What Are Some Common But Strange Ferret Behaviours?7 min read

Ferrets are peculiar animals. They are subtle, and everyone wants to own a ferret nowadays. 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 ferrets so that it is easier to understand and cater to your pet’s demands well.

Ferret owners usually complain of their pets’ strange behavior that they are generally not able to understand. It leaves them clueless as they have no idea what actions to take in different cases.

If you own a ferret, then you might be wondering why your ferret sometimes does crazy things that are downright strange.

Ferrets are known sometimes to exhibit behavior that humans may find strange. Sometimes the owner might even think that there is something wrong with their ferret.

But, in most cases, the behaviour is shared among the species and is not something for which you should start worrying.

So, to help the ferret owners, here are some of the everyday things ferrets do, which are strange but completely alright.

Ferret Dead Sleep

Sometimes your ferret may sleep so silently and soundly that it might seem to you that it is dead, known as “ferret dead-sleep.”

Your ferret may not respond or wake up even after you hold or poke at it. Your ferret may not even respond to your yelling.

The owner may get frightened that the ferret is dead but will always be surprised to have it back to normal after it gets over with getting the rest it needs.


Your ferret may also sometimes dig food out of its bowl, which may seem strange to you, and you may even try to stop it. But in most cases, you will not succeed.

Ferrets are born to dig. Wild ferrets dig through debris to find their food. They cannot do this at home, so they have to work things out using their food bowl. 

Toe Nipping

Your ferret might try to chew or nip your toes. It might come as a surprise to you, but in fact, your pet is inviting you to play.

It is not mean behavior. In case you find it painful for your toes, you can try to teach by yelling “No” every time your ferret does it.


You may sometimes find it surprising that your ferret is hissing like a snake. But in fact, ferrets hiss when they are scared or angry.

It is just your ferret’s way to show others that it is sore and bite you if you irritate it. 

Hoarding Things

Your ferret sometimes may hoard small objects like jewelry, key chains, silverware, and cell phones and would hold these items using their tiny paws and push them to their hiding places about which you most likely do not know.

It is the natural tendency of ferrets to collect things for later. For instance, they may hide a mouse that they want to eat later.

Usually, they hoard small objects to cut open their prey and eat it.

Tail Wagging

Your ferret sometimes may wag its tail. It is typical behavior, and ferrets may do this when they are excited or happy.

Litter Box Poop Explosion

Ferrets may sometimes throw away litter from their litter box.

It is irritating for the owners because they have to clean it later on, but this behavior is quite prevalent among ferrets, and they seem to like doing it on purpose.

Clicking (Dooking)

Your ferret may sometimes make clicking sounds which may come as irritating to you. But be assured that your ferret is happy and excited. This behavior is also called “dooking.” 

Tail Poofing

Ferrets sometimes poof their tails out to express fear. It means that they are frightened or scared.

Fighting other Ferrets

Your ferret may start fighting another ferret that it sees on its way. The two ferrets then may roll on the floor while holding each other.

It may seem to you like they are wrestling, but they are having fun together. They are also trying to compete with one another to figure out who is more potent.

The owners shouldn’t intervene because it is most likely that the ferrets will not hurt each other.

Your ferret may sometimes even shake another ferret in its vicinity and usually do it to express its dominance over other ferrets. 

Ferret Dance for Joy

Your ferret may dance around for no reason by bouncing off walls and jumping on a couch or a chair; this might come as a surprise to the owner, but it is pervasive among ferrets to do it.

There is nothing to worry about or be tensed. This behavior of ferrets is usually known as “dance for joy.” 

Ferrets usually dance when they are delighted and energetic that they need to express their feelings and blow off some energy.

A sound that may feel like a human laugh might follow this behavior.

Weasel War Dance

Sometimes ferrets may also dance in another manner, separate from the one stated above.

It is the dance called the “weasel war dance.” The ferret usually poofs out its tale during this dance and makes a hissing noise. Contrary to the dance for joy, ferrets do this type of dance when they are scared or angry. 

Slamming into Walls!

Ferrets also slam into the house walls, which is common to expect as ferrets are generally clumsy and have blurry and low vision.

They might not contain themselves while running, which causes them to hit a wall or a piece of furniture. 

Back into a Corner

If your ferret backs into a corner, there is one thing for which you should watch out. If it poofs up its tail, then it means that the ferret is scared or angry.

If its tail is normal, then it just means that it has gone to poop or urinate. 

Head Under Water

Some ferrets love it to put their heads in the water. They usually do it to cover their ears which gives them a feeling as if they are in the wild searching for prey inside ponds and lakes. 

Itchy – Bite Himself

Your ferret may sometimes try to bite himself, which may seem as if the ferret is trying to harm itself, but actually, it has an itch.

The skin of the ferrets is quite itchy. So you should not be worried. If you feel that your ferret is doing it more frequently and intensely, it might be a good idea to get it diagnosed by a veterinarian.

It may be a sign that your pet is suffering from fleas or skin lesions.

Following You around the House

Your ferret may run after you, and it may feel like your ferret has become needy and is looking for attention. The fact is that your ferret is trying to play with you and connect more with you.

It would be best to keep your ferret happy and play with it as much as possible. However, you need to ensure that you do not step on it or hurt it in any way. 

So, these are some of the essential things about a ferret’s behavior that may catch you by surprise but are entirely normal. If you own a ferret or plan to get one for yourself soon, it is an excellent idea to know such things. It will help you to understand your ferret better.

Being aware of such things will make you capable of better catering to the demands of your pet. It will also help you connect better with your pet and ensure that it is happy and lives a long and healthy life.

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