I can remember many years ago taking my kids to the annual Spring Road Pet Parade in Elmhurst, and seeing these three adorable little ferrets, wearing jaunty little sombreros, walking in the parade on their owner’s shoulders. They seemed so adorable and playful!
Ferrets can indeed make great pets for a family and can have similar qualities as a dog or cat. They thrive on human interaction for bonding and need at least two hours of playtime with you. They’re a compact pet that spends its sleeping time in its cage, so they can be ideal for smaller spaces. Is the ferret the right pet for you? Here’s some considerations:
Spread the ferret love
Ferrets tend to do better in pairs, so most owners will have more than one. They love to play with each other and can reside in the same cage. For best results, it’s generally a good idea to get them together while they are young.
No outdoor walks needed
Ferrets can be litter trained but it’s important to start them early. Check out this detailed article from PetMD on how to litter train your ferret.
They can have a distinctive ferret smell
Their body odor surprisingly comes a lot from their ears! Cleaning their ears routinely and changing their bedding and litter box every four days can help with their odor a lot. They need regular grooming as well, such as maintenance of the nails and brushing their teeth.
They love to play
Ferrets need a variety of toys for playtime and are also very intelligent! They love solving problems so it’s important to give them challenge based and puzzle toys. A ferret will also signal that he wants to play with you by doing his “Happy Weasel War Dance”, a bouncy, playfully fun dance.
They are quiet animals
Ferrets are naturally quiet and sleep a good portion of the day. They make a chattering squeaky noise when happy and playing, called dooking; and can hiss, growl or scream when frightened or in pain.
They can nip or bite
Just like young puppies or kittens, they must be taught not to nip or bite. A domestically bred ferret is generally not vicious or aggressive, but it is up to you to establish boundaries.
They need to be supervised when outside of their cage
Ferrets love to chew on rubber and foam, but it can be hazardous to their health by causing a blockage to his tummy or intestines. Because of their size and curious nature, they will try to squeeze themselves into very small spaces and can get into trouble.