How to Take Care of a Ferret?

Ferrets are often compared to cats and dogs. Like cats, they sleep a lot and can be trained to use a litter box. Like dogs, ferrets are social and crave the company of people. But the truth is, ferrets are in a category all their own. With their friendly, inquisitive natures and furry, cuddly bodies, ferrets make great pets, given the right pet parents. If youre considering purchasing a ferret, learn more about their care needs, including what youll need and how to keep your ferret healthy, below.

A litter box that fits in the cage should be filled with recycled newspaper products or aspen shavings. Avoid cedar and pine shavings, which can irritate the respiratory tract, and clay or clumping cat litter, which may be ingested by ferrets, Johnson said.

They should not be fed dairy products, fruits, vegetables, or foods high in fiber, carbohydrates, or sugar, Johnson said. Their activity: because ferrets like to chew and swallow things, their toys must be sturdy and have no small parts that can be broken or pulled off. If possible, create ferret-proofed area for playtime by covering openings into walls, blocking spaces behind cabinets and removing any appliances or breakable items.

They shed twice a year, however, and should be combed during these times to remove loose fur, in addition to regular nail trimmings and monthly teeth-brushing, according to the AFA. Johnson says the biggest misconception about ferrets is that because theyre small and live in a cage, they wont be expensive, but ferrets are susceptible to variety of health problems, including ulcers, gastric problems due to ingesting foreign objects, and diseases of the adrenal glands and pancreas.

Is it easy to take care of a ferret?

It must be well ventilated, and big enough so he can stretch out, turn around and walk easily. He will also need a small, cosy sleeping area. You could also provide him with a hammock. Ferrets are easily toilet trained, so provide him with a litter box with recycled paper cat litter or shredded paper.

Do ferrets smell bad?

Ferrets have a natural, normal smell but that doesn’t mean they should stink. Ferrets are popular pets, but many people note that they have a distinct odor to them. This musky smell is something that most ferret owners get used to and eventually don’t even notice, but sometimes the stink is worse than it should be.

Are ferrets good pets to have?

While ferrets are not for everyone, they can make great pets for the right owner. They are affectionate and bond with their owners, quiet for a large part of the day, and there are few pets as playful as ferrets. … If you are considering a ferret, learn more about how ferrets make good pets.

Ferrets are members of the weasel family that have been domesticated for over 2000 years. They are highly intelligent and social pets and, even though they seem just like a small, easy to care for a pocket pet, they are a big responsibility and often require just as much care as a cat or dog, if not more!

Again, most ferrets you find around here have already had these glands surgically removed, so you only have to deal with a mild musky odour from the oils in the skin. Bathing a ferret will strip its skin and coat of all of the natural (mildly stinky) oils, which will cause the body to overcompensate and keep producing more and more.

It is also important to note that ferrets cannot digest fibre, so high levels of grains should also be avoided when choosing a diet for your new pet. Understandably, many owners may not feel comfortable feeding that to their pet, so the next best option would be either a specialized ferret diet made specifically for their nutritional requirements or a high-quality kitten food you would find at a vet clinic. They should always have a box, pee pad or newspaper close by because, as mentioned under DIET, they have a short GI tract and therefore cannot hold it in very long.

It is also recommended to regularly trim your ferrets nails every couple of weeks at least, as they can get quite long and sharp and potentially get caught in bedding, carpet, etc.

Ferrets are very popular pets in America and around the world. Its easy to take care of, has a reasonably long lifespan, doesnt cost a lot to keep alive, and is quite entertaining to watch. However, if you have never owned a ferret before, you probably have many questions, like where to get one, how much it costs, and what type of home it requires. Weve assembled a short guide to help answer these questions and more so that you can see if these animals are right for you and your home.

Its the most popular animal besides cats and dogs, and there is a good chance that youve known someone with a ferret in your lifetime. Unlike cats and dogs, these pets wont come when you call them, so you need to be careful they dont get away, or they can get lost.

Image Credit: Nadezhda Manakhova, Shutterstock You should set aside at least $100 $200 to purchase a ferret, and there are several other fees you should consider. Ferrets prefer to use the cage corner as a bathroom, and most litter pans will accommodate this setup. Image credit: Pixabay Ferrets are carnivores, so they need a diet high in animal protein.

Ferrets tend to eat what they need, so you dont need to worry about them becoming obese, which is extremely rare in the pet kingdom. Image Credit: Mitskevich Uladzimir, Shutterstock Most experts recommend setting aside at least one hour per day to let your ferret roam around your house to get the exercise it needs to stay healthy and happy. Since this temperature is possible in many parts of the United States, most experts recommend having a plan in place to keep them cool.

