Beginners Guide To Keeping Ferrets As Pets
Ferrets make fun pets for the right owner, so before committing to the care of a ferret consider the following points:
- Ferrets can be quite demanding pets, they are very intelligent and inquisitive
- Whilst they can sleep for around 18 hours per day, they are very active whilst awake
- They prefer to live in pairs or groups
- Whilst they are cute and loving, they are not suitable for families with young children
- Ferrets need a large stimulating environment to thrive, in America they are often kept as house pets, with a litter tray as a toilet area
- Due to their demanding nature, around half the people who take on a ferret as a pet end up abandoning them
- Living to around 8 years on average, Ferrets have quite a long life span
Your ferret will need to be housed in a cage with a minimum size of 60w x 100L x 60High (cm), you could house a pair of ferrets in a cage this size but they will need to have plenty of exercise out side of the cage. You will need some kind of ‘bedroom’ in the cage, food and watering bowls and a litter pan. Do not use wood shavings in your ferret cage, they will only soil in the litter tray, old clothes and carpets are ideal for flooring and bedding. Your ferret will like to explore, so make sure you have ramps to different levels and tubing for them to use as tunnels. Your ferret will sleep much of the time in its cage, you will probably find that any toys given will just be chewed up, save toys for when you are home and the ferrets are able to wander around your home to play.
Some dog and cat toys are suitable for ferrets, they will chew toys so make sure any toys given are tough and remove as soon as they start to get damaged. Make sure any toys are large enough, you don’t want them getting stuck in the ferret’s mouth. Tubes and ramps give ferrets great pleasure, use old rolled up carpet and cardboard boxes with holes cut in for your ferret to explore.
Ferrets are carnivores; they require protein and fat in their diet. Many people feed their ferrets on kitten and cat food. Feeds designed for ferrets tend to be quite expensive and cat food has proved over a long period of time to be a good staple food for ferrets. Kitten food is generally fed to ferrets up to the age of about 4, from 4 onwards cat food should be fed. Do NOT feed your ferret dog food as it does not provide the nutrients required by a ferret.
Given the correct environment and care, ferrets can make fantastic pets, however they can be hard work. Before making a long term commitment to care for a ferret, make sure you have done plenty of research, ferrets are not every bodies idea of a pet, visitors to your home might be unnerved by ferrets roaming freely around as if it were a cat or dog.
For a wide range of ferret cages, visit www.LittleBigPet.co.uk