Ferrets are increasingly becoming popular, and are now the third most kept pets. This says something about their nature and care requirements. So yes, ferrets are good pets with their entertaining and friendly character.
In this article, I would like to discuss what makes ferrets good pets. We will look at their behavior, as well as what you need to do to keep a ferret happy. If you have been thinking of bringing a ferret home, I assure you that it is going to be the best decision you have ever made.
However, before we get all excited, I am going to outline some of the strong qualities of a ferret.
Unfortunately, we do not get to share the medium of communication with our pets. Therefore, it can be quite difficult to deal with a pet you understand nothing about. Below, I will outline the behaviors that make ferrets exciting and great companions as pets.
Ferrets are playful
Most people get ferrets with the idea that they are easy to take care of. However, the one thing you should never forget is that these are playful creatures. While you may result in buying him toys, they might not be enough.
A ferret will need about 4 hours out of his cage, running around the house. This means that you will need to be available for four hours. The trick to keeping a happy ferret is to play with him as much as you can.
Also, do not forget to include a few toys in his cage. For instance, they love tunnels and tubes. Well, in their natural habitat, they would live in burrows and tunnels. Include ladders as well because ferrets love to climb up and down.
Now, during playtime outside the cage, you might want to ferret-proof your house. I mean, ferrets are known for their cheeky and mischievous character. They will steal and hide your stuff or worse ingest rubber and stringy objects. It could cause him intestinal obstruction.
Ferrets live in cages
Unlike having a cat or dog for a pet, ferrets cannot be left to roam freely in the house. It could present a lot of danger to your ferret. For instance, ferrets can squeeze their bodies in small spaces while attempting to escape.
Secondly, he could hide away in your stuff and because they are mostly quiet, it is a whole task looking for him. Besides, every pet needs some space he can call his own; a safe space. Now, a ferret cage is designed to provide comfort and safety.
Well, if you are looking to adopt a ferret, make sure you get a ferret specific cage. These cages are mostly made of wire mesh, with smaller gaps. Once you get your preferred cage, it is time to set it up. Ensure you have appropriate beddings for him in the cage, a litter box and also set up his food station.
As mentioned above, you might also need to put up toys for your ferret in the cage.
Well, it is only fair to think about what to feed your ferret before you even bring him home. The very first thing every ferret owner must know is that these pets are strictly carnivorous. They must feed on quality food with high protein and fat content.
In the wild, ferrets hunt and eat small mammals. They only feed on meat. However, you should not be worried about ferret diet as you can easily purchase quality feeds from the pet store, or order some to take you for the next couple of weeks.
In most cases, ferret food is comprised of protein and essentials. You should be cautious when purchasing ferret food to ensure that it does not contain carbs or fiber content. A ferret has a very short digestive tract, which makes it impossible for them to digest these nutrients.
Some ferret owners go for a purely raw diet, consisting of pre-killed frozen prey. For instance, you can use pre-killed rabbits, mice or chicks as food for your pet.
I must also mention that you might need to switch from one food type to another every now and then. If a ferret is used to eating only a certain type of food, then he might refuse to eat anything else. This becomes a problem when you lack immediate access to his favorite food.
Do not forget to bring a few treats with you as well. They are going to be essential especially when training your ferret any new tricks. Remember that ferrets are extremely smart.
Are ferrets healthy pets?
Ferrets are among the healthiest pets to keep. This, however, does not guarantee that a ferret is not going to fall ill. Well, I will be honest with you, the health of your pet depends on how well to care for him. For instance, do you clean his cage, beddings and empty the litter box often? If no, then there is a chance of contamination which could lead to a sick ferret.
Also, you will need to make yearly appointments with your vet for a simple check-up. It should ensure that your ferret stays healthy and enjoys his full lifespan.
Now, while I attest to the fact that ferrets are healthy, they are prone to certain illnesses. For instance, canine distemper is a great problem among unvaccinated ferrets. It is similar to measles in human beings and could be fatal.
Well, also, ensure that your ferret is parasite-free at all times. Should you notice any strange changes in his usual behavior, it is about time to contact your vet.
Ferrets older than five years should be taken to the vet twice a year. The most important thing is to keep your ferret in a clean and conducive environment.
What about ferret reproduction?
Ferrets reach their sexual maturity at six months. Now, when adopting a ferret, do not forget to enquire about their reproductive status. I advise you to go for a neutered or spayed ferret as the reproduction process can be quite a handful for the first time ferret owners.
Also, the most important thing to remember is that once a ferret goes in heat, she must be bred. Otherwise, she will stay in heat which could result in a fatal infection. You should confirm with your vet to see if your ferret has been sterilized.
At the same time, unneutered male ferrets tend to have a strong musky smell. They can also exhibit aggressive behavior.
