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Considering Adopting a Pair of Ferrets

Chaser
April 24th, 2010, 06:41 PM
Hi All,

Now that we're moving and will have lots more space I've been approached about adopting a pair of ferrets. I don't have a lot of info yet, but I know they are coming from a good home that is involved in dog foster etc. Problem is they've got a second child on the way and are running out of room...sounds like they took on more than they could handle rescue-wise. So they are reluctantly looking for a good home and a mutual friend recommended us.

I'll obviously be doing my own research as well but wanted some info from knowledgeable pets.ca members regarding what we'd be getting into if we take them on.

Seems they need a larger cage than they are currently in, so we'd have to buy one and who knows how much that would cost?

What do they eat? Approx. monthly cost?

Maintenance requirements? What do you line their cage with and how often does it need cleaning?

Attention? How much playtime each day do they typically need? (Not that we are the type of people to stick animals in a cage and ignore them, but want to have an idea whether they are demanding or not).

Do they play nice with other animals or would we need to keep them separated from the rest if they are out of their cage?

Thanks guys - any insight would be appreciated while I mull this over!

ancientgirl
April 24th, 2010, 06:54 PM
Oh, I'd love to have a ferret. I've heard and read they are wonderful loving pets, and VERY smart. From what I understand, they sleep quite a bit and are mostly active a few hours a day. I've seen dry ferret food from Innova, but I believe I've read that cat food is acceptable, but I can't be sure of this.

I've also read they are quite mischievous.

Chaser
April 24th, 2010, 06:57 PM
I've also read they are quite mischievous.

Then they would fit right in around here :evil:

Chaser
April 24th, 2010, 07:09 PM
Cool - just learned they use a litterbox. I thought it was more like a hampster situation....wasn't sure I was willing to take on cleaning an entire cage all the time.

And you;re right about the cat food AG.

Clearly they need plenty of outside-the-cage roaming time. We'd be fine with them doing this but I don't know how they would feel about the other animals? We can give them the laundry room if need be.....

I think the dogs will be scared of them but Rupert is pretty large and such a hunter I'm not sure if he would try to hurt them?

ancientgirl
April 24th, 2010, 08:10 PM
I would imagine you would have to introduce them like any other new pet. Maybe letting your current furries smell something of theirs at the beginning.

I don't know if you ever saw this, but I found these photos a few years ago, and just fell in love.

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=51945

Winston
April 24th, 2010, 08:16 PM
Hey Chaser! Nice to see ya! I have heard that ferrets can be pretty social little critters so I am not sure having them in just one room would be good but not sure??

I would be a tad worried about Rupert if he has prey drive you may have some issues.

There must be someone on the site that has experience with them...

Hope the gang is well! :thumbs up How is Heidi doing?

aslan
April 24th, 2010, 08:24 PM
hey chaser,,,i have had 3 ferrets in my life,,the pics AG posted look like a little boy..males have a wider muzzle than females..yes they use a litter box and poop is same consistancy as kitty poop pretty much..make sure you get a good water bottle for them and of course hammocks and a hiding sack..be prepared,,they have a rather musky pungent aroma to them..we usually used pine shavings in the cage for odor control and never had a problem..they do require outside of the cage play time. Every ferret i've ever known for some reason had a thing for sock feet.If for some reason they do latch onto a foot or some other body part,,try not to pull away as they have hooked teeth , give a light little flick under the chin and they will release..We never had any problem with the ferrets and the dogs,,kitty on the other hand was a different story...keep a close eye on them..to the cat it will look like a big furry slinky that must be pounced on.

Chaser
April 24th, 2010, 09:51 PM
hey chaser,,,i have had 3 ferrets in my life,,the pics AG posted look like a little boy..males have a wider muzzle than females..yes they use a litter box and poop is same consistancy as kitty poop pretty much..make sure you get a good water bottle for them and of course hammocks and a hiding sack..be prepared,,they have a rather musky pungent aroma to them..we usually used pine shavings in the cage for odor control and never had a problem..

To my knowledge these two are both fixed and descented - would the musky odour still apply?

they do require outside of the cage play time.

Yeah I expected that - therefore the worry about the other animals.

Every ferret i've ever known for some reason had a thing for sock feet.If for some reason they do latch onto a foot or some other body part,,try not to pull away as they have hooked teeth , give a light little flick under the chin and they will release..

Good to know!

We never had any problem with the ferrets and the dogs,,kitty on the other hand was a different story...keep a close eye on them..to the cat it will look like a big furry slinky that must be pounced on.

Kailey is gentle with everything....and Chase runs away from everything....so I think we're good on that front. I'm thinking Rupert will need to be seperated from them when they're out for playtime though.....he's really rough! Considering the way he beats the crap out of his toys I'm not about to trust his 15 lbs. versus a little ferret!

