Ferret questions

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by oakash, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. oakash

    oakash Kat/Oak AKA The Nice One

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    Sooo, I know that a couple people on here have ferrets, and I need to know everything there is to know.

    I have got a couple questions too.

    1. How much do they smell? I can stand it, but my parents don't like it.

    2. Is it possible to keep them outside? We live in Florida, so it doesn't get cold but it does get hot.

    3. In fact, our house gets hot because we don't turn on the air all the time. It has gotten to the 90s before we turned the air on.

    4. How is their interaction with dogs and cats?

    5. How easy is it to just let them roam around, in a safe room?

    6. How hard is it to make a room "ferret safe"

    7. About how much would it cost yearly to upkeep them?

    8. How easy is it to litter train them?

    9. Is it possible to litter train them about their pee and their poop?

    10. Is it okay to only have one ferret?

    And, I think that is it. Thanks for your time anyone who censers, and be brutal. I want to know if it would be feasible for me and my family AND the ferret. I want to know everything I possibly can know.
     
  2. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    1. The smell is easily controlled if you wash their bedding OFTEN and clean the litter boxes daily. but from what i've heard, the musky slight odor is always there

    2. Florida is too hot. Im from Miami and honestly.. I doubt a ferret could deal with that temperature. in the UK ferrets are commonly left outside.. but in FL where temperature rises up to the 90s.. no. they deal better with cold than heat

    3. If its comfortable for you..then id say hot indoors is ok for a ferret.. just keep fresh water and a fan going if anything

    4. Ive seen ferrets getting along fine with both. with dogs (especially large ones) be careful with introductions.. remember, for most dogs, ferrets look a lot like prey/toys

    5. lol ferret proofing takes time, if theres something to mess with.. they will. but ferret safe rooms are possible

    6. Careful with outlets, plants, wires, shiny things, any small item, anything chewable.. theres a list somewhere

    7. The ferret nation cage is around $200.. Food is expensive, but the big $$ comes because ferrets are very prone to some EXPENSIVE problems. this is what stopped me from getting a ferret. adrenal is SOO common..

    8. Ferrets naturally go into corners. very few are 100% with a litter box, they aren't cats lol you do have a teach them. watch them.. when they start to back in a corner, scoop them up and put them in the litter box, praise when they go. but ive never seen a ferret who will actively SEEK OUT a litter box.. it has be around lol

    10. Yes ive seen single ferrets. they do require MUCH more out of a cage time and play time. since they don't have another buddy to romp around with


    heres a good site for info Ferret Central
     
  3. Labyrinth

    Labyrinth New Member

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    1. How much do they smell? I can stand it, but my parents don't like it.

    The stink depends on how clean things are kept and the quality of food you have them on. Scoop boxes 1 or 2 times daily, and wash their laundry weekly. Do not bathe ferrets often to get rid of odor because the oils in their bodies will go into overdrive to compensate and they'll smell worse.

    2. Is it possible to keep them outside? We live in Florida, so it doesn't get cold but it does get hot.

    I would never keep a ferret outside in any kind of weather. Ferrets do better in colder weather than hot.

    3. In fact, our house gets hot because we don't turn on the air all the time. It has gotten to the 90s before we turned the air on.

    I go into an absolute panic if the room we keep the ferrets in reaches 80 degrees. I really wouldn't recommend keeping them somewhere that it gets hotter than that.

    4. How is their interaction with dogs and cats?

    My ferrets love to chase the cats/dogs. The cats will leave the room if the ferrets are out, but the dogs love to play with them. My dogs are very excited when the ferrets are let out of their cage to play, but do not understand size difference. Also, ferrets bite hard when they play, and don't understand that the dogs do not have as thick skin as they do. It's in both of their best interests to keep interaction to a very closely supervised minimum to avoid injuries to either animal.

    5. How easy is it to just let them roam around, in a safe room?

    Ferrets are very curious creature. They need a lot to keep them entertained, and a bored ferret is a destructive ferret (and a destructive ferret is more likely to injure itself). If you have the space to make a ferret only room and put in the effort to make it completely ferret safe it makes playtime much much easier.

