How Not To Bathe A Ferret

When things go wrong during a ferret’s bath, it’s like trying to catch a greased pig.

Some ferrets may dislike baths, but they need them sometimes. Via Selbe Lynn/Flickr

By Kathleen Collins

My ferret Fudley, like many other ferrets, does not enjoy being bathed. He is a former biter and still a bit skittish. So when it comes to the inevitable bath time, desperate measures must be taken.

Hair up, smock on, treats out, water warm, shampoo ready, everything at the go — I am always prepared.

On this bath day Fudley and I sat in the bathroom, he had no idea what we were there for. I was all ready for him, or so I thought.

Fudley the ferret
Courtesy of Kathleen Collins
With such a cute face, how could anyone guess Fudley the ferret would be so difficult to catch?

I slowly dunked his furry fanny. No problem. I washed him further, holding him tightly and speaking calmly to him the whole time. Still, no problem. Next I shampooed him. As the lather covered his furry body he behaved like an angel — not a bite, not a peep.

My little Fudley, wet and soapy, held steadfast in the face of this entire bathing trauma. I was so proud. He was soapy and sweet, and I thought perhaps I could loosen my grip on him a bit. So I did.

Sparky the dog
Courtesy of Kathleen Collins
Sparky had to investigate the commotion in the bathroom, and he accidentally set Fudley the ferret free.

The next thing I knew, this little white flash went flying out of my hands. Have you ever tried catching a greased pig? Well I imagine this is something like it. Each time I tried to grasp him, he spurted right through my fingers. Like a circus act, Fudley ran around the bathroom with me hollering. In the excitement, my dog Sparky pushed the door open to investigate and out Fudley escaped.

Down the hall we ran. “Fudley, Sparky stay!” I yelled to my ferret and my dog. Fudley was leaving trails of soap and gathering dust bunnies. Sparky was hopping around full of excitement to see what would happen next. And I was running behind them both with my arms waving in the air hollering, “No, no. Come back you two.”

It all ended when Fudley hit the kitchen. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Tile, speed and soap don’t mix. He went careening across the floor and slid to a stop. Dazed and confused, he moved no more. I gathered up my dust bunny baby in my arms, and Sparky slid to a stop right on my tail to help.

I have learned a valuable lesson. Now on bath days, I make sure the door is locked, the dog is outside, and I am wearing a wet suit.

Article Categories:
Critters · Ferrets