Ferrets are fascinating animals, and they make excellent pets as well. However, due to scent and stink, some people may hesitate to have them as pets. Ferrets as pets can be unique. They have been domesticated for centuries. They are close relatives of the wild animal skunk. They are also cousins of Polecat or European flitch. They are also very famous for ferret contests in which different kinds of games of ferrets are held. Primarily they were kept for the hunting of vermin and rabbits.
Behaviors as pets :
Ferrets as pets can be very jolly and cheerful creatures and can prove as beautiful pets. It is essential to handle them carefully and to get them used to socialize from an early age. They are similar in their behaviors to cats and dogs. Likewise, dogs are curious and anxious animals. The plus point of having a ferret is they can also be trained to use litter boxes as well as cats and dogs.
- Ferrets usually don’t bite, and they don’t have very aggressive behaviors. However, you have to deal with them carefully all the time, especially with baby ferrets, to avoid any kind of misadventures or nipping.
- One thing you should remember is that ferrets as pets require a lot of time and effort, so if you want to have one prepare yourself mentally and financially, first to have a pet ferret.
- The reason is that to be a healthy ferret; they have to do enough exercise daily; therefore, you have to take them out of their cage for several hours and have to keep an eye on them.
- Also, they are quite unsettled animals that love to dig, so they are quite challenging to handle. They also love to swim as well for that purpose you can see a proper article Can ferret swim?.
Ferrets can get along with cats and dogs if they are trained from an early age; however, be careful every time. It is recommended that you not take your ferrets close to pet birds, rabbits, and rodents because you can’t avoid the instinct of the animal no matter how much it is trained.
Characteristics of ferrets:
- Ferrets as pets are carnivorous and, therefore, can be fed any high-quality meat, cat food, or ferret food.
- Ferrets don’t have a very long lifespan; the average lifespan ranges from 6 – 8 years.
- The female ferret, which is also called a jill, can have the pregnancy period time of 42-43 days.
- Young ferrets are born with their eyes closed and the inability to hear (deaf). When they are six weeks old, they start to walk. Baby ferrets as pets of 8 weeks old can be given cat or ferret food.
Neutering or spaying:
It is highly recommended to spay or neutering of the female ferrets. If you don’t want them for breeding, it is a must to get them spayed because female ferrets have prolonged spans of mating. As a result, they remain on the heat for a very long period without getting fertilized, which results in the suppression of bone marrow, and it can prove fatal for the ferrets.
On the other hand, the spaying of male rabbits is also strongly recommended. As long as the male ferrets as pets remain in the mating mode, they behave aggressively and want to capture territories. Spaying also reduces the foul odor, which is released from their anal sacs as well.
15 reasons to have a ferret as a pet
Not everyone indeed likes ferrets as pets because of their musky odor and anxious behaviors. But some people love to have these little creatures and want to explore them.
Below I am going to mention some reasons which will intimidate you into having ferrets as pets.
- Ferrets are adorable.
- They are not rodents.
- They are playful pets.
- They are very exploring and curious.
- They are very kind, caring, and friendly.
- They are very brilliant.
- They can be trained for litter boxes.
- They are quiet and don’t make much noise.
- They are small and handy.
- They can be easily fed.
- They are very social.
- They can do exercise on their own.
- Each ferret has a unique personality depending on the species.
Things to consider before buying a ferret
Ferrets as pets are adorable, playful, and joyful creatures. Having ferrets as pets in our families can be very exciting. They can be cuddled easily and are inquisitive animals. These are very suitable for owners who can take them easily out of their cages every day.
Though ferrets as pets are similar to little energy balls, they are not suitable for everyone, below are the reasons why they are not for everyone.
- Ferrets like to intrude and dig into everything.
- Ferrets as pets need a lot of enthusiasm and exercise.
- They are very social animals, so they need mates or friends.
- In some places or states, they are declared as illegal animals.
- They have to be spayed.
- They have to be vaccinated.
Caring of a ferret
Ferrets as pets are adorable. They are not so expensive and are very similar to cats and kittens; therefore, they are very popular as pets. They belong to the same families of skunk, weasel, and mink. They are mostly black, brown, and white colors. They love to play around if you want to have ferrets as pets, then you must know how to take care of them.
The setup for a ferret:
For the maintenance of your ferret, you will need:
- Any metallic or meshed wire cage
- A ferret or carrier for vet visits
- Comfortable bedding for clean and hygienic exposure
- A water bowl or low plates for water and food respectively
- Litter box the one which is specifically designed for ferrets.
- Buy a rope or leash to take them out of their cages at a time for exercise.
- Tools or toys that will not make them feel alone, and they can pass their time easily.
Feeding a ferret :
To feed your pet ferret, you will need:
- Ferret pellets specifically designed for ferrets to give them as dry food.
- A second option also has a stock of cat food free of carbohydrates.
- Prepare treats of meat and lamb
- Give them treats of eggs and meat
- Freshwater should be available all the time.
Holding your ferret:
Taking care of your ferret as pets also means to pick and hold them carefully. For that, you should have to do :
- Always have support under them, especially below their chest.
- Also, place a hand on the bottom for support.
- Always lift by their neck while supporting from the posterior or bottom.
- For outside visits use a cat carrier or a ferret carrier.
- Always use a rope or leash tied to them when you take them outside.
Pros and cons of having a ferret
Every pet has benefits and some things which we don’t like. Similarly, ferrets as pets also have some pros and cons, which include:
- They are friendly, loving, and passionate.
- They are social animals.
- They can be cuddled.
- They have a risk of flight.
- They can be a danger for pet birds and rabbits.
- They are not for very young children.
- They are stinky.
Questions and Answers
What to know about ferrets as pets?
They have a little stink to them. Ferrets are very friendly, affectionate, playing, sociable. However, they require maintenance and attention. Ferrets just need a little time to learn things. Usually, they can sleep for 18 hours.
What do ferrets eat as pets?
Ferrets are carnivores; therefore, they only require a diet that contains proteins. Chicken and lamb serve perfectly as a treat. For regular diet ferrets, pellets are best. They need carbohydrates in their diet as well.
How to care for ferrets as pets?
To take care of ferrets as pets, you must maintain a high protein diet for them. They also require enough exercise. They also need to get the vaccination from the vet. Give them proper check-ups from time to time.