    6. How hard is it to make a room "ferret safe"

    The only way I've ever been able to make a room completely ferret safe, was to take everything out of the room that didn't belong to the ferrets. If there is any carpet in that room though you can pretty much kiss it goodbye :p

    7. About how much would it cost yearly to upkeep them?

    I've had horrible luck with my ferrets health. Ferrets can be very expensive. You don't want to put them on a cheap food, I pay about $45 for a 15 pound bag. It lasts a decent amount of time though, even feeding 3. The major expense comes in from medical issues. Ferrets are very prone to tumors, and their natural curiosity puts them in many dangerous situations. Currently I'm spending about $100 a month on vet bills for 2 of my ferrets. One of them requires oral medication every 12 hours. The third is young so he is still healthy. I also had to spend about $350 last year on a hairball removal surgery for my little girl (RIP), and just a few weeks ago had to spend $200 on an emergency visit to revive one of my seniors from an insulinoma crash. Some people get lucky, and their ferrets remain healthy and ultimately die of old age but I really don't think that's common.

    8. How easy is it to litter train them?

    Usually they'll get the concept eventually, but that doesn't mean they won't still potty outside of the box.

    9. Is it possible to litter train them about their pee and their poop?

    I have litterboxes in all the corners of the room they play in, and they still manage to go potty in front of or next to the box about 50% of the time. My youngest will still poop outside the boxes inside their cage from time to time. But when they're out for playtime pretty much all bets are off.

    10. Is it okay to only have one ferret?

    Having just one ferret is fine, but two or more really is best. If you have just one ferret you will need to spend a LOT of time with it to keep it entertained and out of trouble. My seniors tire out quickly so I have to keep my youngest entertained through most of playtime (anywhere from 3-6 hours a day), and it's absolutely exhausting.
     
  4. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    1. How much do they smell? I can stand it, but my parents don't like it.

    It will depend on how many you have, what litter you use, how often you scoop the litter, how litter trained your ferrets are and how often you wash the bedding. Washing the bedding weekly and scooping the poop once a day and making sure you wipe up an misses will do a lot to keep the litter down.

    That being said, some people will never be able to stand it.

    And I have six....they never don't smell :D

    2. Is it possible to keep them outside? We live in Florida, so it doesn't get cold but it does get hot.

    Cold is better than hot for ferrets, they don't handle weather about high 70s and 80s well and unless it's a ventilated air conditioned hutch I wouldn't do it

    3. In fact, our house gets hot because we don't turn on the air all the time. It has gotten to the 90s before we turned the air on.

    The only way you would be able to h ave ferrets with that is if you kept the room(s) they are in cooler

    4. How is their interaction with dogs and cats?

    Depends on the dog, the cat and the ferret really. Most ferrets have no fear and don't have any issue going up to a 100 pound dog and biting their face. You might end up never being able to let them interact or only on a leash or they might get along great with eachother supervised. A ferret can hurt another animal.they have really sharp teeth and thick skin

    5. How easy is it to just let them roam around, in a safe room?


    It takes awhile to get it completely ferret proofed but once it is you should be good with occasional checks to make sure they haven't found something new. Mine our out almost all day in my room

    6. How hard is it to make a room "ferret safe"


    Depends on the room. Mine is bare so all it has is a futon, book shelf, ferret cage and dresser so it was pretty easy. If you have any recliners they can get caught and killed in them, bed springs or tiny holes. They will take anything they can though some have things they like. One of mine likes books, another likes brushes, one stuffed animals and all of them love shoes.

    7. About how much would it cost yearly to upkeep them?

    After the initial buying of cage, bedding (blankets) hammocks etc. not a lot. You want them on a high quality grain free kitten/cat food (Evo, Orijen, Core etc.) and other than litter and vet costs that's about it. But the majority of ferrets will get ill many starting around 3 years. They are prone to lots of illnesses so be aware of that.

    8. How easy is it to litter train them?

    When you only have one, it can be a little tricky and you will want a cage that's easy to clean (Ferret Nation) and for awhile it might have a litter boxes in every corner till they figure out what corners they like. When you start let the litter get a little dirty and put some poop in it. They are naturally clean animals and like to go in the same places

    9. Is it possible to litter train them about their pee and their poop?


    Pretty much, but except a few accidents. I had one guy that was 100% up to his dying day but other than that everyone of mine misses sometimes

    10. Is it okay to only have one ferret?


    Yes, but they will need more one on one attention. Like dogs, most ferrets very much enjoy the company of other ferrets because the human can't curl up in a ferret pile or wrestle with them the same way. But they really do fine as a solitary animal.

