More people are considering ferrets as household pets. These creatures that are typically colored black, brown, white or mixed fur may grow up to 20 inches in length, 5 inches in height and weigh about 2 to 4 pounds. They have an average life span of 7 to 10 years that may live just as long as other animals kept inside a home.
The ferret belongs to the Mustelidae family and one of its closest relatives is the weasel. Studies have shown that it has similar qualities to badgers, skunks and wolverines so if you are planning to own one, keep in mind that this small creature is a carnivore.
This means that your ferret should eat either meat or poultry. When you are shopping for it at the grocery, make sure that it contains high level protein and low levels of fat. You must never get food that is rich in carbs or sugar as well as those that are intended for other animals as this may cause serious health problems for the animal.
One thing you should know before deciding to own a ferret is that unlike other animals, they require a lot of attention. They don't like being locked up in a cage the whole day like your hamster or guinea pig so if you don't have the time, you should think about getting something else.
If you have children at home who are below the age of 6, this should not be given to them because ferrets have sharp teeth and they will retaliate if they are attacked.
Most ferrets sleep for about 18 to 20 hours each day but when they are awake, they must be allowed to come out and play. The downside to this as some owners have experienced is that they will chew on just about anything that could do some considerable damage to the home. The only way to prevent that from happening is to ferret proof your home.
You can do this by putting metal coiling on all your electrical cords, blocking off certain areas of the house so your ferret will not go there, windows must be screened so the animal does not get out of the house, the floor must be cleaned at all time to prevent them from eating dirt that is on the floor and air ducts are covered using ferret proof vents.
The ideal cage for a ferret must measure 18" x 18" x 30". This will give them space to move inside as well as play with toys that you provide them. There must also be a litter plan to collect their waste that can be removed, cleaned and returned once a week.
You will need to toilet train your ferret so when it needs to answer nature's call, it can easily do so inside the litter box. The best one to get is the kind of made of recycled newspaper that will also need to be cleaned between one to two times daily.
Ferrets are now considered to be the third most popular pet in the United States. If you think you have the time to spend with such a cute little animal, go ahead and get one. You may not bring it around the neighborhood like a dog but you can spend quality time in the comforts of your home.