lillyshrew said: Hi there, I am just wishing to know how difficult ferrets are to care for, and pros and cons of owning one. Cheers.
Ferrets are rated as one of the most difficult pets to own, they are definitely intermediate level if not higher (not suitable for children or careless teens, busy families etc.)
They are a wonderful creature, there are definitely more pros than cons some of which:
- You can build a relationship with your ferret just like a dog or cat
- They are very intelligent (they can be trained to come, sit, stand, do tricks, use a litter-box etc.)
- You can cuddle with them like any pet
- They are a joy to watch (while they play and explore)
- They each have their own personalities and it is wonderful to “get to know” your ferret (what they like/dislike, their favorite toy, what they love to steal/stash, where they like to sleep, who likes to go for walks etc.)
- They will never stop surprising you, you will love them to death
- Not to mention they are drop dead adorable
+++ They need a lot of playtime, which can be difficult to manage, 2-4 hours a day +++
+++ They are a tad smelly! If you cannot handle the smell, don’t get one, and if you cannot handle loads of poop! And the very common accident on the floor, don’t get one!+++
+++ VET BILLS ARE VERY EXPENSIVE! I cannot stress this enough, examinations alone can be extremely costly, and not a lot of vets truly know how to examine a ferret. I’m talking hundreds of dollars if things go wrong, be prepared. You don’t think it will happen to you, but it will. +++
+++ Raw diets can get quite expensive if that is the route you are going to take +++
+++ It is always best to have more than one ferret, as they keep each other company, and a single ferret can get neglected and lonely. The best toy to get your ferret is another ferret +++
+++ Housing can be expensive, they need a large cage (or free roam of the “ferret proofed” house)! Cages run in the hundreds of dollars, hammocks, toys treats etc. It all adds up rather quickly +++
I would definitely recommend doing your Homework before getting a ferret, there are a lot of great tutorials online with everything you need to know, costs to expect, training, food etc. It is a commitment. You will always be learning, but it would be smart to get a good grip on things before diving in!
There are many ferrets in shelters that are looking for forever homes, keep them in your thoughts as you look for your new ferret.
Hope this helped,
Oh, adding a tip to be helpful: if you have more time and want a ferret more bonded to you, a single baby is the way to go; but a single ferret will need to have much more out-of-cage time if he/she is not free-roam.
I don’t really agree with just getting a single ferret if you can afford 2, as most ferrets are really sociable and need other ferrets to play, sleep and generally live with. They use each other for warmth and bond with eachother so it’s much better for them. Of course there are exceptions and a few ferrets really dislike other fuzzies! I’m not saying you are wrong, a lone ferret will obviously bond better if it has none of its own kind, but I think socially it’s better to let them live with their own kind.
My local ferret rescue won’t usually let ferrets go to a home if there are no other ferrets unless they have shown themselves to be solitary.
I totally respect your opinion, and know a lot of people who share it. I may be biased, as my first ferret was a single ferret raised from a kit and was happiest that way, bonded closely with me, and was easier to nip and litter box train than any ferrets I’ve known with other fuzzies in the home (he was 99% litter box reliable, and would never bite a soul even playfully); and my little ones now even seem like they might have been best off that way if given the chance.
Given, my ferrets are free-roam whenever either I or my partner are home and get lots of love, since someone is always home. They are played with and cuddled by their humans whenever they want, and get to sleep in the bed with us and share food with me whenever meat is on my menu, so having a single one is a vastly different and far more socially complete experience for any ferret owned by me than by someone who plans to keep them in a cage a lot or is not able to be home as much. I always tell people that although I prefer just one, if they are going to cage the ferret most of the day, get two so they don’t get lonely.
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