Ferrets are very intelligent animals and, as such, require both physical and mental care. Part of the weasel family, ferrets are extremely clean animals too and need not only a secure and clean place to live but plenty of mental and physical activity to keep them happy.
If you are considering owning a ferret, here are our top tips for ensuring you take the very best care of your new four-legged friend…
As ferrets are highly intelligent and sociable, always consider keeping them in pairs or a small group. Single ferrets can do well, but it will be down to YOU to entertain them. Keeping ferrets in pairs or small groups ensures they will be mentally stimulated by a playmate or two. Same sex litters or neutered males and females can be kept together.
Unless you plan on breeding your ferrets, have them de-sexed between 6 and 12 months old, to reduce the smell associated with reproductive glands and to ensure the health of female ferrets.
Always buy the largest cage you can, to give maximum space for exercise and play. That being said, ferrets should also be allowed out to play for at least an hour or two a day in a ferret proofed room. Plenty of time to explore outside of the cage will provide excellent mental stimulation as well as physical exercise.
Invest in several litter boxes: one for the cage and several for when playing outside the cage. Ferrets can be litter trained with a little patience and consistency, which will allow for a much cleaner playtime outside of the cage. Be sure to use newspaper or something similar to line the tray – regular cat litter, particularly of the clay kind, is not recommended for ferrets.
Regular check-ups with the vet and appropriate vaccinations are vital to keeping your ferret in the best condition possible. Initially, ferrets require vaccinations at 8, 10 and 12 weeks of age, then yearly after this. Vaccine reactions occur frequently in ferrets so be sure to monitor them closely for up to 30 mins after they have received their jab.
Feed ferrets ad-lib as they have a very fast metabolism. You should expect to feed your ferret smaller amounts between 6-8 times per day due to their high metabolic rate. Fresh water should always be available – check their water supply twice per day to ensure it is always fresh and topped up.
If your ferret becomes overweight, either increase its activity levels or reduce the amount of food you give it. An overweight ferret may suffer so be sure to only give small amounts of ferret treats, follow the feeding instructions on your ferret’s food packaging and adjust their diet based on their age, weight, level of activity and reproductive and health status.
When feeding ferret food to kits, moisten it with warm water until soft and allow to cool before feeding. As they grow up, feeding your ferret pellets, in addition to raw meat if you so choose to, will ensure they receive all the essential nutrients that they require. Pellets also help to clean the teeth of ferrets.
Vitalin’s Super Premium Ferret Food
Vitalin Ferret food has been carefully formulated as a nutritionally complete and balanced recipe for ferrets to provide all the nutrients required for a happy and healthy life. Our hypoallergenic and wheat gluten free food contains high quality protein from 100% British Chicken to nourish your ferret from the inside, out.
For further information about Vitalin’s Super Premium Ferret Food visit https://www.vitalinpetfood.co.uk/store/item/ferret-food