Ferrets are one of the most popular pets in the world. They’re adorable and affectionate, making them great companions for children and adults alike.
But did you know that ferrets can also be challenging to care for?
If you’re thinking about getting a ferret as your first pet, there are some things you should know upfront.
We’ll go over everything from choosing a ferret to setting up its habitat and enclosure so that you and your pet have a happy home together.
What you need to know about ferrets
Ferrets are small mammals that are related to the weasel family.
They have been domesticated for over 2,000 years in many parts of Europe, where they have been bred as pets and used for hunting.
Ferrets are playful, friendly and intelligent pets who enjoy interacting with humans.
Ferrets can be trained to do tricks such as sitting up on command or jumping through hoops (hence their name).
They also love playing hide-and-seek or catch-and-release games with their owners!
Ferrets tend not to be very active during the day because they need plenty of sleep—but if you want some extra fun in your life, don’t worry: ferret sleep patterns vary depending on their age but usually last anywhere between 15 minutes up until 3 hours per day (depending on activity levels).
Choosing a ferret
Choosing a ferret can be difficult, especially if you’re used to owning dogs and cats. Here are some tips to help you narrow down your choices:
- Look for a ferret that’s active and playful. They should be able to move on their own, and spend time running around, rubbing up against things, and climbing up and down. If they’re not playing with toys or exploring their surroundings, they may not be as happy and healthy as they could be.
- Find out if the ferret is socialized well with other animals, children, and adults. This will help you know how the ferret will react when it gets older—you don’t want a sweet baby who’s shy around people when it gets older!
- If possible, visit different breeders or shelters before deciding on one particular breeder or shelter—this way, you can get a sense of what kind of environment your new pet will be living in as well as seeing if all of the animals at that location seem happy enough not to need rescuing next week!
Setting up your ferret’s habitat and enclosure
Setting up your ferret’s habitat and enclosure is vital for your pet’s health.
They need plenty of space to run around and play, so you’ll need at least one large cage or pen for each ferret (and possibly another if you have multiple).
Since ferrets can be very energetic, they also need lots of exercise each day —you’ll want to provide them with toys and other fun things that make it easy for them to burn off some energy!
The first thing you need to do is identify the right size of enclosure that your ferret needs.
The size of an enclosure depends on many factors, including how many ferrets you have at one time, how often they use the area, and how much time they spend there each day.
You may need more than one enclosure if your ferrets are very active or if you want them to access more than one room in your house.
Once you’ve identified what size enclosure works best for your ferrets, you can buy or build it from scratch!
You will probably want to ensure that the enclosure has enough room for all three members of your family and any additional pets like cats or dogs who may visit them regularly.
If you’re going to be litter-training your ferret, you must have a litter box that is big enough for him to turn around and use.
The best place for a litter box is in an area with no carpeting or rugs because they can get caught up in the fur and cause injury.
You also need to ensure that the litter box isn’t too hot or cold—ferrets are cold-blooded animals, so they can’t regulate their body temperature very well.
If it’s too cold, he won’t use the box; if it’s too warm, he will probably avoid using it altogether.
Make sure there is plenty of ventilation around the area where you keep your ferret’s litter box
Ferrets are excellent swimmers, and their water should be changed daily. A ferret can drink one-third to two-thirds of its body weight in fluid every day.
If you have more than one ferret in your home, they may need more frequent changes since they tend to be messy drinkers who like going right down the drain.
If you keep your ferret’s water in a bowl or jar that has a lid, make sure it’s cleaned often.
The same goes for any food dishes or other areas where they eat or sleep; these items should also be cleaned regularly so they don’t get moldy over time (which would hurt them).
You might want to add some baking soda or white vinegar into the water when changing it out since these ingredients help prevent algae growth in aquariums (and therefore keep things cleaner).
When you’re first getting a ferret and setting up their habitat, it’s essential to make sure that the plants in your house are safe for them.
Plants can be toxic to ferrets and could cause injury or even death if ingested by your pet.
To avoid this risk, remove any poisonous plants from around the room where your ferret will live.
Plants should also be kept out of reach so they cannot chew on them, their wires, or other components (such as water bottles).
Plants should be replaced with plastic, ceramic, or metal bowls instead of glass ones since glass is too brittle for chewing purposes and may break off into small pieces, which could get stuck in its mouth, causing injury over time due to wear-and-tear from chewing at these objects constantly over time.
Ferret dietary requirements
Ferrets need a high-fat diet. Their body is designed to eat prey, so it needs the right food to be healthy and full-bodied.
A ferret’s digestive system is built just like carnivorous animals (they are not omnivores like humans), so it can’t handle all kinds of plant matter or grains as quickly as other pets might.
Because they cannot digest some food and others, you will have to feed your ferret a special diet that they can tolerate well enough that it won’t need any medical care from their vet.
This means choosing kibbles and canned foods rather than raw meats because raw meat has more potentially deadly bacteria in them than cooked ones.
If you decide on a raw diet, ensure everyone around your pet knows how dangerous it is because even touching one could spread disease very quickly!
One of the most important things you can do for your ferret’s health is to ensure it has access to clean water and food.
Ferrets are susceptible to many of the same diseases as other animals.
They can get upper respiratory infections, which cause sneezing and coughing; ear infections; eye problems such as conjunctivitis (pinkish discharge from the eyes) or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye); heart disease; kidney disease; liver disease (hepatomegaly) and diabetes mellitus type 2.
Exercise, flea control, vaccinations
- Exercise: Ferrets love to play and exercise, so give them plenty of toys and balls to keep them busy.
- Flea Control: A healthy ferret can live a long time, but it’s important not to let its immune system get weaker over time by allowing fleas into your home. The best way to prevent this is by using an effective flea prevention product every month or two while treating any existing infestation with an appropriate treatment if necessary.
- Vaccinations: Ferrets are born without immunity against rabies, so they must receive annual vaccinations before reaching adulthood (usually within three months). You can also get vaccines at local pet stores or veterinarians if they aren’t available where you live; however, there are some differences between brands, so make sure yours doesn’t contain mercury, as this poison could harm your pet if given orally rather than applied topically first itself before injecting directly into muscle tissue where no other part could ever touch except maybe through direct contact with saliva (and even then only briefly).
Ferrets can make for great pets for the right person.
These little furballs have a lot of grit and energy to spare, so it’s essential to prepare yourself for what coming home to a ferret might be like.
They often take some adjustment at first, but once you get used to them and learn how to care for your new furry friend, you will likely grow to love each other immensely.