People have been keeping ferrets as pets for over 2500 years; they are the third most housed pets apart from cats and dogs. However, there are certain things you have to consider before bringing a ferret into your home. 

The first thing you have to consider before getting a ferret is how it could potentially affect your lifestyle. The decision to bring a ferret into your home should not be taken lightly. Ferrets are happy little animals who love attention and exercise.

They’re also quite active and require some form of animal companionship, they need space to roam, play and touch things.  However, as adorable as they seem, they can be quite a handful, so you need to understand what you’re possibly getting into before embarking on this journey. 

Here are a few tips to help you understand what to expect when getting a ferret.


About Ferrets

Ferrets are small, carnivorous mammals that are closely related to weasels and belong to the same family as otters, mink, and polecats. They have long, slender bodies, pointed faces, and short legs, and are typically about 18 inches long and weigh about 2-4 pounds.

Ferrets are known for their playful and energetic personalities, and are often kept as pets for their entertainment value. They are intelligent animals that can be trained to do tricks and can be very affectionate with their owners.

However, they do require a lot of attention and can be quite destructive if left alone for long periods of time, so they are not the best pets for everyone. It is important to do thorough research and be prepared to meet the needs of a ferret before bringing one into your home.


Can You Keep Ferrets as Pets?

There is technically no law prohibiting a person from keeping a ferret as a pet, at least not in Germany. However, some homeowners might not want you to keep ferrets in their houses, so you may need to find out where your landlord stands. 

You should note however that ferrets cannot be legally prohibited because they’re regarded as small animals, so your rental agreement cannot prevent you from keeping your favorite pet. However, a homeowner does have the right to forbid you from keeping your pet if it disturbs your neighbors. 

Ferrets smell a lot 

This is probably the first thing a prospective ferret owner should consider. People with an acute sense of smell might want to reconsider getting a pet ferret because they smell a lot. Ferrets emit a strong smell that would probably offend someone with a sensitive nose. 

This strong smell is caused by the anal gland secreted by ferrets particularly when they’re stressed. This is not a smell that can be abated by bathing which can even aggravate the smell since bathing will probably just elevate their stress levels. 

Male ferrets are more inclined to stink during their mating period, which can last for months. Though castration can reduce the smell to some extent, it does not completely eliminate it.


What should i Consider Before Buyig a Ferret as a Pet?

There are several things you should consider before buying a ferret as a pet:

  1. Time and commitment: Ferrets require a lot of attention and care, so you should be prepared to devote time and energy to their needs.
  2. Space: Ferrets need a large, secure enclosure to live in, with plenty of room to play and explore. They also need an area for sleeping, eating, and using the bathroom.
  3. Diet: Ferrets have a high protein requirement and should be fed a diet specifically formulated for ferrets. They should not be fed a diet intended for cats or dogs.
  4. Health concerns: Ferrets can be prone to certain health issues, such as dental problems, respiratory infections, and tumors. It is important to be aware of these potential health issues and take steps to prevent or manage them.
  5. Legal issues: Ferrets are illegal to own in some areas, so you should check your local laws before bringing one into your home.
  6. Cost: Ferrets can be expensive to care for, with costs including food, litter, toys, and veterinary care. Make sure you can afford the ongoing expenses of owning a ferret before making the commitment.
  7. Socialization: Ferrets are social animals and benefit from interacting with humans and other ferrets. Make sure you have the time and resources to socialize your ferret regularly.

Overall, owning a ferret can be a rewarding experience, but it is important to be aware of the responsibilities and commitments involved in caring for one.

ferret as a pet

Is it Legal to Keep Ferrets as Pets?

The legality of keeping ferrets as pets varies by location. In some places, ferrets are legal to own and can be kept as pets without any special permits or licenses. In other places, ferrets are legal to own but may require a special permit or license. In some areas, ferrets are illegal to own as pets, although they may be kept for certain purposes such as farming or pest control.

It is important to check your local laws and regulations before bringing a ferret into your home. Some states and cities have specific laws regarding ferret ownership, while others may have general laws that apply to all pets. In some cases, it may be necessary to obtain a permit or license to keep a ferret as a pet.


Are Ferrets Suitable Pets for Your Kids?

