Owning a Ferret - Do they make good pets? What's involved?

Ferrets tongue sticking out

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Owning a ferret might just be one of the best experiences of your life.
Ferrets make fantastic pets once you know how to take care of them. At first they might seem a bit alien to you (as they seemed to me), but then you find them absolutely fascinating!

You think to yourself:

  • How can such a small creature have so much energy?
  • How can they be bouncing off the walls all the time and yet be so affectionate (while not standing still)?
  • How can they sleep for so long? Are they ok?

For any of you who have or had a pet cat and dog, owning a ferret is kind of in-between – but so much more interesting!
Some wag their tails, play with cat toys (like cats do), pounce on you, go for walks on leads (if you train them properly), curl up and sleep and want to include you in all their games … please note, this may vary with the particular model of Ferret you acquire.

Ferret sleeping

Every one of them has their own unique personality; some love to be more outrageous and others like to be a little bit more shy. Either way I am yet to find a ferret that is boring. They are very good entertainers!

If you have children then you will have to make sure you always supervise play time with the ferrets. Small children might not understand how fragile ferrets are and vice versa; ferrets don’t understand how fragile little kids are either… this may lead to tears.
Ferrets can bite (to start with) but with the proper training they can overcome the urge. I think that if a child is mature and sensible enough to understand how to play with these animals correctly then they will absolutely love owning a ferret .

There are some not so good points to owning a ferret too. These are very important to consider before acquiring a fuzzbutt.
Some things to consider are:

  • They cost money!

  • First you will need to purchase them. Then you will need to vaccinate them every year. Then you need to de-sex them. Then they need to eat Then they need a ferret cage to live in. Then they need somewhere to sleep in their cage. Then they need toys. Then a medical emergency might happen and they might need serious veterinary attention (I have heard a few ferret owners say that all ferrets will need something major done at least once in their lives). Do you get the gist? Think about your wallet before you buy. If you can't take proper care of a ferret simply...DON'T GET ONE!

  • They Can Nip

  • They do nip during rough play; sometimes it can be quite hard. The reason ferrets do this is because their skins are very tough so they can’t feel it as much as we do. Ferrets are extremely intelligent animals and can be trained to be gentler with you...but do you have the time and the patience for this?

  • They Smell

  • Yep they defiantly have a bit of a pong to them !
    Ferrets have two types of smell; the normal everyday sweet, musky smell (I actually like it) and the “I’m scared” smell which happens very rarely (it is absolutely disgusting, but bearable…all you have to do is put them back in their cage and open the windows).
    The good news is you as the owner will get used to it, the bad news is…your friends won’t. There are ways of minimizing the smell though . Some people put their pets through an operation to descent them, this means that their anal glands are surgically removed. Frankly, it only gets rid of the smell they make when they are scared but does nothing for the everyday musky smell which is secreted through the oil glands in their skin.

    I personally think that this operation only puts the animal through unnecessary suffering and stress. I think if you are going to get a ferret then you should love it as a whole… smelliness and all.

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