Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Ferret bark? And other noises.

Okay, so most people have heard about ferrets dooking, but barking too? Ferrets can be quite the vocalists and you need to know what they are trying to say! Below I have compiled the most common ferret noises and their meanings, if your ferret has made a different noise then please get in touch! Please bear in mind however that some of these noises can mean two different things, so you always need to check your ferrets out to make sure they are not in trouble, even if to you it sounds like they are having fun.

  • Dooking-Dooking is a clucking almost squeaky sound that often come in fast bursts. If you hear your ferret dooking then you can be happy that it is very excited and having fun playing. They may also dook when they approach you, which can be an invitation to play. Some ferrets are very loud when they dook, and can dook frequently, even when just walking around, my ferret Shiro does this. Whereas some ferrets, like Alfie, are very quiet and infrequent dookers.
  • Screeching/squeaking-Ferrets can squeak or screech while playing, and in many occasions the ferret that is happily leaping on a playmate will be the one doing the screeching. They will also screech or squeak if they are losing a fight, or upset with another ferret. Some ferrets will be quite vocal and some will only screech if they are unhappy. You need to establish what type of vocalist your ferret is, so that you can respond quickly if your ferret is in danger of being hurt.
  • Screaming-The scream is a pretty clear indication that your ferret is either in pain, is frightened or very angry! It's never a good thing if you hear this and you need to check it out right away.
  • Hissing-Some ferrets hiss on a regular basis, and this is just their way of communicating. Hissing  ferrets are normally giving a warning to 'back off' to either another ferret, animal or human. They can hiss in fear, in anger and in annoyance. 
  • Whines and whimpers- These are never good signs, your ferret could be in pain/discomfort or they could be frightened. You will need to investigate if you hear these noises.
  • Barking-Lets talk about this ferret bark shall we? Ferrets can bark, and can sound quite like a dog when they do. Barking is usually nothing to worry about and just means that they are over excited and overcome with joy. On occasion they can bark when frightened, so be wary.
  • Wheezing-If accompanied by a runny nose and eyes then your ferret could have a cold or other illness. If not and it is playing, eating and drinking as usual it is likely it has dust/hair stuck in its throat, which is particularly common during the shed season. If you are at all concerned or your ferret seems to be in discomfort then always check with the vet.
  • Coughing-This can be caused by similar things as wheezing, the ferret could have a hair or even a piece of food stuck in its throat from eating too quickly. Again, if accompanied by sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes or loss of appetite you would be best to let your vet have a look. Ferret lax can help hairs slide down easier, but be careful not to give your ferret too much, and again see the vet for advice if in doubt.
  • Snoring-Yes, ferrets can snore too! They don't obviously sound the same as when a human snores, it's more like heavy breathing. Your ferret is fast asleep and dreaming up more mischief...shhhhh....
So hopefully now you have a better understanding of just what your little rascal is trying to tell you! 

6 comments:

  1. I notice you didn't mention meeping. Both Spencer and Priscilla meep while sleeping. In my humble opinion, it is without a doubt the most precious and loving sound I've ever heard. I just love it when they meep :@) Love the font you type with!!

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    1. Hey thanks for the comment :) I totally forgot about that one! And I love it when mine do it too <3 Though it isn't very often haha, they mainly snore!

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  2. I feel fortunate if I have a ferret that will dook. I've had silent ones, and I really love when they make their little variety of noises. Even the squeals and screams can be funny, when they're doing it and no one is getting hurt! The barks and hisses really make me laugh... usually caused by fights over favorite toys. They think they'z so tuff! Great blog! Ferrets ROCK!

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    1. Thanks :) They're just the best little critters! So funny, better to watch than tv!

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  3. My ferrets been interacting with our new kitten. She soumds like she's making a warbling noise. Any thoughts?

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    1. Hey, sorry for the late response-I've been busy making Christmas gifts! It sounds like she could be just dooking very quickly, which mine do from time to time which will mean she is happy and excited at the thought of having a play pal. However, keep an eye on the play and look out for signs of her being scared and any hissing.

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