Most deaf ferrets get along just fine, and so long as the owners are willing to make a few adjustments in their behaviour, owning a deaf ferret can be a very rewarding experience. While every ferret is different, here are a few tips to guide new owners in the right direction.
Tip 1: Tap before you grab. Remember - the ferret may not know that you are there and some ferrets react negatively to suddenly becoming airborne. The simple fix for this: gently tap your ferret on the shoulder to warn him that you there before picking him or her up. This will reduce shock for the ferret and the likelihood of you getting a nice startled nip.
Tip 2: If you have more than one ferret, watch for rough play. When he is playing with other ferrets, keep your eyes and ears open. A deaf ferret may not know when the other ferrets have had enough - he can't hear them say so! If your deaf ferret is beginning to play too roughly, there is not sense in getting angry to punishing him - he'll have no idea what he's done wrong! Instead, pick him up for a few seconds and allow the other ferret to 'disappear'.
Tip 3: He's deaf, not stupid. If you would like to train your ferret, do so. Deaf ferrets can be trained to respond to hand signals for "come", "beg", "roll over" and other tricks. Some deaf ferrets can even be taught to respond to vibrations on the floor . To train your deaf ferret, simply do the hand signal, use the treat to bribe him into doing the appropriate action, then reward him with treats, pets or play and repeat. Be sure to keep the training sessions short.
Tip 4: Appreciate the fact that at least your deaf ferret will not complain when you sing in the shower!
For more information on living with deaf ferrets, click here.