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Types of Critters | PetsWeekly

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Ferrets are intelligent, mischievous members of the"mustilidae" family, which means they are cousins with mink, weasels, skunks and even the European polecat. These little guys capture our hearts with their antics and are a great addition to any home (as long as you don't live in New York, California, Hawaii or Washington D.C. where ferrets are outlawed). Before you think about purchasing or adopting a ferret, be sure you check your local laws as well as the laws and regulations at local levels (including your home owners association).

If you've done your homework and you think you're ready to add one of these charismatic creatures to your home, we have a host of articles to help you integrate them into your family and keep them healthy. Remember that a ferret's normal lifespan is 7-9 years, so you need to be sure you're ready to commit that time to this entertaining and affectionate pet.

 

Feeding Your Ferret

Remember that ferrets are carnivores and require a specialized diet. They cannot survive on cat food or other foods that have not been specially formulated for them. Also, ferrets cannot be "released into the wild." (By the way, no pet should ever be "released into the wild"). Domesticated ferrets have almost no ability to survive on their own and will die within a few days if you let them run wild.

Vaccinating Your Ferret

Your ferret will need vaccinations against rabies and distemper. They will also require regular annual checkups. Starting at age two, ferrets can become susceptible to some common illnesses, including adrenal problems. It's a good idea to pick up some pet insurance if you're planning on bringing one into your home.

Housing Your Ferret

They will also require a very large cage that allow plenty of room for playing and exploring.They love having hammocks to play in and enjoy exploring - even within their cage. They'll need plenty of toys to play with while you're away. You should also plan on picking up a harness and leash so you can take your ferret for a walk. They really enjoy seeing new things and exploring the world.

Sleep Habits of Your Ferret

Ferrets will sleep up to 16 hours a day if allowed, but those remaining hours should be spent playing and developing a strong bond with you and other animals. Plan on letting them out of the cage for at least 3-4 hours a day so they can receive proper exercise.

Ferrets and Kids

If you have young children, it's very important you set the ground rules prior to obtaining a ferret. Your children should never be left unsupervised with any animal, including a ferret.

Ferrets are a lot of fun and can provide a lifetime of entertainment for you and your family! Be sure you read our articles about proper care and housing of ferrets - you want your ferret to live a very long and happy life!

Learn more about Ferrets:

stacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


Critter Facts

  • Ferrets have been domesticated for thousands of years; in fact, on the walls of some Egyptian tombs there are pictures of ferret-like creatures on leashes.
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