- Ferrets lack a cecum to digest/ process fuits and vegetables.
- A ferrets left lung has 2 lobes, while the right has 4.
- A ferrets body contains 14 or 15 pairs of ribs.
- A kit has 30 baby teeth, while an adult has 34.
- Food fully travels throughout their system in 3 hours.
Ferret Proofing for Safety
Ferrets are a bundle of joy that touch our hearts the moment they enter our lives, but they also have needs and requirements which they depend on us to provide for them.
One of the most important things you can do to safeguard your ferret is to ensure there is absolutely NO way for them to escape to the outer world or into openings in your home. Unlike cats and dogs, these little guys CANNOT survive on their own and will surely die within a few days without human intervention, let alone what they might encounter while exploring their new found turf. If your ferret should happen to escape to the outer world, you should be prepared to bring their favorite squeaky toy and possibly another ferret in your search for him. In addition, you should always have a recent photo of your ferret(s) which you could use to produce fliers of your missing ferret to help identify him as a house pet.
Don't underestimate the abilities of a ferret, they are more than capable of getting into or under the smallest of openings and able to move heavy things outs of their way! Ferret proofing is not a one time job, it is a constant endeavor that our fuzzies prove time and again. Equally important is to ensure there is nothing dangerous or poisonous(especially house plants and potpourri) within their reach as ferrets are more than capable of jumping and climbing to get to items that catch their attention, as well as dig through the dirt of your favorite houseplant. Common household items that are usually over looked in protecting your fuzzy are the buttons on your remote control which they can swallow, parts of a toy they can chew off and swallow and the infamous styrofoam packing peanuts. All of these items can cause serious life threatening health problems to a ferret which can easily be avoided.
Due to the size and endless curiosity of the ferret, they will always find new ways and new territories to explore. Prior to bringing home your first ferret, it is vital to their safety and well-being that there be no openings they can get into or under. The best way to accomplish this is to literally lay on the floor in every room and search out spaces, openings, etc. they can get into and close them up. This applies to cabinets which they can open as well, you certainly don't want your ferret to come into contact with any dangerous chemicals, so child proofing is strongly recommended. As previously mentioned, ferret proofing is not a one shot deal, you will always need to keep an eye on your ferret as they show you new territory they can get in to.
Some of the Main Areas for Concern are as Follows:
Under your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. There is usually a gap that your
ferrets can easily get into, and there could be an opening in the wall
you are not aware of. You can easily purchase thin wood and screw it
into the kick plate on the bottom. All cabinets should be secured using
child proof locks, to avoid any accidents, and exposure to cleaning chemicals.
The best locks that I personally have found are the magnetic one which
Doctors Foster and Smith carries,
as unlike the other ones, there is no give for the ferret to squeeze
through, or force the doors open.
Carefully inspect your washroom area, ferrets are notorious for crawling under the washing machine and finding their way up into the machine. This is extremely dangerous as ferrets exposed to the inner mechanics of the machine, can easily get stuck and injured. Ferrets have also been known to get into the dryer hose, walk through the tube and find their way to the outside or get stuck within walls. When accessing your washroom, the best way to prevent any dangers with 100% certainty is to ensure all the ferrets are either in their cage or secured in a room.
Under or behind the refrigerator, oven, dishwashers, doors, etc.
BEFORE running the dishwasher or turning on the oven, ALWAYS check inside thoroughly and ensure no ferret made their way in. Always keep the door or room to your washer/dryer off-limits to your ferrets at all times, as they are more than capable of climbing around underneath and inside which could have a tragic ending. Refrigerator and ovens need to be lowered to the floors so no ferret can get underneath, as well as have all sides blocked from access. If you have doors that have a large enough opening for a ferret to crawl under, you can add a door sweeper or weather stripping to keep them out. You might also consider adding a carpet protector in front of your doors, as these little fuzzies love digging, especially in front of closed doors (they think if they dig long enough they'll find a way onto the other side).
Beds, couches and recliners
A box spring is an extremely dangerous
place for a ferret, that will surely lead to tragedy. An easy way to
combat the problem is to staple a sheet pulled tight or a carpet protector
to the bottom of your box spring. Recliners are great to have, but if
you're going to own a ferret it really has to go or be modified. A ferret
can get caught in the moving parts, clamps etc., without you realizing
it. Fortunately, it is easy enough to convert a recliner into a stationary
chair. Couches/sofas posses another problem. To keep your fuzzies from
getting into your couch from underneath, follow the same suggestion for
your box spring above. If you have ferrets that dig their way through
the cushions on top, you can try using a throw cover, but be prepared
to join the majority of ferret owners who are now futon owners. Another
point to keep in mind is if they get under your couch which is low to
the ground, they might decide to use a corner as their litter box. Always
inspect the sofa cushions, ferrets are notorious for getting under or
into them. They can easily get caught/suffocate, or get seriously injured
if sat upon. If possible keep them away from sofas, recliners, chairs,
Some ferrets love to chew on wires, which is obviously quite dangerous. To help avoid this situation, you can try and keep all the wires together and utilize a plastic wire protector which the wires will run through. Another option to try is to spray or apply bitter apple spray or gels to the wires as the taste will usually discourage this behavior.
If you live in a split level home and your ferrets are allowed full access,open railings can present a big hazard to your ferret. You can either restrict your ferret only to the lower level by using a Plexiglas guard, or you can purchase fiberglass or Plexiglas sheets to intertwine between the spindles to protect your fuzzy from going/falling through.
No matter how much ferret proofing you do, or how secure you feel, ferrets should never be left out without constant supervision
- Ferret's normal rectal temperature is between 100 - 104 with 101.9 being the average.
- Heart rate is 180 - 250 bpm with 225 being average.
- Respiration is 33-36 per minute.
- Normal urine pH is 6.5 - 7.5
- Blood volume is 60-80 ml/ kg.
- Ferrets do possess toxoplasmosis in
their systems. However, unlike cats they cannot release/
shed the infected eggs back into the environment, they
hit a dead end, so humans cannot catch the disease.