More Ferret Care Information
Ferret Care Information
Basically a ferret is like a cat, only needing a bath if he gets into something
yucky. Bathing will actually cause a ferret to smell more because it leaches
the oils from their tender skin. It then goes into an overdrive to produce
more, making them smellier. Though once month bathing will not hurt them.
I would hold that as a maximum. Go here for
When flea season arrives, we suggest that you use a formula
for cats that contains Pyretherins, or use Peppermint Soap from the health
food store. Never dip a ferret! Advantage or Frontline for flea control is
good bets. Again, talk to your vet about the dosage.
here for Flea products.
Ferrets require a Canine Distemper vaccination once a year
(read more). If the ferret has not been on a regimented vaccine program,
then you should get a booster in three to four weeks. Kits from pets shops
have had only one shot (if any) and should receive two boosters to raise
the protection to its highest. The important thing to tell your vet if he/she
is unfamiliar with ferrets is that a ferret based vaccine CANNOT be used.
Canine Distemper is 100% fatal in ferrets, so this is a genuine health concern.
USDA licensed a rabies vaccine for ferrets in February 1990.
Even so, you will not be guaranteed that if he bites someone and authorities
want him tested, that he will not be decapitated (brain tissue is tested
for the virus). This is because the shedding period in ferrets for rabies
has not been determined to the satisfaction of some public health officials.
The rabies vaccine is called Imrab. It has been used in cats and dogs for
years. A ferret receives a 1-ML dose under the skin once a year. A ferret
can be vaccinated as early as three months of age.
Alter your ferrets. This is because the stress and smell
of intact males is usually not desirable for a household pet. If a female
is not brought out of heat, she can develop aplastic anemia, or pick up an
infection, and die. If you do get an intact ferret, it should be altered
at six months of age to insure that it's had time to develop physically.
Having a ferret spayed or neutered will not alter its personality. As long
as ferrets are fixed, it does not matter what combinations of sexes you keep.
De-scenting is not necessary for a ferret. It only adds to
the trauma of an operation, $ to the doctor bill, and does not make the ferret
smell better. Ferret's coats are oily and musky from being intact but neutering
and baths will fix that. Ferrets use their scent glands only when startled
or threatened, then it's like a "bad passing of wind" and airs out in about
ten minutes. It will not stain or permanently mark your household.
We recommend that you keep your ferret caged or confined
to a single room of the house while no one is home. Wire cages with levels
are what ferrets prefer. DO NOT use aquariums and cedar chips! Caging protects
the ferret as well as your house. Go here
for these products.
Ferrets are inquisitive, fearless, and capable of getting
into places that you never imagined. If their head can fit into something,
then the body can follow. To ferret proof your home, we suggest that you
start with getting potted plants out of their reach. Ferrets love to dig
in dirt. Ferrets can not climb in the sense that cats can. If they can jump
and get a grip on something, they will either pull themselves up or pull
objects over and down. Items such as trash cans, tablecloths, laundry baskets,
drink glasses, etc., are fair game. Ferrets are not destructive, but they
do like to toss pillows off sofas and steal dirty socks and hide them under
beds. Sometimes they think the sock on your foot is fair game so watch your
To discipline your ferret, a stern "NO" is usually sufficient.
If biting or nipping is a problem, there is a product in the pet shops called
Bitter Apple that tastes bad to pets and helps teach them what not to bite.
Ferrets have poor eyesight and if they can't see the litter
box right off, any corner is fair game.
We suggest you handle the ferret for five minutes after it
awakens (at which time the ferret may shiver while adjusting to the room's
temperature). Place him back in the cage to use the litter box, and then
let him out to play, or use newspaper in the corners to keep the mess down.
Unlike cats, ferret urine does not have a strong smell and if their stools
are left to dry, can be picked up and tossed in the trash the next day. The
quantity is quite small.
Be careful where you sit and walk when the ferret is out
- he might be under a pillow, blanket, pile of laundry, etc. Sleep sofas
and recliners are places where ferrets can get caught in the mechanics. Block
off furnaces, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and dishwashers.
Ferrets have no sense of direction in large areas. DO NOT
allow them outdoors unless on a leash and under close supervision. Rubber
toys that a ferret chews on and can swallow pieces of are very dangerous
- keep these out of their cages. Even certain types of rags and cloth, some
ferrets like to chew and eat. This can cause an obstruction in the intestinal
track. Use plain clay, sand, or unscented litters. Perfumes can cause reactions
in ferrets or just make them not wish to use the litterbox.
Ferrets can catch and give the common human cold. Plenty
of rest and water is the cure, but sometimes a trip to the vet is needed
to prevent the cold from becoming something else. Also keep ferrets out of
extreme heat. Over 85 degrees and the ferret should be in shade with plenty
of ventilation and water. If a ferret becomes dehydrated, mix Karo syrup,
honey or Linatone with water and get that animal to drink and then to a vet.
Ferrets can get heartworms from mosquitoes. Please house
them indoors for fewer problems and healthier pets. Ferrets are fun to watch.
They like to play until they drop. Ferrets in pairs are as easy to take care
of as one, but more fun to watch than a barrel of monkeys.
They live between six and nine years and are lively the whole
time. If a ferret becomes lethargic for more than a day, something is wrong.
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