If you are new to the game then here are some hints and tips as to what caring for a ferret really entails.
For those who already have ferrets…you will probably know most of this by now, however you might come across a few new things that could be of interest to you ( I even learned a few things while researching this subject!)
Daily ferret care
Cleaning the poop!
Yep…get used to it because you will be doing a lot of this. The good news is that ferrets have a natural instinct to poop in corners, so they are very easy to train to poop in a high backed litter tray. You do have to make sure that there is high backing on the litter tray as you do not want your walls to be “painted” brown.
I use kitten litter pellets made up of recycled paper to put into their litter tray. I find it captures the smell, is very absorbent and most importantly is dust free. You can try out a few different brands until you stumble across one you like.
Some people like to use torn up newspapers because it is cost effective. Whatever you use make sure it is dust free, as small particles can get lodged in their lungs and cause future respiratory problems – not good for your wallet and not good for your poor fuzzy!
Do you like to eat everyday? Well guess what? So do your ferrets (surprised? Offcourse this is very basic ferret care!). It takes about 3 hours for their food to go in one way and out the other (that’s why there is always lots of poop to clean…if there is non then it’s probably good to take your ferret to the vet) . This means that you will have to feed your ferret very regularly or always have some food in their cage for them to eat in their own time.
I tend to leave a small bowl full of ferret food in their cage at all times just so that they do not get hungry.
However, I have recently read that a day of fasting (not giving your ferret any food) once a week is actually very beneficial for their health. This allows the ferrets body to detox and rid itself of toxins. You must always provide fresh clean water though.
Whether you choose to take part in this or not, is up to you…I think your ferrets will be much happier to have food then go without.
If you do choose to do this then make sure it is only for 1 day per week and not more because ferrets are small animals that can not actually survive without food for too long a period of time and ALWAYS have lots of fresh clean water available for them.
Refilling their drinking water
Yet another of those jobs that are a part of good ferret care. Whether you choose to give them a bowl of water (good luck with that…it will probably end up all over the cage!) or train them to use a water bottle (I put a tiny dab of honey, which I would NEVER normally give, on the tip of the water bottle nozzle and when they go to taste the honey they also get water! Lesson learned, it’s that simple…just make sure you watch them over the next few days to make sure they are actually drinking out of it) the water always has to be fresh and clean. Also, make sure you clean the water bottle or bowl thoroughly each time.
"Is it time to play yet?...How bout now??...Now???"
Regular exercise and brain stimulation is a very big part of ferret care. Your ferrets should have at least a minimum of 2-4 hours of play per day outside of their cage. This is what really keeps your fuzzy fun and interactive. Try to do different things with them: new games , going for walks, taking them different places, having other people handle them etc. This will stimulate your ferret, create more excitement in their lives, and make him/her more social and lovable.
"Why are you looking at me like that? Hey! What you doing?"
When handling your ferret be sure to check them over: their fur, skin, feet, tail, nose, ears and eyes. Check to see if you ferret is fit and healthy and that there is nothing out of norm. It’s better to catch an abnormality in its beginning phases rather then leaving it too late.
Cuddle, kiss and stroke them!
The more you show your ferrets a bit of tender loving care the more they come to enjoy it. Yes, yes…at times they will try to squirm out of your arms and run away from you (especially when they are young) but the more you do this the more used to it they get and eventually you will find them coming in for a cuddle…these are truly special moments (as they can be kind of rare). Ferrets can show great affection when they are feeling loved.