Do you have a ferret? If not, are you thinking about getting one soon? Ferrets make great pets. They’re cute and cuddly, and they can be trained to do many tricks.
But before you adopt your new furry friend from the shelter or pet store, it’s important that you take some time to consider what type of ferret will best fit into your home environment.
Ferrets have been popular pets for centuries. They’re playful, curious and intelligent animals that are easy to train. As long as your ferret gets lots of attention and exercise, they will be a great addition to your family.
Most people think of ferrets as long-nosed furry rodents.
However, this is a misconception that makes it difficult to properly classify the different types of ferrets.
Although they do belong to the same family as mink and weasels, ferrets are actually carnivores—just like cats and dogs.
In addition, ferrets are not rodents. A rodent is defined as an animal that has a small snout and no visible ears.
Ferrets have large meaty heads with prominent eyes and large floppy ears. Their noses are short, much like a dog’s nose, while their skin is tougher than that of rats and mice.
Where do ferrets come from?
Domestic ferrets are members of the Mustelidae family, which also includes the black-footed ferret and the European polecat.
They have been domesticated for centuries, although they originated in northern Africa, Asia and Europe.
Ferret facts and information
The maximum lifespan of a domestic ferret is around five years. However, there are some reports that they may live to be as old as 16 or 17 if they have proper care.
A white-colored coat can make it hard for them to carry on their normal activities in sunlight, so your pet will probably spend most of the day in his enclosure, sleeping or exploring.
But they will need a lot of time out of their cage each day to play and exercise.
Ferrets need constant stimulation due to their high rate of metabolism. You must give them plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied during the daytime.
Ferrets love tunneling under toys, beds and boxes. This helps them to stay active and is a great way for you to bond with your pet.
As long as they are well-fed and have plenty of room to run around, ferrets require very little attention from their owners.
However, they will need daily exercise if they live indoors or in a cage.
Note: If you plan to let your ferret run around outside without supervision, be sure that the area is fenced off and that there are no poisonous plants in the nearby vicinity.
Ferrets may look mild-mannered, but they can get very aggressive when they’re hungry or frightened. Be careful not to pet or play with them roughly.
Ferrets are very sensitive to sound and smell, so it’s important that you don’t speak loudly around their cages.
Also, because they can detect food from far away, you must be careful about storing scented products in the same vicinity as your ferret cage.
Ferrets can give birth to three or four litters of kits per year, numbering between six and ten each time.
They usually mate between the ages of 6 months and a year; however, you must make sure that both parents are fully grown before you allow them to reproduce.
Give your ferret a few hours of exercise each day in order to keep him from sleeping all the time. Try playing with his toys, give him space to run around or let him play outside in fenced off areas.
You should only feed your ferret newfangled foods once in a while. If you do, he may develop food allergies and other digestive issues.
Ferrets have sharp teeth, so they may injure themselves or their cage mates if they are not spayed or neutered.
Be careful about leaving ferrets loose around your home unattended; if an outside animal comes into the area, your pet might try to defend himself.
More ferret facts
Ferrets should not be kept in an enclosure that is smaller than 3 feet by 4 feet for most of their day. At least 12” of fleece-lined wire mesh should cover all sides of your pet’s cage.
Ferrets also need a place to rest where they can feel safe, so make sure that there is a soft, warm bed inside their cage. You can even buy heated beds made just for ferrets.
Ferrets sleep around 16-18 hours per day and are extremely active during the rest of their waking hours. It is very important that you keep your pet’s cage out of the way so he doesn’t wake up and irritate you while you are asleep.
The bedding in your ferret’s cage should be changed once a week, unless it is heavily soiled. Also, check the litter box frequently to make sure that it is clean and free of odors.
Ensure that your ferret’s cage is waterproof by using a tray underneath to catch any water or food that may spill. Ferrets are quite messy, so be sure to watch them closely while they eat or drink in their cages.
To clean the litter box, use an enzymatic cleaner that is made for ferrets. Do not use bleach or ammonia to clean the cage, as they can be poisonous to your pet.
Remember to keep any warm blankets out of your ferret’s cage. Ferrets love to burrow and get very hot when they do so; this may give them heat stroke if they sleep on a hot blanket.
When you first acquire your ferret, it may take him some time to get used to his home. While he is getting acquainted with his new surroundings, keep him in his cage and let him adjust before letting him wander around freely.
So, are ferrets good pets? Well, with proper care and training they can make for a great pet.
You’ll need to provide them with plenty of mental stimulation by providing toys and games that promote problem solving skills.
Ferrets also require regular exercise so if you plan on keeping one as a family pet there will be lots of time spent outside in the yard or garden every day.