ferret is the right pet for you.
What are the costs?
If you are not planning to adopt a ferret from a shelter, buying one will cost you between $60 and $250. Don't forget about other reocurring costs such as food, litter, shelter, shampoos, collars, vaccinations and possible visits to the vet just to name a few.
I have other animals...
Ferrets generally get along with cats and dogs. Introduce them as you would any new pet in the house, carefully and with patience so they can get used to eachother. Try to feed them separately
and avoid the ferret playing with their toys. Ferrets will give you problems when it comes to smaller animals such as birds, lizards and rodents because ferrets are hunters by nature.
If you do decide to get a ferret when you already have one of the smaller animals, make sure you
always supervise them closely.
Ferrets and children?
If you have children you will have to supervise their interactions all the time. The older the child, the better, since a ferret needs to be handled differently than a cat or dog. Ages 5 and over are more ideal than infants.
Even though ferrets may sleep for up to 18 hours a day, they need supervision when they are most active because they could get themselves into trouble otherwise. They love interaction and will bond with you well if you give them the attention they need. You should at least spend 5 hours with them a day. Ferrets can be quite demanding when they are awake and won't have you ignore them. They cannot be left in their shelter or cage all day!
Ferrets smell, don't they?
Neutering the male (who smells more) and keeping its bedding clean can eliminate most of the smell. But a ferret will always keep a certain odor on it so make sure you are prepared for that. Clean the litter box every day!
Ferrets are illegal in some countries, or at least strict restrictions apply where you will need licences. Make sure to inform yourself properly beforehand.
Ferrets are very intelligent and curious. Sometimes they will burrow and squeeze into places you don't want them to be so you will have to ferret-proof your home. They will also jump and climb so try not to keep fragile things around. Keep them away from plants to avoid them digging into the soil and making a mess. Protect electrical cords and outlets and make sure to tell your guests that
a ferret is around!
Male ferrets who have not been neutered become very aggressive and will also mark their territory
(your home!) with a smelly fluid. Females need to be neutered as well because they will develop
anemia if they don't breed when they are in heat. You have to teach your ferret not to bite, just
like you would teach your kitten or puppy not to. It is in the ferrets nature to play games that
are like hunting (tug-of-war etc) so a bite here and there can happen. So without hurting your ferret, teach it boundaries with respect.
Your ferret will need annual rabies vaccination shots.
Ferrets prefer the cold and can't handle the heat very well. Make sure to keep his cage
cool in the summer.
Ferrets can be trained to use the litter box by using a lot of positive reinforcement. This can be
quite a long process, so be patient and be prepared for the occasional mistake.
To make sure you aren't allergic to ferrets, try handeling one for some time before buying one. You can do this at a shelter or in the shop.
Good luck with your decision making!
Image credit: Pacifist
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