Ferrets have been domesticated for quite a while and their ancestors are believed to be native European polecats (Mustela putorius). It is unclear exactly when ferrets were first domesticated, but the critters have a long and storied history. Greek scholars —Aristophanes in 450 BCE and Aristotle in 350 BCE—wrote about a ferret-like animals.
Inquisitive, smart, and playful, Ferrets have become popular companion animals, but they require special care.
Housing Ferret Facts to know
Even if you plan to let your ferrets explore the house freely at times, when you’re not home, it’s best to enclose them in a ferret-proof room or in a spacious metal mesh cage. The MidWest Homes for Pets Ferret Nation Double Unit with Stand is a great example of an adequate enclosure for up to three ferrets as it contains multiple levels, sleeping areas, and living space.
The temperature in their living quarters needs to stay fairly consistent, and the humidity should be at the proper level. In the winter, when the heat is on and humidity gets low, ferrets’ skin can get dry and itchy, so a humidifier can help. If the humidity gets to get too high during the summer and the temperature rises above 85 degrees, ferrets can succumb to heatstroke. In nature, they live in underground burrows where the temperature is 55 degrees with 50% humidity.
Litter Training Ferret Facts to know
Ferrets can be trained to use a litter box. They tend to choose their own toilet area, so start by putting a litter box with paper pulp litter in that area and gradually move it closer and closer to where you’d like it to be. Ferrets love corners for their bathroom areas, so if you use a corner litter box in a corner, you will likely have greater success. Paper-based litter works best for ferrets, as it’s the least tempting for them to nibble on.
Diet Ferret Facts to know
Ferrets are predators and strict carnivores and therefore require highly digestible, meat-based proteins. Ferret foods designed for their needs are best. They can’t survive on vegetarian diets or most dog foods. The carbohydrate levels are too high for them, which can create health problems.
If you feed them dry kibble, be sure that the food contains at least 30% to 40% crude protein (of animal origin) and 15% to 20% fat.
Exercise Ferret Facts to know
Exercise is also important. You can accommodate your ferret’s need for burrowing and hunting with toys like large play tubes, tunnels, and dryer hoses. You can also use ping-pong balls, cat toys that hang from strings, and of course, ferret toys. Be sure to let your ferrets play outside of their cage for at least several hours every day.
Fun Ferret Facts to Know….
A group of Ferrets in called a business.
When threatened, Ferrets will dance.