Owning a ferret is satisfying. You will now have a friend to interact with after your busy days at work. However, as with every other pet, you must care for your ferret. Well, if you are considering getting a quiet adorable pet, so, ferrets are good pets.
Before you purchase your ferret, you must be confident that you can provide the care they need. In this article, I will outline the factors you must consider before getting a ferret. While these pets portray a playful and friendly character, ferrets are not good pets for everyone.
Factors you must consider before getting a ferret
Are ferrets good pets? I cannot count the times I have encountered this question. They ARE good pets, but just as I have said there are factors to consider. These include the following:
Are you compatible with a ferret?
Compatibility is key when looking to adopt a pet. When I talk of compatibility, it is all about your household. For instance, do you have children? Do you have other pets living with you? And if you do, are they going to be compatible with your ferret?
Now, while ferrets are docile, they might not be good for children. Kids might not be able to handle a ferret. When mishandled, a ferret might scratch the child in efforts to get away. So if you are getting a ferret pet for your children, they will only associate under adult supervision.
If you own a dog or a cat, it is not going to be a big deal adding a ferret. However, if you have a bird pet, rodent or rabbit, bringing a ferret home is not ideal. It is because, in the wild, these animals and birds would be prey for ferrets. Thus, they would be incompatible.
If you have a dog or cat, then you must introduce them to your new ferret gradually. It is perhaps better to wait until your ferret settles down before introducing him to other pets. The first few days can be quite rough for your ferret.
Do you have the time to care for a ferret?
While ferrets are not exactly the most demanding pets, they require a lot of time and attention. You must consider your availability, especially if you live alone. Ferrets need to play, and at least 4 hours out of their cages.
Will you be at home long enough to provide intense play to burn up your ferret’s energy? Besides, a ferret might feel neglected if he does not get enough human interaction. Given that he spends most of the time alone in the cage, it is only fair to be available for them. Lack of attention can cause depression in ferrets!
Do not get me wrong, though. Ferrets do not get neurotic when left alone. Showing them attention is required to show affection. Well, how busy are your schedules? This is a huge concern that you should think about before getting a ferret pet.
Ferrets can be expensive, are you prepared?
A ferret is not your normal pet such as cats or dogs. These adorable creatures are expensive to obtain and maintain. Buying a ferret from the pet store or breeder can cost you up to $250. Now, before you bring your ferret home, you must take him to the vet.
Enquire about the vaccinations your ferret has received and those ones that he should. Your vet should examine your ferret and administer the required vaccination. Again, depending on the type of tests and vaccinations ran on your ferret, the cost can go up to $350. You might need to add more money if at all you will spay/neuter and descent your furry pet.
You must purchase ferret care necessities and a ferret cage. See our recommendations here. Do not forget the special ferret food. Well, you should also research the type of ferret food to purchase. I would advise you to purchase ferret-specific foods before you try any other diet.
Ask about the food your new friend has been feeding on and continue the diet. If you wish to change the diet, start gradually. Mix a small amount of new food with the old food. You can add the proportion of the new food as time goes by.
Remember that ferrets are strictly carnivorous. They feed on food with high protein and fat content.
Are ferrets legal in your country?
Did you know that keeping or traveling with a ferret is illegal in some states? Well, you should check with your local authorities to see if you can actually own a ferret. For instance, it is illegal to keep a ferret in the states of Hawaii, New York and also California.
If your state does not allow keeping ferrets as pets, too bad because you have to give up on that dream. However, if not, you must adhere to all the rules and regulations that come with keeping a ferret.
If you keep a ferret illegally, you are putting his life at risk. This is because you are not only breaking the law but you might not find a ferret veterinarian should he fall sick.
Make sure that it is legal to keep a pet ferret before you actually acquire one.
The above discussed are some of the factors to consider before getting a ferret. Now, if you have settled on getting a ferret, then go right ahead. The next section of this article is going to highlight all the qualities that make ferrets good pets.
