Have you ever wanted a pet that was small, furry, energetic, and adorable? If so, then ferrets are for you! Ferrets are very playful animals who love to explore their environment. They also have a lot of energy which needs to be released by playing with toys or just running around the house.
You can teach them tricks that will impress your friends and family such as rolling over, shaking hands or even sitting on command.
In this article, we’ll talk about 10 things every future ferret owner needs to know.
1. Ferrets are NOT Rodents
That’s right! Ferrets are not rodents. You might be inclined to think that they are because of their long fur and scavenging nature, but ferrets will hunt and eat rodents in reality. That´s what they were originally bred for, in fact.
People used to use ferret to hunt rabbits and rodents. In England, for example, it is still allowed to use ferret to hunt rabbits. America´s! It´s called “rabbiting.”
But not so fast, dear reader. Ferreting is illegal in the US and Canada!
Nowadays, ferrets are more likely to be found as pets than used for hunting purposes. Still, it´s good to know that they have the instincts of a hunter when it comes down to it!
2. Ferrets are Mustelids
Yes. Ferrets originate from the European Polecat. They´re a member of the weasel family.
Which includes otters, badgers, skunks, pine martens, polecats, wolverine, and more. Ferrets have been domesticated thousands of years ago.
There are no real “wild” ferrets except for the Black-Footed Ferret that lives in the northern Americas.
3. The Average Lifespan for a Ferret is Five to Nine Years
It really depends where you get your ferret from. The average lifespan for ferrets that are bought from breeders is usually around ten years.
If you buy your ferret in a pet store, sadly, they will not live as long. (Obviously, this is a generalization, but it´s a good rule of thumb)
4. Ferrets Smell (just a little bit)
Do you like Musk? Nope – not the TESLA guy that’s going to Mars. I am talking about the musky smell ferrets have. It´s a natural odor that they produce from their anal glands, and it´s not something you can really get rid of.
Ferrets come into the world with this smell, and as they grow up, so does the intensity of their scent – but don’t worry! You will get used to it… or not. Make sure to visit someone that has ferrets before you are 100% ready to take one home!
5. Ferret Wants Meat! Now!
Ferrets Eat Meat! Yes, you heard that right! Ferrets are, in fact, obligate carnivores, and the best food for them is meat. Actually, grains, and sugar, and all that boring stuff make them sick!
Ferret owners should keep their pets on a strict meat-only diet so that they can get all the nutrients they need, especially protein, fat, and all the other good stuff!
If you are a vegetarian – Better Get used to cutting chickens apart or dealing with some nice liver. The occasional egg is also good for your furry friend. They can live off dried foods like special Ferret Kibble, but would you call that a life?
Remember: No fruits, no vegetables – Just Meat!
6. Ferrets Need Plenty of Exercise (every day!)
They were bred to be hunters. They are very active, playful, and curious creatures, and they need a lot of exercises to keep them healthy.
A ferret that is not getting enough exercise can become depressed, aggressive, or obese, which leads to all sorts of health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
But don’t you worry! Today, there are plenty of toys on the market for busy little hunters just waiting to be played with by your furry friend. AND: after all, you are their best toy anyways! Prepare to spend lots of time playing with your ferret – they will love you for it.
7. Ferret Can be Litter Box Trained
Just like a cat. Yes, you can train your ferret to use a litter box. Isn´t that nice? But – every once in a while when your ferret gets really, really excited – oops … little accidents can occur.
8. Ferrets Like to Dance
There is this thing called the “Weasel War Dance.” It has nothing to do with war; it is just this funny way they jump around and are really excited, joyful, and full of life.
And you can learn to do that too! So get the kids involved in a little dance lesson with your ferrets. It´s so much fun for everyone.
9. Ferrets Sleep A LOT
Ferrets sleep 14 – 18 hours a day. And they sleep so deeply. They are hard to wake up! But don´t worry – their powerful little bodies need it.
Ferrets can be awake for hours at a time and have lots of fun. So make sure your ferret gets enough sleep during the day if you want him or her to play with you later when you come home from work.
10. Ferrets Are really Illegal
It’s illegal to keep ferrets as pets in California, Hawaii, New York City, and Washington, DC. Additionally, cities such as Dallas, TX, Columbia, MI won´t allow ferrets as pets.
Make sure to check your local laws to see if you can have a ferret.
Ferrets are awesome, funny, adorable, energetic little furballs that will make your life happier. You should buy a ferret. They’re the best pet any person could have! If you plan to get one anytime soon in the future, read more about ferrets here.