Have you ever looked at a ferret in a pet store and wondered what it would be like to own one? Or perhaps you have a friend who owns a ferret, and you’ve become curious about what kind of pet a ferret would be. The following is some basic ferret information – from the history of the ferret, to feeding requirements, to playtimes – to give you an idea of what ferret ownership will be like.
It’s a common misconception that ferrets are rodents. In fact, ferrets are in the Mustelid family along with otters, mink, weasels, and polecats. They have been domesticated for over 2,000 years, and their duties have included hunting rabbits, vermin control, running cable and wire through small spaces (there is even a rumor that ferrets ran video cabling for the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles), and, of course, companionship.
WHAT ARE THEY LIKE AS PETS?
Ferrets are very intelligent and highly curious, which can lead to some frustrating moments for unprepared ferret owners! They require training and lots of interaction with humans for proper socialization. Ferrets are social animals that bond with their owners and their fellow ferret cage mates.
Many ferret owners in England and Europe keep their ferrets outdoors, but that practice is rare in the United States. This is because heartworm disease, canine distemper, and rabies are common diseases in the U.S., and ferrets can develop all of these. Another reason why ferrets do better inside is because they are extremely prone to heatstroke, and any temperature above 75Ã‚Â°F can be dangerous. Ferrets are safest and most comfortable at 65Ã‚Â°-68Ã‚Â°F.
It is very important that a ferret has a safe and secure cage. For a single ferret, the smallest cage you put him in should be no less than 3 ft long by 2 ft high. Obviously, a bigger cage is better. If you have multiple ferrets, you will need a multi-level cage.
SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED
The following ferret supplies [http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/Shop.cfm?c=17342] are necessities:
- Water bottle or water bowl
- Food bowl
- Bedding – hammocks, blankets, and sleep sacks
- Litter box, ferret safe litter, and a litter scoop
- Toys – tunnels, balls, and other enrichment toys (Continued…)