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Pet Ferrets

Ferret Information and Facts

In Latin, the word "ferret" means "little thief." That is a warning! Ferret animals are smart and much more sly than a fox. They are extraordinarily inquisitive, active and affectionate. But your life can become an endless time of trying to find your socks, car keys, pencil erasers, paper clips and even underwear. Ask yourself, "Do I have a sense of humor?" You'd better if you want to have a domestic ferret as a pet. Because when he gets into your bathroom cabinet and destroys everything in it, you need to be able to say - "How cute!" So if your organized life needs a giant dose of disarray, then a ferret is the perfect pet for you.

Ferrets Need Attention

Ferrets are very playful and need you to fool around and interact with them. Despite their small size, they are not like gerbils or mice, which are relatively content to sit in a cage all day, with occasional turns on the wheel. Ferrets need time out of their cage, a lot of time. They need the attention of their owners. So, unless you plan on spending several hours a day interacting with your ferret, it probably also needs the company of one or more other ferrets. Oh my, can you handle that?

In addition, one important point you need to be aware of, is that ferrets can be illegal to own in some cities. Before you purchase one, make sure you check with your local pet store to find out about any laws in your city.

Also important is that ferrets, especially male ferrets, are notorious nippers. They nip each other when they play and they will nip people, too. Your bare toes and ankles can often be targets. And holding a ferret up to your face is asking for trouble. He may bite your nose or lip or some other tender part of the face. No one should ever assume a ferret will not bite, because chances are that they will.

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How To Take Care of a Ferret

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Ferret Life Span

Ferrets do not live very long, only five 5-8 years.

Domestic Pet Ferrets

There are several kinds of pet ferrets, among them are: Black Footed Ferrets, Angora Ferrets, Albino Ferrets and White Ferrets.

How To Take Care Of A Ferret

A Ferret Home

A ferret cage should be large enough to hold a litter box, have an area for food and water, and have an area to sleep. A cage measuring about 3 feet by 3 feet deep by 2 feet high will comfortably house one or two ferrets. Provide a cage large enough for your ferret to stretch and for limited play. However, when confined, it will most likely just sleep.

The floors of the cage should be well-built and padded. Hard wire can damage their delicate paw pads. You can use linoleum or carpet samples cut to fit the floors.

For protection and security, confine your ferret to the cage during the night and when no one is around to supervise. This is the best way to ensure that it will stay out of harm's way. Your ferret will consider its cage as a place of security. It will not resent being caged provided it is given sufficient time to play out of its cage. Be sure to leave the cage door open while it is out so that your ferret can go in and out for food, water, to use the litter box or even to nap, although most prefer to nap in drawers, behind the refrigerator, under the sofa, behind the TV or washer or some other inaccessible place.

Ferret Care

You should check out hiding places in your home. Crawling around on all fours throughout your living quarters looking for you ferret can be endless. Keep in mind that ferrets can fit through small (2" by 2") holes. They can also get crushed in reclining chairs and open your cabinets with their cute little paws. Tape over the holes and Velcro strips on your cabinets can help, but remember that your ferret will find everything you have you overlooked, so watch them carefully.

Ferret Food

Dry food and fresh water should always be available. Ferrets will thrive on a premium dry ferret food. Do not feed your ferret vegetables, such as corn, as they cannot be adequately digested. Corn has been shown to cause urinary stones in ferrets. Some "ferret foods" are really mink foods. These usually have a fish or fish byproduct listed first or second. Some nutritionists believe that a large quantity of fish is not the ideal diet for a ferret. Some of the cheaper foods add mineral oil rather than vegetable oil. Mineral oil can leach out critical vitamins from the ferret's digestive tract. It is not recommended.

Ferrets can be fussy eaters, even when you try to give them treats. With a few exceptions, you can give them anything that you eat; only do so in very small quantities. However, nuts may cause a blockage. You can try Cheerios, licorice, raisins, melon, bananas, cucumbers or radishes. Stay away from foods with high fiber such as lettuce and carrots which also may cause intestinal blockage. Even raisins are fairly high in fiber, so do not give them more than 2 or 3 per day. Milk and milk products sometimes cause diarrhea, but again, small portions should be fine. Caffeine and chocolate is not recommended since it might over stimulate the heart. Keep sugar quantity to a minimum and never give them onions. Onions contain a substance that may cause serious blood disorders.

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