How Do Ferrets Show Affection?

Young lady holding a ferret

I have been talking about how to show affection to your ferret. However, I have never really written about how ferrets show attention. These adorable small creatures love human interaction. If a ferret does not get as much human interaction as needed, he might develop depression.

In this article, we are going to look at how ferrets reciprocate the affection we offer them. You should understand that different ferrets will have different personalities. Therefore, it is unlikely that ferrets will display affection in the same way.

However, I can assure you that you have probably been experiencing it all this time. If you have just brought your ferret home, I will teach you how to win your ferret’s affection.

Without much delay, let us look as to how ferrets show affection.

How do I tell that my ferret is being affectionate?

As I have mentioned above, a ferret can show affection in various ways. While ferrets are playful and social, it takes some time to build trust with one. Therefore, your ferret is not exactly going to start to play around the first day.

If you are looking to bond with your ferret, then you must put in efforts to get him to bond with you. At the same time, caring for your ferret creates a strong bond based on trust. Well, some of the ways that a ferret will use to show affection may include the following;

Playing with you

The first time I brought a ferret home, I didn’t know much about bonding with them. While I have taken care of various pets, they have been either dogs or cats. However, I was determined to keeping him as happy as I could.

The first thing I noticed about our ferret is that he wouldn’t play with anyone for the first two days. I would open the cage to get him out but he was too scared to do it. I realized that the new environment and new faces all of a sudden could be a little too much for him.

I would feed him, give him treats and change his beddings and now we are best friends. One of the ways to tell that a ferret loves you is by accepting to play with you. It takes a lot of trust for your ferret to feel safe around you or any other person.

It is important you take your ferret out of his cage for playtime. If your new ferret is afraid to come out, that’s okay. Allow him some time to get used to you. Once he is comfortable, you can always run around playing with him.

Playing with you is a sign of trust and affection. Otherwise, if your ferret is not comfortable around you, increase the amount of time you spend caring for him. He will definitely trust you after a few days.

Cuddling with you

Not all ferrets love to cuddle. Some do enjoy human interaction but cuddling may not be their way of displaying affection. However, those than enjoy cuddling will take a nap with you. Other ferrets cannot stand cuddling for so long. They may let you hold them for two minutes and then they will walk away, and you should let them.

In order to allow cuddling, a ferret must trust you so much. As I have mentioned above, playing with a ferret will allow you to bond with him. Given that ferrets are small animals, you must be gentle with him. If you mishandle your ferret, it is similar to a breach of trust.

To get your ferret to cuddle, you must ensure that your ferret feels safe with you. Let him sit on your laps whenever he wants to. Most ferrets are likely to want to cuddle when they are exhausted. Maybe you have been playing ‘chase’ with him for an hour and he is too tired. He might come and lay next to you on the sofa.

However, keep in mind that not all ferrets want to cuddle. Some will not allow it at all, even though it does not mean he doesn’t love you.


Assuming that you have already developed a strong bond with your ferret, kisses are affectionate. Once again, it all starts with the kind of relationship you share with your ferret. If you are holding your ferret and he reaches out to kiss your lips, he really loves you.

However, kissing can also mean that your ferret is interested in what you just ate. Or maybe the peculiar scent of your lip balm. Well, you can always tell the difference by the circumstances that lead to the kiss.

Kissing is one of the deepest ways to express affection, even in ferrets. Has your ferret been kissing you lately? Well, good job on developing such a strong and deep bond with your ferret.

Following you around

Let me start by saying that most ferrets do this. They are curious intelligent pets and want to get on every activity you are doing. However, if your ferret didn’t love you as much, I doubt that he would follow you around.

Now, if your ferret loves to follow you around, you should probably get a leash and collar for him. You can always put him on a leash to guide him in the house. (See our recommendations here)

Besides, ferrets are mischievous and will try to escape when let free. Even worse, your ferret can run into small items in the house. Swallowing such is likely to cause intestinal obstruction.

Alternatively, ensure that your house is fully ferret-proofed before you let him free. This way, he has the freedom to follow you around the house without causing harm to himself or escaping.

Letting you pet him

Just as cuddling, your ferret will allow human contact only when he is comfortable with you. If your pet ferret sits beside you and lets you pet him, it is a way to show affection. Well, you must also be gentle and careful when petting a ferret.

For instance, avoid playing with his face and especially his nose. He can get irritated and nippy as a result.

To appropriately pet a ferret, start by stroking on top of his head; they love that. If he rolls on his back to expose his belly, he is requesting for a belly rub. It is a way to show you that he completely trusts you. Well, be nice and reciprocate the affection and give him a belly rub.

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