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Ferret World
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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8

The Ferret Owner's Manual 

Ferret Peek

Table Of Contents 

Chapter 1
First Things First - Page 1

Chapter 2
What Is A Ferret? - Page 6

Chapter 3
Vaccination Requirements - Page 11

Chapter 4
Training - Page 13

Chapter 5
It's Show Time - Page 18

Chapter 6
Play, Play, Play - Page 21

Chapter 7
Introduction To Others - Page 23

Chapter 8
The Doctor Is In - Page 26

  

Chapter 1
First Things First

 Before you bring your new domestic ferret into your home, you will need the following supplies and equipment.  If you don't already have these, you'll need to get them right away.

What's On The Menu?

The domestic ferret will thrive, veterinarian quality dry kitten food or premium quality ferret food.  The analysis (found on the bag) should show a minimum of 34% protein with the bulk of the protein from animal sources, preferably poultry.  The percentage of proteins should be listed first on the ingredient list.  Fact is also an important ingredient in the ferret diet.  The fat content of the food should be in the neighborhood of 20 - 22%.  Some ferret foods are really mink foods.  These usually have an efficient or fish byproduct listed first.  Some nutritionists feel that large quantities of fish are not the ideal diet for a ferret.

  Picture 1

 Food And Water Containers

Dry food and freshwater should always be available.  The ferret's digestive system is about three hours long.  It needs to resupply its system frequently.  Ferrets are notorious for tipping over dishes.  A heavy weighted bowl with a flat base will help to prevent this.  Rabbit/hamster water bottles keep water from being spilled and keep it fresh for longer periods of time.  Even at bat, be sure to change the water daily and scrub out the bottle regularly.  Always keep fresh food and water within your ferrets reach.

  Picture 2

 Vitamins

If you use a premium to the food or a special ferret food, extra vitamin supplements are not required.  A fatty supplement such as ferretone or linetone does make a great training aid, however.  Ferrets almost universally love the taste.  If they don't seem willing to eat it first, plays a drop on your finger and rub it into their mouth.  Ferretone and linetone are very high in vitamin A.  Dilute the ferretone / linetone with olive oil.  Give no more than a total of one pump or squirt a day.  It usually is sold in a pump bottle. 

Treats

Ferrets can be fuzzy ears when he wanted to eat something, even treats!  Basically with a few exceptions you can try them on anything that you can eat, but do so into small quantities.  Some of hours like honey nut or fruit flavored oat cereals, cucumbers, broccoli or radishes.  Steer clear of foods very high and fibers such as carrots and let's which may cause intestinal blockage.  Milk and milk byproducts are a no-no since ferrets cannot digest lactose very well and is likely to cause a major case of diarrhea.  Lactose free milk substitutes may work.  Chocolate is not recommended for ferrets just as with dogs.  Caffeine is also a no-no along with coffee, tea, colors, etc. Try to keep the sugar is down.  A little once in a while, won't hurt.  Make sure that any treats you give them constitute much less than 10 percent of their diet.  Go real easy on high fiber foods.  A couple of raises a day is the limit.  Try to remember that is not the ferret that needs to treat, it's the human that wants to give the ferret the treat. 

Cage

Your ferret will consider its cage as a place a security and not resent being caged, provided it is given sufficient time to play out of the cage.  For the animals protection and security a cage is recommended.  Confining it to the cage during the night and periods when a little beyond hands to supervise is the best way to ensure that your ferret will stay out of harm's way. 

Picture 3

 The cage should be large enough for the ferret to stretch and for limited play even though it may sleep most of the time that it is confined.  It should be large enough to provide room for a litter box, a separate area for food and water and a separate area for sleeping.  Two level cages are great for this since you can place its food, water and sleeping area on the upper-level while placing its litter box or below are.  A cage measuring about three feet by two feet deep by three feet high will comfortably house one to two ferrets.  The floor of the cage should be solid and added.  Bare wire will damage their delicate pop pads.  Carpet remnants, linoleum or sealed plywood will make a great floor.  Towels, old sweatshirts, sweaters or ferret sleep socks will provide a soft sleeping area.  These items allow the ferret to tunnel under them for sleeping area please don't use wood chips, wood shaving his or shredded newspaper as these create a breeding ground for bacteria.

