- 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.
Is a Ferret For You?
As the popularity of ferrets is increasing,
so are the numbers of ferrets being surrendered to shelters
or given away as owners are/ were NOT fully
prepared for everything that comes along with ferret ownership.
Many web sites and owners are very eager to talk about
the cuteness factor, their playfulness, energy, etc, often
neglecting to mention that a ferret is not the pet for
everyone and that they are very high maintenance, unlike
cats and dogs. All too often ferrets tend to be an impulse
buy without knowing beforehand what you are getting in
to; perhaps if the price tag was higher this impulse buying
would be reduced.
The purpose of this page is to help you determine
if a ferret is the right pet for you before you
go out to purchase one, as there are adjustments you as
the owner will need to make. All too often ferrets end
up in shelters, where the financial burden is then placed
on someone else, the ferret does not get the human attention/
interaction, out-of-cage time needed, often suffers shelter
shock, etc. Keep in mind, just like with a cat or dog,
if you are making the decision to own a ferret you should
be taking on all the responsibilities for the life of your
A ferret is not a cage animal, and requires
a minimum of 3-4 hours outside of the cage on a daily basis;
they are very high energy animals. They need a cage with
ample room to house a large litter pan, food bowl, water
bottle, hammocks, bedding, etc.
They cannot be left alone for more than
24-48 hours. What will happen when you want to go away?
Do you have someone who will ferret sit? Most pet sitters will not watch ferrets.
Do you have a ferret knowledgeable vet?
Many regular vets are not equipped or have the knowledge
to treat ferrets.
Do you have the finances to provide for
their medical needs? Yearly checkups and vaccines are
routine, but what about illnesses requiring surgery
such as Insulinoma, Adrenal Disease, hairball's, etc?
Can you afford at LEAST 1
(avg is 2) surgical procedure in the lifetime of your
ferret (7-9 years) which can run over $1,000?
Can you afford the medical treatment for Adrenal Disease (Lupron Depot) which can run $300
every 4-6 months?
Do you have the means to pay for medical
attention when your ferret is not acting right, their
poops are off, etc? Ferrets hide their illnesses extremely well; by the time
any signs and symptoms are noticeable, the ailment
is quite advanced and medical attention needs to be
Ensuring your house is fully safe is a big
undertaking; you cannot watch your ferret outside their
cage 100% of the time.
Ferrets can tend to be nippy, especially when they are young.
If your ferret is a biter, are you going to ensure there are no accidents with friends, family members, children, etc, keeping in mind they need time out of their cage?
What about other pets in your house? What about children?
Ferrets are obligate carnivores and need
to be fed an appropriate diet. They are not a cat or dog
and should not be fed that type of food (there are some high-quality cat foods
that are an exception). Do you have access to high-quality
ferret food they need? Will you provide meat-based treats
only, rather than the junk treats marketed to ferrets which
would only contribute to the onset of illnesses such as
- 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.