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Getting Started

 

Ferrets are very social, affectionate, and interactive animals, and many ferret owners who start with just one wind up owning several because they can't resist the ferret's charm.

Checklist of Items You'll want to have:

* Cage When you aren't around to supervise your ferret, the safest place for your ferret is in his cage. The cage should be a place where your ferret feels comfortable and secure. Cages are often placed jn a central room so that even when the ferret is in his cage he can still see what's going on and feel part of the family. The cage should allow free airflow (not an aquarium). To protect the ferret's feet, wire cage bottoms are often covered with carpeting or linoleum. If you think you might get more ferrets in the future, plan ahead with a large enough cage.

*A vetrinarian is something you should find right away, not every vet has knowledge of or sees exotic pets such as ferrets. Do your research and find one that has the experience needed to take care of your fuzzy friend.


* Hammock Ferrets have very flexible spines, and many of them like to sleep curled up in a hammock. It is VERY cute.


* Bedding Soft cloth like old T-shirts or sweatshirts makes excellent sleeping blankets for ferrets. Washing the bedding regularly will help reduce the ferret musk smell. Do not use wood chips/shavings.


* Food For many years ferrets were fed high quality kitten foods, but now there are many high quality ferret foods available. Since ferrets are carnivores, look for a food with meat as its first ingredient(s). Good nutrition promotes good growth and health, so feed the best food you can. Ferrets should be allowed access to food at all times.


* Food Bowl Ferrets are always playing with things. Look for a heavy bowl that will be more difficult for them to move or flip over, or purchase one that can be secured to the side of the cage..


* Water Bottle Ferrets should have access to water at all times. Although many like to lap water from a bowl, many will also spill the water and play with it. The choice is yours, but be prepared to refill their water more often with a bowl than with a bottle.


* Litter Box(es) Ferrets should have a litter box in their cage (more than one if the cage size/number of ferrets warrants it). You will also want litter boxes throughout the rooms your ferret will be playing in.


* Litter Ferrets are low to the ground and have a slick oily coat. Dusty litters and clumping litters can stick to them and cause problems. There are many litters available now made from things like recycled newspaper or compressed plant fibers that are low in dust.


* Treats Remember that treats are just that - small rewards. They should not be a large part of your ferret's diet. However, they are good for bonding with your ferret and rewarding good behavior, learning tricks, etc.


* Shampoo Ferrets can be bathed anywhere from every few weeks to every few months. Bathing helps reduce the musk smell (although an important part of reducing the smell is keeping the ferret's bedding clean and its ears clean). In the past, tearless baby shampoo was often used, but now there are several ferret-specific shampoos available.


* Nail Clippers Ferrets need their nails clipped on a regular basis to prevent foot damage and to prevent them from accidentally scratching you.


* Ear Cleaning Solution Ferrets need their ears cleaned on a regular basis. Ear wax buildup is smelly and can lead to health problems if not cleaned.


* Harness & Leash Ferrets can slip out of a collar, so you'll want a harness that goes both around the neck and front legs.


* Carrying Cage A portable carrier to be used for bringing the ferret to the veterinarian or other outings. Also can serve as a training aid by serving as a "time-out" cage for a misbehaving ferret.


* Toys Ferrets will entertain themselves with anything they can find. Ferret-safe toys don't have parts they could accidentally chew off and swallow. Always monitor all toys for damage - accidentally swallowed pieces of things can lead to intestinal blockages. People are the best toy of all - spend time playing with your ferret!