Rescue / shelter organization
By Opt to Adopt
North Carolina, United States
Posted May 23, 2009
Raymond and Queen B came into the humane society I was volunteering almost five years ago, Raymond was estimated 2 years old and Queen was estimated 1 year old. Both of them were picked up as strays, animal control had been called to pick up two abandoned dogs from a apartment complex and had luckily stumbled across two ferrets. Other than an occasional pet sitting job or from playing with friend's ferrets, I had never owned this animal. I did a lot of research before adopting them, I contacted local vets, looking for one that dealt with exotic pets, luckily I was able to find one local (not many vets currently treat exotics where I live); I adopted Raymond and Queen immediately.
Temperament- Temperament depends on the ferret; I have met a lot of different ferrets, and have had the liberty of fostering some with very different personalities and temperaments. Raymond, my own ferret, has a great temperament, he loves people and other animals, he never bites (even while playing), and he loves being held. Queen on the other hand, does bite, she has broken skin on me and my family members (hissing does not work). She hates being held, does NOT like other ferrets, though she does like most dogs. Ferrets temperament really depends on the individual, most ferrets however will not bite if they are raised properly.
Activity Level- Ferrets are really like puppies when it comes to activity level, they will sleep and eat all day, then, for a short bit of time, they will have a burst of energy that often ends up with trashcans knocked over, toys everywhere, and one (or more) ferrets sleeping in your bed (it has happened to me on more than one occasion). Since ferrets spend most of their day sleeping they really don't have a high over all activity level, however, when they wake up to play. Ferrets will get into anything you have out, you SHOULD put away all breakable items, lift trashcans off the ground, and make sure that ferrets can't get on any high places, into air vent, out windows, or any small place that could lead them to harm.
Easy to Keep- Ferrets do need a lot of care, to help keep odor down (they have a slight musky odor) you should clean you ferret toilet at least once a day (I have two potties that I clean twice a day in my ferrets cage), you should take apart the whole cage at least once a week, wash ALL toys and clean ALL bedding. Food needs to be filled (depending on the diet you choose), at least twice a day, water should be filled at least once a day (I keep my ferrets water in dishes, I empty and wash the dishes twice a day). Ferrets need about four hours of play each day, and it should be monitored at all timed.
Cost to Own- Between buying bedding, litter, food, toys, and medical bills, ferrets can be very pricy. Seven dollars for a hammock is what you will get at most, I replace hammocks every other month and I currently have three in my ferrets cage, rugs, blankets, and shirts can be bought for about five dollars or twenty depending on size. I use Yesterday's Newspaper for my ferrets litter, it cost about twelve dollars for a medium bag, and I buy a two new bag once a month. Food can be very costly, I mix one bag of Purina kitten chow with two bags of ferret food, I use a couple different brands, mainly ZuPreem, Totally ferret, and Marshalls. The kitten chow cost about eight dollars for a bag, ZuPreem is about twenty five for a bag, Totally Ferret is twenty two, and Marshalls is seventeen for a small bag. I am currently doing research on Raw Feeding for ferrets, so my ferrets diet will hopefully change this summer to a partial Raw diet (Raw Feeding is WAY healthier). Toys are pretty cheap, I buy new ones every now and then. Medically, ferrets are prone to cancer and other illnesses, this can make them very costly to own in the medical aspect, you should have at least five hundred dollars set aside for emergencies.
Over all, ferrets make great pets, they have a wide range of personalities, but all are fun to own, despite having the tendency to be expensive. =)