Why Does My Ferret Lick Me?

Ferrets are not equipped with lingual capabilities like humans, but that does not mean that they can not get their message across.

Unfortunately for ferrets, most humans have no idea how to decipher the behavior of ferrets or what they are trying to say.

Ferrets may move in a specific way (or make sounds) to let you know what they want.

So, why does my ferret lick me? Ferrets lick themselves in order to keep themselves clean, but if your little fellow is licking you then there can be more than one reason for this behavior.

Your ferret might be liking you because it liked the taste of the lotion you are wearing, it might be trying to groom you, or it is giving you cues that it is going to bite you if you do not let them go. Ferret love has also been associated with licking.

Let us explore now some ways ferrets express their emotions in the article an delve into some details!

1. Curious

Curiosity might kill the cat, but the ferrets are not much behind.

Ferrets are very inquisitive creatures.

When a ferret is curious, it keeps its body low to the ground and then explores something to check it out.

Ferrets may also make a soft chuckling or dooking sound to show that they are excited about what they found.

2. Afraid

When ferrets are afraid they might tremble severely, hide, shriek or cower down.

If you have just bought a new ferret and brought it home then let the little fellow come to you rather then you reaching to grab it. In the state of fear, the ferret might go as far as to bite you.

You can use a treat on a spoon to lure the ferret out of its hiding place.

3. Danger

If the ferret feels threatened or in danger, it will arch its back, hiss, poop on the floor or screech. It may also release an odor from its glands if it has them.

4. Fearful

If a ferret is afraid of something it will his and shy away from it, but it will not actually hide and run from something it is really terrified of.

5. Excited

When your ferret is excited about something, it will perform the Weasel war dance and may produce a very loud dooking sound. An excited ferret dooks with its head raised. The more excited the little guy is the louder and faster it dooks.

6. Mad

If a ferret is mad about something, it will bite, hiss, pout or even chase another ferret. It might also bite or hiss its owner and show signs of aggression towards people or another pet.

7. Hungry

When a ferret is hungry it walks around an empty dish. It might also first walk to you and then walk to the empty dish to tell you what it requires.

Ferrets do not overeat, so it is best to have dry food put out at all times so that your ferret does not go hungry.

All you have to do is make sure that the ferret food is fresh especially in humid climates.

8. Sadness

Like people ferrets also get depressed.

The loss of a human companion or another ferret can trigger depression.

The ferret might go around and look for its lost companion in places that the companion usually occupied.

The ferret might sigh and slouch down like it is in pain a lot, but it will not have squinty eyes like a ferret in physical pain has.

9. Pain

Ferrets do not usually express pain, they are very stoic animals.

Although there are some exceptions to this like if you accidentally step on their tail they will dook very fast as if they are cursing you or hiss and shriek.

If they do not feel very well, they will squint their eyes and might even flatten themselves.

You should definitely take your ferret to the vet if it showcases such behavior.

10. Territorial

Like most animals out there ferrets are very possessive when it comes to their beds, litter boxes, toys and treats.

Ferrets commonly display their dominance if another ferret starts playing with their favourite treat and thus begins a shrieking match.

The authoritative battle occurs mostly between two or more ferrets, not between ferrets and humans.

When giving your ferrets a treat remember to set them apart for that, they do not duel over it.

One ferret might bully the other so try luring the other ferret away by using an extra treat.

What does your ferret behavior mean?

If a ferret grabs you with its teeth

This type of grabbing with teeth is not termed as biting. It is usually just a gentle grip on your finger. This means that ferret wants to follow you.

Some ferrets even go as far as dragging their owners’ into their cages. They think of you as their favorite toy. If you try to free yourself, the ferret might tug on even more and this might be painful for you.

11. Bouncing around

This type of behavior is called the Weasel War dance. It is actually a sign of joy and excitement. This happens when your ferret is happy about something and wants to scream it out from rooftops.

This can also mean that your ferret wants to play.

Ferrets do this when they feel abandoned and bounce onto furniture, stairs and even bounce off beds.

Remember to provide your ferret with a secure and safe area if it continues to do this.

12. Kissing

Like their human friends, ferrets kiss on the mouth as a display of love and affection. This also means that the ferret likes the taste of the ham sandwich you had earlier of the taste f the lip gloss that you are wearing.

13. Jumping

If a ferret begins jumping around your feet then this means that it wants you to play or to pick it up. If you are standing near the area where the treats are kept then that means it wants those treats and is begging for them.

14. Running back and forth

If a ferret runs away from you and then back to you and then towards you, it wants you to follow it or to play with it. Maybe the water dish or the food dish of your ferret is empty or his toy is stuck somewhere and it wants you to help it get it.

15. Opening its mouth while playing

This behavior shows that your ferret is very excited and the ferret might be more inclined to nip you when it is excited.

16. Nipping

Most ferrets nip you in order to get your attention. The ferret might even nip your feet in order to get you to move so that it can play with you or even chase you. The ferret might nip you if it does not like what you are doing and wants you to back off.

17. Bushed up tail

Ferrets are a lot like cats when it comes to bushing up their tail. They do that in order to make themselves look intimidating when they are on a defensive, feel threatened or are just afraid.

A bushy tail can also show interest or excitement and you need to learn the difference as it is very important.

If the ferret is shrieking or hissing back then there is something that is annoying or frightening him and must be handled very cautiously.

18. Digging

In the wild, the ferrets live in burrows and these little creatures been valued throughout history for the insane ability to pursue vermin under the ground, burrow, and hunt. That is why ferrets love to explore tunnels.

The ferret might even begin to dig its own tunnels in its cage, home or even outside. You can provide them with a sandbox so that they can carry out all their digging in an enclosed space so that they do not make a mess everywhere.

If the litter tray is left dirty for a while, then the ferrets will also begin to dig in it. Remember to clean the litter tray twice a day and do not let the built up of feces in the tray.


Why does my ferret hiss like a snake? Ferrets do this in order to warn off others and tell them to stop or else they will bite them. Picking up a hissing ferret is not the best idea as you might end up getting bitten. You could do that if you are wearing gloves.

Why does my ferret wag its tail? Ferrets have many common traits with dogs. They wag their tail if they excited or happy just like dos. It is not as common as it is in dogs.

Why does my ferret make clucking noises? When ferrets are content, happy or excited they make clucking or chortling noises that are known as dooking. Ferrets are known to also jump and leap around the room at the same time.

Why does my ferret grabs the other ferret and shakes him? Ferrets show dominance by this behavior. They might bite another ferret on the neck, get a great grip and then shake him over and over in order to assert its dominance.

Why does my ferret slam into my walls? Ferrets are mostly very clumsy, uncoordinated and their vision is very poor. Many of the ferrets can only see a few feet in front of them and so they have very bad depth perception. This explains a lot about their klutziness.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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