Do Ferrets Bond to One Person & Get Attached to Owners?

Do Ferrets Bond to One Person

If you are considering getting a pet ferret, then there’s something to consider, which is how they bond and get attached to their owners. As a very broad and general observation, ferrets will often bond to just one person.

But why do ferrets only bond with one person?

Well, ferrets will bond with whoever gives them time and attention. This could be one person, but it doesn’t have to be It can be several people in a household. 

This trust is not granted automatically but takes time to develop. 

They are loyal creatures and have been known to mourn the loss of a fellow ferret, and even human beings, so it is probably not best for the animal to become too attached to any one person.

If you are struggling to get attached to your ferret, read another guide I have which offers 17 simple steps to bonding with ferret. Below I also explain what the issues can relate to how attached ferrets are to their owners – which might lead to a ferret having a favorite person.

The ferret hierarchy of needs – opportunities for bonding

In the wild, relatives of the ferret or, more accurately, the weasel family, rely on social structures to survive (which is why I recommend a pair of ferrets). 

In a domestic setting, humans supply the basic needs and desired companionship. Addressing a ferret’s needs is the first step to bonding with the animal. 

1. Sleeping

Ferrets are crepuscular which means they sleep for up to 18 hours a day, preferably in a warm, dark bed with soft furnishings. They are only active during the twilight hours, around dawn and dusk. 

In the days when they were exclusively royal pets, a ferret may have slept, during the daytime, up the sleeve of a lady at court. When needed, to chase a rat or other vermin, it would be dispatched.  

How attached are ferrets to their owners
Ferrets can become very attached to their owners (

This implies that there was a level of one-on-one bonding. It is hard to imagine the ferret returning from its mission and climbing up a random sleeve in the palace. There would have been pandemonium. The ferret would more likely get used to its owner’s scent and return to a place where it felt safe and secure.  

This practice would be frowned on today in the modern workplace, and besides, it would not be practical. Sleeves are less voluminous and rodents are less prevalent.  

If you are available during the daytime, napping for short periods with your ferret may help to strengthen your bond. If you are sedentary for any length of time, allow it to curl up on your lap, under a covering. Family members can take turns in doing so. 

It is not advisable to sleep with a ferret overnight as you may crush it while in a deep sleep. When ferrets have eaten enough, they fall into a comatose form of sleep and may not be able to get out of the way of danger. They are also flexible and can stretch out to the thickness of something akin to piano wire, so you will not even know that you are squashing them.   

Ferrets will also seek out clothing that smells of their owners. If you are in the habit of leaving soiled clothing on the floor, be aware that your pet may crawl up to sleep inside it, or you may find it in your laundry pile.  

Rather provide a safe place, like a cage for them to sleep in. If you want to sleep near your ferret, you can wheel the cage into your bedroom. 

2. Feeding 

Whoever feeds your ferret is going to build trust and ultimately bond with it. Make a big deal of mealtimes. Ensure that your ferret understands that you are the one providing its food. 

You can emphasise this awareness by having it see you prepare its meals. Allow the ferret to bond with multiple family members by taking turns in doing this. 

You can spend additional quality time with your ferret by eating your meals at the same time and in the same place, not necessarily at the same table though. 

3. Grooming 

Brushing your ferret should be a pleasant experience for both of you and an opportunity to bond. This can be done daily if you have the time and inclination. Ferrets have also been known to bond with cats who groom them frequently. 

The other necessary hygiene practices may not be so endearing. If you have taught your ferret from a young age to accept having its nails clipped and teeth brushed regularly, these activities more than likely won’t cause too much damage to your relationship. 

4. Mental and physical stimulation

Ferrets, especially when they are young, are busy when they are awake, as if they have to make up for time spent sleeping. They enjoy playing with other ferrets and household pets, as well as their human companions. 

They enjoy physical contact but this does not extend to rough play. Interact gently with your ferret at all times, by stroking and petting them. 

Ferrets are intelligent beings that seem to respond to their names. They can also be taught tricks. Much can be achieved with patience and the right treats as rewards. Once again, whoever spends time with them and feeds them treats will in turn be rewarded with affection and loyalty. 

Ferrets enjoy new experiences. Outdoor excursions and walking on a lead will provide plenty of stimulation in the form of sights and smells. The person that rattles their leads, will have their full attention.    

By doing so, ferrets can get very attached to their owners – they truly do make for great pets!

5. Communication

Communication is a vital part of building and strengthening any relationships, including those between humans and ferrets. 

Ferrets have a range of vocal expressions and it is worth getting to understand these so that you can respond better to your pet’s needs and moods. It is unknown how much they understand of our language but they do respond to pitch, tone and volume. Keep these warm and reassuring to make your ferret feel safe.   

Other factors to consider when bonding with a ferret

1. Your ferret’s history

Often ferrets are rehomed or acquired from shelters. If this is your situation, try to gather as much information as possible on the ferret’s circumstances to date, for example, you may ask questions like: 

  • Why was the ferret surrendered?
  • Was it bonded with other ferrets 
  • Were there children in the home?
  • Was there a problem with biting?  

To ensure that your ferret does not have its life disrupted again, any issues need to be understood and resolved before you can form a meaningful bond with the animal. 

2. Your ferret’s age 

Ferrets live between 8 and 10 years, if they are kept healthy. The older they get, the less frenetic their behaviour will be and the more likely they are to spend their waking hours cuddling with you. A safe and quiet retirement routine will do wonders for your relationship.

3. The members of your household

Ferrets and children in the same dwelling are usually not a good combination. They do not understand each other’s body language and have difficulty adhering to boundaries. 

It is best not to leave children and ferrets unsupervised or unattended. It is not often that a child can form a meaningful bond with a ferret but it can happen. 

4. Ferrets have emotions 

Ferrets have been known to have separation anxiety when their owners leave for extended periods. Some have even been known to sulk when the owner returns. It can be confusing when your pet does not seem pleased to see you after a prolonged absence. 

Do ferrets only bond with one person
An emotional ferret might just bond with only person only (

There have also been reports of ferrets suffering depression, usually because they are lonely or bored. One solution is to spend more time with your pet. 

5. Ferrets have favourites

Your ferret may, over time, favour and bond to one person more in your household over others. This should be embraced unless it causes a problem, such as separation anxiety. 

They may also prefer the company of their own kind above humans, or relish the attention lavished on them by another household pet. All is well if your ferret is content with its social life. 

6. Bonding takes time

Depending on the nature and history of your ferret, establishing a true bond could take a few days, weeks or months. Be patient and remember that time, trust, treats and tricks will eventually help you realise your goal. 


As with most animals, ferrets have individual personalities which owners will start to relate to over time. By and large, the species is cuddly and affectionate but you do get the occasional loner. 

But, it probably all comes down to how everyone in your home interacts with the ferret. It doesn’t have to be the case that ferrets have a favorite person in your house or bonds to just one person.

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Categorized as Ferrets