         A cage constructed of heavy gauge wire is usually the best choice.  These can be made or purchased.  Aquariums are not a suitable cage for your ferret.  Lactose ventilation will allow buildup of bacteria in the very area ferret has debris.  If you are considering making your own cage and are thinking about wood for a frame, remember too heavily urethane the lead on all sides and is to keep moisture out so that you can wash out the cage when necessary.  Don't use pressure treated lumber.  The chemicals used to treat the wood may poison your ferret.  Remember, a domestic ferret is not a cage animal.  It needs time to play and interact with people.  It should have a minimum of five to six hours of quality time out of the cage every day

  Picture 4

 Litter Boxes

Regular cat litter boxes can be used.  A better and cheaper solution is the use a small, Rubber dish pan with one side cut about one to two inches high.  The higher sides of the pan will help prevent overshoots.  Regular cat litter can be used, but it should not be the type containing de-scenting chemicals.  If your ferret is not want to dig and play in the litter, the scoopable variety makes it easier to keep the litter box clean.  Some ferrets love to dig and root in the litter.  The scoopable type may get in the ferrets nose and cause problems.  Ferrets that skewed in their litter box after using it may develop anal infections from  the scoopable litters.  In these cases, litter made from recycled paper or regular clay litter is best.  Some people prefer sheets of newspaper instead of litter.  It depends on your ferrets habits and preferences.

Ferret Proofing

Ferret owners claimed that you can never ferret proof your home.  One may make it ferret resistant.  Ferrets are intensely curious about everything.  They can fit through very small openings.  If their head can fit, the whole ferret will soon follow.  Unfortunately not every place they wish to explore in his hospitable to small, furry animals - the underside of refrigerators, washer is, dryers, dishwashers, stoves and ovens or the insides of walls and floors.  Many places contain a rotating machinery, old electrical terminals, flames and heating elements or drive belts.  Some places are easy to get lost in and are also difficult to find one's way back out.

         Plaster over holes in walls and floors.  Screw in the adjustable feet on appliances so that they said flat on the floor.  If possible place screening material overhauls with the tape on the inside.  Ferrets love to pull off tape.  Cabinets quite often have an opening at the top of the toe area just above the floor.  These should be sealed unless you know of a way to get into them to get your ferret out.  Look at every opening made or a pipe or duct passes through a wall or floor.  Seal as necessary.

         Fiberglass window and door screens are easily cat by the ferrets nails.  Metal screen is recommended.  They can still cat through it but it does take longer.  While you're added, check to make sure the screen is in the tight and can't be pushed out.  Ferrets are very nearsighted and will jump out of a multistory window as quickly as off of a chair or couch.  Check balconies for access by the ferret.  Open stairways are a source of danger too. 

Picture 5

         Try to introduce a ferret to the new brand of food and they'll turn their nose up and it.  Leave a piece of Styrofoam, foam rubber, a small button or vinyl rubber to light or ballooned for example lying about and they'll eat it and block their digestive system, which requires emergency surgery to save their life.  Watch out for the rubber backing on throw rugs.  Ferrets often find it tasty.  This rubber backing is very dangerous for their intestines. 

You cannot ferret proof a recliner or pullout sofa bed.  They are death traps for ferrets.  They will climb in the mechanism and be crushed.  No matter how careful you are, someone will eventually come into your home, sit on the chair and operate the mechanism.  Get rid of the recliner or bind the mechanism so that it cannot be operated.  If it has a handle on it, remove it.  Know where your ferret is (preferably in its cage) before you open up the sofa bed.  Don't just think you know where it is.  A few minutes it takes to check may save your ferret life. 

 

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