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Why Does My Ferret Lick Me: Know All About Their Behaviour

why does my ferret lick me

Get to know all about your ferret’s licking and what it means.

Why Does My Ferret Lick Me is the most common question in people who pet ferrets. A simple answer to this question is that they want to communicate with you and show their love.

Since your ferret is unable to speak and lacks linguistic capabilities,  licking is a way in which they will try to communicate with you. You might be surprised to know that by licking, they can emote a variety of emotions. So, all you have to do is just decipher its meaning!

Along with that, you should also remain cautious as sometimes excessive licking can be a sign of abnormality in your ferret. Read on to get a detailed insight into your cute pet’s licking pattern.

Top 12 Reasons Why Your Ferret Licks You:

It’s always heartwarming and cheering when your ferret showers his affection and love on you. Licking is your ferret’s way to do it. To help you understand your ferret better, we bring you a list of reasons why your ferret licks you.

Why does my ferret lick me

1. He Missed You and Is Relieved That You Are Back

Ferrets are just adorable creatures who love their owners. And your ferret is no different. While you were away, maybe for work or just out with your friends, your pet missed you.

It might sound surprising to you, but some ferrets also suffer from separation anxiety. Hence, when you are back and your ferret starts licking you, it is mostly a sign that he is glad to see you and really missed you.

Isn’t this gesture extremely adorable?

2. He Wants Your Attention

Have you noticed how your ferret might start licking you when you are busy watching TV or just doing anything without giving attention to your ferret? This is because your ferret wants your attention and wants you to play with him!

If your pet starts licking or scratching your feet and starts jumping around, he is most definitely trying to get your attention.

So, we suggest that you immediately give your cute little ferret your attention, cuddle and play with him!

3. Your Ferret Wants to Convey His Happiness and Excitement

Do you get surprised when your ferret starts giving small kisses to you? This is just their way of showing their happiness to you.

Ferrets tend to shower their owners with kisses on hands, cheeks, face, and ears to convey their excitement and happiness.

4. Your Ferret Wants to be Included in Your Activity

Why does my ferret lick me?

Ferrets quickly adapt to their owner’s lifestyle and daily routine. Hence, if you are doing an activity without including your ferret, he is most likely to lick you and jump around.

Do you know what’s a simple way to stop your ferret from doing so? Just include him in whatever you are doing or play with him!

5. Your Ferret Wants to Groom You

This might sound a bit astounding to you, but your ferret is trying to groom you by licking. You might appear dirty to him!

Your ferret will lick your face, eyebrows, legs, and neck while trying to groom you. 

6. Your Ferret Loves the Taste of Your Salt

Ferrets like the taste of salt. And what better source than your skin to fulfill their salt cravings?

If you have sweat recently, the salt in the sweat deposits on your skin. Your ferret licks you to taste the salt.

Sometimes, ferrets also tend to like the taste of the lotion or cream that you have applied. You might notice your ferret licking you more when you apply his favorite lotion!

However, if your ferret licks excessively to taste the salt, it is advisable to stop it. Ferrets do not need much salt intake. Excessive licking can also cause salt poisoning. If something like this happens, you should rush to your vet.

7. You are a Part of His Territory Now

Ferrets are extremely territorial by nature. They mark their territories, be it their bed, cage, toys, or any other ferret, by licking them.

You might also witness a shrieking match if you owe two ferrets to establish their dominance.

Your ferret marks you as his own by licking you and marking you as his territory.

8. Your Ferret Senses Some Kind of Danger

If your ferret senses some kind of danger, then he can lick you, arch his back and hiss. Some ferrets also poop on the floor and release their scents from anal glands if they still possess those.

9. Your Ferret Is Scared

Ferrets express that they are scared by licking to get your attention, and then hissing. If your ferret is scared, he is most likely to shy away by putting his head down.

Ferrets do not run away if they are scared. They will instead show the above-mentioned behavior. 

10. Time to Feed Your Ferret as He Might Be Hungry

If your ferret licks you and then lingers around an empty dish, he is trying to convey that he is hungry. 

We suggest that you have some dry ferret food handy, so your ferret doesn’t go hungry. 

You should take proper care to regularly change the ferret food so that it remains fresh.

11. Your Ferret is Curious About Something

Just like any other pet, ferrets are also curious by nature. If your ferret is curious about something, he will definitely put his detective hat on!

Your ferret will go around keeping his body low to the ground and exploring it. If they find what they are looking for, they will make cute soft noises.

12. Your Ferret is Sad

Your ferret might be sad due to the loss of his fellow ferret companion. If your ferret is sad, he will probably slouch down to express his pain. 

Why Does Your Ferret Lick Your Feet?

Ferrets love to lick feet, shoes, and socks too! This is mainly because these things always smell like you and are easily accessible by your ferret. Your ferret may lick your feet simply to show their affection towards you.