Heehee....usually it's ME wanting to bring animals home....but FH wants ferrets more than I do!!!

aslan - I was reading that they are really active for about two hours at sunrise and two hours at sunset. Did you find this to be true? And are they noisy?

Chaser
April 24th, 2010, 09:55 PM
Hey Chaser! Nice to see ya! I have heard that ferrets can be pretty social little critters so I am not sure having them in just one room would be good but not sure??

I would be a tad worried about Rupert if he has prey drive you may have some issues.

There must be someone on the site that has experience with them...

Hope the gang is well! :thumbs up How is Heidi doing?

Hey Winston!

I have heard the same, so want to figure out how they relate to other animals first because I don't want to shut them away by themselves.

The gang is good. No more flare-ups for Rupert and he is off steroids (for now). Puppers are great and are excited to get an even bigger backyard next week. Heidi is back at FH's parents house but is doing well. They've followed through with what we asked them to and have her bed upstairs now, healthier food and take her for walks.

Chaser
April 24th, 2010, 09:57 PM
Those pics are adorable AG!!! :cloud9:

vel
April 25th, 2010, 12:16 AM
My husband and I "rescued" a pair of 2 year old sister ferrets about six months ago. They were neglected to say the least. They are very hands on pets. Extremely sociable and become attached to their caregivers. I always make the comparison to having two two year olds in the house.:lovestruck:
Lily and Rosey eat ferret food and kitten food (dry) but when we first got them Rose was not eating and her ribs were showing. We fed her meat baby food (turkey, chicken and beef) it fattened her up and within I'd say a month her fur was thicker and shiner. My husband uses the blender and puts cooked chicken and broth in it and blends it to the consistancy of baby food. Rosey likes this. Lily eats her dry food, ferret treats and loves the dry chicken treats you can buy at Walmart for cats and dogs. These animals should be fed a high protein diet so we always check what we buy and I have found that kitten food is good if you can't get ferret food. We bought a four level cage. Their litter pan is in the bottom. We use only paper pellets (Yesterdays News Litter) again from Walmart. Have heard that shavings and regular kitty litter is not good for them. The dust from regular litter is bad for their breathing. They back up to go to the bathroom therefore they are really easy to train to use the litter. We let our ferrets out to run at least once a day...they are smart and can be trained to run back to their litter to go to the bathroom, especially if they get a special treat when they do .....(we used a sucker....they love candy). They are a very hands on pet as I said. Be prepared to spend around 1 or 2 hours most days letting them out of their cages. As far as smell goes...if their blankets, beds and cage are washed once a week, and we give the girls a bath once every two weeks there is not a problem with odour. Litter is cleaned out every day. We do not let the cat or dog out with the girls. Our cat is too rough and the dog really doesn't want anything to do with them. And it is safer that way. They get into everything they can....love to open cupboards, hide under rugs and in places you would never expect....They are alot of work if you want to keep them healthy and happy.....but they are the sweetest little goofs.....you will laugh and laugh at their antics...ours have never bitten.......and I can not imagine not having them...if you need any more info please post and I'll get back to you....V

hazelrunpack
April 25th, 2010, 12:23 AM
They're dolls, vel! :flirt:

I've had no experience with ferrets, so have no advice, but did want to send along some :goodvibes: for you if you decide to adopt a couple of these sweeties, Chaser.

aslan
April 25th, 2010, 07:59 AM
Lol,,,vel i always thought of mine like permenant Kittens..pretty much what they act like. Oh and it is Cedar shavings that are harmfull for them over pine.

Chaser if they have been descented then they wont have as strong a musty odor..If you want a real laugh put some water in the bathtub(only a few inches) that way there is a runway and a little pond by the drain..they will body slide along the tub into the pond and repeat.

As for Rupert and the ferrets..you might be surprised especially with their being two of them, they will gang up. Don't forget these animals are used to hunt and kill venomous snakes so Rupert might have his paws full..i saw two of mine go after my roommates iguana, we immediately broke it up as someone was gonna get seriously injured.

oh oh and yup you can feed them meat,,just omg don't tear the meat with your teeth and then let the ferret near your face,,learned that the hard way.

Chaser
April 25th, 2010, 10:02 AM
OMG...just hearing about them makes me laugh!!!!

Vel & aslan - Thanks for all the great info! I'm going to have FH read this thread so he can decide what he wants to do. Your two are just adorable vel :cloud9:

Thanks for the good vibes Hazel.....if we do it I'm clearly going to have to post tonnes of pictures!

ancientgirl
April 25th, 2010, 10:07 AM
Vel, your girls are adorable!

