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I'm getting a ferret tomorrow! (advice?)

Discussion in 'Exotic Mammals' started by bringbackup, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. bringbackup

    bringbackup Big Dog

    I'm becoming a first time ferret owner to a little girl fuzzball tomorrow morning. :D I've always owned rats, and I've wanted a ferret for the longest time. I'm finally making the jump! I'm making an almost three hour drive, but it will be well worth it I think.

    Anyone have advice/warnings/stories of ferret ownership? Best food to feed (of course I'll ask her current diet) or favorite toys? I will share pictures as soon as she is all settled in.

    I am renaming her "Sweet Dee"...any It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans out there? LOL
  2. Jim

    Jim Good Dog

    I know hardly anything about them but would keep it outside as they stink.
  3. 4PawsK9Svcs

    4PawsK9Svcs Good Dog

    Buy pellets for the litterbox, they like to play with shredded paper. Also, make sure you put a lock on the cage. Those little buggers seem to be able to figure out any latch.
    Also, find out if the ferret has been de-scented and altered (spayed/neutered). Most vets will only de-scent a kit when it's 6-8 weeks of age, because the surgery becomes more dangerous and difficult when they get older.
    Oh, also ferrets need to be vaccinated against canine distemper, a little known fact to some.
    Good luck!
  4. Hucklebutt

    Hucklebutt Banned Back Yard Breeder

    tons of info right here friend! Had 2 for 3 years!

    get a big cage.
    get 2, they dont do good single, they need friends!
    get newspaper pellets, something called the daily news or something was wonderful.
    get a litter pan it can back into, ferrets back into litter pans because they can not stop going to the bathroom once they start to being in a corner allows them to be able to defend them selves while revealing them selves...lol.
    get a high quality ferret kibble, or a high quality kitten kibble, not cat food, kitten food.

    get a harness for ferrets, they love to explore. get ferretvite, for taurine supplement, they also have an oil for the food for the skin and coat, its good too. I also really recommend the ferret laxative, when they dry heave its a good indication they have a hair ball.
    if you smell like food, they might grab you and bite, without realizing it.

    teach them not bite you, and to be gentle with you. If you scruff a ferret it makes them almost paralyzed, they cant move and its a good way to grab and keep your ferret still for nail trims and such or the vet.

    they need distemper and rabies vaccines.

    they can not handle extreme hot or cold temperatures.

    some love water.

    they love all kinds of food.

    i tried to feed mine dead whole baby mice once but they would not take to it.

    they played with my dogs and my cat but they went after the rats i had as pets at the time too, and grabed my bird.

    my ferret could open my closet door, drove me nuts.

    rocky had a favorite type of toy, I bought 6 of the same toy and one by one he would drag this huge stuffed toy in all the tunnels all the way up to the top floor. it was funny.

    they will eat stuff, tear open holes in stuff ect.

    Marley was deaf, most with white heads are deaf...but it never fazed him, he could have been a therapy ferret, he loved being held and gave kisses and was super sweet, never ever bit.

    both my ferrets were 100% potty trained, which is rare to have ferrets that accurate!

    I had two boy ferrets. The first one I got was named Marley, he got lonely and depresses so i 'bought him' Rocky to be his friends, they never fought, they were gay lovers. lol. jk.

    the best book is 'ferrets for dummies' tells you everything because there are some health problems with them.

    they were both marshal farms ferrets, you could tell by the tattoo of the two dots in the ear, one meaning 'descent-ed' and the other meaning 'altered.'

    the ferrets has enough jaw pressure to break the bones in your hand, they are normally nice, but nippy as babies and need to be taught not to bite.

    I used water bottles for them to drink out of, get a bowl that will attach to the cage bars to avoid mess. I used little cat boxes for the litter boxes, but most ferrets will not jump into a litter pan to do their business, but mine did, they were amazing. most of the time it has to be easily accessible to back into.

    this was my ferret cage




    i loved those ferrets so much but I rehomed them to a couple that had 4 ferrets and let them run lose in there apartment and just had nothing but ferrets because I had the 3 dogs and the cat that was just taking up too much of my time.

    you will love ferrets I still do, I dont think I would get more because it made it too hard to keep the big high prey drive dog away from them and was not fair to keep them locked up all the time, they need to get out and play!

    if you have any questions regarding ferrets I will be happy to answer to the best of my abilities.

    ---------- Post added at 04:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:08 AM ----------

    never use cedar chips as bedding, use old blankets and rags to sleep in, thats really the only thing recommended! I used to have loads of books, I dont know if I still have them, but if I do and I find them I will ship them to you if you pay the shipping price.