However, if you are amongst those who do not like your ferret licking your feet, then you should try to minimize this behavior, as ferrets can be quite aggressive when it comes to feet licking.

You can try putting some bitter substance that is safe for your ferret on your feet to prevent your pet from licking your feet.

5 Reasons Why Your Ferret Is Licking Himself

Apart from licking you, you might also notice that your ferret is licking himself. Most of the time, it is just a routine for your ferret. However, if your ferret licks excessively, it can be for one of the following reasons: 

1. He is Irritated Because of Some Allergies

If your ferret tends to develop allergies, he might be irritated due to the allergies. In such a case, he might keep on licking himself.

Being sensitive in nature, ferrets can have an allergic reaction to your carpet or rug mats. Their skin might also be infected with mites. Sometimes, the food that you provide might also cause an allergic reaction in your ferret.

You should visit a veterinarian if your ferret is continuously licking himself and you suspect some allergic reaction.

2. Your Ferret Might be Infested with Fleas

Why does my ferret lick me?

As your ferret gets older and wanders in open grounds, they are more likely to be infested with fleas. Ferrets tend to wander almost anywhere and since they have a fur-like skin coating, it can be a breeding ground for fleas.

Fleas cause extreme irritation to ferrets. It can also cause reddening of your ferret’s skin.

To prevent this, you should regularly clean your ferret with a suitable shampoo. It is advisable to consult your veterinarian if the redness on the skin persists.

3. Malnutrition

Your ferret’s food habits are extremely important. If proper nutrition is not provided, their skin tends to be dry and lusterless. This can cause extreme discomfort to them and thus, your ferret will excessively lick his skin.

You should always feed your ferret with high-quality ferret food to prevent malnutrition.

4. Soap or Shampoo May Cause Irritation to Your Ferret

If you bathe your ferret with a hard soap or shampoo, it will have an adverse effect on his skin. You should be extremely careful to only select soft soaps and shampoos, designed specifically for ferrets.

Using unsuitable products will cause your ferret’s fur to be dry and itchy. This will cause them to continuously lick their fur.

5. Mange

Mange causes extreme discomfort to your ferret. Mites usually cause mange in ferrets. 

Ferrets of any age, gender, or breed can be affected with mange. Mange may affect your ferret’s body or legs. Moreover, you will notice symptoms like patchy hair loss, sores on the body, and extreme irritation in the case of mange. All this leads to the ferret licking himself.

You should provide your ferret with properly prescribed medications to cure mange. Moreover, the environment where he spends his time must also be kept clean.

You can get a detailed insight on mange here.

How Can You Activate Your Ferret’s Licking Mood?

So, you had a long and excruciating day at work, and all you want is a few cuddles from your furry pet. But your ferret is not in the mood to lick you or show you any love and affection.

Don’t worry, you can still make your ferret lick you. After all, they love you a lot!

If you scratch your ferret’s rump, rib, or chuck, be ready to be licked all over your face and arms. Scratch their shoulder blades, and they will start licking you in no time!

Do you want to tease your furry pet a bit? Just delicately blow on their nose and see how he starts licking your forehead and lips.

When Should You Stop Your Ferret From Licking You?

You might find it heartwarming when your ferret keeps licking you. And it is nothing to be afraid of.

However, sometimes, your ferret might lick you continuously, nibbling you. This can soften your skin and cause the ferret to bite on your skin.

If this is the scenario, you should immediately stop your ferret from licking you as this might harm you. Also, this indicates that your ferret has issues controlling his emotions. So you should try to control the licking behavior.

FAQs on Why Does My Ferret Lick Me

1. Do Ferrets Recognise Their Owners?

Yes, ferrets recognize their owners. Ferrets are quite social. You should spend ample quality time with them, playing and involving them in your activities, to create a strong bonding.

2. How Do Ferrets Show Affection?

Ferrets show their affection by licking you. This is the most common thing that ferrets will do. Apart from this, your ferret will constantly be around you to show his fondness for you.

3. How Do I Know If My Ferret Loves Me?

Ferrets will show their love for you by trying to gain your attention. They will lick you and give you those cute kisses to shower you with their affection and love.


The simple answer to why does my ferret lick me is that he loves you tonnes.

Now that you have read our article above, we hope you have a complete insight into your ferret’s licking habit. 

Your ferret loves you and wants to be included in all the things that you do. They are pretty little attention seekers. By licking, they will try to get your attention, and they being so cute, deserve all of your attention.

Sometimes, excessively licking can being in bad news too. You should keep a close watch on their licking habits and if it seems that they are licking excessively and rashes or redness appear on their skin, it’s a signal to visit your veterinarian.

Last but not the least, you should take extreme care of your furry pet’s hygiene and food habits, to avoid cases of allergies and malnutrition.

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