Ferrets are known for being playful and intelligent creatures. If you’re thinking about adding one to your family, it’s important to learn about the basics of ferret care first. In this post, we will answer ten common questions about ferrets.
From diet to exercise, we’ve got you covered! So, if you’re curious about what it takes to care for a ferret, keep reading. You may be surprised at how much there is to know!
How much time will caring for a ferret take each day?
Ferrets are very social creatures, so it’s best to keep them with other ferrets or human companions. Ferrets usually spend about 20 hours each day sleeping, though they will be more active during their “morning” (for you) and “evening” (for the ferrets).
Ferrets need interaction and playtime, just like dogs or cats. Expect to spend around an hour a day playing, training, and interacting with your pet.
This includes letting them out of their cage, cleaning the cage, and giving them fresh food and water. If you have more than one ferret, time must be divided.
If you don’t live with any other people or animals who can help out, it may be challenging to care for a ferret on your own.
Do I have to clean my ferret’s cage every day?
No! Although cleaning the cage daily might seem daunting, ferrets are clean animals. You will only need to disinfect the cage once per month or so, and you can expect to change the bedding about once per week.
When cleaning your ferret’s cage, remove your pet and any accessories used for nesting or playtime. You will need to wash anything that has been in contact with your ferrets, such as food and water bowls, toys, and bedding.
If there’s an accident in the cage (which is rare), remove the affected bedding immediately, disinfect thoroughly, and replace it with fresh bedding.
Can ferrets get along with dogs or cats?
Ferrets can usually live with other animals, especially when introduced at a young age. Adult ferrets who have not been socialized around dogs or cats may act aggressively towards them.
If you want to introduce your ferret to another animal, always do so slowly and on neutral ground (such as within the cage). If there is any growling or hissing, separate the animals immediately and follow up with a vet visit.
Ferrets and dogs may fight, though they can usually be trained to get along. Cats and ferrets often do not mix well. If you’re planning on getting a ferret and already own a cat, keep an eye out for any signs of aggression between the two. They have been known to get along, but it’s best to be safe and only adopt a ferret if you have a place for them to stay while you’re out of the house.
How often should I take my ferret to the vet?
Ferrets need to visit the vet for a checkup at least once per year. Vaccinations are usually given every 3-4 weeks, starting at 6 weeks of age.
Ferrets are very curious animals, so they will often get into trouble by eating things they shouldn’t, getting injured, or getting sick. Symptoms to watch for include lethargy, vomiting, coughing, diarrhea, loss of appetite, wheezing or gurgling noises when breathing, and a runny or blocked nose.
Whenever your ferret shows symptoms that may require veterinary attention, take them to the vet as soon as possible. Otherwise, call the vet for an appointment at least once per year. The earlier you can catch any health problems with your pet, the better chance of beating those illnesses!
Where should I get my ferret?
Ferrets can be purchased in pet stores, from breeders, or at shelters. If they are obtained from a shelter or other rescue organization, make sure it is legitimate. There has been at least one case where an animal shelter fraudulently sold sick animals to unsuspecting buyers.
If you’re buying a ferret from a pet store, make sure to check it for signs of illness. They may be in cages with other ferrets, so pay attention to their behavior towards the animals next door. Also, look for clear eyes and no discharge from the nose or mouth.
If you are getting your ferret at a breeder, make sure it is someone you trust. Ask to see the parents of your ferret and make sure they look healthy. Finally, ask to see where your ferret was born (or at least raised). If they can’t show you this information, there may be something wrong with that breeder.
Are ferrets dangerous or “wild”?
Ferrets are domesticated animals. They have been bred as pets since at least the 1500s and are often kept as working animals for rodent control on farms. Ferrets will even play with toys!
Ferrets may be curious, but they’re generally not aggressive towards humans in terms of personality. Ferret bites are infrequent, and they are known to be loving pets. They may act out of control with their curiosity if food is left within reach, but this behavior can usually be remedied by keeping food items off of the ground.
How old do ferrets get?
Ferrets can live to be 5-10 years old. They reach sexual maturity around 8-12 months of age and will breed within this timeframe if other ferrets are in the house.
Pregnancy is usually up to 41 days long, although it could last longer depending on how many kits are in the litter (usually between 3-5). If a mother ferret is stressed or feels threatened, she may eat her young.
For this reason, it’s essential to keep the cage in a peaceful environment and separate any unaltered males from females that are pregnant or nursing babies.
How do I take care of my ferret?
To take care of your pet ferrets, you should feed them good quality food, let them exercise at least 2-3 times a day for short periods, and clean their cage as needed.
Ferrets are very curious by nature and should be supervised at all times when out of the cage so they don’t get into trouble. They should never be left alone unsupervised with babies or other small kids since they may steal baby bottles, cause mischief, or even escape to go exploring.
It’s essential to read up on ferret care and safety to ensure your pet stays healthy.
A full-grown adult ferret is usually about 2-5 lbs and around 16-20 inches in length (not including the tail). Females tend to be smaller than males.
What should I feed my ferret?
Pet stores will have various dry and wet ferret food to choose from. Ferrets have special dietary needs that may not be the same as those of other pets. It’s important to read the package to see what ingredients are included.
Ferrets need to eat meat protein, so look for poultry or fish options in their food. They also have a high need for fat and a low carbohydrate requirement. Finally, ferrets can not digest grains very well, so they shouldn’t appear as the first ingredient of any commercial food.
If you plan to feed your ferret a homemade diet, it’s advised that you speak with your vet first. Diets should be carefully balanced since they will not get the same nutrients from eating meat alone. The main thing is to ensure there is enough meat and fat in their diet to keep them healthy.
Do ferrets make good pets?
Ferrets are very friendly, curious creatures. They enjoy being handled and will often greet you when you come home. Many owners talk about their “soaring ferret excitement” when they see their owner after a long absence!
Remember that ferrets are still animals despite how much they may act like little dogs. They’ll need to be let out of their cage every few hours so they can stretch and play; otherwise, they will become restless and destructive.
Ferrets are very curious creatures. Their instincts are to hunt, play, and explore everything they can get their paws on. They’re also quite intelligent! Ferrets are happy in cages where you provide them with food, water, a litter box, toys, and items to chew on. They’ll spend their days sleeping, playing with their buddies (a ferret is never lonely with a cagemate), and looking for trouble.
If you’re prepared to care for a ferret, then you should consider adding one to your family! They make great pets but do require a lot of attention. If you don’t have the time or patience for a pet, it’s best not to get one.
Ferrets are friendly by nature, but they may nip when scared or in pain, so it’s best to have young children supervised around them. They can also be very stubborn and get into trouble if not properly cared for, so ferret ownership is up to the individual owner!
Thank You For Reading! I hope this article has helped you know the facts about ferrets and whether they will be a good fit for your family.
Lenny Terra is the co-founder & reviewer. He’s a life coach, software engineer, freelance writer, and has a diploma in Modern Applied Psychology. Lenny has a passion for great living & beautiful design. He is married and is the father of two beautiful girls. His life’s mission is to help people improve their lives, become happier and more productive. This blog is his contribution to that goal and to the empowerment of his readers. Lenny and his family live in Texas with their two dogs.