What Does It Mean When a Ferret Licks You?


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We get unconditional and selfless love from our pets. They love us with all they have and in return, they expect nothing more than some time and attention from us. Getting such affection is very heart warming and helps us unwind after a busy and rough day.

Are you a proud pet parent of a ferret? In that case, you would know ferrets have their own unique way of showering us with love and affection. They may not be the typical pets when it comes to showing that they appreciate us. But hey, when a ferret licks you, it is very adorable, right?

Think again!

Love may not be the only reason your ferret suddenly has its tongue all over you. The licking may also be accompanied by slight but painful nips. This always leaves us in doubt and make us think about what does it mean when a ferret licks you.

This is why being a parent to a ferret is always so full of surprises. You never know what exactly to expect and so, you always have to be on guard.

When a dog licks you, it is very clear that they love you and want to bestow you with affection. However, when your ferret licks you, it could be either good news or something bad, or it may mean nothing at all.

Do not always believe that it is love when your ferret licks you. There might be other factors too. Are you keen on finding out all the different agendas that your ferret may be formulating? We have put together all possibilities to find out what does it mean when a ferret licks you.

What does it mean when a ferret licks you?

When your ferret starts licking you, there may be several reasons for this behavior. Do not ever make the mistake of thinking that this is a sign of attachment of a deep bond between the two of you. There could be reasons behind the licking that you have never even thought of. You can prevent yourself from getting nasty surprises by understanding the different patterns and behavior that your ferret showcases.

Here are some of the most probable reasons that will help you understand what does it mean when a ferret licks you:

They may be grooming you

Believe it or not, your ferret may be trying to groom you. This is one of the main reasons behind all that licking. Ferrets lick themselves and other ferrets to clean themselves and to make sure they always look prim and proper. Since they view you as a part of their little ferret family, they may be doing the same to you. If this is the reason behind the licking, you should be happy because this is your pet’s way of showing love and affection.

They could be getting salt from your skin

Another reason that they love getting their tongue all over your skin is that they love the taste of salt. Since we sweat a lot, there is almost always some amount of salt sediments on our skin. This is something that your little furry friend cannot resist, so they keep licking you to get that taste. You may notice that the licking increases when you are excessively sweaty.

However, do not try to get them to lick you too much since excessive salt is not good for them. If you see your ferret licking your skin too much to get salt, you need to stop that from happening. It is also a good idea to take your pet to a vet.

The lick may be a warning signal

This is a very disturbing reason for the licking. Sometimes, licking may be a warning sign from your ferret that they are about to bite you soon. It is also possible that your ferret is licking you to soften up your skin – this will make it easier for them to bite it.

However, they may not bite you. If you think you are doing something that is annoying them, it is better to stop before they are forced to bite you.

Another reason for the nips that accompany licks may be because your ferret is too happy to see you. The bites happen because they are unable to control their emotions.

Biting may also be a sign that they need their attention. They may want you to go with them somewhere or to play with them.

In the end, you know your ferret better than anyone else. So, it would not be difficult for you to differentiate between annoyance and excitement.

They are happy to see you

Ferrets also lick you when they are very happy to see you. This is the same way dogs behave when they want to show their happiness.

Ferrets are social animals, which means they need to keep interacting with you. If you leave them for a while, they will be stressed. When you return, they will be joyous and lick you to show their affection.

They may be insecure

There may also be a big chance that your ferret is insecure about losing you. If your ferret licks you a lot when there are guests in the house, it may mean that they are being protective. They want to mark their territory and show everyone that you belong to them.

They may be scared

Another reason for your ferret licking you could be that they are scared about something. There may be a certain situation that they cannot handle. So, they try to lick you to get some attention and love from you. This may also mean that they are asking you to get them out of that situation.

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Areas where ferrets like to lick the most

While ferrets may lick you wherever they want to, there are certain specific areas in your body where they like to lick the most.

The most common areas include the hands, feet, lips, and nose. However, this does not mean they will not try to get their tongue to other areas of your body. They may also start licking you on your legs, neck, arms, and ears.

So, what does it mean when a ferret licks you in these areas?

They are trying to get a taste of all the things that your skin comes in contact with. These specific areas that they love usually come in contact with food and lotions. Ferrets find them tasty and so, they cannot get enough of it.

Other reasons why your ferret may be licking you

Apart from all the reasons that we listed above to understand what does it mean when a ferret licks you, there could be other reasons as well. These are some other common reasons:

  • You may have applied some lotion to your skin that your ferret loves the taste of.
  • You may have eaten something salty or sweet. This could lead to your ferret licking your lips.
  • The lingering taste of toothpaste may also be the reason your ferret cannot stay away from your lips.

As you can see, there is not one exclusive reason behind all the licking that your ferret is doing. You cannot pinpoint a single reason as to what does it mean when a ferret licks you.

Sometimes, the reason behind the licking may be very heartwarming and affectionate. However, there may also be a different licking that is warning you to maintain the boundary between you both.

Even though your ferret is your best friend and your little child, you need to understand the boundaries and give some space to the little ball of fur.

There are also times when the licking does not mean anything deep. Your ferret only likes the taste of whatever you have on your skin. It could be your lotion, sweat, or food.

No matter what the reason may be, always try to pay close attention to the behavior of your ferret. Since you stay with your friend the most, you would know what different moods may mean. Always try to find out the different behavior patterns so you are not surprised by unwanted behavior.


What does it mean when my ferret licks your face?

One of the major reasons why your ferret is showing a lot of love on your face is probably because of the lotion or cream you have applied. They seem to have an affinity with that taste. They love it so much that they keep trying to lick your face to enjoy that taste.

Why does my ferret start licking me when I am sweaty?

Ferrets love the taste of salt, which explains their behavior when you are sweating. They try to lick off your skin when you are sweating to taste the salt. However, you need to be very careful here. Although ferrets love salt, too much of it is not good for them and for their system. If you see your ferret licking your skin too much, you need to put a stop to it.

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