Playful, energetic, and curious are words used to describe a ferret. Ferrets can be great pets in the hands of the right owner. Taking care of a ferret requires a lot of time and attention. So, before you rush off to a pet store, here are some things you need to consider before welcoming one home.
WHAT ARE FERRETS LIKE?
Inquisitive, fun, and playful
Ferrets are incredibly curious. It’s recommended to give them puzzle games because they are very determined and will try their best to solve them. Ferrets are also able to keep themselves entertained when their owners are not around. They are mischievous and can get themselves into a lot of trouble. With their small stature, they can easily squeeze themselves into tiny places. Where there is a door, there is an opportunity for them to get through it. Also, due to their curious nature, they will try to eat anything. They need to be trained to behave properly and to know when playtime is over. Fortunately, ferrets are quick learners.
Sociable and friendly
Despite being able to play on their own, ferrets do need the attention and affection of their owners. Interaction with their owners plays a vital role in their mental and physical health. Ferrets that do not get regular social interactions might get bored and lonely, leading to the development of behavioural problems. Ferrets also get along with fellow ferrets pretty easily.
Ferrets naturally smell. However, for most animal lovers, their smell is tolerable. A healthy ferret will naturally have a musky odour, which comes from a gland under their skin. Some of their smell comes from a sac near their anus, whilst some are from their faeces, usually to mark their territory. Removing the smell sac will not guarantee that the smell will go away. A male ferret’s urine smells a lot stronger than that of a female.
For families with young children, ferrets are not the ideal household pet because they bite. Biting in ferrets is a natural behaviour. Though domestic ferrets are not usually aggressive, their excitement and interest in games can lead to tugging, chasing, combat, and hunting. Young ferrets will not understand what will hurt their owners if they are not trained. Training ferrets not to bite is something owners need to do firmly.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF A FERRET
It is really easy for a ferret to put itself in a dangerous situation because of its curious nature. Ferret-proofing your home is necessary for both your Ferret’s and your home’s safety. Blocking the doors and any possible entrance or space your Ferret might squeeze itself into is a must.
Some houseplants can be toxic for ferrets as well, so coating the leaves with Bitter Apple spray stop your ferret chewing on it. It is recommended to apply cord protectors on electrical cords to avoid accidents. Ferret proofing your home is an ongoing process, so observe your ferret’s behaviour when it is out of the cage playing.
A variety of quality ferret foods are widely available these days. Feeding them isn’t as difficult as it used to be. High-quality ferret foods can be found in most pet shops. Ferrets can also be fed with cat food. However, it’s best to stay away from fish-flavoured ones since it causes litterbox odour problem. Dog foods, on the other hand, are best avoided since they don’t really provide any nutritional benefits for ferrets.
Human snacks are something you should keep away from ferrets. Many human foods can be toxic to your pets, which includes soft drinks, coffee, milk, tea, chocolate, ice cream, and onions.
The musky smell of ferrets is generally tolerable, but be prepared to clean up their litter box to lessen the foul smell. Though it is possible to litter train ferrets, faeces getting outside the litter box cannot be avoided. It is best to put the litter box in a corner.
Additionally, grooming such as cleaning of the ears, nail clipping, and brushing the teeth are musts to keep your ferret healthy. Ferrets are also prone to getting fleas which is best treated as soon as discovered.
HOW LONG WILL FERRETS LIVE AND WHERE TO GET ONE
With proper care, a ferret can live for eight to ten years, although the longest living ferret lived up to thirteen years.
There are various options in getting a Ferret. Many people adopt two- to three-year-old ferrets that are already trained and are accustomed to humans. You also have the option to get a ferret from ferret breeders or from Ferret rescue organisations.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ADOPT ONE?
Taking care of ferrets can be costly. Ferret cost from £15 to £200. However, vet bills may cost hundreds more; de-sexing male Ferrets to help them smell less strong and females to avoid developing fatal anaemia as well as various vaccinations.
HOW MANY FERRETS SHOULD YOU GET?
Ferrets love to bond with their owners just as much as they love to bond with their own kind. Being highly sociable animals, it’s ideal to keep ferrets in groups or pairs. They enjoy having a companion to play with when their owners are not around.
PROS AND CONS OF FERRETS AS PETS
Ferrets are sociable, inquisitive, and fun.
They smell, need time and attention, and could be expensive to care for.
Are you raring to bring a pet ferret home? Take a look at these ferrets for adoption!