Ferrets are high spirited. They love to inspect, explore, play, jump, and wrestle. They likely will try your patience at times as they get into things you would rather they did not. In their play mode, they may want to wrestle with you. In the process, you can expect to get scratched or nipped.
Ferrets are clean animals and they like to live in a clean environment. However, like all living creatures (including people), they have their own distinct odour. Some people find this odour offensive or have experienced allergic reactions. It is best to make sure you can tolerate it before you adopt. De sexed females and males don't smell much at all however. Females should be de sexed regardless, as it helps to reduce the risk of blood related illnesses (anaemia) leading to premature death.
Ferrets require daily play time and interaction with their human counterparts. If you are not able or willing to spend time with your ferret every day, then you are better off without one. Ferrets will become lonely and withdrawn without your attention, and could very well die. Please consider this carefully before you adopt. If left unattended for too long, when you do go to play you are sure to receive a nip for your lack of attention!
Ferrets do require regular cleaning. The can be litter trained and this makes cleanup simpler, but attention to this should be given daily. Because they are high spirited, ferrets sometimes like to kick the litter out of the holding container or they may tear up their bedding or flooring. Be prepared to spend time on occasional cage and bedding repairs.
Ferrets require a cool environment. They do not survive well when temperatures rise above 27 degrees celsius. You must make sure they have plenty of water and turn on the air conditioner when the weather gets warm. Ferrets cannot survive outside alone. If your intention is to put them in a cage in the backyard like a rabbit, then a ferret is not for you.
A ferret's diet requires high quality and varied foods. Common cat food does not provide adequate nutrition for ferret's, despite what some people may believe. Many veterinarians are not familiar with complex ferret health issues. Make sure you are comfortable with their level of expertise before you really need to take them there. The last thing you want to find, is a good vet while your pet is fighting for their life.
If you are about to get a ferret, you need to make sure you have the basic requirements, before you even bring them home! Here is a list of the basic requirements for any ferret.
- Ferret/Small animal cage or hutch
- Sawdust or straw for bedding
- Bowl for food, preferably ceramic
- Drip/Sip water bottle
- Ferret hammock or sack
- Tunnel systems
- Exercise balls
Suitable For People Aged: 7-45 adult supervision
Experience Required: Rat or mouse experience preferable
Feeding Care Time Required: 1/2 hour a day
Maintenance Time Required: 1/2 Hour twice a Week
Minimum Space Required: Small animal cage/hutch
Cost of Upkeep: (approx) $5-7 Per Week
Life Span: (approx) up to 5 years
To read our care sheet, simply click the link above to open it in your browser. However, if you want to download it to your computer for future reference, simply 'right click' on the document and select "Save Target As...". Then simply choose a location (like your desktop) to save. You will need Acrobat to read and print these documents.