Small Animal Information from
The ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is a totally domestic animal which cannot and does not exist in the wild. Their origin is Europe or Africa. They were first domesticated over 3000 years ago, although there are said to be pictures of ferrets helping people in Egypt from around 4000 BC. They were first brought to the United States approximately 300 years ago. Ferrets, although not wild animals, are terrific mousers around the house, and make wonderful pets. They retain a kitten like personality and predilection for play throughout their entire lives normally expected to be between five and eight years. The exceptional few will live up to ten.
Ferret kits (babies) six to seven weeks old require care and attention similar to puppies and kittens. We sell only neutered and descented ferrets. Males are castrated to prevent them from becoming extremely smelly and more aggressive during their mating season. Females are sprayed to prevent objectional odors and serious complications, such as infections and aplastic anemia that develops during prolonged estrous without mating. All ferrets are descented to help further reduce the odors associated with ferrets. These necessary procedures will save you hundreds of dollars over the life of the ferret. Every ferret that we sell comes with a green card guaranteeing that the ferret is neutered and descented as well as being free of congenital defects.
Ferrets need very high protein levels in their diets (minimum 30%). We recommend a high quality ferret, cat, or kitten feed. Moisten the diet with water when the ferret is still young. Drinking water provided in a water bottle works better than a water bowl. Although ferrets love milk and dairy products, they tend to cause diarrhea and should be avoided.
Housing and Litter Training
Ferrets may be allowed to run freely around the house under supervision. If you do this, special care must be taken to cover holes and other hazards. We recommend caging them at other times. There are many cages on the market
suitable for ferrets, some are especially made for ferrets. Give them an enclosure inside their cage for sleeping with a comfortable bedding. Do not use cedar as it can cause adverse skin reactions.
They use corners for toilets, unless they are very excited or confused. You can place a litter box in the ferrets favorite corner and train him to it. They usually have to go when they first wake up, so they should be placed in their bathroom at this time.
You and Your Ferret
Ferrets love to play. They'll hop up and down and pretend to attack your hand, just like kittens. They are not trying to hurt, but if they do, even accidently, scold them, like children. If they play roughly, holler NO! and thump their noses very lightly. They need a lot of love and discipline.
Ferrets like to travel in the car, ride in the hood of your coat, in your pocket, or in your purse. They can also be trained to ride on your shoulder. Tell your customers to take their ferret with them whenever possible. The more they handle their ferret, the better pet it will become. They also like baths (use a hypoallergenic formula, No More Tears shampoo, or one of the many ferret shampoos now available). If they get fleas, use a flea dip approved for cats and follow the directions very carefully.
Ferrets are very susceptible to human colds and flu. Try to prevent sick people from handling ferrets. Ferrets are also susceptible to canine distemper and rabies. Your ferret has been given a baby canine distemper shot. You should take your ferret to the vet soon after purchase, and obtain the vaccinations on a schedule recommended by the veterinarian.