Ferrets

Ferret Facts:

Vitals:

  • Life expectancy 5 – 9 years
  • Weaning 6 – 8 weeks
  • Breeding 4 – 8 months
  • Pregnancy 42 days
  • Litter size 1 – 18
  • Adult body weight 0.5 – 2 kg

Diet:

  • Ferrets are carnivores
  • A commercial ferret dry food is available, which is a complete and balanced diet. These diet are higher in fat or protein and lower in carbohydrates and fibre.
  • If the ferret dry food is not obtainable a high quality dry kitten food is a suitable substitute, Hills and royal canin are good brands.
  • Ferrets should be fed ad lib as they have a fast gut transit time
  • A small beef bone can be given once per week for dental health
  • Soft fruits can be offered as treats on an occasional basis (e.g. pear or melon)
  • It is a good idea to get your ferret use to drinking from a water bottle, as they can make a mess with bowls

 Housing:

  • Ferrets should be housed in a cage, however it is important for them to have regular interactions and play
  • Ferrets can be quite destructive in the household; chewing and climbing into small spaces, therefore they always need to be supervised when outside of the cage.
  • Ferrets can be trained to a litter tray, they prefer to toilet in corners therefore place the litter tray in the corner of a room
  • Bedding should be something your ferret can hide inside; tunnels, hammocks or sleeping bags
  • Avoid; hay, sawdust or straw as it can cause respiratory irritation

 Handling:

  • It is important to handle your ferret gently on a daily basis as they can get into bad habits of nipping fingers.

 Health:

  • All ferrets should be vaccinated against canine distemper. Two vaccinations are required if the ferret is less than 14 weeks old and then a yearly booster vaccination is required
  • Ferrets need to be on a monthly heartworm preventative. Revolution is a good option.
  • Your ferret MUST be desexed or receive a deslorelin implant to prevent them developing hormonal diseases (e.g. persistent oestrus)

Ferret