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Adopting a Ferret 7 Tips Before Getting Started

Adopting a Ferret 7 Tips Before Getting Started 1

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You want to acquire a ferret, but questions are swirling in your mind. Gender, living space, training, feeding, care, temperament, budget? You’re on the right track: the ferret is an ideal domestic pet as long as you follow a few preliminary guidelines. It falls under the category of NAC (New Companion Animals) and therefore requires specific attention. This small carnivore requires special care to thrive and live harmoniously in your home. Without further ado, here are 7 tips on how to adopt a ferret before getting started.

For a Happy Ferret: A Fully Equipped Cage with a Pool!

A ferret needs space to develop properly and be happy. A large multi-level cage, a playpen, or a room dedicated to them alone would be perfect.

A ferret can squeeze into every nook and cranny, so if you let them loose in the house, keep an eye on them: they can quickly find themselves between the walls!

In terms of hygiene, it is essential to provide a clean litter box and a bowl of fresh water: cleanliness is crucial for both the ferret and your olfactory comfort. Ferrets groom themselves almost every day, and when it’s hot, they may take baths. In that case, their basin serves as a pool.

Don’t forget to let your ferret out every day in their playpen, in the house, or in the garden, with increased supervision in the latter two places: consider fencing or walking them on a leash.

Equip their cage with cozy nests, as sleeping is a second nature to them.

A Ferret: A True Sleeper and an Inveterate Player

Adopting a Ferret 7 Tips Before Getting Started

Sleeping

A ferret is a true sleeper, and their sleep is often very deep. Don’t try to wake them up when they are sleeping, as they need their rest!

They particularly enjoy soft and plush materials. Choose pieces of fleece or wool blankets, or invest in a specially designed tunnel and a suspended hammock for them.

They love to curl up, burrow, and curl into a ball in their bed. Multiple sleeping areas in different locations (cage, playpen) allow them to have sweet dreams.

Do not disturb your ferret during their sleep; they need it and can sleep up to 20 hours a day!

Playing

Once awake, your ferret is no longer the same; they switch to active mode, even hyperactive. Have fun playing with them, engage in games of tag or hide-and-seek.

Offer them balls with or without bells, soft and flexible tunnels that they will take for a burrow, a small wooden ladder they can climb on. Create toys, hiding spots, and courses with cardboard boxes, pieces of wood, etc.

A ferret is an inveterate player; they run, jump, climb, and hide. They can entertain themselves alone, with another ferret, or even another pet (here, you should have previously done introductory work and adaptation with your cat or dog).

They are also excellent companions for your children. They will invite them to play by backing away and emitting little “pout-pout” sounds. But beware of their teeth!

Never put your ferret in contact with rodents (hamster, rat, mouse); they are prey to them. Always keep in mind that the ferret is a predator.

A Carnivore with Sharp Teeth: What Does a Ferret Eat?

Attention, ferrets are not suitable for children under 3 years old; they may bite!

This cute little ball of fur with its mischievous little snout is a strict carnivore.

Forget about cereals, all kinds of seeds, milk, and chocolate; now you know that a ferret is not a rodent. It is a matter of their health and life. So, what do they eat?

A meat-based diet in the form of specially formulated kibble for them. You can give them vitamin and mineral supplements in small quantities.

Alternatively, would you prefer to opt for a more natural approach that respects their predatory instincts? In that case, buy frozen mice and chicks, which you can find in pet stores or online. They are highly fond of them. With their powerful jaw and small, sharp teeth, they will devour them in no time.

Always remember to provide them with fresh water nearby.

Health, Beauty, and Safety: The Ferret in All Its States

Several precautions are essential for their well-being:

  • Cleanliness: a litter box (hemp is excellent) is necessary for their needs. It should be changed regularly for their hygiene.
  • Water: it is essential for drinking, as well as for grooming and bathing.
  • Manicure and pedicure: ferrets have claws that, like our nails, grow. You can either have your veterinarian trim them or use specific nail clippers, but be careful not to cut them too short. Seek advice from your veterinarian; it is crucial for their health.
  • Vaccination: ferrets must be protected against distemper and rabies. The first injection is recommended at 6 to 8 weeks of age, followed by another one month later. The vaccine should be renewed annually. Otherwise, they are quite robust animals.
  • Identification: electronic microchipping or tattooing is mandatory for safety reasons. Ferrets can squeeze into any space and may escape and get lost in nature, for example. These methods will help identify their owner once the little rascal is found.
  • Castration or sterilization: a fundamental step to prevent your ferret from becoming aggressive, unless you want a litter.
  • Brushing: it’s not just about beauty; brushing is important to remove dead hair. If their fur is silky and shiny, your ferret is in good health.

Before or after getting a ferret, remember to consult your veterinarian for more information. Adopting an NAC involves specific regulations.

Adopting a Ferret 7 Tips Before Getting Started

Intelligent, Sociable, and Affectionate: The Advantages of a Ferret

A ferret is lively, extremely active, and playful. These qualities make them a sociable animal. Once awake, they invite you to play. Don’t ignore them. It is through play that they will develop their adaptability and intelligence.

You can have fun with them just like with a dog or a cat. Call them regularly and reward them with a stroke, a treat, or a small piece of meat as soon as they come to you. Soon enough, you will notice that they recognize their name.

In the same way, rejoice in teaching them a few tricks (backing up, jumping, hiding, giving a hug, etc.); they love being taken care of.

A ferret is an excellent playmate. They will quickly become your children’s accomplice. You will be surprised by the learning abilities of this little ball of fur!

They also have calmer moments when they will reward you with enormous cuddles, gentle kisses, and snuggling in your neck in complete safety.

Be present from their awakening and learn to communicate with them. They will be very grateful to you.

Adopting a ferret means committing to a few years with a living being. Give them attention, train them, play with them, pamper them, and this cute little face will become your best friend in no time.

mahatma gandhi portrait

- Mahatma Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

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