It’s easy to fall in love with a ferret. These pets have experienced a massive boost in popularity, and today they’re the third most popular household member after dogs and cats. If you’ve been thinking about getting a ferret soon, here are ten things that you need to know.
Ferrets need owner’s attention
Yes, you’ve guessed it correctly. While ferrets are fun loving, curious creatures, they might get themselves into trouble if they’re left unsupervised. If you have time and bond well with animals, ferrets are the right kind of pets for you. Remember that mental and physical health of these intelligent and friendly animals depend on how much you interact with them.
Perhaps one of the biggest first time ferret owners make is assuming that ferrets do not get along with their owners the way a cat or dog would. Because ferrets social creatures, they’ll bond with their human owners for life. In fact, it’s best to get them in small groups of two or three animals. This way ferrets will have company while you are away.
They might not be legal in your area
State and county regulations dictate whether or not ferrets are legal in your location. To determine legalities and rules in your area, make sure you check with your local wildlife department or a reputable local veterinarian. Also, some areas require that you get a license or permit for your ferret.
Ferrets require supervision
The old saying “curiosity killed the cat” is especially true for ferrets. If left unsupervised, these animals can slip under heavy furniture, kitchen appliances and chew on rubber and plastic that can cause life threatening intestinal blockage.
It is seen that ferrets love to sleep in laundry baskets and even sheets of your bed so be careful before you toss laundry into the machine or sit on your bed. If you can’t find your furry friend, keep looking and transfer them safely to their cage for peaceful napping.
The cost of buying a ferret can vary greatly, but the cost you pay for buying the animal is just one small part of your total cost. In addition to the purchase cost, you need to pay for the basic supplies (cage, food, and bedding) as well as vaccinations and veterinary examinations.
Ferrets can smell ‘awful’
Of course ferrets have a distinct odor – males produce the H2est scents, but you can get the gland that produce the natural odor removed during neuter surgery.
Other steps you can take to reduce the smell of ferrets is changing the litter box often and washing your pet’s bedding frequently. Ferrets can be trained to use a litter box and they will constantly groom themselves to stay clean.
Ferrets need to be introduced to other pets
Like most owners, it’s natural to be concerned about how well your ferret would get along other pets like cats and dogs. It is recommended that you introduce the ferrets to other animals in your home and monitor the interaction closely. If the larger animals show predator instincts, you need to remove the ferrets and keep them securely in a cage.
Remember that no matter how well the pets get along, you need to monitor the interaction when animals are playing together.
Male and female ferrets each have their advantages
If you don’t intend to breed ferrets, this factor doesn’t make much difference. An important thing to keep in mind is that male ferrets can be more aggressive than female ferrets and need to be monitored closely.
Ferrets need exercise
Unlike gerbils, ferrets cannot spend most of their time in cages. The fact is that ferrets need to move out for play when it’s convenient and roam around and exercise. You will be surprised to know that for optimum health, ferrets require 3 to 4 hours of exercise every day.
Ferrets can be trained
Ferrets are smart animals and they will even respond to their names when you call them. Much like canines, ferrets love to learn new tricks and play with their owners.
Ferrets are easy to maintain
Ferrets love to play so be sure to provide lots of toys. In addition, you need to provide lots of fresh water and a diet high in protein. Be sure to buy toys that are durable and cannot be easily chewed.