    I had my Sasha as an only ferret for about half a year and she and I bonded very closely and she loves to sleep on the bed with me. But I got Linus as an adult when I already had other ferrets and he is just as bonded with me

    It's you the will have the problem only having one :D
     
  5. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    My answers are in red. Did not bother to read everybody elses answers, so sorry if I repeat.

    Also - does this mean we possibly have another ferret joining the Chaz family??? :D
     
  6. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    1. How much do they smell? I can stand it, but my parents don't like it.
    The smell is the first thing everyone asks me. Also, when people come over its the first thing they say "Hey! They don't stink!" :D
    Oh, but they can!
    Like the others have said, it depends on how much you clean their cages, what kind of litter you have, etc.
    For me, I use Yesterdays News and even when the box fills up it doesn't stink [until I scoop it out (lol) then it stinks up the room! I only let it it get that bad one time when I was really sick :eek:) I have covers on the levels that I can take off and throw in the wash, or I leave it bare and wipe it off when I need to. When it does start to smell your best bet is to wash all bedding, hammocks, etc instead of the ferret itself ;) If you bath them too much they will stink worse ;)

    There diet also effects there skin, coat, and smell. My ferrets eat raw and sometimes Innova EVO - there skin and coats are nothing like the ones in the pet store, trust me!!!

    I would say that if you wash the bedding weekly (or bi-weekly depending on how many you have) and feed GOOD food your parents definitely won't smell them at all if there in the next room. My Mom has asthma and a sensitive nose to animals and she didn't think they stunk until she put her nose to them and sniffed lol.


    2. Is it possible to keep them outside? We live in Florida, so it doesn't get cold but it does get hot.
    I don't want to be repetitive - I agree with the above.

    3. In fact, our house gets hot because we don't turn on the air all the time. It has gotten to the 90s before we turned the air on.
    I wait a while before turning the air on as well. As long as there is proper ventilation, fans, water, etc they should be okay. I turn my air on earlier for them, lol. Some ferts like to snorkle or swim, I've put a huge pot of cool water in there cage before when the air died and it was pretty miserable inside! I've found they like to play with ice cubes as well. Very amusing to watch!

    4. How is their interaction with dogs and cats?
    It varies ferret to ferret. A majority of them play very rough - you have to be careful that the dog or cat won't get offended and attack, because there size alone can do more damage. Mine get along great with the dogs, and the dogs are very gentle with them. They are Not afraid of dogs, so when I have a foster who is not very gentle I have to work hard to keep them separated, because Izzy especially will try and meet the newbie and play with them, which cannot be allowed sometimes... They like to play chase or wrestle. Sometimes they ignore each other, though!
    Ferrets like to steal cat/dog toys... so the dog might have to get used to that! lol

    5. How easy is it to just let them roam around, in a safe room?
    Easy in some ways, but you have to keep an eye on them, because if there is a way that they will find to get out of the ferret proofed area, they will find it in time. Trust me! Izzy got stuck in the drier!! She slipped under the door, over the baby gate, and into the back of the drier. :yikes: But its usually easy to fix

    6. How hard is it to make a room "ferret safe"
    I didn't think it was too hard. But it depends on the room. The best way is to literally lay on the floor and look around at all the stuff you could mess up! Anything there heads can slip through, the rest of them can slip through, or get stuck! Mine roam in the hallway which allows access to 2 rooms and the small bathroom. The bathroom doesn't have much in it but tp. Although one time Izzy found out how to get on the counter and she tried to hide my toothbrush, so I had to get a new one LOL

    7. About how much would it cost yearly to upkeep them?
    Depends. Sometimes its hard to find a ferret savvy vet, and there prices may very. Your best bet would be to call around and ask. AND just because a vet knows how to vaccinate a ferret, doesn't mean they are going to be well educated on some of their illnesses or how to treat them. It also depends on what you feed them, and how much you spoil them. I do limited vacs, but the first round and vet visit was about $100. You'll need to have an emergency fund set aside, like with dogs, because they can develop adrenal disease, insulinomas, and aleutian disease (ADV) to name a few. Pet store ferrets >> Marshall Farm ferrets are MUCH more prone to these... a privately bred ferret would be A LOT less likely to have any of these, and they have health tests done, and are started on a natural diet already. I will own one someday! Also, rescues usually test/vet and are adults so you will know more what your getting. To be honest, it is a gamble when you buy a kit from a pet store. ;)

