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Ferret Noises and What They Mean

Ferret Noises and What They Mean

All the Information You Need to Decipher What Your Ferret Wants to Convey.

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon when I was enjoying my siesta. Suddenly, I was awakened by the whining sound of my pet ferret. I went on to research about the ferret noises and what they mean as I couldn’t comprehend what my ferret was trying to communicate.

As I read more and more, it was a kind of revelation for me, that these pets are capable of communicating so much merely by various types of sound.

If observed closely, you will be able to decipher that ferrets are capable of producing happy, unhappy, anxious as well as painful sounds.

Let’s read on to know more about the ferret noises and what they mean, which will help you understand your young ferret better.

Ferret Noises and What They Mean: Is Your Ferret Trying to Communicate With You?

Ferret Noises and What They Mean

Ferrets are very smart creatures. Even though they cannot talk to you, they will convey all their emotions by the various noises. 

Ferrets have a variety of sounds which they use to communicate their mood to you.

They have specific sounds to convey their happiness, sadness, anger, pain, or fear.  

You should closely observe the ferret behavior, sounds, and body language to determine what your ferret wants you to know.

Read the detailed information below along with the video clips to know all about the ferret noises.

12 Types of Ferret Noises With Their Meaning

Domestic ferrets, also known as Mustela putorius furo, are smart creatures who use their vocals and noises to communicate with their owners. Below are the most common ferret sounds that ferrets end to make.

1. Dooking

Dooking noise is a happy sound that your ferret makes. Your ferret will make this sound when he is happy and laughing and he wants to play with you or is ready for his playtime. This is the most common noise that a ferret will make.

The happiness can be seen in your ferret’s body language too, as he will jump and run while dooking.

You can also enjoy your ferret’s “happy weasel war dance” while he dooks. Your ferret will simply puff its tail and bounce around.

However, some ferret owners complain that their ferret never makes a dooking sound. You should note that this doesn’t mean your ferret is sad. It simply means that he is quiet. You can expect the older ferret to be quieter.

Take a look at this adorable video of a ferret dooking in its cage, and how the owner takes them out for their playtime!

2. Barking

Just like a dog, a ferret can bark too. However, it is not the normal loud noise or barking sound that a dog makes. You can consider barking as a loud dook noise or a loud chirp.

Barking indicates an excited ferret. However, this excitement is not always a happy one. A ferret might bark when he is extremely happy, but also when he is petrified or finds himself in some problem.

If your ferret is continuously barking, you should immediately go and check on him. If he is barking out of happiness, there is nothing to worry about. 

However, if he is barking out of distress or is in an unpleasant situation, you should try to calm him down.

Are you confused about how to identify the ferret’s barking sound? Check out this video below.

3. Whimpering

If your ferret whimpers, you should immediately give him your full attention. Whimpering is an unhappy and pathetic noise that your ferret will make.

You can expect this sound when you are not spending enough time with your furry friend and he wants your attention. The best way to pacify your ferret is to play with him and give him few cuddles!

Whimpering, sometimes also indicates that your ferret wants more food or his favorite toy. Ferrets are indeed intelligent pets! 

One thing you should keep in mind is that ferrets are very sensitive. Hence, if they whimper, you should never avoid or ignore them or punish them. This will hamper the bonding between you and your furry friend.

4. Whining

Whining is a more serious form of whimpering. Your ferret will whine when he is in pain or if he is scared due to some reason. Sometimes, baby ferrets also whine to get the attention of their mother.

Below are the key differences between whining and whimpering that can help you out:

  • Whimpering is an unhappy sound that your ferret will make twice or thrice and then most likely stop. However, your ferret will make the whining noise continuously. 
  • If you pick up your ferret and cuddle, and he stops making the sound, that is a whimpering sound. However, if you pick up your ferret, cuddle with him, and give him attention, still, he keeps on making the noise, it is undoubtedly and whining sound.

Thus, whining is a more serious sound, and in most cases, it indicates that your ferret is sick or in pain. You should immediately consult a veterinarian in this case.

Take a look at how a ferret whines, so that you never miss out on this serious noise of your ferret.

5. Snoring

Many animals snore, and your ferret is no different. Your furry friend is most likely to snore when he taking his beauty sleep. This is absolutely normal, and all you need to do is just sit back and adore how cute these fluffy pets are!

Ferret Noises and What They Mean

If your ferret does not snore, you are simply missing on some bit of cuteness! Apart from that, your ferret is healthy and there is nothing to worry about.

Take a look at this cute ferret snoring. Adorable, isn’t it?

6. Sneezing

The first time I heard my little friend sneezing, I couldn’t stop my laughter. It was so adorable. 

Ferrets have multiple rapid sneezes in a row.  Most of the time they sneeze because they are inquisitive by nature, and tend to smell almost everything!

Sneezing in ferrets is normal. However, if you see other symptoms like a runny nose or discharge from the eyes, you should consult a veterinarian.

