Read About Ferret Care

Now as a proud owner of a new ferret, you need to understand ferret care. Ferrets are domesticated polecats and have been kept by humans for over a thousand years. Ferrets are cousins of skunks, weasels and badgers. Male ferrets are called hobs while female ferrets are called jills. Males are generally larger than females in both length and weight. Pet ferrets are generally sold already Imagespayed or neutered and many are de-scented. The live span of a domestic ferret is 8 to 11 years. Their eyesight is poor but their sense of smell and hearing are excellent.

Ferrets in the wild are strictly carnivores, but they will accept a varied diet in captivity. food and water should be available at all times. Proper ferret care involves feeding your ferret a nutritious diet such as a commercial ferret food or on kitten/cat food of high quality. Read the labels, ferret food should be 30-40% protein with the protein primarily coming from animals and 15-20% fat. Ferrets as carnivores do not do well on carbohydrates or food containing roughage (fiber).

Ferrets that are handled at a young age make excellent docile and gentle pets. Ferrets can be trained just as a dog or cat but training will take patience even more so than with a cat. Ferrets can nip when playing just like a puppy or kitten. You must train them that nipping is not an acceptable behavior. When nipped, you should yelp and stop playing with the ferret. Continue to repeat this avoidance reaction and your ferret will learn that they will not get the interaction they crave if they nip.

Ferrets do well with other ferrets and having more than one will help to entertain and provide exercise. Ferret care also involves providing your ferret with plenty of entertaining toys and places to romp. Ferrets are active both day and night at spaced out intervals. After a period of intensive play, ferrets will sleep deeply. When awake, ferrets are very active exploring their surroundings. Ferrets do well in an enclosure with tunnels and places to explore or when allowed to roam loose in the house supervised. If left free to roam the house, the house needs to be ferret proofed. Ferrets by their nature will explore every opening and if given the opportunity will escape and wander off. ImageFerret cages should have solid floors, solid multi-shelves joined by ropes or ramps and secure latches. bedding for ferrets should not be wood shavings or chips as these can cause respiratory problems. Instead, bedding should be cloth if not chewed, cardboard or straw.

Responsible ferret care is to train your ferret to use a litter box. Litter boxes need to be secured so that the ferret can not dump or turn it over. Training involves taking the ferret to the litter box before play and anytime your ferret looks ready to eliminate. Reward your ferret when he uses the litter box to positively reinforce the training. Cellulose type litter may be preferred as silica and bentonite clay litters can make ferrets sneeze.

Taking your ferret to the veterinarian for annual exams is needed for adequate ferret care. Ferrets require vaccinations for rabies and distemper and should be treated for heartworm if they are allowed outside. Ferrets over the age of 2 can have more medical problems including adrenal disease, insulinoma, other cancers and heart disease and should probably see a veterinarian every 6 months. In addition to regular exams, you will need to clip their nails.

Ferrets are inquisitive, endearing animals that can make great pets. Routine and proper ferret care will allow your ferret to lead a lively and long life.