Are ferrets good pets?
Are ferrets easy to take care of?
Ferrets are smart, funny, and playful but they're a lot of work and prone to health issues. If you know what you're getting into they're the best pets ever.
- Prone to health issues as they get older - ferrets cannot be seen by cat/dog vets, they need exotic specialists. They have unique health issues, and most cat/dog vets will refuse to even see them for liability reasons. You will need to find a vet nearby that specializes in exotics for annual/non-emergency vet visits, and a 24/7 vet within a couple hours distance for emergencies. If there are no exotic vets near you, then getting a ferret is grossly irresponsible.
Find a ferret vet near you
- Sensitive to diet - ferrets, more than any other pet I've seen, are extremely sensitive to diet. Poor quality kibbles will lead to lifelong health issues. Since they're obligate carnivores, they can't process the grains, starches, and vegetables that are common in kibbles. Feeding them a healthy diet is more expensive up front but will give them much better quality of life (also they will poop less and smell better). The #1 type of cancer ferrets get is insulinoma, which has been directly linked to poor quality kibbles. Even on a healthy diet, they are still likely to get other forms of cancer as they get older, but insulinoma is one of the worst in my opinion.
Find healthy ferret diets
- They get themselves into trouble - If you let them around your house you have to worry about them escaping through tiny holes or climbing things or falling off of things or getting stuck in things. Most ferret owners give the ferrets their own room for that reason and "ferret proof" that room. Many ferrets escape homes and end up stray, and they cannot survive in the wild for long, especially during hot summer months.
- They do have a musky scent - I personally like the scent but it'll be noticeable. The biggest reason they "stink" to a lot of people is that the scent gets trapped in their bedding and they never wash the bedding. Bedding needs to be washed every 1-2 weeks.
- They poop a lot - Again if they're on a good diet they will poop less. They can be trained to use pads and litter boxes but most of them won't be 100% perfect even if they're trained. You'll need to change their pads/litter daily.
- They get bored easily - if their primary living space is a cage or pen, they need at least 4-6 hours a day out of the cage and they need to come out at least twice a day. Bored ferrets will be destructive, make messes, make noise clanging on their cage bars, break their teeth on their cage bars, and of course most importantly, be extremely stressed and depressed. And no, getting a friend for your bored ferret is not going to solve this - you will likely just end up with two bored ferrets.
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