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Ferrets

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Has anyone ever had a ferret? Whats their temperment like? Are they dirty? do they bite? ....ect
post #2 of 19
Ferrets are very expensive to care for, IMO. They do have an "odor" to them which I cannot stand....but that's just me. Their supplies are pretty pricey, not to mention the intial set-up. So many shelters/rescues get them in because people do not realize just how expensive it is to care for a ferret!
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Oh odd. I also read that they eat mice and rabbits and other things....I couldnt feed any animal that, thats horrible
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roimata View Post
Oh odd. I also read that they eat mice and rabbits and other things....I couldnt feed any animal that, thats horrible
Most would kill small animals if given the opportunity, but the food most pet ferrets eat comes right out of a bag.

I’ve had nine ferrets and am down to one elderly boy now who will be the last ferret I plan to have. They can be great pets and are so much fun to watch, but I have no plans to get anymore in the future because they require so much work to care for properly and make sure you spend enough time with them. They do have a natural musky odor- even if de-scented- and you really have to keep on top of keeping their cage and blankets clean to try to keep smell to a minimum. One of the biggest negatives for me though was just how destructive they can be if they want to dig or get in something and having “accidents†around the house. Their temperaments’ varied and each had their own personality and quirks- most were pretty friendly with everybody but a few were territorial with other people and animals and would nip.

I agree they are expensive, but your biggest expense may be in vet care because they are prone to many health problems. A large percent of ferrets in this country develop adrenal disease and will require surgery and regular Lupron injections. The cost adds up fast and one needs to be prepared.
post #5 of 19
I think they are super cute, but every time I have been close to one I can smell that odor and reminds me of why I have a kitty lol. That stink can be overwhelming.
post #6 of 19
Yes, they are very stinky, and cute, but, I wouldn't want one, ever again, because my step-dad took the ferret, finally!!! lol, I'm relieved, that he took her, she was very adorable, and yes, they do bite, but thats only because they can't control themselves when they are out of their cages! lol And their stink is overwhelming. I'm jumping for joy, that my step-dad took her! Now she can stink his house up! lol, I'm evil.
post #7 of 19
Ferrets are definatly not for everyone. In fact they really are just for a few. They are expensive. Vet care is so high if you get a good ferret vet. Most vets dont know enough about them for them to really be good with them. They stink if their cage isnt kept very very clean. They require alot of attention, can be destructive. I had a couple before me and my ex split up. He now has them. They are fun, sweet and just crack you up watching them. They sleep alot but when they are awake boy oh boy you better watch out. One of my ex's tried to drag my old cat Tiger into the cage with him because he knew that all the ferrets had to be in the cage before he got the treats. He would drag them all in by their scruffs. But he came to poor Tiger first and she about had a fit. LOL And no they dont eat mice and rabbits. Well I suppose if they had the oppurtunity they probably would. But you dont have to feed them that.
post #8 of 19
Ferrets can be very loving animals, but they are not for everyone. My sister has two right now. One of which has cancer and it is EXTREMLY expensive to pay for vet care for most ferrets depending on where you go. They are not low maintance animals. They need quite a bit of attention, they must be cleaned daily- otherwise they will start to smell, hers do not like to be held a lot- they'd rather get down in the floor and run around and away from you- one is a biter, one is not. Also- they can squeeze into small spaces and are extremly quick little critters - so everything MUST be ferret proofed. Marshall ferrets have been linked to several genetic problems and seem to be more predisposed to certain cancers- so do your reasearch before you adopt if you're considering adopting one. Also- there are NUMEROUS ferrets that are in need of homes in local rescues/etc....check out www.petfinder.com and look under ferrets- many of them need homes Also -ferrets are carnivors so they need a special diet. They also hunt smaller animals (mice, hamsters, rats) so if you have those you need to keep them seperate. Also- cats or dogs could easily hurt a fragil ferret so they must never be left unsupervised with a predatory animal. Ferrets also seem to do better with a friend than alone -so you might consider adopting a "couple." They are very funny and LOVE to play all the time- i love to watch my sisters ferrets play!! They LOVE burlap bags and ferret hammocks as well as ferret toys I'd suggest just researching a bit, getting all the info you can and reading up on them (try to visit a friend who has one or a local small animal rescue and just see if they are a good fit for you) Also -ferrets need a LOT of space- those tiny cages a lot of pet stores sell are just too small for such active little critters- so if you do adopt, be sure to invest in a very large cage so they have lots of room to run around and play
post #9 of 19
i had one for 7 years, that along with my cat moved all over the country with me, they do nip soemtimes but he never bite me hard, him and the cat loved to play with each other. Hmm i did not not notice a smell, but i got him he was descented,

i used to keep a pan of dirt around for him to dig in. hehe i used to takehim in my coat to class and stuff, sometimes and flying with me, he loved just getting in the window of the plane and watching stuff.

i really lked that little rat, but they only live like 6 to 9 years,
post #10 of 19
I currently have 3 ferrets and they make wonderful pets. However, yes, they can be expensive(mainly vet bills). I spend about $50 a month on food and litter. They need to eat high quality food, either really good kitten food(no cheap stuff) or ferret food. If you feed them cheap cat food then they'll have major health issues later on. also, they cannot have alot of artificial light(I have a cage cover for my buggers) becuase it can increase the chanses of them getting adrenal disease.

