Ferrets may not be a common animal choice for pets, but these critters have been domesticated by humans since way back in 4 BC. Many people find ferrets nice to have and as easy to keep, if not easier, as other typical pets like dogs and cats. Here are some basic tips about caring for ferrets.
Making a Home for the Ferret
Ferrets prefer living in spaces that resemble dens in the wild. A wired cage that is about 30 inches wide, 18 inches deep, and 18 inches long may suffice. Many ferrets like living in cages that have things to climb such as ramps and stairs. The cage should allow good ventilation, thus it is not wise to use aquariums. The floor may be covered by linoleum tiles and carpets or other soft washable materials to make the flooring more comfortable for ferrets to walk on than wire floors. The cage should be kept within 55 to 70 degrees. It should also be cleaned regularly with hot soapy water.
Ferrets are carnivores that require at least 22% fat and 34% protein from animal sources. It isn’t recommended to feed them dog or cat food. Chicken and turkey are ideal. Ferrets should never be fed vegetables because they are difficult to digest. Fruits are also not an option because sugars may increase tendencies for insulinoma. Egg whites should also be avoided because they can cause hemolytic anemia.
A small 3 to 5 inches-high cardboard box may be used as a litter box for ferrets. Litter pans should be secured to a side of the cage, far from the ferret’s eating and sleeping areas. Litter products made of plant or paper fibers are recommended to prevent clumping of fecal matter.
Keeping Ferrets Clean
Ferrets tend to produce undesirable odors. To prevent them from smelling to strongly, they can be bathed using a special ferret shampoo, kitten shampoo, or diluted baby shampoo. It isn’t advisable to bathe ferrets daily, because it will dry their skin, causing overcompensation of oil secretion, making the ferret smell more. It is also important to check the ferret’s ears for mites regularly. Ears should be cleaned using cotton soaked in a special cleanser that can be bought from a pet store.
Keeping Ferrets Active
Ferrets are very energetic animals. It is recommended to keep them entertained with toys that aren’t easy to break to maintain the animal’s safety.
Ferrets can be nice pets when one knows the right ways of caring for them. Having them can be a fun and exciting experience.