The ferret is a domesticated species of the European polecat, which belongs in the same genus as a weasel. Curious, limber, and cuddly, ferrets are turning into one of the most popular pets in the US. But before you get your own ferret as a pet, there are certain things you need to consider first. In today’s post, we are listing down important facts you need to know about caring for a ferret:
Ferrets are not wild animals
Although ferrets look like an average weasel, it is not a wild animal at all. In fact, domesticated ferrets are unlikely to survive on their own in the wild.
Ferrets were first domesticated 2,500 years ago. But unlike cats and dogs, these beautiful animals were not kept as pets but as working animals. For thousands of years, ferrets were alongside human beings, hunting game and controlling pests.
Domesticated ferrets should not be confused with the black-footed ferret. The black-footed ferret is the cousin of the domesticated ferret. However, these animals come from different species.
Ferrets are affectionate
Ferrets are not only cute, they also live for social bonding. These animals are affectionate, sociable, and are responsive to their owners’ voice and touch. Just like dogs or cats, ferrets love a good cuddle or a game. Ferrets will bond with their owners for life.
Do note that because of the affectionate and social nature of ferrets, they are best adopted in groups of two or three. Also, if you have a family member that’s adverse to pets in general, do not get a ferret. Most pet owners make the mistake of getting a ferret assuming that the animal is no different to a dog or cat. In the end, the poor animal is given up to a shelter. Unless you are not prepared to make a lifetime commitment taking care of this smart and loving animal, then do not opt for a ferret.
Ferrets can be trained
Although you can never get the ferret to sit or roll over like a dog, the animal will respond to calls and perform simple tricks. You can also litter-train the animal. Ferrets will instinctively seek out corners to relieve themselves so place the litter box in these areas. Ferrets live to please their owners, but just like cats, they could knock over things and get themselves into funny situations. Caring for a ferret is never boring, that’s for sure!
They are very tame
Ferrets are very tame. They are never aggressive nor vicious. Ferrets are inherently friendly, playful, and affectionate. In fact, these animals can coexist in peace with dogs or cats. Of course, ferrets love a little rough play too. Just like cats, young ferrets would playfully nip at their owners but they will outgrow this habit.
Ferrets should not be left in a cage 24/7
Ferrets are not gerbils or guinea pigs. They should not be kept in a cage for hours on end. The animal needs more room to play and explore. They love roaming around and discovering things. In fact, ferrets require at least 4 hours of supervised playtime daily. You want the animal to let all that energy out so it does not engage in negative behavior. The only time you should put a ferret in a cage is when the animal is not playing with you.