Ferrets are lively and intelligent, and make wonderful affectionate pets. They have specific care requirements that are different from dogs and cats.
Ferrets should be housed in cage while not supervised to prevent escapees or injuries. Ideal cages should have several levels and provide somewhere for the ferret to eat, drink, sleep and toilet (not all on the same level!) Many ferrets will enjoy sleeping in a den-like area or a hammock, and love soft bedding to snuggle in. Ferrets sleep up to 20 hours a day, so having somewhere safe and warm is very important.
When you are home your ferret should be able to spend as much time out as possible. This should happen everyday. Being that they are intelligent and like to explore, ferrets find it very frustrating to be cooped up all the time. Be sure to ferret proof your home as they are excellent escape artists!
Ferrets do not tolerate temperatures above 25C so their cage should be placed in a location that does not receive direct sunlight.
The pictured multi-level ferret house belongs to Kylie, our Veterinary Nurse. She had this beauty custom made for her little guys. It is known as the ‘Ferret Taj Mahal’!
Ferrets can be litter trained easily. Ideally you should always have one more litter tray than the number of ferrets housed in the cage (so if you have a pair, use three litter trays). Like cats, ferrets prefer clean litter, so be sure to clean their trays daily. We recommend Breeders Choice cat litter as it made from recycled paper, and is very low in dust and allergens. Whatever cat litter you use, avoid the clay litters as they can be very rough on your ferrets paws.
It is recommended to have ferrets desexed by six months of age. This is particularly important for female ferrets as failure to desex or mate results in an ongoing heat. The oestrogen produced by female ferrets in ongoing heat will eventually suppress the bone marrow, resulting in anaemia.
Yes, desexing your ferret will help reduce the ferrets natural odour significantly.
Distemper virus, and it is invariably fatal. However, they can be vaccinated using a vaccine designed for dogs and it appears to be 100% effective in protecting them. Ferret kits require two vaccines given four weeks apart. Adult ferrets ideally should be vaccinated annually, particularly if your ferret spends time out and about in public places.
It is highly recommended to microchip your ferret. This can take place at any time, but is usually done with desexing as it can be a painful procedure when awake. As ferrets are naturally curious and adventurous, if they get out they are not likely to stay in your yard or come back. Microchipping is a form of permanent identification which can be scanned at most vets and welfare organisations.
It is recommended that you teach your young ferret to have their teeth cleaned with a meat flavoured pet toothpaste and small toothbrush. Like dogs and cats, they too suffer from dental disease. Alternatively, you can include Hills Feline Oral Care biscuits as part of their daily diet to help prevent dental disease. We do offer free dental checks as part of routine care.
Monthly treatment with Revolution is recommended to control gut worms, heartworm, ear mites and fleas. Ferrets usually have different doses than cats and dogs—check with the clinic to find out what dose is suitable for your pet.