Ferrets

Pet owner advice sheets

Behaviour

Ferrets make wonderful pets because of their engaging personalities, playful activity and fastidious nature. They can also be easily trained to use a litter tray because they tend to habitually urinate and defaecate in the same places. How do I know if my ferret is exhibiting normal behaviour? Ferrets are extremely intelligent, naturally inquisitive and... Read more »

Routine health care

We are all familiar with the phrase "A healthy pet is a happy pet" - but there is probably also something to be said for keeping your ferret happy in order to maintain its health. If you know your pet you will probably quickly recognise the signs that suggest it is not well. What are... Read more »

Neutering your ferret

Neutering your ferret not only prevents unwanted or accidental pregnancies - it is a fact that every year many litters of unwanted kits are born. It is also important when considering other factors such as breeding, accommodation and health. How can I prevent my jill from coming into oestrus? Female ferrets are seasonally polyoestrus, which... Read more »

Feeding your ferret

Ferrets have unique feeding requirements. They are carnivores and are unable to obtain nutrients from vegetable matter; the food they eat also passes through their digestive system very quickly. For this reason their diet needs to be high in animal protein, fat and low in fibre. A ferret thrives on a varied diet, so the... Read more »

Routine health care

We are all familiar with the phrase "A healthy pet is a happy pet" - but there is probably also something to be said for keeping your ferret happy in order to maintain its health. If you know your pet you will probably quickly recognise the signs that suggest it is not well. What are... Read more »

Neutering your ferret

Neutering your ferret not only prevents unwanted or accidental pregnancies - it is a fact that every year many litters of unwanted kits are born. It is also important when considering other factors such as breeding, accommodation and health. How can I prevent my jill from coming into oestrus? Female ferrets are seasonally polyoestrus, which... Read more »

Feeding your ferret

Ferrets have unique feeding requirements. They are carnivores and are unable to obtain nutrients from vegetable matter; the food they eat also passes through their digestive system very quickly. For this reason their diet needs to be high in animal protein, fat and low in fibre. A ferret thrives on a varied diet, so the... Read more »

Viral and bacterial infections in ferrets

Ferrets are prone to a number of viral and bacterial infections. There are vaccines available to prevent some of these, but good management practices go a long way to lower the risks of infectious disease in ferrets. What viral infections do ferrets suffer from? Ferrets are not susceptible to the viruses that commonly produce upper... Read more »

Parasitic diseases in ferrets

Most of the external parasites of domestic dogs and cats (fleas, mange, ear mites, etc.) can cause disease in ferrets. However, less is known about the ferret's susceptibility to the more common internal parasites (roundworms, etc.) of dogs and cats. Do ferrets suffer from parasitic diseases? Ferrets can suffer from both internal and external parasitic... Read more »

Miscellaneous health problems in ferrets

Two medical conditions of ferrets that demand special mentions are the ferret's extreme susceptibility to canine distemper and the unusual consequences of female ferrets coming into heat. These are therefore covered in separate factsheets. However, there are other medical conditions that affect ferrets that are briefly covered here. Can ferrets sweat? Ferrets lack sweat glands... Read more »

Canine distemper in ferrets

Ferrets are highly susceptible to canine distemper - a disease normally seen in dogs that is transmitted through moisture droplets. Dogs usually pick it up when sniffing where infected dogs have been, and since the incubation period can be as long as three weeks, it is usually too late to vaccinate once any outbreak has... Read more »

Housing your ferret

Ferrets make wonderful pets because of their engaging personalities, playful activity and fastidious nature. Housing is important for your ferret, whether you keep them inside or outside. If your ferret is a house ferret... They can easily be trained to use a litter box because they tend to habitually urinate and defecate in the same... Read more »

Handling your ferret

When awake, ferrets generally exhibit constant activity. However, they can be easily picked up and gently restrained by using both hands to support their weight and provide security from falling and injury. How should I pick up my ferret? It is important that you pick up your ferret correctly in order to avoid frightening or... Read more »

Ferrets: a history

The ferret, also known as Mustela putorius furo (which in Latin means 'bad smelling weasel') comes from the 'Mustelidae' family and is a domestic pet, not a wild animal. However, ferrets are descendants of the European polecat (weasel) and are, therefore, close relatives of skunks, mink, otters and badgers. The history Ferrets are unusual animals,... Read more »

Housing your ferret

Ferrets make wonderful pets because of their engaging personalities, playful activity and fastidious nature. Housing is important for your ferret, whether you keep them inside or outside. If your ferret is a house ferret... They can easily be trained to use a litter box because they tend to habitually urinate and defecate in the same... Read more »

Handling your ferret

When awake, ferrets generally exhibit constant activity. However, they can be easily picked up and gently restrained by using both hands to support their weight and provide security from falling and injury. How should I pick up my ferret? It is important that you pick up your ferret correctly in order to avoid frightening or... Read more »

Ferrets: a history

The ferret, also known as Mustela putorius furo (which in Latin means 'bad smelling weasel') comes from the 'Mustelidae' family and is a domestic pet, not a wild animal. However, ferrets are descendants of the European polecat (weasel) and are, therefore, close relatives of skunks, mink, otters and badgers. The history Ferrets are unusual animals,... Read more »