Last Updated on February 20, 2021
Welcome to the Ferret Beginners Guide! This is Chapter 2: Is a Ferret Right for You?
Is a Ferret Right for You?
Having a ferret as pet could provide you immense joy. This little bundle of energy has many childish pranks to display which could steal your heart. But they are also a reservoir of innocent mischief. For example, finding things misplaced with a ferret around could be a common occurrence. Therefore, you need to seriously consider the following points before making a final decision on bringing in a ferret as a household companion.
Enough time for a ferret: Ferrets are social creatures which demand a lot of attention. You have to, therefore, carefully consider how much time you could devote to playing with it. Playing or teaching them small hunting game skills is a must and this will be a time consuming process for you. Furthermore, the average life span of a ferret is seven to nine years. So, in a way, having a ferret means some kind of long term commitment, and you need to carefully judge whether you are in a position to make this commitment or not.
Allocating space: Although ferrets live and sleep in cages, they also need some open space within the house to play. You have to ensure that some dedicated ferret friendly zones are created within the house for this purpose. For instance, such a space should have no electrical appliances or valuable goods. Furthermore, don’t keep any common articles like sunglasses, credit cards, keys, etc. in that zone because they could get misplaced.
Ferret hygiene: This again requires some precision on your part including devotion of some extra time. For example, despite thorough training, your ferret could urinate in corners. The urinated place needs to be cleaned immediately. You also need to trim their claws at least once in a week. If it is overlooked, it could be injurious for your ferret as they could get caught in carpets.
Furthermore, you also need to take care of their musky odor by bathing them periodically. You should also have access to a veterinarian specializing in ferret treatment. Ferrets do face serious health problems when they grow old but unlike cats and dogs, veterinarians for ferrets are very few in number.
Children and ferrets: Children and ferrets have been found to strike an immediate relationship. If we strictly speak in psychological or mindset terms, the reason is quite obvious. Both of them are in an explorative phase. While for a ferret, this has been found to be a permanent streak (the root cause of their inherent agility), for a child it is more frantic, especially if the child is younger than five years old. However, there are certain things to do and things not to do in the child-ferret relationship which should be strictly adhered to in your household. You must not forget that the implication of such an exercise is long- term.
After all, both the child and the ferret have to live under the same roof for quite sometime and they must learn to understand to live in a friendly fashion. They must develop a mutual trust which should not be infringed at any cost. Any slacking on this point may turn into a serious messy affair in the future. Here are a few lessons which you should be teaching to both of them, some sort of clear boundaries of behavioral pattern towards each other.
Check out Chapter 3 of our series.
Want to Jump to Another Chapter?
Chapter1: Where Did Ferrets Come From?
Chapter2: Is a Ferret Right for You?
Chapter3: How to Choose a Ferret?
Chapter4: How to Determine the Sex of Your Ferret?