    ---------- Post added at 04:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:14 AM ----------

    keep the nails trimmed, they get caught on stuff, you should really consider a second one, mine got so depressed and lonely alone. take pics I want to see!! where are you getting it? is it going to be fixed and de scented?
  5. Rogue Bullies

    Rogue Bullies Good Dog

    I use to have one, it was extremely hard for me to give the dogs attention and the ferret with work and all the other stuff I was doing. However they are little bundles of joy! My boy was super sweet and tame he never bit anyone. Hucklebutt gave you some great info, just to add don't use kitty litter as they will dig in the box and the dust is bad for them to breath in. I used newspaper pellets or rabbit food pellets for the litter. I use to feed EVO ferret food and it wasn't to badly priced. Work on potty training it can be difficult, but most learn fast and they always go in a corner. They love to run around wild and play. Make sure to get lots of cat toys, little balls etc for them to play with and some things for them to chew on. Good luck and have fun :)
  6. GoingPostal

    GoingPostal Good Dog

    Save money for vet bills, ferrets from mills are extremely prone to cancers and pretty much guarenteed they will die of insulinoma, adrenal, lymphoma, etc. Learn the symptoms of a sick ferret and find a ferret experienced vet, even though they are a common pet many vets don't know squat about them. I've spent about $3000 in vet bills alone in 5+ of owning ferrets. They aren't very happy caged, they do sleep a lot but when they are awake they want to play and explore, mine have their own room, caged ferrets need to be let out at least 3x a day for a couple hours each.

    Over 80 degrees they can heatstroke out so you need an air conditioner if it gets hot where you live. They are carnivores so raw/whole prey would be the best diet, for kibble you want something grain free, not full of veggies or sugar. There's many good options and a few cat foods that fit the bill as well, I feed Innova Evo and Foster & Smith ferret food mixed together with a supply of mice and chicken as well. For litter I use Yesterdays News, you can use wood stove pellets as well, ferrets aren't usually 100% litter trained but most are pretty good, buy a large square pan, I use small cat pans and square ferret ones. Don't get a corner pan, they won't use it.
  7. scratchin dog

    scratchin dog Little Dog

    Ferret proof your house or make a room just for the ferret. They are not the kind of pet that can be left to their own devices, they need to be watched so they dont get in trouble. They can open doors and drawers and will get into the couch, inside a bed boxspring etc. They can be destructive if they want to get inside a closet or someplace they are not allowed and scratch and try until they get what they want. They will chew on rubber items as well as foam and will eat it so be careful of blockages. Keep petromalt on hand in case you suspect they ate something they shouldnt have. They need hours of time out of their cage every day. Mine liked little stuffed animals and hid them in various places around the house. Very cute to watch them wrestle with their toys. If your socks go missing check behind the couch or under the bed. lol. I have found that wood stove pellets worked the best for me and used it in the cage bottom. My ferrets werent that good about using the pan. I really enjoyed having them but it became too much work with the dog too. After my last one passed I decided not to get another for a long time.
  8. bringbackup

    bringbackup Big Dog

    I will update with pictures and more info tonight after work since I am using my blackberry right now. Brought the little girl home, she is fantastic! Pretty mellow so far but I suspect she is simply adjusting and will get her wild streak soon enough. Previous owner said she was a quiet, people loving ferret. Sweet Dee suits her. She came with a few fleas, any suggestions? Nails were severely overgrown but she was a little angel when I cut them down to a proper length. She is cream with black guard hairs. she uses the litter box and hasn't had an accident yet. Very determined, keeps scratching to get under the tv stand. Climbed in an empty trash can, so cute. She likes to stick her whole head in the water bowl.
  9. omgrobyn

    omgrobyn GRCH Dog

    I feed 8 in 1 Ultimate ferret. So far they've done good on it, but they are troopers and are fine with pretty much anything.

    Save up money, ferret medical costs are expensive. I also recommend yearly blood work. And find a vet with lots of ferret experience.

    GET A 2nd FERRET! They need friends to entwine and cuddle with. Plus it's twice the fun, and 10x the weasel war dances.

    They will get into everything. They will steal your stuff and hide it. Mine like things with rubber handles, bottles of Nyquil, and shot gun shells.

    Keep them away from small animals like bunnies, guinea pigs, rats, mice etc. They will want to kill them. But they care capable of getting along with cats and dogs, prey drive pending. My dogs love the ferrets. Carl has even grabbed ahold of Lucy's eyelid while I was holding her, and wouldn't let go. Lucy just sat there wagging her tail like it was the best thing ever.

