Should Ferrets Be Kept As Pets?

The ferret has become the third-most popular pet among Americans, after dogs and cats. But do ferrets really make great pets? We'll talk you through some of the pros and cons of owning a pet ferret.

Should Ferrets Be Kept As Pets?
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Should Ferrets Be Kept As Pets?
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Like dogs and cats, domestic ferrets need to be trained. You must begin training them at a young age because they are stubborn.

FERRETS DON'T LIKE CHILDREN

If you have young kids you may want to think twice about getting a ferret as a pet. Ferrets are not as patient as dogs and if someone annoys them they will bite. Ferrets need calm owners who won't bother them every two minutes. Having said that, ferrets who are well-trained shouldn't bite. They only bite when they feel threatened or neglected by their owners.

FERRETS NEED ATTENTION

Ferrets can't just be left in their cage all day. They must be let out for a minimum of 3 hours per day and their owner must keep an eye on them or put them on a leash. Consider if you are able to commit to this before getting a ferret.

FERRETS CAN LIVE WITH OTHER ANIMALS

Ferrets are happy to live with other ferrets or other animals such as dogs or cats. However, they won't get along with all animals. Don't get a ferret if you already have a pet rodent (such as a hamster, guinea pig or rat) because they won't get along!

FERRETS DON'T SMELL GOOD

Unfortunately, it's well known that ferrets don't smell great. Their strong smell comes from their skin oil. However, females smell less than males. To minimize the smell, you should wash your ferret once a month. You also need to clean and disinfect their cage once a week.

FERRETS NEED SPACE

Your ferret won't be content in a cage designed for mice or rabbits. They'll need a large cage with several levels. If you have a garden, that's even better.

FERRETS AREN'T ALWAYS CLEAN

A ferret will need a litter tray in which to do its business. However, they won't always use it as reliably as a cat would. They may have a few accidents. They're much more independent than dogs though, and won't beg to be taken outside.

INDOORS, FERRETS CAN BE A MENACE

Unlike dogs and cats, ferrets, which are after all wild animals, will steal, bite, scratch, gnaw and break things. You may well end up with holes in your slippers. If you adopt a ferret, you'll need to be prepared to keep a watchful eye over them.

FERRETS SLEEP A LOT

Like cats, ferrets sleep between 16 and 20 hours per day. So your ferret will be able to stay peacefully in its cage whilst you're out for the day. However, when they're awake, you'll certainly know about it! It's also important to know that ferrets live on average 8 years.

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