Ferrets make good pets for people who want a small, quiet and playful animal that is very responsive and loving toward its owner. Ferrets do require behavioral and litter training, lots of attention and high quality food. Because of their small size and curiosity, ferrets can get into everything and make quite a mess. Ferrets also live up to their name, which comes from Latin, meaning “little furry thief” — they have been known to steal keys, wallets, and socks and hide them.
Ferrets generally live seven to nine years. They can be trained to use a litter box, come when called, and other tricks.
As with any pet, people should read up on what ferrets are like and how to care for them before making a decision to get one. The Internet is an excellent source for learning about ferrets. One site that is very helpful is Ferret Central at http://www.ferretcentral.org/.
Ferrets are not cage animals. They need to be able to run around, explore, play, and interact with you everyday. Owners must ferret-proof each room in which the ferrets are allowed, to keep their pets from escaping and to remove any hazards that could injure the ferret. Most owners find that caging ferrets when they are away or sleeping helps to keep their animals safe and out of trouble. A cage provides a safe and secure “bedroom” for the ferret.
However, keeping ferrets caged for days at a time without outside playtime will have a bad effect on their health and temperament. Ferret cages must be large enough for each animal to stretch, roll around, and stand up on its hind legs, and to keep the eating, sleeping, and litter box areas well separated.
Ferrets have a slight musky odor. Frequent bathing, however, is not recommended and will actually stimulate the production of a strong musky scent, some owners bathe their ferrets once every 4-6 months unless otherwise needed. Ferret owners can reduce odors by cleaning litter boxes daily. Providing clean bedding and high quality food, and keeping the ferret’s ears clean.
Ferrets need a diet high in protein and fat. Read the labels of the food you plan to purchase. High quality KITTEN foods can be used because they have a high protein and fat content. Some recommended foods for ferrets are: Totally Ferret, Iams Kitten, Eukanuba Kitten, and 8 in 1 Ultimate.