Ferrets are near and dear to my heart, as I have one! They are very interesting pets to have. First things first though, something needs clarification! A ferret is not a rodent. I know this can seem a little confusing. I suppose when you really think about it, the majority of small animal pets out there, ARE rodents. Ferrets, however, are not rodents. They are carnivores and have the teeth to match it. Ferrets are members of the weasel family and are related to anything that is a weasel and they are also related to otters.
Ferrets, on the one hand, make for pretty simple pets. They have a fast metabolism which results in their days being mixed with bursts of energy, followed by hours of sleeping. In total, a ferret can easily sleep 20 hours out of the day. A ferret’s lack of activity is made up for the amount of trouble they can get into when they are active. I like to say that a ferret is like having a 2 year old child in your home for the next 7-10 years. They are super curious about everything and persistent about things they want and can’t seem to reach. They aren’t even close to being as agile as a cat, so ferret proofing your home can get really easy by just placing objects you don’t want them to get to at a higher level. You just have to make sure it’s not something they can climb up on.
Like cats, ferrets are carnivores, and they eat food made for ferrets. Many ferret owners however, are more keen on feeding them a raw diet, which consists heavily of chicken parts. They also need to have their claws trimmed when they get too long. This is easily done with a standard pair of nail clippers and I have been shown a trick where you put a liquidy treat (usually a liquid vitamin called Ferretone) on their bellies and as they are busy licking away, you are free to trim their nails with no fuss. Avoid clipping the quick as you would a dog or a cat. Ferret’s nails are translucent, so they are easy to clip.
Ferrets will use a litter box like a cat does, however, they are not always consistent about it. Plus, they differ from cats. Unlike a cat, when a ferret is anywhere in the house, and it needs to use the restroom, it does not go to the location where its litter box is located. Instead, a ferret will use a potty spot in whatever room it happens to be in. Ferrets like to potty in corners, so you can always tell when one has to go, as it will back into a corner with its tail sticking straight up. I have put puppy pads in several corners of my home for ferret potty breaks. He may not be consistent about using the one litter box, but he is consistent with his potty corners.
Ferrets are quiet pets as well. They do not make any noises, however, when extremely excited and happy, they make a noise that ferret owners refer to as “dooking”. In some individuals, you can easily hear them “dook” in others, it’s hard to hear the noise.
I can go on and on about ferrets, as I’ve only just touched the tip of the ice break of ferret ownership and facts! It is important to know, that unlike many rodent pets, ferrets are not happy about staying in a cage all day. My ferret, Tobias, is closed in his cage at night (when we are sleeping), but he has the run of the house during the day. Your ferret does not need to be out of its cage all day, but it will need to spend several hours out playing. They are much too curious and active to stay locked in a cage at all times.
This is my favorite video of Tobias. He’s playing with a toy mouse. If you want more Tobias cuteness, he has a Tumblr at Tobiastheferret.tumblr.com. If you have more questions about ferrets, or would like more info, feel free to drop me a message!
© Semi Charmed Life
This post is part of the A to Z Challenge!