Ferrets are carnivorous mammals. They are intelligent, curious, playful, persistent and most of all fun.
Ferrets have long been kept as domestic pets and also have a range of skills that have been utilised to help humans. These skills vary from pest control to laying cables in difficult to reach places!
As with any pet, however, it is advisable to find out as much as possible about ferrets before getting one as a pet, as they also need a lot of care and attention.
Housing and General Care
There are no minimal sizes of cages for ferrets. The general rule is the bigger the better! Cages can be multi-leveled, with different surfaces and, most important, it must be easy to clean.
Ferrets love to dig - it’s what they are best at - so an area for digging should be provided. Ferrets will generally play with anything but hard, sturdy, plastic toys are longer lasting and safer. Large ferret balls, ferret hammocks, hanging parrot toys to the plainest cardboard box, are all very exciting for ferrets.
Ferrets also love attention and need plenty of it. They can be kept in groups, but be aware – they breed easily. Your vet will be able to give you advice on neutering.
Your vet will be able to advise you on a suitable diet for your ferret. These days there are special diets available which are more suited to the ferret’s digestive system.
A ferret’s diet should be high in animal protein, relatively high in fat and low in fibre. They have a quick metabolism and a short digestive system so they need to eat frequently every 3-4 hours and should have access to food day and night. Ferrets only eat to meet their calorific needs and will not generally eat consistently.
Ferrets love treats such as raisins, banana, apples, hard-boiled or scrambled eggs and peanut butter but these should only be fed in moderation and in small amounts of no more than 1-2 small pieces per day.
Domestic ferrets are generally gentle to handle and are not aggressive.
Ferrets have poor eyesight and should never be put in a situation where they could fall off a high surface.
Ferrets should also not be held too near to your face even if you are familiar with their behaviour, because your nose can look very much like a toy to be grabbed onto!
Most of the time they like to be held in your arms and enjoy lots of human company.
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Ferret (image/jpeg / 702 KB)