Ferret Hissing. What Does It Mean?

ferret hissing in the snow

Ferrets are known for their calm and exciting character. They are perfect pets for those who have to go to work every day. Ferrets usually are quiet but will occasionally get vocal for some reason. Well, in this article, we are going to look at common ferret sounds, including ferret hissing.

Why is my ferret hissing all of a sudden?

Many ferret owners get a little bit worried when their pets start getting vocal. Well, hissing is not always a good sign. People who have kept cats can tell you that hissing is usually an indication of dissatisfaction.

Well, your ferret could be hissing because he is upset. Is there something going on in his cage that gets him worked up? In my experience, ferrets will make a hissing sound when they feel threatened. It could be another household pet making your fuzzy friend irritable.

However, this is not the only explanation of why your ferret is hissing. It all depends on the context in which a ferret is making this sound. For instance, if you are away in the other room and your cat is stalking your ferret, well hissing might be involved.

Well, when we spend time outdoors, there is a chance that you brought new scents in the house. Ferrets have a strong sense of smell. It could be that he picked up a scent he feels threatened by. Well, I suggest you step back and leave him to settle down.

Does hissing mean my ferret is aggressive?

Ferrets are among the friendliest pets in history. They will rarely exhibit aggressive behavior. However, if your ferret is upset and is hissing, it is probably best to stay away from him. Quickly ensure that he has all he needs in his cage and leave him for a few minutes.

While hissing can also be exhibited during play with another ferret, it should not be taken lightly. I suggest checking on your ferret once he starts hissing. At the same time, you cannot calm him down by petting him.

So what if your ferret starts hissing during play? The best thing to do in this situation is to put him back in his cage. Paying too much attention, or basically sticking around his cage could upset him even more.

It is also normal for an upset ferret to bite, painfully. Well, observe for other signs of an angry ferret such as a puffy tail.

What does it mean when my ferret backs away from me while hissing?

Well, as I have mentioned above, hissing is usually a sign of unhappiness. Sometimes, it also means that your ferret is feeling a little agitated or threatened. If you approach your fuzzy friend and he starts backing away from you, he could be feeling threatened instead.

It is unusual, but it happens that your ferret is threatened by you. In other cases, it could be that another animal, mostly another pet, is threatening your ferret.

If he is out of the cage and seems scared, I urge you to put him back into his safe space; his pen. Take the other pet causing the unsettlement away from your ferret’s sight and area.

Should I be concerned if my ferret starts hissing?

Well, the first thing you should do upon finding your ferret hissing is to check out if he is safe. If you were playing with him and he suddenly starts hissing, put him back in his cage. Give him some space and walk away for a few minutes before checking upon him.

Ferrets can also bite painfully if they feel threatened. In most circumstances, it is nothing to worry about, and the hissing will stop shortly.

If you are entirely sure that he is safe, there is no need to worry much about your ferret. He should be fine once he settles down.

Other ferret sounds that indicate that a ferret is unhappy

Hissing is not the only indication that your ferret is unhappy. You should be keen and observant of your ferret to pick out the times he is irritated. Below, I am going to list the sounds you should look out for to know if your ferret is unhappy;

Screeching sound

If you have owned a cat before, you must have heard them screaming. Well, ferrets also produce a screeching sound that resembles a scream. It is usually a sign that your ferret is extremely angry and upset.

If you are in the other room, you must check on your ferret as soon as possible. In other cases, it could indicate that your ferret is in pain. If he makes a screeching sound when you are playing or when you lift him, you might want to check for injuries or lumps.

If your ferret is in pain, take him to the vet for an examination.


When a ferret whimpers, it is barely audible. However, you will notice him, which is probably what he wants. I cannot count the times my ferret has whimpered so that I could give him my attention. So, whimpering is more of a way to seek care and attention.

However, it would be wrong to assume that that is the only thing it means. When a ferret whimpers when picked up or during play, it could indicate that he is in extreme pain. Examine him for any injuries or swellings. If he does not stop whimpering, I suggest you check with your vet to rule out any signs of illness.

Ferrets are known for their cheerful and quiet personality. It does not mean that your ferret is ill or unhappy when he vocalizes. Sometimes ferrets will make happy sounds such as dooking. That is a topic for another day.

If you find your ferret hissing, it is probably because he is upset. Well, as I have mentioned above, the only way to resolve this is by putting him back in his cage. Ensure that he has everything he needs, including food, favorite toys and enough drinking water. Leave him alone until he settles down and does not allow other pets or kids to come to his cage. Allow him some time to recover from whatever that is bothering him.

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