Why do ferrets hiss

How to understand ferret vocalizations

Ferrets ind ocial, happy animals that love to make different noises. If you are happy, you will recognize them by their twittering. If you're upset, get


Ferrets are social, happy animals who love to make different sounds. When they're happy, you'll know by their twittering. When they are upset, their hissing will alert you to this fact. Learning more about the sounds your ferret makes can help you interact with them more effectively. Understanding your ferret will help you cater to their needs and wants and thus improve your relationship with your ferret.

Method 1 of 2: Learning the happy sounds of a ferret

  1. Listen to the "Dook" sound. Some people refer to this sound as chirping, but it's also known as dooking. The sound is similar to a chicken chuckle and indicates that your ferret is happy or excited. You may need to listen carefully to hear this sound as it is not always loud.
    • Often times, dooking occurs when your ferret is playing or inviting you to play. You may notice that this sound accompanies the "Dance of Joy". In the Dance of Joy, your ferret will blow his tail, bar his teeth, bend his back and hop around.
  2. Wait for a bark. A "bark" from a ferret is really just a loud chirp or dook. Like chirping, it usually indicates that your ferret is happy or excited. Check your ferret if you hear this sound as a bark can sometimes mean your ferret is in distress.
    • Ferrets can bark if they get stuck somewhere. Always check your ferret to make sure it is okay.
  3. Be sure to whimper for attention. While this sound isn't exactly a "happy" sound, sometimes your ferret can when it desires attention. When you hear it, see what your ferret is up to. It might just take a few cuddles from you.
  4. Giggle while snoring. When your little furry friend is dozing, you may notice that, like humans, they are making little snoring noises. While these noises may be giggling, they are nothing out of the ordinary for ferrets.
  5. Be prepared for the sneeze. Ferrets sneeze fairly easily, mostly because they love to sniff everything they can. It is completely normal for your ferret to make sneezing noises. However, if you find that your ferret has a runny nose, discharge around the eyes, or more sneezing and coughing than usual, you should take him to a veterinarian.

Method 2 of 2: Knowing Your Ferret's Unhappy Sounds

  1. Watch out for hissing. Just like with a cat, a hissing noise from your ferret means it is not happy. Ferrets can give painful bites when unhappy. If it is pulling back or its tail is puffed up, this is a good indication that your ferret wants to be left alone. So it's time to go away.
  2. Listen to any screeching or shouting. If your ferret is very unhappy it may cause high-pitched screeches or screams. If you hear this sound and you are not anywhere near your ferret, check to make sure it is okay.
    • If your ferret is making this noise on you when you are not touching it, then you need to leave it alone. It can feel threatened and take some time on its own.
    • However, if you hear this sound during interactive play, you must have your ferret examined by a veterinarian as it could be injured. Look for signs of injury such as swelling or limping.
  3. Notice the whining. Whining is basically the same as whimpering, but it can indicate other problems with your ferret. For example, it could mean that your ferret is in pain from an injury or illness. It can make this noise when you move it or pick it up, which means it is in pain. But it can also just be a sign of fear.
    • If you're scared, leave it alone for a while (unless it's in danger). When he's scared, he's usually scared of you or feels threatened by another animal in the room.
    • If the ferret is not there, try to put it back in the cage. If it's already in the cage, you may need to either leave the room for a while or move the cage to a quieter part of the house.
    • If it is in pain, it will whine when you try to move it. You must take it to the vet right away.
  4. Listen or look for teeth grinding. When ferrets are unhappy, sick, or in pain, they have a tendency to grind their teeth. If you experience this sign, especially when combined with other signs of illness (such as loss of energy, runny nose, or whimpering or crying), you should take your ferret to the vet.
  5. Act on wheezing. If your ferret is making wheezing noises, which indicates that it is having difficulty breathing, it is time to take it to the vet. They likely have a breathing problem that needs medication to be treated.