What makes ferrets good pets?
Even with all these factors, I still think ferrets are amazing pets. Well, I have always adored our ferret since the day I brought him home. If you are sure that you can handle a ferret, there is nothing stopping you from getting one.
Below is an outline of some of the characters to expect from your pet ferret. I promise you will not regret your decision.
Ferrets are friendly and playful
In the earlier section, I mentioned that you must set aside some time to socialize with your ferret. Well, I must also say that ferrets are extremely friendly towards people. Some ferrets will also get along with other household pets.
You are going to enjoy coming home to a playful mate every evening. Well, as I mentioned, it is healthy to take a ferret out of his cage for play. Besides, he is going to engage you in several games, especially when he is out of the cage.
And because of their playful nature, you must purchase him necessary toys. These toys should keep him busy when you are away or handling other tasks. As I have always insisted, you should be careful when purchasing your ferret’s toys. They should be sturdy enough to keep your furry buddy from chewing or worse, swallowing toys.
They are intelligent and curious
Now, a ferret will run around the house playfully. However, one thing you must understand is that these creatures are extremely intelligent. And with intelligence comes curiosity. Your ferret will want to know everything you are doing.
Spend some time with him in a ferret proofed room and watch him get about. He will sniff, mouth and try to dig into stuff. Younger ferrets can be quite jumpy and want to explore everything.
A ferret’s curiosity is not such a bad thing. It means that he is intelligent, which makes him trainable. You will only spend a few days training your ferret how to use a litter box and that’s it.
Intelligent pets can get bored pretty quickly. This takes me back to the point above, you must keep your ferret busy when he is awake. Purchase toys and puzzles of different difficulty levels. He is going to spend his playtime trying to figure it all out.
Ferrets are quiet pets
One of the best qualities of ferrets as pets is they are quiet. Well, when getting a pet, excessive vocalization is a concern. This is especially if you live in an apartment building. I mean, you do not want issues with your neighbors.
Now, a ferret will spend most of his time asleep. They sleep for about 18 hours a day, with younger ferrets sleeping for as long as 22 hours. Besides, a ferret will rarely vocalize, unless he is in danger. Also, during playtime, you might hear him making the dooking sound. However, this is almost inaudible and thus cannot cause trouble with your ferret.
Their quiet nature makes them perfect pets especially for people living in apartments.
Ferrets do not need a lot of space
You can live with a ferret just about anywhere. They are perfect pets if you have limited space in your house. You will only need a perfect, quiet and darker place to position his cage.
However, this does not mean that you should keep him in his cage at all times. Ferrets need exercise and playtime. You can ferret proof of your living room by removing all the small items he can steal or swallow before letting him out.
A few minutes of running around is good for his mental and physical health.
Ferrets lead a healthy life
Ferrets have a pretty long lifespan. Most healthy ferrets will live for 7-10 years even though some ferrets have lived longer. One other thing to like about ferrets is that they are pretty healthy. When well taken care of, you will not need to see the vet unless we are talking about the annual check-up.
However, this does not mean than ferrets do not get sick. They are prone to several illnesses such as insulinoma, lymphoma and respiratory illnesses. Your vet will be able to examine and treat your ferret. And because they barely go outside, it is unlikely for ferrets to have internal parasites even though it does happen.
I could go on about how good ferrets are as pets. However, you must consider the above-discussed factors before you get one. He can be a good pet but you must play your role as well. A ferret will only make a good pet when the well has taken care of.
So, are you still thinking about getting a ferret? If there are no restrictions and you can handle one more responsibility, then give it a shot.
Our Ferret Care Guide
As you can see in the About Us page my son bobby and I have kept and bred ferrets for almost all of our lives.
We know all the problems you can encounter. A while ago we wanted to share our knowledge so, we compiled a ferret care guide and it is the most comprehensive guide available anywhere.
It matters not whether you are new to ferret keeping or experienced. Our guide is a must for you.