Ferret Vocab

Ferret Vocab

Ever get confused when you stumble across words like “dook” or “ferrent?” Below is a list of the common ferret-related vocab you may encounter in the ferret community!


Alpha: The “boss” ferret at the top of the pecking order. Also used to describe a ferret with a very dominant personality.

Altered vs Unaltered: Altered refers to any ferret that has been spayed or neutered (aka “fixed”) so that they cannot breed. Most ferrets sold in the US are altered unless you purchase from a private breeder, who will often include a spay/neuter contract. Outside of the US, there are many more Back Yard Breeders (see below), meaning many more unaltered ferrets.


BG: Blood Glucose, blood sugar. Used to diagnose Insulinoma.

Bite Hold: an outdated, physical-discipline correction method used for training ferrets not to bite. (No longer recommended).

Bottlebrush tail Photo Credit: Shawnda McCollum Ferret: Foster
Bottlebrush tail
Photo Credit: Shawnda McCollum Ferret: Foster



When a ferret gets excited, angry, or afraid, their fur on their tails will stand up straight, making their tails appear very poofy.






A Business of Ferrets Photo Credit: Heather Downie
A Business of Ferrets
Photo Credit: Heather Downie



Business: A group of ferrets.








Crash (insulinoma): When a ferret’s BG drops or “crashes” too low they will go into staring episodes and/or a seizure. This is LIFE THREATENING. We recommend watching these VIDEOS


Derby eggs: Crocheted egg toys with rattles or bells inside (Also see: Wonkies)

Des (Deslorelin/Superlorin Implant): A hormone implant used to treat Adrenal Disease.

DEW: Dark Eyed White – a ferret who is all white with black eyes (thus, not an albino). See Ferret Colors and Patterns.

Dook: A chuckling sound that ferrets make when very excited, or occasionally when very agitated/angry. Check out this VIDEO

Dead Sleep (Deaf Ferret Sleep/DFS; Sleeping Not Dead/SND): Ferrets are prone to falling into a very deep sleep, in which they will be very limp and can be difficult to rouse. Check out this VIDEO


EVOO: Short for Extra Virgin Olive Oil – used as a treat and supplement.


Feeding Den: A den made to simulate a ferret’s natural instincts to eat in a den or burrow. It also cuts down on stashing and cleaning for those who feed a raw diet.

Ferrent: “Ferret + Parent” A ferret owner.

Ferret bowling: Sliding your ferrets along a slick surface – a favorite game. See a video here: Bowling with Ferrets Also: Ferret Bowling

Ferret Math: When you add just one more ferret to your business…then maybe two more because well, they need you…oh wait, where did that one come from….?

Ferret Jerky Photo Credit: Celene Hoag
Ferret Jerky
Photo Credit: Celene Hoag


Ferret-Jerky: Dried out meat from a raw fed ferret stash. A ferret’s favorite delicacy – humans, not so much.

Ferret Stew: What you threaten to turn your ferret into when they are misbehaving.

Photo Credit: Katt Crouch Ferret: Koda
Photo Credit: Katt Crouch Ferret: Koda

Flat-Ferret/Speedbump: When your ferret flops flat on the floor. This can be a sign of fatigue/illness, boredom, or they could simply be pouting.

FN: Ferret Nation – a popular cage

Frankenprey: The concept of trying to recreate the proportions in whole prey using grocery store meat.

Fully loaded: A ferret who has not had their scent glands removed.


Grape-tail: A commonly noticed phenomenon in raw-fed ferrets. Many raw feeders note that their ferrets’ tails smell like grape kool-aid.


Hob: An unaltered male ferret

Huffing: Used in 2 ways

  •  “My ferret is huffing”: a huffing/panting sound ferrets make when very excited, seen more in very young ferrets. Also referred to as ferret “Laughter.” Check out this VIDEO
  • Ferret-Huffing: (“I huff my ferret”): inhaling the delicious furry smell of your ferret


Jib (also Gibb): An altered/neutered male ferret

Jill: An unaltered female ferret

Jill Jab: A hormone injection used to bring a jill out of heat to avoid life-threatening anemia.


No Poop, No Blood, No Foul: The “Golden Rule” when introducing new ferrets. The concept that if ferrets are not drawing blood, or causing each other to poop/pee out of fear that their dominance fights should be allowed to continue in order to allow them to establish a hierarchy/pecking-order so that they can be integrated.


On-purposes: When a potty trained ferret has an “accident” on the floor on purpose – a common form of temper tantrum or revenge.


Pee-Belly: Male ferrets, particularly ones with a decent sized belly, may drag their bellies through their urine leaving urine on their fur.

Poof: When a “fully loaded” ferret (scent glands still intact) sprays. They spray just like a skunk, but unlike a skunk spray the smell is quickly dissipates. Think of it as a really, horrendously bad fart.

RR (Rescue Remedy): Bach’s Rescue Remedy is a common holistic treatment/supplement used to calm stressed out ferrets (and humans).


Scruff: Refers to the skin/fur on the back of a ferret’s neck, as well as the action of grabbing the scruff to hold a ferret for medictions or feeding.

Scruff N Stuff: See Scruff N Sample

Snorkeling: When ferrets stick their faces in their water dish or a pan of water full of toys. Very messy and very fun!

Snorkeling is great enrichment an a fun way to cool down on hot days! Who doesn't like making a mess? Photo Credit: Heather Downie Ferrets: Odin, Atilla, and Ghengis
Snorkeling is great enrichment an a fun way to cool down on hot days!
Photo Credit: Heather Downie Ferrets (left to right): Odin, Atilla, and Ghengis

Soupies or Duck Soup: Raw meat blended into a soup-like consistency. May also be used to refer to kibble soup, and a premade “Duk Soup” product that is sold in stores. See Raw Soup Recipe.

Sprite: An altered/spayed female ferret

Stash: A ferret’s secret hidden collection of anything and everything. They love to stash (hide) their food, toys, humans, you name it!


V-hob: A male ferret who has his testicles but has been given a vasectomy so he “shoots blanks” and is unable to impregnate a female. Often used in place of a Jill-Jab to bring a female ferret out of heat.


War Dancing: The thrashing, crashing, flailing, wild dance that ferrets do when very excited. War Dance Video

WonkiesCrocheted egg toys with rattles or bells inside (Also see: Derby Eggs)