What is a ferret?
The domestic ferret is a small, furry mammal whose average size ranges
from 1 to 5 lbs. at maturity. The ferret is the domesticated member of the
order carnivora, family mustelidae, and genus mustela. Their life
span ranges from 5 to 8 years. There have been rumors that a ferret lived
to be 12. Depends on how healthy the ferret is.
Is the ferret a
No they are not wild animals. They have been domesticated since the time
of the ancient Egyptians of the pyramid days. They are the same as a
domesticated dog or cat in that they are far removed from their wild ancestors. If they are released into the wild,
they can survive for about 3 days. They are not to be confused with the
Black-footed ferret of the North American prairie.
Do ferrets make
YES! They are very similar to dogs and cats. They love to
interact with humans, dogs, and any other companions. Also loves to shower
their companions with kisses and receive them as well. If they are well
taken care of, they can be playful late into old age, about 8 to 10 years of
age. Because ferrets are so playful, they get along real well with other
pets larger than themselves. Proper supervision is a MUST. Dogs with
strong predatory instincts do not make good companions for ferrets. Birds, rodents,
rabbits, or reptiles are NOT to be introduced to ferrets as their ancestors have
been trained to hunt and kill these types of critters and they appear "smaller" than
themselves. They have been used in Europe for hunting rabbits and on ships for
controlling mice and rats.
Do ferrets and
They make wonderful companions to each other. A child should be
taught how to properly handle the ferret. And an adult should
keep a close eye on both of them.
Do ferrets need
Yes they do. Just like any other household pets. They
require vaccinations against canine distemper and rabies. Ferrets should
be examined yearly to promote a healthy ferret.
What diseases can
They are susceptible to canine distemper and Aleutian disease.
They can catch colds and influenza from humans. Older ferrets can have
diseases of the adrenal glands and pancreas. See
diseases and symptoms to learn more
about the different diseases.
is a ferret?
Ferrets are very intelligent. They can do tricks and recognize
their name. They are also very determined animals! If they want
something, they will attempt to get it by begging for it or getting it
themselves. They are also very acrobatic animals and will climb
anything and everything they can master.
Do they bite?
A healthy, well trained ferret should not bite. Like cats and
dogs, ferrets need to be taught what is acceptable behavior. They are
found to have a lower bite rate than other household pets.
Do ferrets have
Yes they do. It is a natural, light, musky smell. It can
be minimized when the animal is spayed/neutered which reduces the hormone levels
that cause heavy musk production. Bathing will also assist in
minimizing the smell as well. People assume that removing the scent glands will
eliminate the problem, however they are sadly mistaken, as it does not. We do
not promote descenting the ferret as it is a natural defense mechanism and can
cause unnecessary infection.
Are ferrets cage
Ferrets should be kept in cage or a ferret proofed room if not
supervised. Ferrets need to be let out of the cages daily to promote
exercise, affection and human companionship to be happy and healthy. If
the ferret cannot get out daily to socialize with others and exercise, the
ferret can become depressed.
maintenance does the ferret require?
To ensure a healthy ferret, they need our help trimming their nails
cleaning their ears on a regular basis. Giving baths if necessary.
Dental hygiene is also a MUST.
Can ferrets have
YES! Ferrets love to receive treats. They need to have
high levels of meat-based protein (30% min.). They love wheat germ oil
vitamins. Should be given as directed. Can be used to "train" the
ferret tricks. Treats should be limited.
Can they be
litter box trained?
Yes they can be taught to use the box. It is suggested that you
put the litter pan in the corner of the cage and cover the rest of the cage with
bedding. In the meantime, put some fresh stools in the litter box and show
the ferret the box and let him "smell" the stools. They will figure it out
with 2 or 3 attempts. It is as simple as kittens being taught to use the
litter pan as well.
Are ferrets illegal in my state?