One of my favorite things about ferrets is that
they constantly surprise and entertain you. They manage to get into spots that you would never
think they could even fit through (even under closed doors).
I'm not trying to talk you out of getting a ferret. There are few creatures that are as fun and loving as they are, but there are many things you should be aware of before deciding to purchase a ferret:
Ferrets are not wild animals. They wouldn't be able to survive in the woods any better than your pet Yorkshire Terrier would. They depend on their owners to keep them safe, fed and happy!
Ferrets need a minimum of 2 (supervised) hours per day out of their cages.
They seem to be running on hyperdrive when they are out of their cages, but when they are tired,
they're likely to fall asleep wherever they happen to be.
Ferrets are quite small so are easily overlooked when doing daily chores such as laundry, dishes, or just opening and closing doors, so you
have to be extremely careful whenever they are out of their cage. I've found mine inside the box springs of my bed, under my refrigerator, behind the books in my bookshelf, in the laundry basket and just about everywhere else I didn't think they could get to. Your entire home will need to be "ferret-proofed" before adding a ferret to your home.
They have a strong musky odor (even with regular bathing) that some people find distasteful.
Ferrets are usually tolerant of other pets in the house but they can be easily harmed by dogs and cats! Introduce them slowly and NEVER leave them unattended.
Remember, small birds and rodents are considered "dinner" by ferrets. They may not know what to do with it after they catch it but their teeth and jaws can do alot of damage to your pet bird or hamster.
Female ferrets will, almost always, welcome another female ferret into the family but very few males will accept another male. They are very territorial and will fight!
Most ferrets found in pet stores have already been sterilized and de-scented (removal of scent glands). If you choose a female ferret (Jill), she must be sterilized, or bred. If she isn't bred, she can develop fatal infection or aplastic anemia, either of which will kill her.
Ferrets come in a variety of colors, some of them are: Sable, Chocolate, Black, Cinnamon, Silver Mitt (see photo of Jinx above), Sterling Silver, Albino White, and Black-eyed White. I haven't noticed any difference in behavior or personality, so color is just per your preference.
They can be trained to use a litter pan but they won't cover it up. The litter pan will need to be cleaned several times daily.
Training them to return to their litter pan when they are loose can be a challenge. Make sure they use the bathroom before letting them out of the cage and you'll be alot happier.
If you are still interested in getting a ferret, please purchase a book about them beforehand.