Friday, 16 July 2010
Figuring out Ferrets: Part 1
Ferrets are small mammals that have become popular pets in some areas of the world. They can be fun companions, but before you decide to get one as a pet, you need to understand that they can be a demanding pet to keep. When they are active they need lots of supervision and you will have to take many precautions in your house to ensure they are not injured or killed. Ferrets can also have health difficulties and will need veterinary care from time to time. Ferrets will also have difficulty getting along with some other animals you might have in your home. Ferrets are not just big hamsters, before you make that decision to bring one home educate yourself on the responsibilities involved.
The domesticated ferret is from the family of mammals known as Mustelidae which also includes weasels and otters. The skunk is also a relative to the ferret and one legacy of this is the musky scent the ferrets produce. Ferrets were originally domesticated by man sometime between 2500-1500B.C. and used to kill or capture rodents and other small animals. Ferrets range in size from about 33-50cm long and weigh between 33 to 180g with the males being almost twice as large as the females.
Ferrets require a cage to spend most of their time in. A good cage is one that is at least large enough for the ferret to stand completely up on its hind legs. There are many cages which have multiple levels for the ferret to explore. The cage should include a bed which allows the ferret to curl up out of sight as they will be sleeping through most of the day and will appreciate some privacy. A litter box is also necessary in the cage. The ferret will pick one corner of the cage to use as its bathroom; this is where you should put the litter box. The litter box will need to be cleaned frequently. They will also require a water bottle which fastens securely to the side of the cage, and a heavy food dish that is difficult for the ferret to overturn.
Next time we will conclude our discussion on ferrets by looking at their behavior and health.
Tune in to find out more...