Guest Post: What Do You Need for a Ferret?

Having a ferret as a pet is a great experience! But before getting that little fuzzy for your home, you have to ask yourself: What do I need to before the new family member arrives? In this article, we will figure out where does a ferret sleep, what food is the best choice, and how to entertain him. All that, and much more we will figure out today.

THE CAGE

First and the most important thing you have to get is a cage. A cage is the biggest investment you will have, but it is an essential one. There are some things you need to consider when buying a ferret cage. For example, a size of a cage. A cage shouldn’t be smaller than 27 in L x 23 in W x 19 in H. Ferrets spend most of their day sleeping, but those hours they are awake they need to spread their short little legs. Due to that, they need a bigger cage if you aren’t able to let them out at the moment. But do let them out of the cage whenever you can. Think about where will you keep the cage, how can you clean it, and what do you have to put inside the cage.

INSIDE THE CAGE

The cage should be filled with different things. For example, you will need food and water bowls, litter box for pooping, and hammocks for sleeping. The best food and water bowls are the ones you can fix to the side of the cage because ferrets love to trip bowls. The same is true with the litter box. Find the one you can hook on the cage because ferrets will move it around the cage and you don’t want that. The best would be if you can separate the feeding area, sleeping area, and pooping area. For example, use the highest level in the cage for eating, the middle one for sleeping, and the bottom of the cage for pooping. That way everything is organized and the food isn’t anywhere near poop.

QUALITY FOOD

Ferrets have a fast digestive system. Due to their fast system, they can’t digest plants nor fibers of vegetables or fruit. They are carnivores and vegetables like peas can make them sick. To avoid any complications it is best to feed them good quality ferret or cat food. When I say good quality, I mean that the kibble should have meat and mustn’t have vegetables or corn. In the first 3 ingredients should be types of meat like chicken, beef, duck’s liver, anything like that. The amount of proteins should be more than 30% of proteins and around 20% of fat. Vegetables and corn shouldn’t be on the list. Cat food is good because cats and ferrets have similar nutritional needs, but dog’s food is not good. Dogs can digest vegetables and corn which is bad for ferrets.

TOYS

Now let’s talk about toys. Ferrets love tunnels more than anything! You can buy a tunnel in a pet shop or you can find a tube which is wide enough for them to easily go through. Besides tunnels, you can use toys on strings. With that toy, you will play with your ferret, which is a great way to bond. Additional toys are of course: balls different sizes, stuffed animals, plastic cups….. Just avoid sponges, rubber, or anything your ferret can swallow.

GROOMING

To keep your ferret well groomed, you will need a shampoo, a pair of scissors, and something to distract. Use baby shampoo or ferret shampoo when taking a bath and don’t bathe your ferret more than every two to three months. They are clean animals and they don’t need bathing. You will need scissors for toenail clipping and in those situations is always good to have some sort of distraction. Ferretone, salmon paste, or treats are the best for this purpose. The best period for toenail clipping is every 10 to 14 days.

GOING OUTSIDE

Every road trip, no matter how small it is, needs to be in a transporter. Pick a transporter that is big enough for your ferret and that you can attach a bowl inside (if the trip is longer). A good thing to do is to put a puppy pad on the bottom and a hammock hanging from the top. That way if the trip gets longer, your ferret can do his business and can sleep in a clean area.

Another important part you need to have is a harness. A harness goes around ferret’s body and it is much harder for them to escape than from a regular collar. Don’t use the collar because they will escape in under a second. Make sure that it is not too tight around ferret’s body and you can do that by placing your finger between your ferret and the harness. If you can place a finger easily between those two, then the harness is the right size.

Written by Anja of Friendly Ferret for LAA Pet Talk. Friendly Ferret started back in 2012 with Anja’s plan to learn about ferrets because of her owning one-year-old Frida. The main intention was to show people what are ferrets and whether they’re good pet. Anja shares stories and tips on her blog. In 2016, Friendly Ferret got another member, an energetic cinnamon ferret Yoda. Every problem or challenge Anja has ever encountered with ferrets is documented at her blog.

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