Ferrets? really?

Are ferrets really banned in some places? Yes. Yes they are. In California, Hawaii and New York City.  Owners of ferrets believe that they are harmless and that children could do more harm to them than they could do to children. They say that ferrets just need to be taught not to nip at people, just like puppies are trained not to bite.  If you have read my previous post about pit bull attacks, that is not a very sound argument. Despite training, animals still have that wild streak and will attack.

One woman in California who has a ferret said this in defense, “Ferrets have the ultimate short attention span, so they have no capacity for meanness”. She wrote an article about laws regulating ferret ownership. She defends her position that ferrets are not at all a threat and should be legal.

In June of 1999, New York City’s health Department decided to uphold their ban on ferrets.  Click here to see their press release on the subject.

As with all pets. I think it comes down to responsible pet ownership.  People who choose to have ferrets need to educate themselves on what they are getting into.  Ferrets are much more high maintenance than dogs or cats.  They require constant attention, grooming and exercise.


So not as scary as a pit bull attack, but still. Rodents + babies = not a good idea. Ever.


45 responses to “Ferrets? really?

  1. Ew I do not like ferrets, I wish they would ban them everywhere! And yes, they smell!

  2. Eew…ferrets are so gross. I wish they would ban them everywhere!

  3. Ferrets stink so bad! As far as the dog argument, there are 4.7 million dog bites in the US alone, we really don’t need another biting animal. I have heard of ferrets killing babies because they bite them.

  4. seriously! i wish that too

  5. No animal is friendly even dogs and cats who live with people. There is always a bad day for them and when that happens they attack.

  6. That sounds gross. I didnt know about ferrets but now I know that some can be dangerous. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I thought ferrets were kind of cool growing up, but I’ve never actually had one. They are super slinky and flexible and slightly freaky now that I know they can attack children.

  8. Ferrets are gross. I did not know that they attacked children though.

  9. Haha… I’m with you! Ferrets are nasty. One of my elementary school teachers had one, and I hated it!

  10. Ferrets…. gross. Funny video though!

  11. All I can say is, the only encounter I can remember with a ferret was in Kindergarten Cop. From then on, I’ve always known they could have an attacker sense.

  12. Wow I didn’t know ferrets were banned in some places. My friend had a ferret and it chewed up her entire house. It was gross.

  13. the owner of the ferret in the video was just plain stupid for bringing a ferret into the vicinity of a very small child..and vice versa.

  14. Do your research before running your mouth. Ferrets are not rodents. And they are hardly comparable to pit bulls. Ferrets occasionally bite – though it depends a lot on the individual ferret; mine never did, despite all the crazy things I tried to do with them when I was a kid – but are much less likely to do so than cats or dogs. And ferrets are so small that bites from them are much less likely to be serious. People are two million times more likely to be hospitalized for a dog bite than for a ferret bite.

  15. Sorry for swearing, but my point stands. >_>

  16. Oh please. The ferret jumped at the baby. It was playing. That’s what animals do. Dogs jump on people all the time. Cats pounce on things all the time.
    This video is the lamest, most ridiculous attempt at “viscous animal attack” footage I’ve ever seen.
    The worst it probably did was unintentionally scratch the baby, and if it’s owners kept it’s nails properly clipped, not even that would be a problem.

    Yes, ferrets nip. Just like puppies chew on things and cats scratch people and other little kids at daycare bite kids who take their toys.

    This is easily the most pathetic conversation I have ever stumbled upon in my entire life.

  17. Okay seriously? Ferrets are awesome. YES they smell HORRIBLE. But they are very loving and have amazing personalities when it comes to animals. If you’ve never owned one, how can you judge off of a video? All animals mess up and ‘hurt’ children at some point in time.

  18. wow that was stupid it just jumped up and smacked the baby how was that bad if ur going to have a baby and ferret dont let them by each other common sence i have for ferrets and i dont let them by any kids i would never let any animals around my kids

  19. you guys suck, i had a ferret for seven years and he was the cooolest thing ever, they are absolutley harmless… a bite just feels like a small pinch.

  20. First of all, they are not rodents. Look at their damn teeth. Second, a ferret “attack” is not going to kill anybody. I suppose people would rather have a pit bull that could easily rip that child to shreds than a stinky, “vicious” ferret. The reason they are banned in those states is because of ignorant people like most of you in this comments section. And dogs and cats aren’t gross? They shit and piss and vomit all over one’s house and they’re not just as gross as a ferret? And they have a distinctive odor as well. You people need to think and research before you randomly spout idiotcy.

