and praise will work much better than any punishment, and consistency and immediacy are very important.
ferret kibble foods commercially available, and several kitten foods are also acceptable for ferret consumption. You should always check the label and read the ingredient listings. Key ingredients are fat and proteins (speciﬁcally animal proteins or meat). Food needs to have a minimum of 30-35% protein and 15-20% fat. Meat products should be the ﬁrst two or three ingredients listed. Healthy ferrets do not overeat - always keep your ferrets bowl full and offer plenty of fresh water. What type of cage should I purchase? Most people keep their ferrets in a cage or very well ferret-proofed room whenever they can’t be supervised. However, even if you plan to let your ferrets have run of the house, you will want at least a small cage for temporary housing and training. If you plan to keep your ferret housed for most of the day, the cage should be at least 2x3
A brief guide for owners and anyone interested in ferrets as a pet.
This educational pamphlet created and distributed by: Three Rivers Ferret Council, Inc. PO Box 5602 Pittsburgh, PA 15207 www.3rfc.org firstname.lastname@example.org A 501(c)3 non-proﬁt organization
Revised June 2008
How do I nip train my ferret? Ferrets play roughly with each other and like puppies and kittens, ferret kits won’t know how hard they can play without hurting you. Again, treats and praise will work better than punishment, but if you need one - conﬁning the misbehaving ferret to a cage for a few minutes can be effective. Other methods include scrufﬁng the ferret, pushing a ﬁnger into the ferrets mouth or holding their mouth open immediately after a bite. You can also try covering your hands with Bitter Apple so that nipping tastes bad. Do ferrets need vaccinated? Yes, ferrets require an annual rabies vaccination if they live in the state of PA (and most other States). In addition, ferrets should be vaccinated for canine distemper. Ferrets are very prone to allergic reaction from vaccinations and it is believed that you should have your ferrets distemper level titer checked prior vaccinating (except young kits). What do ferrets eat? Ferrets are strict carnivores and therefore, should only eat meat and meat products. There are many
feet and 2 foot high for up to 3-4 ferrets. Never use an aquarium tank; it doesn’t have enough ventilation. No matter the size of the cage, your ferrets will still need several hours of play time a day. Your ferrets cage will need at least food, water, litter pan, old shirts or towels/blankets for bedding and a hammock to sleep in. Be sure nothing in your ferrets cage could hurt him by catching a toe or being chewed on.
What are Ferrets? Ferrets are the domestic cousins of weasels and otters, belonging to the family Mustelo Furo. They don’t exist in the wild at all, the endangered blackfooted ferret is a completely different species. Do Ferrets make good pets? They are friendly and make excellent pets. Ferrets have the personality of a two-year-old child with fur. Some are cuddly while others are more independent. They are very playful and do not lose much of that as they age. Ferrets are smart, very inquisitive and determined - which can be good and bad! They require a lot of care and training as kits. Although ferrets are generally less destructive than cats or dogs, they love to get into everything. If you are not willing to take the time to protect your property and your pet, a ferret may not be for you. Are Ferrets good with children? Many people have both children and ferrets without problems, but there is a difference between having both children and ferrets and getting a ferret for your child. If your child is responsible, careful and not too young - with your supervision a ferret will be a great pet. Of course, it is necessary to monitor interactions between young children and any pet closely, and to make sure children know how to handle pets properly. Are ferrets okay with other pets? Most dogs and cats can learn to get along with ferrets, although it can take time and some just never work it out. Introduce them very slowly, over the course of several weeks, and be prepared to keep them separated permanent-
ly if necessary. You may have more luck with a kitten or puppy. Most ferrets will not co-exist with birds, rabbits, rodents (hamsters, mice, etc), lizards and so on - but there are always exceptions. Where do I ﬁnd a ferret?
are heavy duty material or wood, however it is best to eliminate the items from the ferrets play environment all together. Ferrets are good climbers and jumpers, and they excel at ﬁnding complicated routes to off-limit places. They can also open cabinets and drawers. Be particularly careful with sponges, erasers, rubber balls, foam items and anything else spongy or springy. Ferrets love to chew on those kind of things and swallowed bits can cause intestinal blockages. Finally, once your home is done, it is important to keep it safe. Watch your ferrets toys to make sure they don’t crack or break apart. Always be sure of where your ferret is if out roaming, double-check dishwashers, refrigerator, washer & dryers before closing or turning them on. Also watch where you sit or walk, that lump might be a napping ferret! Is it possible to litter train a ferret?
Many pet stores sell ferrets from commercial breeders and there are private breeders with a simple internet search. In addition, there are ferret speciﬁc shelters across the US that are full of needy ferrets of all ages and colors. This is often the most economical way of getting a new pet and the shelter owner will be able to educate you on the individual ferret to help you make the best choice for your family. How do I “ferret-proof” my home? Ferrets love to get into trouble. The ﬁrst line of defense, both for your ferrets and your possessions, is a well ferret-proofed home. First, crawl around on your stomach to look for holes as small as 2x2 inches, near the ﬂoor and under cabinets, especially in kitchen and laundry areas. Block those with mesh or wood. Recliners and sofa beds are very dangerous; many ferrets have been crushed in the levers and springs underneath. Even regular couches can be dangerous to a ferret. The best ﬁxes for these items
Yes! Ferrets often back into corners to leave their waste and most of them won’t mess near their food or beds, so putting bedding in places that you do not want them to use for a toilet
usually works. Another tip is to never completely empty the litter pan until the ferret is used to the idea of using a pan. Also be sure to use an appropriate size pan, ferrets like to be able to get their whole body inside. Ferrets generally use the toilet within 15 minutes of waking. Whenever your ferret uses a litter pan give him lots of praise and a little treat right away. Treats