Photo courtesy of elevagedesjoyeuxfurets.com
If you are seriously considering getting a ferret, it means you are ready to join the ranks of millions of happy ferret owners who are making these amusing, clever and frindly little animals one of the most popular house pets. You will find that having a ferret as a companion animal will add a new and special dimension to your life.
Ferrets are unusual and fashionable pets. Yet, few people know anything about their history or care. Most buy one for its cuteness and popularity, but never take the time to find out about the animal's particular needs. As a result, ferrets are abused, abandoned or placed in shelters. This is so unfair. We urge you to take the time and browse the following pages for their practical advice on ferret care. If there is something specific you need to know and it is not found on these pages, call a shelter or a national ferret organization.
Photo courtesy of Elevage des Highlands
Ferrets have an exceptional sense of smell and are profoundly curious animals. Any small crevice or crack or drain pipe is an invitation to adventure. As you can imagine, they sometimes get stuck. You need to stop up all holes under counters and kick boards, vents in the back of dryers leading to the outside, under refrigerators and stoves and so forth. Ferrets are great escape artists who would put Houdini to shame. Once a ferret gets out, it will travel and play until it gets tired or hungry, then seek human companionship for food and shelter. This can be one or two miles! Ferrets also love to jump into the ice box and dishwasher. They also like nothing better than to sleep in laundry baskets. So you must be very careful when doing laundry or other chores involving large machines. Reclining chairs are a death trap. In short, treat ferrets as if they were toddlers. A ferret's motto is, "If it's there, I should investigate it!".
Ferrets require 21 amino acids which are either manufactured metabolically or are obtained from the digestion of food. This latter group is referred to as "essential amino acids," the word "essential" here means that the amino acid must be obtained from the diet, as ferrets are unable to synthesize them.