret after it bites you or any other human.

Ferret Viral Infection

People generally say that viral infections are not transmittable to humans from ferrets. But the fact is that many diseases are infectious to humans from ferrets and vice versa.

One such viral infection can be influenza. However, the good news is that influenza leads to a mild respiratory problem in ferrets that goes away without any medical care. 

Keep in mind that ferrets can carry the HIN1 virus, which can harm kids and the elderly who may have a weakened immune system.

Ferrets can catch rabies and pass on the infection to humans. Ferrets also pose a risk to pregnant women because they may carry some viruses which owners can easily detect.

Pregnant Women

It is even more dangerous in pregnant women as the virus may also pass on to their unborn children. 

Ferrets catch viral infections from wild rodents. Ferrets may carry this virus for months without showing illness symptoms, which is dangerous because the virus may go unnoticed and yet infect humans.

There is no scientific or medical way to test an animal for the LCMV virus. If symptoms do show up, they are usually in the form of appetite loss and lethargy. 

It is not regular for people to catch viruses like the LCMV from pets and rodents. However, this does not indicate that it is impossible. Many cases have been reported where people have seen such infections from their pets.

Symptoms of this infection among humans include headache and fever. People may also exhibit headaches and nausea; headaches and stiffness usually accompany these symptoms in the neck. 

If you happen to catch this infection from your pets, the symptoms would require at least a week or two to develop.

This virus can pass on to the fetus inside pregnant women, which can cause several congenital disabilities. In many cases, it has even caused a miscarriage.

People catch the LCMV infection via the saliva or urine of the infected animal.

The disease can also transmit from the cage of your ferret’s bedding, which is possible when you inhale dust particles around it or its enclosure.

It is agreeable that contracting any infections from your ferret is rare, but the owners should still take full precautions to avoid falling ill and passing on the disease to kids and the elderly in their houses.

Pregnant women are at the highest risk because they can even give the infection to their unborn children. 

If you have pregnant women at your home, you shouldn’t let your pet be around them for a long time. It is also not an appropriate idea for a pregnant woman to clean the cage of her ferret.

While cleaning the cages, the owners should make sure that they are doing so in a well-ventilated area to make it easier for the infected dust particles to disperse outside. 

It is usually a good idea to keep your ferret away from your bedroom and living room, where you spend most of your time. It is generally not the best deed to bathe your pet ferret frequently, as it can do more harm than good.

Generally, bathing your ferret once every few months is a good idea. 

Make sure you visit a groomer regularly to get your ferret checked and cleaned up so that risk of contracting any infections decreases.

Ferrets are human-friendly pets. They do not harm humans in most cases. However, it is best if owners take a few precautions, as stated above, to provide long and happy life to your family, your pet, and yourself. 

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