  21. Uhm,i had a ferret. We could let it run all around the house and it never ran away. It always came back to the cage when it wanted to sleep, drink, or eat. It never peed or pooped in the house. We could let it outside with us without the leash. You have o bathe it, walk it, do everything you have to with a dog or child. If you don’t want responsibility. Then,you should not get an animal at all. Dogs bite. Cats bite. Lizards. Fish. Pretty much every animal in this world. Even some kids bite. Maybe you should look at things that way. I don’t think anything should be banned. If you want to take a chance of getting bit. Let the person. Don’t deprive someone of something cause of your thoughts.

  22. First thing – ferrets are not rodents. Rodents are characterized by continuously growing upper and lower incisors and the need to gnaw on things to keep them in check. Ferrets do not have this problem, their teeth are permanent. Yes, ferrets have attacked people. However, so have dogs, cats, lizards, snakes, birds, and every other type of pet except maybe a gold fish. I bet no one publishes something against dogs when a pit bull tears someone to pieces. Your photo is blown out of proportion as well, I own two ferrets and they are about 20 inches long. When I adopted them they had been spayed and their major scent glands removed. They do get smelly if they are not washed once per week and their cage needs weekly cleaning. They were also litter box trained. During the day they roam the house and never damage it. The worst thing they ever did was get stuck behind a cabinet which had to be removed by us to get them out. They get along well with my dog and they have never drawn blood. As all ANIMALS ON THIS PLANET do, they nip sometimes, some ferrets more than others – they are all different. They also have a larger brain than a dog and cat and do become attached to their care givers. When I come home they run to the door when I come in. They follow me around the house as well. Most problems with ferrets arise when people don’t play with them because they have about 4 hours of “hyper active . They need a good 4 hours of attention per day, and will adapt to your schedule (at least mine did). They sleep or chill out for the other 20 hours. Here is another article about this kind of thing – http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2011/jan/ferret_fretting

  23. Ferrets aren’t rodents, they are related to ermin, minks, otters, weasels, badger and skunks, so yes, they do have a bit of an odor. So do dogs, and everything else alive. Okay, maybe a bit stronger, but feeding them food that isn’t fish based, cleaning their cages regularly and monthly baths help that.

    Having said that, ferrets aren’t for everyone, and when a ferret attacks a baby, the parents are at fault, not the animal. Ferrets get a bad rap because sometimes idiots own them, and they don’t write stories about all the ferrets that live their entire lives without chewing off an infant’s fingers or causing anyone harm because that would be boring and wouldn’t sell papers. Idiots shouldn’t be allowed to own ferrets, or any animal and they shouldn’t be allowed to breed. If a ferret belongs to a responsible, intelligent adult (they aren’t pets for kids) that is willing to meet it’s needs, I see no reason for them not to be kept as pets. The problem is that too many people who aren’t responsible, intelligent adults with the animal’s best interests at heart are allowed to have pets.

  24. Whats with all the hate towards ferrrets? To portray them as any more dangerous than a typical house cat or dog is ignorant. My cousin was viciously attacked by her dog but I wouldn’t propose banning any dogs. Cats have been known to eat their dead owners. Ferrets have been domesticated for thousands of years. Yes, they stink, especially the males. But I had no problem with the smell for the six years I owned one. And honestly, how are they more disgusting than a dog that eats its own waste?

  25. I honestly don’t know why people would want a babies in the first place. They are stinky rodents who carry diseases, have ADHD and attack pets. Gross.



  28. Being the owner of a ferret (Domestic European Polecat) I can say this author is NOT very credible at all. For one ferrets are not rodents, they are in the mustelid family and are much more closely related to otters and even cats that a rat. Ferrets do have a musk but if they are properly taken care of they do not smell awful, just a mite musky. Also my 2 year old niece loves my ferret and always wants to play with him, he once nipped her on the hand but it wasn’t even enough to make her wince. She just laughed and continued playing! As far as the video goes… Those parents knew that a ferret wouldn’t meaningfully harm the child or it wouldn’t be on the floor with the pet… The weasel was having a good time and was over-excited and jumped at the baby… If anything jumped on the baby, even a rabbit the parents would have the same reaction. Also bunnies are much more disgusting than ferrets, considering they must ingest their own feces in the wild to obtain the necessary bacteria in order to digest their diet of greens. I just see it as a miracle of nature, but anyways…. Rant over.
    Learn your damn facts.

  29. PS: Ferrets also have to fast of a metabolism to spread rabies or most other diseases. If a ferret caught rabies from any other animal or even a human it would be dead before it even had the chance to spread the disease. The only disease my ferret has ever had in its long life was tonsillitis.

