We investigate the interaction of femtosecond (fs) laser pulses with single gold nanoparticles, trapped in a linear Paul trap. We study the scattering response of the particles as a function of the polarization angle of a cw laser at three different wavelengths. These measurements provide a value of the visibility that we compare with Mie theory calculations in order to obtain an estimate of the particle radius. We monitor the particle size during ultrafast laser ablation, obtaining an accurate figure for the mass loss as a function of the fs-laser dose. We discuss the particle mass loss induced by a single fs-laser shot and its relation with the number of absorbed photons.