Image credit: amayaeguizabal, Pixabay Diarrhea is one of the most common illnesses your pet is likely to face. Ferrets love to chew things and eat nearly anything they can fit in their mouth, including plastic, rubber, and foam. The initial cost of the large cage can put some people off, but its a one-time purchase that will also be suitable for any other ferrets you might get in the future.

Ferrets can use a litter box, and they dont require a constant supply of timothy hay. If we have helped convince you to get one of these wonderful pets, please share this guide to caring for a ferret on Facebook and Twitter. Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming.

Hes also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.

Ferret Facts

Ferrets are a member of the weasel family that weigh between one and a half and five pounds as adults and can live between six and ten years, according to the American Ferret Association (AFA). They tend to sleep a lot—18 to 20 hours a day—and are most active in the early morning and evening.Male ferrets are called “hobs,” while female ferrets are called “jills” and baby ferrets are called “kits.” A group of ferrets is known as a “business.” They come in shades of tans, browns and blacks, with various color combinations and patterns and are usually neutered or spayed and de-scented when they are between five and six weeks old to reduce odor and aggression.Ferrets have a friendly, playful nature, enjoy being around people and love attention. Ferrets are very intelligent and can be trained to come when called, use a litter box and even perform a few tricks, according to the AFA. They require constant supervision when outside their cage, however, and are not recommended for children under six years old as they can bite. Ferrets also like to steal things and hide them, and enjoy exploring (particularly when there’s an opportunity to squeeze into a tight space).Ferrets are also prone to a variety of health problems, which can make them an expensive pet, and will often chew things and swallow foreign objects, making ferret-proofing essential, said Dr. Dan Johnson of Avian and Exotic Animal Care in Raleigh, North Carolina.While ferrets make good companions for larger house pets with careful introductions and supervised interactions, ferrets should be kept away from birds, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and reptiles, according to the AFA.

Health Issues for Ferrets

Consider the following details as you determine whether or not to purchase a pet ferret:

Where Can I Get a Ferret?

Due to their extreme popularity, you can find a ferret in most pet stores. In most cases, if they don’t have a ferret in stock, you can order one that will arrive in a few days. However, unless you live in a rural area with a limited population, there are likely several pet stores you can visit in a single day, and there’s a very good chance you will be coming home with a new pet ferret.

What Should I Feed My Ferret?

Ferrets are carnivores, so they need a diet high in animal protein. These animals also need plenty of fat and very little fiber so they will not be chewing hay like a rodent. They eat frequently, so you will need to keep food available so they can feed every 3 to 4 hours. Ferrets tend to eat what they need, so you don’t need to worry about them becoming obese, which is extremely rare in the pet kingdom. A dry commercial ferret food is the best choice because you can keep it available without worrying about spoilage.A constant supply of water must also be available at all times so your pet can stay hydrated. Change the water frequently to keep it fresh as many bottles change the flavor, which might discourage your pet from using it.

Feeding

As we mentioned earlier, keep food available around the clock so your pet can eat at its leisure. You don’t need to worry about it becoming overweight. You will also need to keep a constant supply of fresh, clean water.

Socialization

Ferrets are extremely friendly and love to spend time outside their cage. It will be excited to meet all of your friends, and it will let you carry it around and pet it.

Exercise

Most experts recommend setting aside at least one hour per day to let your ferret roam around your house to get the exercise it needs to stay healthy and happy. Ramps and platforms in the cage will also help your pets stay active when they can’t get out.

Toilet Training

As we mentioned earlier, it’s possible to train your ferret to use the litter box. The training is very simple and only requires you to put the box in the corner of the cage, fill it with litter, and place a small amount of a used litter inside so the ferret recognizes it as a bathroom. This trick will save you countless hours of cleaning.

Temperature

Ferrets can easily suffer from heatstroke in temperatures above 85-degrees. Since this temperature is possible in many parts of the United States, most experts recommend having a plan in place to keep them cool. Usually, an air conditioner is all that is required to keep the temperature manageable.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is one of the most common illnesses your pet is likely to face. It’s a sign of a gastrointestinal problem that results in loose feces that is usually green and slimy. Several strains of bacteria can cause diarrhea, some worse than others, but the condition usually clears up in a day or two. If not, call your vet to have your pet looked over.

Intestinal Foreign Bodies

Another problem common to ferrets is intestinal foreign bodies. Ferrets love to chew things and eat nearly anything they can fit in their mouth, including plastic, rubber, and foam. These objects can block their digestive system, causing a life-threatening situation.

Cancer

Unfortunately, ferrets often develop cancer early in life and will require yearly examinations from a vet so you can catch it early if it affects your pet. Every ferret over three will need yearly bloodwork and x-rays to keep them healthy.