Yes, some ferrets(mainly over in the UK) are fed mice and chicks. It is a raw diet, just like when people feed their dogs raw food. However, over here in the US, it's pretty rare to find people who feed raw food to their ferrets, it's mainly dry commercial ferret food, that's why the ferrets here in the US have so many health issues.

As far as being good pets, they are wonderful! They all have different personalities. I have a deaf ferret who is a huge lovebug, he will cuddle all day and fall asleep in your arms(after yawning about 50 times, lol). On the other hand, I also have a ferret that likes to play 24/7 and he'll let you pet him, but he prefers to play with your hand, rather then be pet by it. My third ferret loves to play, but he also will cuddle if you want him to. He's a beauty, I'm going to show him in October, I hope he wins!

Also, each one of my ferrets likes to steal different things. Ziggy(the deaf one)likes to steal straws, Oso(the beauty) likes to steal my hubby's wallet and anything rubber(especially rubber handled tools), and Benny(my oldest one)likes to steal all the cats' toys, especially the balls with bells inside, lol.

As far as smell, if you feed them good quality ferret food without fish oil in it(do NOT feed Marshall food unless you want a REALLY stinky ferret), for example: 8-in-1 Ultimate or Zupreem, then their body odor will be greatly reduced as well as the smell in their poo. With my ferrets, the only time you can smell them is if you put your nose in their fur and take a deep breath, lol. Their poo does not have a strong odor. My ferrets' poo smells like ammonia (in my opinion). It's not a normal stinky poop smell.

Hope all this info helps.
post #11 of 19
We've had them before and they are wonderful!!! They do have a smell to them, kind of musky.But, nothing that you can't stand.
They love to hide and play and yes steal.I never fed ours anything raw.EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW Ours ate ferret food,good cat food, and a few snacks.We bathed them about once a month.A big cage is really best for them with LOTS of tunnels and hidey holes.

forgot about the biting question.Yes, they bite.But, it is not anything painful.
post #12 of 19
i must have a broken sniffer cause i cant remember a smell. lol
yep they do like to steal, and mine used to love to steal doritos.
post #13 of 19
I'm not a fan of ferrets at all. 1 they stink horridly even if you have their sent removed, and 2 when the get excited I think every one of them will bite. I've been bit by at least 4 "friendly, loving" ferrets.

If you want a rodent pet that is a lot of fun and easy to care for, not to mention vertually oderless, GET A RAT!!! I have a rat and have had her for 7-8 months. I just love her. You can let the rat out of the cage once they bond with you, about 2 weeks. They are social animals so they will stick around you. If you get one get a female because their scent glands don't stink. Rats are very clean, just like cats, and will clean themselves often! Our cats play with her too. They know she is my pet and won't try to kill her. In fact they let her loose once when we were gone and three hours later we found Kitty sleeping in our bed unharmed. Although, I was a little disturbed that she was in our bed...

Oh yeah, I forgot to mension no vet bills.....I guess unless you truely want to take them there....I dunno, I've never thought of it, but I wouldn't...
post #14 of 19
I just lost my ferret Monday, to adrenal disease, insulinoma, and ulcers. And I miss her terribly.

She was between 7-8 years old, and on medications for almost a year. Costly vet visits, tests, relatively inexpensive to treat insulinoma but a pain in the wallet to pay for the lupron for adrenal disease.

I can't believe the way people complain about the way ferrets smell. As mentioned by a few other posters, a high quality kibble (with LOW fish oil content) will greatly reduce the odor. In fact, my Laser didn't have a smell at all. Her hammocks, cage, litterbox, toys, none of them smelled. She herself had no odor.

Ferrets are great pets, but require a lot of care. Yes, some of them (ok, a lot of them) are nippy especially when they get super excited. But the remainder of them are truly wonderful little animals.

I gotta agree with Enzoleya about rats too though. I have 4 females, and they are great pets! Though I find their smell more offensive than any ferret no matter how much I clean, and I am driving myself crazy trying to figure out how to eliminate it.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyBird View Post
I just lost my ferret Monday, to adrenal disease, insulinoma, and ulcers. And I miss her terribly.

She was between 7-8 years old, and on medications for almost a year. Costly vet visits, tests, relatively inexpensive to treat insulinoma but a pain in the wallet to pay for the lupron for adrenal disease.

