- A small furry mammal of the mustelid
(not rodent) family whose size ranges from 1 to
- An animal derived from the Steppe
and European polecats and domesticated over 3000 years ago
by the Egyptians, long before the house cat.
- Only distantly related to the
endangered American Black Footed Ferret (Mustela Nigripes).
What does my ferret need to take
- A carrier for car travel home
and to the veterinarian's office.
- A roomy, well ventilated cage
with a solid floor, and with more than one level preferred.
(never use an aquarium to house a ferret)
- A litter box with non clumping
- Food in a heavy, non-tip food
dish, and water, in a heavy non-tip dish or bottle for the
side of the cage.
- Some bedding. For example, a cotton
towel, old sweatshirt, or hammock to curl up and sleep in.
never use cedar or pine shavings, they can cause respiratory
What should I feed my ferret?
- A dry ferret specialty kibble, or cat/kitten food with at
least 20% fat and 32% meat or poultry protein. Popular foods include Totally Ferret, 8-in-1 Ultimate, Wysong, Zupreem, Marshall, and IAMS Kitten.
- Ferrets need to eat every few
hours so food and water should always be available.
What care does
my ferret need?
- Introductory canine distemper
shots, usually at 6, 8, 12, and 16 weeks; rabies (NEVER
a modified live virus vaccine) at 12 weeks; then rabies and
distemper annually. Consult your vet for exact schedules
- Twice monthly nail clipping
and ear cleaning, and regular tooth brushing.
- LOTS of 'out of cage' playtime
each and every day.
- Weekly treatment
to prevent hair balls and pass obstructions.
- If your ferret is unusually
inactive or stops eating for more than a day, consult your
How do I protect
- Ferrets cannot tolerate temperatures
over 80-90F and overheat very quickly. Never leave a ferret
alone in a car, even for a moment.
- Ferrets are extremely curious
and sometimes will chew or eat things that can cause problems.
Be especially careful of pencil erasers, balloons, rubber
bands, and Styrofoam.
- Dishwashers, clothes washers,
dryers, refrigerators, and other large household appliances
can quickly kill a curious ferret who wanders into or under
- Ferrets like to explore. Loose
window screens and any small opening can easily result in
an unwelcome adventure for a ferret and his/her owner who
is not watching carefully. 'Ferret proofing' is best carried
out by a ferret and owner working as a team to carefully
ferret out and seal off these hidden hazards.
Fun things to
buy for my ferret:
- Ferretone vitamin supplement
for a treat. (They LOVE it)
- A comfy sleeping hammock to
hang in his/her cage.
- A ferret tent, or basket to
provide some privacy while sleeping.
- A ferret harness (Must be an
H-type body harness) and leash for walking in the warmer
- A ferret carry sack to carry
your ferret around with you.
- Ferret tubes and tunnels in
which to play.
- Another ferret to sleep with
and to be a best friend.