About Ferrets

About Ferrets

What Is A Ferret, Anyway? Well, that’s a good question. A ferret is a small, furry mammal of the mustlid (not rodent) family. They usually range in size from 1 to 5 pounds. It’s believed that Ferrets come from the Steppe and European polecats. Most believe they were domesticated over 3000 years ago by the Egyptians, long before the house cat! They’re also, a distant relative of the endangered American Black Footed Ferret (Mustela Nigripes).

What should I feed my ferret?

Dry cat/kitten food with at least 20% fat and 32% meat or poultry protein, such as IAMS Kitten, Science Diet, Purina Pro Plan, Totally Ferret, or 8 in 1. ReMEMBER, ferrets need to eat every few hours so food and water should always be available.

How to care for your ferret

  • Ferrets need canine distemper shots, usually at 6, 8, 12, and 16 weeks. Rabies (NEVER a modified live virus vaccine) at 12 weeks. Then rabies and distemper annually. (AEAVS can help you out with the exact schedules for shots.)
  • Twice monthly nail clipping and ear cleaning is GOOD thing.
  • They also need LOTS of “out of cage” playtime every day.
  • It’s not a bad idea to have weekly “Petromalt” treatment to prevent hair balls and pass obstructions.
  • Remember that ferrets can’t tolerate temperatures over 80-90F. They’ll overheat quickly. So, never leave a ferret alone in a car.
  • They’re really curious animals. And sometimes they’ll chew or eat things that can cause problems. Be careful of balloons, rubber bands, pencil erasers and Styrofoam. Dishwashers, clothes washers, dryers, refrigerators, and other large household appliances are dangerous too. They can quickly kill a curious ferret who wanders into or under them.

Ferrets like to explore. So, loose window screens and any small opening can easily result in an unwelcome adventure. So, keep an eye on these little fur balls! Ferret owners should make an effort to “Ferret-proof” the house.

How do I know if my ferret is sick?

Warning signs to look for…
If your ferret is unusually inactive or stops eating for more than a day, call AEAVS immediately.

Fun things to buy for your ferret:

  • Ferretone vitamin supplement for a treat. (They LOVE it!)
  • A comfy sleeping hammock to hang in his/her cage.
  • A ferret tent, or basket to provide some privacy while sleeping.
  • A ferret harness (Must be an H-type body harness) and leash for walking in the warmer weather.
  • A ferret carry sack to carry your ferret around with you.
  • Ferret tubes and tunnels in which to play.
  • Another ferret to sleep with and to be a best friend!

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