I can't believe the way people complain about the way ferrets smell. As mentioned by a few other posters, a high quality kibble (with LOW fish oil content) will greatly reduce the odor. In fact, my Laser didn't have a smell at all. Her hammocks, cage, litterbox, toys, none of them smelled. She herself had no odor.

Ferrets are great pets, but require a lot of care. Yes, some of them (ok, a lot of them) are nippy especially when they get super excited. But the remainder of them are truly wonderful little animals.

I gotta agree with Enzoleya about rats too though. I have 4 females, and they are great pets! Though I find their smell more offensive than any ferret no matter how much I clean, and I am driving myself crazy trying to figure out how to eliminate it.

I could image with 4 rats that the smell would be hard to control. I only have one and I use the fluffy recycled paper bedding and she gets a bath now and then.
post #16 of 19
Ferrets are cute and all but I agree with the above posters you can skip out on all the expensiv's, horrible smell, Constant cleaning, and dealing with total distruction by getting a rat

something about rats were simailair to ferrrerts even tho they are totally differant animals

When I had a rat as a pet it just seemed to be a cheaper easier less stressful less messy/smelly version of a ferret

and they are just as smart as ferrets and they do that wierd hopping run thing that ferrets do lol

but when it comes down to it none of them can come close to cats & dogs which are just like another member of the family
post #17 of 19
I have three of them. I've had them for a few years now. They are pretty expensive to take care of. So far I haven't had any health issues with them (thier still on the young side) but I have been told that health issues are very common with ferrets and can be quite costly. I think the biggest issue people have is the time that they require. It's recommended that they have at LEAST 4 hours of out of cage time a day. I have a ferret proof room for mine so that they get plenty of time out, but if you don't give them enough time out they literally will go insane and tear up thier cage. Thier not like other small animals, they don't tolerate being cooped up. They do smell if you don't keep on top of the cleaning. Also if you feed a poor diet that increases the smell.
post #18 of 19
I had a ferret once and it was quite the experience. They are beautiful and very comical little creatures. You do indeed need to ferret-proof your house. These animals are extremely active when awake and get into everything. When they are young, they will nip a lot. You really need to watch these animals carefully and make sure they arn't getting into anything that might cause them harm. They do need to be bathed often. I agree, they arn't for everyone. And they don't live long, so if you get attatched, be prepared to cry your eyes out when they die.
post #19 of 19
Ferrets are NOT rodents, they are members of the mustelid family like skunks. All you have to do is look at their teeth to be able to tell the difference. They have canines like cats and dogs. They are predators and should never be left alone with small prey animals (rabbits, mice, birds etc.) Also never leave them alone with young kittens. They may be small but they are strong and will latch on with their strong jaws.

I had 4 ferrets at the same time and you would never have known. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, like cats, and need a high meat protein diet that is chicken-based, not fish-based. Foods like Marshalls which is fish-based will stink your home to high heaven when it comes out the other end.

People make the mistake to bathe their ferrets often thinking this will help with odor. On the contrary, it actually CAUSES the odor because the skin is producing more oil to replenish what was lost. I NEVER bathed my ferrets unless they got into something stinky. Also changing their bedding every week will keep any odor down.

I actually LOVED the musky smell the kits made when they slept. I had one girl that smelled like buttered popcorn and would pick her up and just take a big sniff.

They are VERY intelligent and social creatures and would always make me laugh with their antics. I had one girl, the brains of the outfit, who would watch me open a drawer to put clothes away and when I walked away she would run over and try to open the drawer. They also learn from each other. The brainy girl figured out how to open the cage door, even though they said it was not possible (I called them). Within minutes the other girl, who had been watching, began opening the door.

Like all animals with teeth they can bite. My 3 girls, not the male, liked to do the Lick Lick CHOMP thing that many ferrets will do. It was not out of aggression, but I could always tell when they were about to do it. They eventually out grew it.

As much as I loved my crew I would never have another ferret. All ferrets sold in pet stores come from ferret mills. In the northeast it is either Marshall Farms or Path Valley Hill? All mine were Marshall Farms, which tattoo all their ferrets with 2 dots in the inside of their ears. They pump out ferrets much like puppymills. They are altered way too young which is what causes so many health problems. One of my girls develped adrenal disease at 10 months of age. Three surgeries later and multiple lupron shots didn't solve the problem.

Ferrets outside the US are much healthier since they are from hobby breeders, not ferret mills. They are also larger, usually around 5+ lbs, where all my ferts were only between 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 lbs. I was talking to a woman from Australia where they have never heard of adrenal disease or any of the US diseases found in our ferts. Also their ferts do not live in cages but have the run of the house like any dog or cat. They can be litterbox trained outside the cage, though my guys, except for the brainy girl, were never 100%.

They are wonderful companion animals, but not for everyone. Their lifespans are on average around 8 years. All mine passed before that, the oldest being 7 1/2 years old, the youngest 4 years old. They will always hold a special place in my heart.
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