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Ferrets

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Question about ferrets...

My GF is moving in with me the first week of June. We're trying to move her animals in with mine slowly so as not to unduly stress the resident critters here. This weekend I got her ferrets.

I felt her cage was too small and old for these two small female ferrets, and so I bought them a new one.

Here it is:


It is called the Ferret Mansion (the manufacturers name-- not ours!). Her ferrets were never litter trained. She kept them on aspen in their smaller cage and they used one corner and she'd just scoop it out each day and replace it with fresh aspen. There were no levels in this cage.

The Mansion does not allow for litter to be placed on the floors. The pans are plastic, but way, way too shallow... so I added two large litter boxes. The ferrets have sort of been using the one... but they keep pooping in other corners too. Is there any way I can correct this? Also, the poop is like one step shy of diahreah (sp?) and I am not sure if this is normal. She says it has always been that way... is this accurate? It's VERY loose and stinks a lot. One small turd is enough to make my dining room reek to high heavens, and I have a very sensitive nose.

The ferrets are a year old each. Getting rid of them is not an option (I wouldn't anyway) but I am hoping that we will be able to correct SOME of these issues in order to make for a smoother running pet household. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 8
Great cage choice! IMO, that's the best ferret cage on the market.

I've never had any success with those little triangular litter pans. Most ferrets just don't like them. A larger pan, such as this one: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...5&pcatid=17535
usually will show better results. Use a non-clay, non-clumping litter such as Yesterday's News for best results. There are springs (the same kind used to hold the water bottle onto the cage) that you can stretch acroos the cage corners to prevent pottying, but I can't find a link for them right now. You can also try putting a food dish in each corner, most ferrets won't poop near their food.

Runny, stinky poop isn't normal. What brand of food do they eat? I'll be honest---MOST ferret foods on the market are pure junk. My ferrets eat a mixture of Chicken Soup kitten food, EVO (ferret or cat---it's the same formula), and 8-in-1 Ultimate. Most of these foods are decent; http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...?c=17342+17351 except for the 8-in-1 Ultra-Blend and the Marshall's. Both have way too much grain, and the fish meal in the Marshall's can cause a big odor problem. If their poops don't improve with a diet change, a vet check is in order.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
We have them on Zupreem right now, but they were on Fiesta before (that is the only ferret food found in my GF's local petshop-- next closest is over an hour away-- yes she lives in podunk!)

Is Zupreem okay, or is there a better food? We need to get them vet checked anyway, because they need rabies shots (not a requirement where she lives, but is a requirement here).

Thanks for the advice-- I will look into getting square pans!
post #4 of 8
I've had 6 ferrets. They were all litter-trained but if there was an empty corner they would use that instead.
The best thing I found to discourage them was to use a cage with less corners (less levels) and then put things in all the corners...so the corners either had a food dish in them (clipped to the side of the cage), a water bottle, or they had a triangle corner litter pan.

Personally I think a lot of the ferret foods on the market are crummy... Zupreem is better than some of the others though. The best ones I've found are those with no corn, wheat or soy and even better if they are low-carb or grain-free. Good ones are Innova Evo Ferret food and Wysong ferret.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Was looking at Shepherd & Greene? I think that was the name... they sell it at Petsmart and it has chicken as the #1 ingredient. I am so glad there are ferret people here. This is uber new to me!

They are doing better now. I have crammed all the corners full of things. Took out the one level (they weren't using it anyway) and that has helped. I am going to look into square litter pans too. I also added a new sleepy cube for them. I'll try and get pics this weekend.
post #6 of 8
Sheppard & Greene looks OK, but I've never used it.....do they have Totally Ferret? That's pretty good. I buy my ferret food online so I'm not up-to-date on what brands are sold at Petsmart.

When you go to the vet, be sure to mention the loose stools. The vet may want to do a fecal test to look for parasites. And DO NOT allow the vet to give the distemper and rabies vaccines on the same day!!!! Ferrets are very prone to having BAD reactions to the vaccines, and giving them both at the same time really increases that risk. I do the distemper shot first, because the rabies vaccine isn't really necessary (except as required by law). Distemper can be tracked into the house on your shoes, but it's very unlikely an indoor ferret will ever be exposed to rabies. Wait at least a month between vaccines.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
And DO NOT allow the vet to give the distemper and rabies vaccines on the same day!!!! Ferrets are very prone to having BAD reactions to the vaccines, and giving them both at the same time really increases that risk. I do the distemper shot first, because the rabies vaccine isn't really necessary (except as required by law). Distemper can be tracked into the house on your shoes, but it's very unlikely an indoor ferret will ever be exposed to rabies. Wait at least a month between vaccines.
Ack! I live in the city and we do have distemper around here (canine), so I suppose the risk of the vaccine is necessary?

Also, do you have a website link I can send to my GF re: distemper? She lived in the country and her country vet does not vaccinate ferrets, so she had no idea they were even supposed to be vaccinated for anything. I'd like to share a link with her.
post #8 of 8
Yeah, I think at least one distemper vaccine as adults is worth the risk. If the vaccine is given after they're 6 months old, it will probably confer immunity for life (such as it is....no vaccine is 100% effective, especially in ferrets). Evidently this new PureVax-D vaccine is less likely to cause reactions than the old FerVac-D, so that's good. I don't think the PureVax rabies vaccine is approved for ferret use yet, though.

Here's a good link I found: http://www.ferret-universe.com/health/distemper.asp
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