FERRETS
Ferrets at Play
 

Hello, ferret lovers, wherever you are!

So, you are thinking about getting a ferret..


 

LIFE SPAN - Can live up to 18 years but average life span is 8.

ADVANTAGES

Curious, happy, entertaining critters who enjoy human contact and can be litter trained and taken for walks.

DISADVANTAGES

The male ferret can smell but neutering can help..  The female ferret needs to be 'mated' when she comes into season or she will be susceptible to infection and disease which can cause her death so it might be wise to have her neutered if you don't want to use her for breeding.

CARE

Ferrets are sociable, domesticated, playful, affectionate, gentle animals.  They need to be handled frequently and treated kindly.
Ferrets can be either indoor or outdoor pets, but their home must not be in a draught.   Like all pets, the larger the cage the better.  As long as it has a 'toilet area' (you could use a litter tray-cat litter will be fine), an enclosed area in which to sleep (towels or old rags to sleep in-sawdust and sand can irritate their skin) and a feeding area, not forgetting a water bottle and some toys,  it should be happy.  A ferret has sensitive feet so a wiry floor would not be advisable.  If the ferret is housed outdoors, ensure that its home isn't in the sun all day as a ferret can quickly come down with heat stroke, and that it has ventilation, and that it's home doesn't get damp in the winter.
Ferrets love to get out of their home and explore.  Ensure they either have a secure area in the garden or that you can supervise them or take them on a lead for a walk.  If they are to explore your house, ensure that you supervise them at all times as they will investigate everything and anything, including electrical wires to looking under you fridge.  They will play with anything that entertains them and could swallow pieces of rubber, etc., so keep a watchful eye on them.

COMPANION

Care must be taken when introducing any new pet to an existing.  However, ferrets will get on with most family pets and the only time they will attack a pet is when it feels threatened or if it is extremely hungry. Obviously, if you are homing two ferrets of different sexes and do not wish them to mate, you will have to have them neutered.

VACCINATIONS

Recommended vaccinations:-

  •  Distemper

FEEDING

You can purchase a dried ferret mix and supplement this basic diet with a can of cat food every few days.  Ferrets also like to have either cat millk or lactose free milk. Also they all generally love to eat meat. Treats - these animals love snacks - but they should be given in moderation.  Any uncooked bones are okay too.   Always ensure it has access to a clean supply of water.  Be aware that ferrets like to hide their food - good hunting.

AILMENTS

DISTEMPER
Ferrets are very prone to canine (dog) distemper.  This is caused by a virus, similar to measles in children, which can be spread very easily. Symptoms vary and include fever, loss of appetite, ocular and nasal discharges, vomiting and diarrhoea.  It is therefore highly recommended that a ferret receives a distemper vaccination at about 8 weeks of age, followed by annual boosters.
NEUTERING
It is advisable that your female ferret is neutered as, if she is not 'mated' when she comes into season, she will be susceptible to infection and disease which can cause her death. 
FLU
Like us, ferrets can catch flu.  The symptoms being the same as ours; runny nose, sneezing and even running a temperature.  Keep your ferret warm and its bedding dry.  If his health deteriorates, take him to a vet.
DIARRHOEA
Stomach problems also occur if the ferret has eaten something that has disagreed with it.  Usually, something like milk or meat can cause diarrhoea.  Don't give him any more for a few days.  If it's not cleared within a couple of days, take him to a vet.
FLEAS
Ferrets are sometimes bothered by fleas.  You can use a cat flea treatment to eliminate them.
EAR MITES
It is wise to check the ferrets ears on a regular basis and clean his ears by using cotton wool buds dipped in peroxide, gently wiping the outer ear.  The inner ear is very sensitive, so be very gentle.  However, if you see your ferret scratching his ears a lot, he could have mites.  A black, waxy build-up is another sign.  You can use a cat ear mite medication or take him to the vets.

LINKS