The popularity of ferrets as pets is growing every day. It is believed that the ancient Egyptians domesticated ferrets and that they were later brought to America by settlers.
The fact that they are very sociable, playful, small and quiet makes them very good pets. Below you will find some helpful tips on how to keep a ferret.
Many people dislike the odor ferrets release when they get frightened or angry. However, this issue can be easily taken care of by any veterinarian.
A very interesting thing about ferrets is that they can run almost as fast backwards as they can forwards. And after a good romp they will usually curl up and sleep a lot since they are so active while playing.
Though ferrets are corner animals, they can be housetrained to a litter box with very little effort. All it takes is to put the litter box in a corner because they usually back into the corner when urinating of defecating. If you happen to see them scooting along on their behind after defecating, that usually suggests the presence of worms. However, this scooting may not always be the sign of parasites as some ferrets do this as part of their routine.
In any case, these little creatures are no different than cats or dogs, so you should go and see a veterinarian routinely.
Fleas and ticks are not for dogs and cats only; ferrets can get them just as bad. Ferret owners are recommended to use a flea powder or shampoo that contains a pyrethrin. However, a better idea would be to consult your veterinarian prior to using anything you bought in a store.
Just like any other pet animal, ferrets will also need to have their nails trimmed regularly. If this is a big issue for you, then call your veterinarian for help.
You should be very careful when handling ferrets because you can easily damage their long backs and small fragile bones.
Female ferrets don’t have heat cycles, like dogs or cats for example, so they could remain in heat until breeding. They can also possibly die from estrogen toxicity or uterine infection in case the heat cycle is prolonged. In order to prevent this from happening you should have them neutered at 5-6 months of age.
Ferrets are usually very gentle and passive, but a mother with babies may sometimes be aggressive, which would be yet another reason for having your ferret neutered.
Just like puppies or kittens, ferrets can be play biters. They will also lick or nip at a perfumed part of your body. If this is the case, you need to socialize and teach your ferret that this behavior is unacceptable.
Ferrets can catch a human cold or flu, unlike cats or dogs. They are also highly susceptible to canine, but not feline, distemper and must be vaccinated with a canine distemper vaccine.
Ferrets are wonderfully unique animals and they are very fun to have around. However, just like any other pet animal, they need plenty of affection and care. Too many times kids beg their parents to buy them ferrets only to lose interest once the feeling of novelty has worn off. So, if you have made up your mind to keep a ferret, take into consideration that it’s an 8-year commitment.