Ferret breeding should be left for experts and commercial purposes. I have written a post about ferret breeding before which explains why it is a bad idea.
Now that I have outlined some of the important things you need to know about ferrets, let’s talk about compatibility. Now, ferrets will spend most of their time asleep. This means that you do not need a lot of space to keep one.
Whether you live in your own home or apartment building, you can keep a ferret. Another advantage of keeping a pet ferret is that you will never have trouble with your neighbors over pet noises. Ferrets are pretty much quite pets.
Your availability will also matter to the happiness of your ferret. As I have mentioned above, ferrets need about 4 hours out of the cage to play. It is a bad idea to let your ferret out of his cage unsupervised. This means that you will need 4 hours of each day to play with your ferret. Are you going to handle it?
Now, ferrets are self-sufficient and will not get too attached to you. While each pet develops some kind of attachment with their owners, ferrets will not get overly dramatic about it. Ferrets do not get neurotic, which means that you will seldom have to deal with separation anxiety and other emotional disorders. Therefore, you can still have your 9-5 job and also be able to take care of your ferret.
10 things that make ferrets good pets
- They are self-sufficient
- They are quiet
- They are entertaining
- Mostly social with other pets
- Generally healthy
- Easy to manage
- Social creatures
- Can be trained
- Fun personalities
Are you still with the idea of bringing a pet ferret home? Well, I would encourage you to go right ahead. After all, they also have other qualities that make them good pets. Below, I am going to outline 10 things that make ferrets good pets for everyone.
Ferrets are self-sufficient
I have already mentioned that ferrets do not need you to be home 100% of the time. Well, managing a ferret is easy because they live in cages. For as long as you provide food with enough food and drinking water, your ferret should be happy.
Also, do not forget to grab a few exciting toys for your ferret. These will keep busy whenever he is awake.
They are quiet
Ferrets are both entertaining and quiet pets. Unlike keeping a dog or cat, you will never experience excessive vocalization with ferrets. This makes them good pets to live with just about anywhere.
Ferrets are entertaining
If you have spent some time with a ferret, you must be aware of this character. A ferret can be a source of entertainment by just watching them play. They will run and jump around their cage to entertain themselves and you.
Besides, when you own a ferret, you will always have a friend to play with every evening.
They are good with other pets
Ferrets adore having the company of another of their kind. In fact, I encourage ferret owners to get a second one if they can. Not only will they be happier together but you can reduce the time out of the cage to two hours a day.
Well, if you have been around two ferrets, you can agree when I say they play and get along with each other quite well.
Ferrets are generally healthy pets
While it is possible to catch a few illnesses on the way, I have to say that ferrets are healthy pets. With regular vet visits, your ferret should be able to enjoy their full lifespan of up to ten years. Besides, when a pet does not get sick often, it becomes inexpensive to keep them.
Well, what’s better than a healthy and joyful pet?
Ferrets are clean animals
Cleanliness is definitely something to consider when getting a pet. Well, ferrets are among the cleanest pets you can keep. You can actually notice them grooming themselves. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that your pet lives in a clean environment.
They are easy to manage
Keeping a ferret happy should not be a difficult task. Ferrets are also easy to manage because they are usually confined in their cages. Therefore, it is unlikely to have small litter box accidents all around the house.
Remember to ferret-proof your house for when you let him out of his cage.
Ferrets are social
Well, if you are looking for a friendly and manageable pet, start with a ferret. While they can sometimes bite, ferrets are also social towards their owners and other people. Well, if your ferret is biting people, I urge you to train him biting inhibition, you know, just as with cats and dogs.
They are trainable
You also get the privilege of bragging about your ferret’s tricks as these pets are highly trainable. You can also train him how to use a litter box to make it easy for you to clean after him. An intelligent pet will amaze you with what they are capable of doing.
Ferrets have different personalities
While most pets have a predictable pattern in terms of personalities, ferrets vary. One ferret will exhibit different behavior from that of another. Try getting two ferrets and you will definitely recognize this.
Each ferret will have a unique personality.
If you have been wondering if it is a good idea to get a ferret as a pet, I am with you on this one. They are good pets and companions regardless of whether you live in your home or apartment. However, you should do as much research as you can to learn more about these adorable creatures.
The better you understand your pet ferret, the happier you will both be. You should also learn how to take care of a ferret before you actually get one home. If you have already adopted a ferret, I would love to know how your experience has been.
Our Ferret Care Guide
As described in the About Us page on this site my son Bobby and I have kept and bred Ferrets all of our lives. Over this time we have gained a lifetime of all ferret problems.
We realized that there wasn’t a complete guide on keeping ferrets therefore, we put matters right and wrote a comprehensive guide on Ferret Care. It is a must for all ferret owners.
Our essentials for Ferrets
We have hand-picked all of the essential items you will need for your Ferret and they can be seen here