These marten animals are not suitable for kids of every age. Children should attain a certain level of maturity before they can be trusted with the responsibility of handling a ferret.

Babies and toddlers should not be left alone with ferrets who are often attracted to the smell of baby products. A ferret’s bite can be very painful and babies should not be subjected to that. 


How Long do Ferrets Live?

A ferret that is well cared for can live for about 10 years. Their average life span is between 5 to 8 years, which means you can give them additional one or two years with proper care. An average ferret starts to age from the age of 4, which can be seen from their behavior and appearance. The older they become, the less active they are, with their fur becoming shaggier. 


How do Ferrets Behave?

Ferret is derived from the Latin word “furonem”, and it means thief in English. This word perfectly describes ferrets because everything you own is at risk if you have a ferret in your house. Ferrets are actually quite smart, but they’re also known for their banditry ways.

  • They break things, they touch things, they take things, and they’re everywhere. So, before you get a pet ferret, you need to be prepared for this and make adequate arrangements to that effect. 
  • They are also quite unruly, unlike other pets, ferrets should be caged at night to avoid damage to your property when you’re not around to control them. 
  • Ferrets are lively, curious, and smart. These martens are very sociable and will need at least one playmate around to keep them company. They’re more comfortable in large groups. 
  • Ferrets are very adventurous and are not afraid to explore. Their adventurous nature means they’re always on the move, breaking things in their wake and generally being destructive. They’re also quite playful and should be kept busy to avoid the destruction of property. Though generally stubborn, they can be trained and made to behave properly.
  • They can be quite cuddly too and can even be walked with a leash.

adorableferret sleeping,

How much space do you need to raise a ferret?

Ferrets are great house pets so long as you give them room to play. They also get easily attached, which means the more time you spend with them, the more attached they get. They spend most of their day asleep (about 16-18 hours). They’re, however, very active when they’re awake.

  • You can keep your ferret in a nice enclosure or cage in your apartment. The cage should be about 120 x 60 centimeters for each animal. It is somewhat difficult to get suitable cages in the market which is why it is advisable to build your own instead of buying. 
  • Another option is to allocate a room for the ferrets. Or you can create an enclosure for them on the balcony or in the garden. 
  • Ferrets spend about 18 hours sleeping each day, so it is easy for them to adapt to their owner’s daily rhythm. They are actually unproblematic, provided you make time to play with them. 
  • Ferrets require about six hours of exercise daily, while the rest of the time is spent resting, eating, and playing.  They also need enclosed places to hide. They need climbing opportunities and resting places. As for toys, cat toys will do.
  • Your entire apartment has to be ferret-proof; which means sockets and cables are secured, and everything with a lock should be locked. Avoid leaving dangerous objects that could hurt the ferrets lying around. 


What to feed your ferret?

Ferrets are just as carnivorous and predatory as cats and dogs. They however have their own specific food items which are peculiar to them. Ferrets can also feed on raw meat. However, you need to ask your breeder for the right food combination to purchase when shopping for their food. 

Ferrets are great pets to have provided you know how to handle them but don’t make the mistake of bringing a ferret into your home before you’re adequately prepared for it.


Summary

In conclusion, ferrets can make great pets for the right person, but they are not the best choice for everyone. Before deciding to bring a ferret into your home, it’s important to do your research and make sure you are prepared to provide for its needs.

  • Ferrets require a lot of attention and care, and need a large, secure enclosure to live in with plenty of room to play and explore. They also need an area for sleeping, eating, and using the bathroom, and should be fed a diet specifically formulated for ferrets. Ferrets can be prone to certain health issues, so it’s important to be aware of these potential problems and take steps to prevent or manage them.
  • Ferrets are also illegal to own in some areas, so it’s important to check your local laws before bringing one into your home. Ferrets can be expensive to care for, and it’s important to be prepared for the ongoing expenses of ownership.
  • Ferrets are social animals and benefit from interacting with humans and other ferrets, so make sure you have the time and resources to socialize your ferret regularly. If you are prepared to provide for the needs of a ferret and are willing to devote time and energy to its care, a ferret can make a delightful and entertaining companion.

Read also: Leopard Gecko as a Pet


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