  30. Omg.. You people are the animals.. I know ferrets and their behavior.. I have 2 ferrets myself.. And they are the cutest things I’ve ever seen.. You can totally learn them to behave themselves.. It is the ferrets owner it’s fault if it still bites after months of having bought the ferret..
    The ferret in THIS VIDEO.. Was NOT ATTACKING.. It was simply playing around.. And they play these games.. It wanted to jump up at the child.. But missed it.. Ofcourse you should keep children away from them.. Because they don’t know how to deal with a ferret.. And they might scare or hurt them.. And then the ferret gets annoyed or go’s into selfdefence..
    You people have NO CLUE about how ferret are..

  31. All the posts i have read on this page seem to be uninformed scare-mongering! I know that Americans arent the smartest people on the planet, but come on people! You cant really believe this sh*t! I have pet ferrets, and they are the most affectionate loving creatures i have ever known

  32. I have three ferrets. They are all descented so they do not smell and the only reason they would is if their litter is not being cleaned daily, They are highly domesticated so any nipping that occurs is purely playing, You shouldn’t have children under the age of six anyway with a ferret because they cannot curb their energy. This is the parents fault, not the ferrets. Ferrets are just like having a baby cat and dog mixed together, They clean themselves in between baths, they can be trained to use a litter box, they are playful, have personalities and they can be extremely affectionate. They are illegal in some states because PEOPLE who cant take care of them let them go outside and they breed and become wild. Don’t bash on an animal you know nothing about.

  33. I have owned several ferrets for years (currently 5) here is my experience.
    Ferrets are funny, sociable, friendly and very playful.
    Ferrets are NOT rodents, they are mustellidae (carnivorous predators)
    If neutered and well groomed they stink less than an adult dog.
    Biting is a social means of interaction for them, thy need to be trained not to bite.
    Different ferrets have different personnalities, most ferrets can be trained not to bite but there is always a risk when the ferret is young and not fully trained or when it is just one of the “biters” or the “moody ones”.
    Out of my 5 current ferrets there are 2 whom I would allow to play with any child and be confident nothing wrong can happen, the three other I’d rather not allow children to play with without supervision.
    One of my previous ferrets was a badass biter when he was young (ate a guinea pig) and later become a harmless furball with the right training (love and patience).
    Certain high pitched noises can turn the ferret amok, this includes the noise of a scared baby….
    I still have all my toes and fingers.

  34. Hmmm, hello from the UK
    I have 3 Ferrets all of which at some point have bitten me, on my face,
    my hands, fingers, feet, toes, all mildly painful, especially the nose
    as that one bleeds. Its something they do when there young,
    as instinct, probably due to being born in litters of 6 or more and survival of the fittest and all that. Being the one that gets more of the food the mother brings, will stand more chance of surviving.
    Ferrets that have been hand reared with a plentiful food supply will bite far less than a ferret that has had to fight off its siblings to survive.
    Tho the person who has had to hand rear them will have rather chewed hands, ask any breeder. Saying all that my 3 year old jumped up at my face the other day whilst doing his war dance on my sofa, they do get excitable!
    regards Matt

  35. Ferrets aren’t rodents, to start off. they are related to polecats, and to wolverines. And ferrets actually don’t smell if properly taken care of. I currently have 6 in my care, and all my friends who originally disliked ferrets now love them. my house smells fine, even though 2 of my ferrets still have their stink glands. ferrets will NOT bite unless provoked. high pitches squeaks and squeals can set them off. This is why the baby in the video was attacked. the ferret’s owner should have done a little more research on the pet they were getting! basically, don’t diss a great pet, unless you know what you’re talking about, which most of you obviously do not.

  36. Hi , My family has had lots of animals. Many were a” must have” kid requests. From the start— Dogs 2 , Cats 5 , Rats 4 , Guinnea pigs 3 , Hamsters 5 , Black widow spider 1 , Emperor scorpion 1, Rattlesnake 1 , Frogs 2 , Hedgehog 1 , Chickens 4 Ferrets 3 . All were fun to own but some were a ” Heads up ” kind of pet. Obviously some were not pettable but still fun to own. I never gave a Ferret a second thought until my son brought one home from a shelter. Bernie was all white with pink eyes and deaf to boot. Never bit or nipped. Very nice animal. We now have two Ferrets and they are alot of fun. I can honestly say that they are the most entertaining pet we have ever owned. A little more work–Yes. Smell–Some, but managable, They sleep one heck of alot. If your are feeling down let the ferret out —instant smile. I ( family members andfriends) have been bit by dogs , cats , hamsters , Guinnea pigs , even the chickens (feeding) All animals can do it. It comes with the territory. As a kid we had two Stafforshire terriers (Pits) Nice dogs Never bit anyone. BUT—-They have power—lots of it !!! So—when they bite you have lots of damage. Just my thoughts. P.S. Should you get bit by ANY animal— 1. Wash the wound alot. 2. Go to Doctor if it shows any sign of swelling or infection—-QUICK !! I know this as my sister had a very small cat bite on index finger and in less than 24 hours she was in the hospital for three day. Almost lost here hand due to massive infection. She did’nt see it coming but she should have as she is a nurse—it hit that quick and hard. Take care.

