Playful, inquisitive and smart, ferrets are entertaining to watch and are much loved by their owners. Learning how to handle a ferret’s long, agile body in different situations is important. Here’s how:
- Place your hand under his chest to support his upper body. Use your other hand to support his hind end.
- Never hold a ferret by his head, legs or tail.
When Introducing Him to Strangers:
- If you’re not sure how your ferret will react to strangers (or how they will react to him), it’s best to cradle your ferret with one hand and arm, leaving the other free to protect him. Hold him firmly with your hand under his chest and the rest of his body lying along your arm. He might wrap his legs around your forearm for stability.
- Hold him facing towards you or away from you, depending on his comfort level with strangers.
“Scruffing” for Grooming or Disciplining:
- In the wild, a female ferret may hold her young by the scruff of the neck to discipline them. The same technique can be used at home or at the vet’s.
- Use your thumb and first two fingers to grasp the loose skin at the back of the ferret’s neck right below his head. Hold him firmly, but gently.
- When held this way, ferrets will usually relax, go limp and may even yawn. It is a familiar position to them and isn’t painful.
- Scruffing will allow you to safely groom the ferret, clip his nails or brush his teeth.
- Don’t hold one by the scruff for long without supporting his hind quarters.
- Scruffing should not be used during litter training, after fear biting or with previously abused ferrets.
Ferrets can be quite mischievous, so handling one properly will ensure his safety and that of others. For a broad variety of ferret supplies, visit a Pet Supermarket near you.