Ferrets are a member of the weasel family which includes skunks and otters, they are not rodents. Ferrets are a wholly domesticated species and they have become accustomed to and reliant on people to care for them. They very affectionate, playful, fun, inquisitive and intelligent little animals. There are many coloured varieties including sable, albino and cinnamon. Ferrets make a great family pet for people with time to share with them and families with school aged children.
Things you might need
- Ferret cage/enclosure
- Litter tray
- Food and water dish
- Walking harness and lead
Looking After Ferrets
As long as ferrets are let out to exercise at least twice a day, they can be housed in a clean cage inside the home. A large cage able to contain a litter box and an enclosed space with very narrow gaps between the wire is ideal. Whether they are kept indoors or outdoors it is vital that there is shelter available to escape the heat and to allow for quiet retreat when sleeping. When exercising ferrets outside they should not be left unsupervised unless the yard is ferret proofed or a fully enclosed ferret run is built. Many owners enjoy taking their ferret for walks, harnesses and leads are available to keep them safe.
Ferrets are carnivores whose diet is high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates and fibre. You should use a good quality ferret food or alternatively high quality commercial dry kitten food. Offering them human-grade raw meaty bones on a weekly basis will also aid in keeping their teeth clean.
All ferrets need regular health checks and to keep their vaccinations up to date. Minimum health care should include regular worming, heart worm prevention and flea control. Any changes in eating, drinking, urination, defecation or weight loss or gain should be checked out with a visit to the vet. Coat and feet should be checked too.