  37. i dont get why people say they smell? we have 2 ferrets, 5 in my life time. the 5 we have had were all desented and giving weeking baths, and there litter changed every day or two. ‘no oders at all, ever’!!! now our two cats even with there littler changed daily everytime they go to the bath room you can smell it two room away, so if you want stinky get a cat. as for the danger to babys we have 3 kids, and never a issue in 9 years. once again you want danger get a small dog like a chiwawa (ankle bitters as there called), hell there worse than a team of ferrets.

  38. yea seriously ferrets are freaking awesome. Ive owned multiple ferrets and they are like any other pets. dogs chew on couches or get into the trash, hell my cat is the worlds biggest biatch and still plays with my two ferrets. everyones got there own opionion but really rodents? why dont we just ban all animals everywhere? screw it no one will be happy

  39. I think some people need to do some research here . I live in the uk and work at an animal sanctuary looking after ferrets. Now if you read the blurbs and info on ferrets it quiet clearly states. Ferrets make better pets than rat or hamsters because once trained they form a bond with the owner and are less likely to nip . Where and rats and hamsters nip a lot. All the ferrets in the animal sanctuary when I started there I had them nip train with in a week. As for being clean the are the cleanist of small pets because they can be trained to use a litter tray just as a cat does. The smell, that’s down to thier cycle and you obviously haven’t had your Jill’s spade. Which can be dangerous for them and cause problems for them later in life. As for the biting its like any animal . If you don’t handle it enough it won’t be use to being handled. The ones I work with role over in my arm and expect to have thier bellies scratched. Perhaps before you judge a little research is nessecary .

  40. This is bullshit, ferrets are very smelly, they have a scent gland. But they aren’t rodents. And rats are very smart as well actually. They’re just viewed as nasty because they don’t uphold our standards of cleanliness, but what wild animal does?
    I digress… the owner of the video got the ferret really excited with a plastic bag. They really like playing with and attacking plastic bags. And when they get really excited they pounce on things around them. The owner should have known this. It’s cute when they do it to an adult’s leg because they do absolutely no harm. But not when it’s a baby’s face. So keep your little babies away from excited little fuzzies that can jump on infant’s faces.
    Problem solved. Stop hating. Peace on earth.

  41. Ferrets are harmless…They are the sweetest animals ever…They are just like puppies, they nip because they wanna play…They are extremely smart and not all of them have a short attention span…My Lulu listens to everything I say….She roams free 80% of the time in my home and when I call her name she comes directly to me…As a baby she nipped a few times…Over the past 8 months (she’s now 1 yr) or so she has NEVER bit, nipped, chewed, or anything like that to me or anyone else…She sleeps with me and lays just like a human with her head on her pillow…she was very very active when I first got her because she was exploring everything in sight…just as a baby or puppy or kitten would..Now she just hangs out and still like to do her “Zap Dance” as I call it…She loves to be chased and will chase me…Ferrets are known for hiding things such as keys but my Lulu ONLY (so far) hid my daughters shoes…She LOVES my daughters shoes so much that she tries taking them off her foot by untying them LOL..Ferrets are AWESOME animals!!!

  42. Seriously people? Any animal is “dangerous” (ie: has the ability to attack) if it is not socialized with humans properly. If you are not caring for/training your ferret, then yes, it may bite. A well mannered ferret is harmless. In fact my ferret (Bumper) is sitting in his bed next to my office desk as I type this. The only thing he is going to attack is his foil ball.

  43. you all that think ferrets are gross are stupid all animals stink if not taken care of and i would choose a ferret over any animal any day they are awesome pets if you know what your doing and all animals bite i have been bit by cats, dogs, horses,pigs& and so on but i don’t mind when my ferret nips i would rather have him nip me then any other pet so good day to those against ferrets

  44. Let me start by saying “to each their own”
    Now, I’ve had ferrets and in my personal experience they don’t have a mean cell in their bodies. But just like any human they can have grumpy days.
    But seriously. Y’all even watch that video? That wasn’t an attack. They were playing with the animal, making it excited and when excited they tend to run and jump and flail. It ran and jumped and scared the baby.

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