Frenchy
April 25th, 2010, 10:32 AM
The only thing I can think of is , I guess you would have to "ferret proof" your house , these things look like they can get into everything !! :evil:

Chaser
April 25th, 2010, 10:40 AM
The only thing I can think of is , I guess you would have to "ferret proof" your house , these things look like they can get into everything !! :evil:

Between Little Miss Kailey and Rupert the Terrible I think we've pretty much got that one covered :laughing:

aslan
April 25th, 2010, 11:08 AM
chaser,,they are a riot to own,,,like any pet they do have needs,,get FH to get a couple books on them. Oh and as Frenchy pointed out,,yup they can get into things,,don't leave jewelry and small items (especially sparklies) out,,they will steal them and hide them on you. You can harness train them so you can take them places with you too.

Chaser
April 25th, 2010, 11:14 AM
chaser,,they are a riot to own,,,like any pet they do have needs,,get FH to get a couple books on them. Oh and as Frenchy pointed out,,yup they can get into things,,don't leave jewelry and small items (especially sparklies) out,,they will steal them and hide them on you. You can harness train them so you can take them places with you too.

LOL.....I can just imagine walking a couple ferrets down the street with the dogs :laughing:

I've already learned about the small and sparkly things....I found this online last night:

Chaser
April 25th, 2010, 11:16 AM
I REALLY love the sound of their personalities!

Question: FH wants to know what sort of noise they make and if they are loud? Between Kailey's barking and Rupert's constant chattering he's wondering if there will be screeching added to the mix?

aslan
April 25th, 2010, 11:40 AM
lol,,i read that outloud to grace,,gave us both a good chuckle..they aren't very loud,,go here and you can here some of the noises they make..

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex9AXcYR_a0

vel
April 25th, 2010, 03:24 PM
:2huggers:I wanted to let you know that everything I learned was by "googling" and experience. Our girls have never bitten even the first day we had them and immediately bathed them in the tub. They are not loud but we found when they play together they make the most noise and its still not loud....its almost a throaty noise. They have to be very happy to make it. Ours now will make their little noises when they are running the house. Lily has a fetish with rawhide dog bones and the one she stole from Boo (my Leonberger) is as big as she is.....she has it in her cage and if you move it to another level in the cage she will get it and put it back were she wants it.....funny to watch. I bought those little rawhides from the dollar store and put them out so she can "pack them" and hide them behind the entertainment unit. Both will stash dog biscuits, not so much items but food related things. Every week we have to move the t.v. to clean up the "treasues" they have accumulated. Rosey has a different personality, call her Nosey Rosey that says it all, she loves to explore. Lil is Silly Lilly because when we play with her she is sassy and makes noises, jumps at you and jumps sideways. :laughing: They love to be underneath blankets, rugs anything, the sisters love fleece. I hear that some ferrets will bite but for some reason ours do not. I will have to get some pics of "the squirrels" ;) sleeping because the positions are incredible...hanging out of their hammock or under the covers stretched out on their backs....As you can see I love the little critters but my husband is absolutely obsessed with "his girls" pretty cute to watch...doubt he'd want his "rig pig" buddies to know that tho...:laughing:

aslan
April 25th, 2010, 04:47 PM
my first two never ever bit,,the third who was a rescue nailed me on the ankle the very first day i got her (Maddison) she looked very much like Vel's but had the little black marks under her eyes like a football player..Second and last time she bit i had torn a peice of steak with my teeth to give her a peice,,she was crawling around my neck shortly after and must have smelled the meat on my lips and wham... never ever bit again tho.:shrug:

Chaser
April 25th, 2010, 05:56 PM
Okay, they are a pair of spayed females. One is 1 1/2 and the other is 9 months. The younger is white with a little black and she described the other as looking like a skunk (cute! :lovestruck:) Both are rescues. She's looking for a pro-rescue household to take them at no cost but on the condition that they get a larger cage (as she can't currently manage to purchase the larger one they really need).

They've been litter trained and have been learning bite inhibition. The 9 m.o. still goes after toes though.

She said she will send me pictures tonight, so I will post once I have one.

Seems to me FH is very quickly moving towards "yes" :D We just need to make sure it can be a little while until we take them because we need some time to get settled in the new place and due to moving costs we can't afford to go out and buy a huge cage in the next week. Found some on kijiji for reasonable prices though.

Chaser
April 25th, 2010, 05:57 PM
And OMG aslan....those videos were just too funny! Their noises are adorable! :cloud9:

aslan
April 25th, 2010, 05:59 PM
chaser,,,there are sites on the internet,,,freecycle..like etobicokefreecycle..just google one for your area,,,it's people getting rid of stuff they can't use anymore but someone else can..

Chaser
April 25th, 2010, 06:03 PM
chaser,,,there are sites on the internet,,,freecycle..like etobicokefreecycle..just google one for your area,,,it's people getting rid of stuff they can't use anymore but someone else can..

Oh, I hadn't really thought of looking for freecycle stuff beyond pets.ca - will take a look!