Adopting a Ferret

Ferrets are adorable and interesting animals. They look a tad bit like squirrels and also bear a resemblance to hamsters. These small mammals, which have been domesticated for over 2,000 years, are actually part of the weasel family. Unlike weasels, though, ferrets make excellent pets.

While ferrets are great additions to the family, people are not often good pet owners. Similar to rabbits, ferrets sadly are often purchased due to the cute factor, but then given up because people do not know how to care for them or tire of these little creatures.

The good news, though, is that there are ferret rescue groups who take in these animals in need of a good home. If you are interested in potentially adopting a ferret, below are a few tips for you.

* Ferrets are friendly, and they tend to be very playful. It’s important to know, though, that while ferrets are by nature friendly to people, they do not bond in the same way as a dog or a cat. With a ferret, it will likely take more time so you will need to be patient.

Something that you also should realize is that unlike cats, who outgrow the kitten stage, ferrets maintain a high level of playfulness into adult life. While this can be a delight to watch, it can also get a bit tiring. One possible solution is to rescue two ferrets so that they will have one another as play mates. Ferrets do very well in pairs.

* Your home will need to be ferret-proofed. Just as a cat likes to scratch, ferrets like to dig. What this means is that they may choose to dig in your potted plant or in your hair! If you have really nice and new carpet, think carefully before adopting a ferret into the home because that carpet will be extremely tempting.

Ferrets are also very curious, and they have a way of getting into almost everything. Prior to bringing a ferret home, it is vital that you make sure any bottles with chemicals are properly sealed and that there are no random holes that ferrets could sneak through to get outside.

You are going to need to protect your new friend. Get into the habit of keeping the toilet seat down, as a ferret could easily drown in the toilet bowl. When you first bring your ferret home, you will want to closely monitor it for a few days so you can figure out additional precautions you may need to take.

* Ferrets can be trained to use litter boxes. For those who want a pet that does not need to be walked on a cold, rainy day, then a ferret may be for you. With a bit of time and patience, you can train your ferret to use a litter box.

* When not at play, ferrets sleep a great deal. Ferrets need their sleep for their active play time! They often sleep for several hours at a time, and can sleep for as much as 18 hours on any given day.

* You can feed ferrets commercially made food. It’s common in Europe for ferret owners to feed their carnivorous pets either raw meat or whole animals such as mice. For those who find this a bit repulsive, you can opt for the commercially made ferret food, which is made to meet the specific needs of a ferret. You will want to be careful not to feed your ferret human snacks as the high-sugar content is not good for them.

* Hyper children and ferrets may not mix well. If you have children who tend to be a bit hyper, a ferret may not be a good option for you. The reason being is that the ferrets get excited easily. You may be asking for trouble if you have two such excitable entities under one roof.

* Ferrets can live anywhere from six to ten years. If you are looking to rescue a ferret, you need to realize that this commitment will be for a relatively long time.

* You may need to get a permit. Some places require ferret owners to have permits to own them. Be sure to check with a local vet who should be able to tell you what rules apply in your area. You will also want to find out what medical checkups will be needed for your ferret.

* Interact with a ferret for a bit of time before adopting. When you go to rescue a ferret, try to spend a bit of time with it. Each ferret has its own temperament, and you want to make sure you pick the right one for you.

In conclusion, ferrets can make excellent pets, and there are many out there in need of a good home. If you are interested in adopting one, go online and run a search for ferret rescue groups in your area. Or, contact a local animal shelter to find out where you can get one of these unique creatures.