What Sound Do Ferrets Make? And What Does It Mean?

Last updated on March 31st, 2023 at 05:03 am

What sound do ferrets make? Check out our comprehensive guide explaining the mix of barks, hisses, screams, and more that these small mammals produce.
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I own a ferret, and that’s one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made. I have had my furry friend for over two years, and we seem to understand each other. It is alright to admit that we first had a rough few weeks, but after we got acquainted, everything started going smoothly. At first, I could not understand what he wanted or liked because he could only make strange sounds. Remember, I did not own a ferret in the past. I am a cat person, and understanding my new friend (ferret) seemed like an uphill battle. However, I was willing to learn since I was eager to have one. Are you wondering what you are required to learn? Ferrets make different sounds, and it is up to you to understand what verbal cues mean. Although each ferret is different, some sounds are similar, and it is up to the owner to listen to and understand them. Continue reading, and you will thank me later.

What type of sounds do ferrets make, and what do they mean?

These little creatures make several noises, according to research conducted by the University of Utah, which could prove hard to decipher. If you are not keen, it can be very difficult to know when they are angry, frustrated, happy or just chilling. Ferrets make vast sounds to communicate with their owners, other ferrets or animals. Here are must-know ferret sounds and their meaning:


Dooking is funny sound ferrets make when they want to play. When ferrets dook, they sound like they are laughing, which means they are having a great time. If you are close to your pet friend, their body language can be a cue. Since they want to play or socialize, they run around or jump up and down while making the sound. It additionally has the potential to convey frustration whenever a ferret has rejected something they need or when they are attempting to obtain their owners’ awareness. Besides that, a ferret may use it to demonstrate superiority or to indicate that it is frightened. Dooking is a crucial component of ferret communication and therefore learning to recognize it will help you comprehend better the requirements and desires of your ferret.


This is one of the easiest sounds a ferret can make and is easy to understand. When your ferret makes hissing sounds, it is not a good sign because they are angry or afraid/frightened. It could be a signal to other ferrets to stay away or an indication of fear, hostility. If a ferret is hissing, it could be wise to remove it from the circumstance as well as provide it with a protective environment where it can feel safe and secure. It is essential to bring the ferret to the veterinarian for a screening if the hissing persists. Also, it can be beneficial to give the ferret opportunity for mental and physical exercise as these things can assist reduce stress.


Ferrets squeak when they are happy or trying to get attention, especially when playing. You can also hear the squeaking if you are playing with the ferret or just got home. If he is excited to see you, he will most likely squeak. Please note that squeaking sounds like giggling or dooking. Do not worry because that is a good sign. However, if it persists, check on your furry friend to see if they are okay.


Whining can signify a serious problem. Typically, ferrets whine if they are in pain, feeling stressed, anxious, or uncomfortable. The sound can be fairly loud and is often high-pitched. They might use it to express their need for assistance or their desire for something. A ferret might whine as a means of self-defense if it gets triggered. It’s crucial to pay close attention to your ferret’s whining since it may be an indication that they are in trouble and need assistance. Whenever your ferret is whining, attempt to determine what is upsetting them and do what you can to make them feel better.


Like humans, ferrets also sneeze for a range of reasons. It could be driven on by pathogens, allergies, or a sensitivity to dust. Sneezing often in your ferret may suggest an acute underlying condition, such like pneumonia or even a respiratory illness. Moreover, ferrets can sneeze when playing, under stress, or when they are excited. However, if sneezing is accompanied by other symptoms like fever or runny nose, Vet Care hospital recommends taking your ferret to a vet.


Ferrets barks in response to warn nearby ferrets of the possible danger or when they discover something odd or perilous. The also barks to signify joy or enjoyment. It can also be used to convey a variety of feelings and intents in ferret-to-ferret interaction. Some ferrets might bark when playing, when they are aroused, or if they would like their human friends to join in on their pastimes. Therefore, always check on your furry friend if you hear them barking. Depending on the situation, act accordingly for the safety or comfort of the ferret.


Some people snore, and others don’t. Also, some ferrets snore, and others do not. It is normal for a ferret to snore when they sleep, especially if they have been active all day. Do not worry; he is rejuvenating for the following day’s activities.


Screeching might sound like squeaking, but the two are different. If your ferret is screeching, they produce a high-pitched strained sound. Screeching is never a good sound to hear because your ferret signals danger. If your ferret is in danger, in pain or under attack, it will screech. Consider taking him out if he is in the cage and investigating what happened. If he is hurt, take him to the vet immediately.


Whimpering is not a good sound because it denotes that the ferret is sad. One of the things that can make a ferret sad is if they are not getting enough attention. It is normal to whimper, but you should be considerate. Like dogs or people, ferrets can whimper if they fail to get what they want. For example, a snack or additional playtime outside the cage. It is good to try to be supportive. Do not punish your little friend or scold him. Instead, try to be supportive. Remember, positive reinforcement helps build a strong relationship down the load. However, if you take the wrong route, you will have difficulty training or dealing with your pet friend.

Grinding teeth

Some ferrets are quiet, and they do not make a lot of sounds. If your ferret is one of such pets, grinding his teeth could be due to stress, fear, discomfort, frustration. Ferrets could also clench their teeth when they are in discomfort or when they are acting aggressively and territorially. It is advisable to take your ferret to the veterinarian for an examination if they are persistently clenching their teeth or if they are acting in any other unsettling ways. To ensure there are no hidden medical conditions causing your ferret’s bruxism, it is crucial to keep an eye on their habits and get them to the veterinarian for routine checks.


Coughing is normal, and it could result from an allergic infection, for example, inhaling dust or pollen. Other times, persistent coughing could indicate illness, for instance, a respiratory illness. According to VCA Animal Hospital, it is crucial to schedule regular vet examinations to ensure your ferret is healthy. Otherwise, coughing should not alarm you.


Ferrets are expressive animals, and they can only communicate by making sounds. Their sounds and body language communication can help you determine the next course of action. It is important to understand that not all ferrets will make noise. Therefore, spend time with your ferret daily to understand its behaviors and help them. Sometimes, your ferret does not have to make any noise. Their body language should serve as an indicator. For example, if your ferret is restless and makes whining sounds, you might have to check the litter box. Ferrets do not like using the litter box if it is dirty. If that’s the case, consider cleaning the litter box instead of scolding or punishing your furry friend. Also, he can whine because he is hungry, and you can only resolve the problem by feeding him. Other times, you will notice that your pet friend likes spending some time off his cage. Since they are playful, ferrets tend to get your attention to get out of the cage and spend time in their favorite corner, playing with their toys or other ferrets. Understand your ferret and the sounds he makes, and you will have forged an unbreakable bond.

Article was reviewed by Dr. Peter Lugonzo, BVM