Never heard your ferret sneeze? Check this out.

7. Coughing

Even though sneezing is normal in ferrets, coughing is a sign of disease. Coughing could indicate a respiratory infection or disease or even heart disease.

Sometimes, coughing is also a repercussion of an allergic reaction. In either case, if you find your ferret coughing, it is best to take him to a vet.

Take a look at the video of a ferret who is unwell and suffering from respiratory disease.

8. Hissing

The hissing sound is a common noise that your ferret will make when he is afraid or angry. A hiss is a low but sharp noise, somewhat similar to the chattering noise that your ferret will make. 

Sometimes, ferrets also hiss when they are fighting for dominance with other ferrets.

If your ferret is hissing due to anger or fear, you can take him aside and cuddle for few minutes. Once calm, you can then leave your ferret alone.

If your ferret is backing away from you or it has puffed its tail, you should leave your hissing ferret alone.

If you have a male ferret and a female ferret, they can also hiss at each other. You should separate them till they calm down.

9. Screeching

Screeching is a high pitch, unpleasant sound that your ferret will make under extreme situations. If you are not near your ferret, you should immediately go and check on him if he screeches.

A screeching sound indicates that your ferret is in excruciating pain or danger or is feeling fearful of something.

If your ferret is frightened of something, you can try to calm him down, by keeping him in his ferret cage or in a quiet and calm room, where there is no other person or pet, for instance, a cat.

If your ferret screeches, you should look out for any signs of injuries, like swelling or limping. It is best to take your ferret to a vet if the screeching continues.

10. Squeaking

This is a happy noise that your ferret will make when he is excited and is in a playful mood. A ferret’s squeaking will sometimes also sound like a giggle.

Your ferret will squeak and be excited if he is playing, or is interacting with you or someone else, or playing with another ferret. 

If your ferret squeaks while playing, it is a sign of a happy ferret. However, if you have many ferrets, and they tend to squeak too much and more frequently while playing, it is best to separate them for some time. This will give them time to calm themselves down.

11. Teeth Grinding

You are most likely to hear your ferret grind its teeth during mealtime or immediately after mealtime. This simply indicates that he is chewing and trying to get the food pieces out from his teeth.

Ferret Noises and What They Mean

However, if your ferret is grinding its teeth at random times, it indicates that he is in pain or some form of discomfort

Teeth grinding is sometimes also accompanied by a runny nose, whimpering, and loss of energy. You should take your ferret to a vet at the earliest.

12. Honking

Honking is a sign of nervousness in a ferret. Adult ferrets usually do not make a honking noise. Honking is more common in baby ferret or kits. 

Ferrets usually make this sound when they are unable to find something or if they lose the sense of direction.

Moreover, honking noise is also made by a deaf ferret. So, if your ferret is not responding to loud and obvious noises, and is making a honking noise, it can be a sign of deaf ferret screams.

What Ferret Sounds Require a Veterinarian’s Attention?

You should visit a veterinarian if your ferret continuously makes the below noises:

1. Whining

Whining indicates that your furry friend is in pain. A vet will in most cases check for the ferret’s lungs and heart and abdomen to check if your ferret is not infested with parasites.

2. Coughing Along With Sneezing

While sneezing is perfectly healthy, coughing along with a runny nose or just in general excessive coughing requires immediate medical attention. Your ferret might be suffering from a respiratory system disorder or heart related issues.

3. Teeth Grinding

If your ferret grinds his teeth, apart from his mealtime, you should consult a vet. This might indicate that he is sick and is experiencing some form of discomfort.

FAQs on Ferret Noises and What They Mean

1. Why Is My Ferret Making Weird Breathing Noises?

Your ferret might be suffering from a disease if he makes weird breathing noises. It can indicate upper airway obstruction. If your ferret makes noises while breathing, and sneezes excessively along with coughing and discharge, it can indicate respiratory tract infections.

These issues might also lead to insomnia in your ferret. It is advisable to consult a vet if you see these signs.

2. How Do You Know When a Ferret Is Mad?

Your ferret will start screeching and hissing if he is mad at something. This indicates that your ferret is unhappy.

You should lookout for any signs of injuries or any possible reason for your ferret to be fearful. Sometimes, your ferret might be afraid of the presence of a new pet.

3. Why Does My Ferret Bite Me?

Your ferret might bite you because he is in pain. Some ferrets also bite to get attention from their owners. Usually, ferret bites are not painful. 

However, if your ferret constantly nibbles on your skin, it can cause your skin to tear.

Check out all the details of why your ferret bites here.


Now that you are aware of the ferret noises and what they mean, the next thing you should do is to observe your domesticated ferret’s sound carefully and try to understand what he is trying to communicate.

Your ferret will convey all his moods with his noises, whether it is angry clattering noise or a happy clucking sound like a dook.

The more time you spend with your buddy, the more you will be able to decipher his various sounds, body language, and what he is trying to communicate!

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