Young ferret playing outside in a garden.

Are You a Ferret Person?

Are You a Ferret Person?

Ferrets aren't like any other companion, yet they make an excellent friend to a very specific type of human. Here's what you need to know to find out if you are a Ferret Person.

Young ferret napping on his favorite blanket.

Interesting Ferret Facts:

Male ferrets are called “Hobs,” female ferrets are called “Jills”, baby ferrets are called “Kits.” And a group of ferrets is called a “Business.”

Ferrets are a member of the weasel family weighing in an average of 3 pounds fully grown. They live six to ten years, and sleep 18 hours a day. They are most active in the early morning and early evening.

Ferrets are very clean animals and spend much time grooming themselves. They shed their fur twice a year. Although, inside a human's-controlled environment of air conditioning and heating, shedding may happen more often, or slowly all the time. Ultimately, shedding depends on their food, your house temperature and humidity, and your bathing care.

Care and Concerns

  • Your ferret should be neutered or spayed, and de-scented when they are between five and six weeks old to reduce odor and aggression.
  • Ferrets are friendly, playful, crave attention, and enjoy being around people.
  • They need constant supervision when outside their cage, as they are on the move always looking for all things interesting.
  • Ferrets are not a good lifestyle choice for children under eight.
  • Ferrets are prone health problems, which can make them an expensive companion pet.
  • Ferrets are driven to chew things and swallow foreign objects, making ferret-proofing essential.
  • Ferrets need to be brushed every day.
  • Ferrets need regular nail trimming.
  • Ferrets need monthly teeth-brushing.
  • Ferrets need baths with shampoo made for ferrets to lessen their naturally musky odor. Baths should happen twice a month.
Ferret playing inside the sleeve of a jacket.

    Create a Ferret Fun House

    • Ferrets love to collect and hide things. They are natural explorers and look for spaces to crawl into, through, and nap.
    • They are talented escape artists. They need a multi-level, open wire cage specific for ferrets with solid flooring, and secure lockable doors.
    • Fish tanks, plastic walled cages, and terrariums are NOT recommended. Ferrets need lots of ventilation for their health.
    • They do best in temperatures between 60- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit.
    • They love all kinds of bedding for naps and play (towels, blankets, old socks and shirts, fleece hides and castles). Wash at least once a week for their health.
    • Do not use cedar, pine shavings, clay, or clumping cat litter as bedding.
    • Water bowls or water bottles.
    • Food bowls
    • Litter box (clean their litter box daily)
    • Ferrets are carnivores. Feed your ferret premium commercial ferret food that is high in fat and protein.
    • Do not feed dairy products, fruits, vegetables, or foods high in fiber, carbohydrates, or sugar.
    • Ferrets like to chew and swallow things. Toys must be sturdy and have no small parts that can be broken or pulled off.
    • Create a ferret-proof area blocking spaces behind cabinets and removing any plugged-in appliances and breakable products.
    • Ferrets love interacting with their humans. Spend time with them every day. Consider having more than one ferret if your schedule is tight.
    Baby ferret coming out of his travel cage to his owner's waiting hands.

      Healthcare

      • Ferrets are susceptible to ulcers and gastric problems since they love chewing and swallowing foreign objects.
      • Ferrets can suffer diseases of the adrenal glands and pancreas.

      The most common signs adrenal disease is hair loss on the tail, hips, and shoulders.

      Insulinoma is common in older ferrets. A sudden collapse lasting a few minutes or hours or, in severe cases, seizures, is a sign of Insulinoma.

      Ferrets need annual healthcare, just like dogs or cats.

      • Annual vaccinations for canine distemper virus and rabies
      • Annual fecal examination
      • Examination for ear mites
      • Year-round use of heartworm and flea meds
      • Dental cleaning
      • Routine blood tests and fasting glucose level
      • Toenails trimming
      Yawning ferret napping on a blue sheet.

        As you can see being a Ferret Person is multi-faceted care and concerns. Take an honest look at your current lifestyle and habits when considering adding a ferret to your life. They are an amazing, domesticated companion pet. But they are not a simple companion pet.

        Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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