Archived Articles : Post Isolation Syndrome

Two Are Better!  

If you are a breeder, or have just bought a ferret, the following information will be of interest to you.  

A recent article in the November / December issue of the Weasel Help Monthly (The newsletter of the Ferret Unity and Registration Organisation) described a syndrome known as post isolation syndrome  

Apparently if a young ferret is taken away from its mother and siblings, then kept as an only ferret, it may miss an important part of its development. Instead of growing up thinking it is a ferret and knowing how to interact with other ferrets, it can grow up thinking it is a person, or even a dog or cat.  

This has important ramifications should you obtain a second ferret, or if you plan to mate the ferret. The lone ferret may have no idea of how to respond to other ferrets and may not mate with or accept a new ferret.  

To avoid this syndrome leave the youngster with its family group until at least 10 weeks of age, or if you must take the ferret earlier, take two rather than just the one.  


Article Published in Issue 51 of Ferreting Around (January / February 1993)