    Ferrets love to tip over drinks, and drink the contents. Don't let them out if you're having a few drinks, or you'll end up with drunk, angry ferrets. The first time Steve went through all the phases of whiskey drunk in about 20 minutes. He beat up the cat, war danced a lot, fell down the stairs, licked his little ferret weiner for like 5 straight minutes, fought the cat some more, and passed out.

    And if you have carpet, they will destroy it by digging under the door in an attempt to escape.

    ---------- Post added at 10:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:09 PM ----------

    I think you need a Frank, Charlie, Dennis, Mac or Rickety Crickey.

    I really like Rickety Cricket for a ferret name.
  10. bringbackup

    bringbackup Big Dog

    I intend on getting a second ferret as soon as I am accustomed to the care of Dee. I don't want to head in over my head too fast. Second ferret is already named Charlie ;) . She is a cool little girl, starting to play with me and loves the crinkle tube. Ferrets sleep like rocks! My sister said she slept the whole time I was at work this evening, and nothing could wake her. When I got home I opened the cage and she took forever to stir awake. So cute! Absolutely loves water and keeps making a mess by digging in the bowl. I got her from a lady who had three ferrets and was overwhelmed; Dee was free other than me spending gas to pick her up. Spent a total of six hours in the car today for this little fuzz bucket. I brought a pillow case with me and rubbed it on the two other ferrets she lived with...she sleeps with the pillow case now, so I think it was a good idea. I want to feed Evo, but I haven't seen it before.

    Hucklebutt, if you find the Ferret for Dummies book, send it my way!

  11. menzie3

    menzie3 Good Dog

    Shes adorable. We've owned ferrets for 6 years.. Ours did run the house most of the time.. as they are extremely smart at getting out of the cages. They are thieves so keep a very close eye on your keys..

    From my understanding, any state other than Cali, has to spay/neuter and descent them before selling them.. I've asked several people about finding one that was not already done and told the same thing every time.

    Mine ate cat food. We did not feed the ferret food (its basically the same thing).. they really love cat food. They also love outdoors.. we walked ours all the time. Just watch out for snake holes.. they are hunters and I dont know how many times they found a hole in the ground and I had to fight them to keep them from going down it.

    We once found out under our kitchen cabnits that we had a toads.. our ferret went in there and chased one out into our house. We had to tear the cabnits out to floor under it... and when we did we found about 40 things that came up missing..

    They are a blast.. and if yours ever gets outside off leash and you cant find her.. check your tail pipe on your car.. they LOVE LOVE LOVE hiding in those. We found our first one that way.. I guess he either ran away from home or someone dumped him and at first I thought it was a kitten in my pipe, but getting him out.. we realized what he was.. and he lived with us for a long time. They do do better with another one. They are not one pet pets...

    as for the smell... just clean the cage 2-3 times a day.. (litter box) and you should not have a smell problem.. We never had a problem but my mother did.. she would just clean it once a day and her house stunk.. but when we took hers in.. we never had a problem. we also filled the tub about 2 inch of water daily and let them play in it.. so it kept their hair cleaned off.
  12. Hucklebutt

    Hucklebutt Banned Back Yard Breeder

    thats exactly what Marley looked like, I mean to a 'T.' see I show you....

  13. Pugmom

    Pugmom Puppy

    Great pictures everyone...I used to have ferrets a long time ago...love them....I still have a large cage if anyone is interested LOL
  14. lmwst18

    lmwst18 Good Dog

    my husband wont let me have one because he said they steal things haha
  15. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Good Dog

    Wow, great info in this thread. My youngest daughter has been begging me for a ferret.

    It will be a few years because she is only six right now and the rule is they have to be able to take care of their own pets for the most part.

    Who knows she may change her mind by then also but it never hurts to start some research just in case :)
  16. omgrobyn

    omgrobyn GRCH Dog

    You'll love seeing Charlie and Sweet Dee war dancing with each other. It's my favorite thing about ferrets.

    They are like cats in that they sleep ALL day. Until you want to go to bed, or have some quiet time.
  17. bringbackup

    bringbackup Big Dog

    I never knew they slept so freaking much! And it is amazing that she adjusts to my schedule. She wakes up when I wake up, and usually sleeps during the day no matter what's going on and will wake up again when I get home from work at 10pm. Today I got off at 8pm and she was like "Huh? What are you doing here?" ahaha.
  18. omgrobyn

    omgrobyn GRCH Dog

    Gotta love fur snakes!

    They're practically nocturnal anyway, at least mine are.

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