    8. How easy is it to litter train them?

    For most ferrets :) Peyton's being a pain, but Izzy and Annie were super easy. I've been putting Peyton in the litter box when she wakes up, or after she's been playing for a while and when she goes I give her a treat. She's catching on super fast!

    10. Is it okay to only have one ferret?
    Yes - if they get plenty of time and attention.



    Ferrets really need to be out of the cage around 4hrs a day. I break mine up, some in the morning before work, and in the evening after work. Weekends is more. When I have a foster who is not okay with them, they are confined to the one end of the house (mentioned above). When I don't have a foster, they get free roam minus the laundry/kitchen area!!
    The love to go to new places, and play outside ,, but you have to be careful on who you let handle them sometimes... especially if they are nippy, but also ferrets can catch some human colds & flus.

    Izzy goes to work with me sometimes (I work at a preschool) and she LOVES the kids, and they love to laugh at her and play with her, build giant lego tunnels that she rarely goes in,they screech and squeal with excitement, but she's deaf so it doesn't bother her. It teaches them compassion, responsibilities of having pets, and about special needs/diversity. I personally feel like I need to socialize them like a puppy.

    They do learn, they are stubborn and have a SUPER short attention span. Izzy knows the sign for "no", Annie comes to her name, and both her and Peyton respond to "no" as well. I'm trying to teach Izzy "come" with a sign but its challenging so far.

    They are a joy to have, but they are a big responsibility. One thing that I noticed you didn't ask about was a cage. You can actually have them in a room. BUT if you can't ferret proof the room to 100% they'll need to be in a cage when you can't watch them (or aren't home). The bigger the better. I personally LOVE the FN cages... I have a FN 142 which was HUGE for 1 fert (excuse to get more LOL).But the doors open all the way which makes it easier to clean the cage. The super pet cages are nice, but very hard to each all of the areas to clean. I had plastic ramps/shelves fold and break after being used for a while with the ferts :(


    :D I hope so! lol

    Hope that helps a little! :)
     
  7. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I think that's a great point. A lot of people say "ohh 4 hours min for a ferret to be out" but don't talk about the fact that if they are out for four hours about three hours of that will be spent sleeping :rolleyes:

    Mine are out all day about so they play then sleep and then maybe one or two will come out and get into things and then go back to sleep and that continues on.
     
  8. oakash

    oakash Kat/Oak AKA The Nice One

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    Ohhhhh, I want one soo badly. I wish another ferret was joining Chaz. But the heat thing, we could keep a fan on it, but we often try and try and hold off putting on the air for money reasons. And money reasons is another reason we probably can't get one. We are kinda hard off right now, and my mom is teaching 7 classes to help out. Thank you soo soo much, I really appreciate it, now I know what I need to do.

    I guess you can keep a ferret in most collage dorms right? Maybe I shall wait until them, but that will be at least 3 YEARS!Ughh, how can I wait this long....

    Any way, Thanks Again! Oh, and I am home schooled so I could be home with it a long time.
     
  9. Izzy's Valkyrie

    Izzy's Valkyrie Very Food Agressive

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    Uhhh no, you cannot keep anything but a ten or less gallon tank in most college dorms. A gerbil will get you probation and community service, much less a ferret. So don't do what I did and get caught with a non-fish pet in a dorm :D
     
  10. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    wait.... aren't ferrets illegal in florida anyways?? or am I thinking somewhere else?
     
  11. Izzy's Valkyrie

    Izzy's Valkyrie Very Food Agressive

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    You're thinking California :p
     
  12. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    florida, California, same place :p Both places that are warmer than here :lol-sign:
     
  13. oakash

    oakash Kat/Oak AKA The Nice One

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    Oh man! Oh well...

    Well, I started to really think bout ferrets because my sister was renting out part of a house, and the other person, in Florida, had a ferret that she didn't do anything to. She never took it out or anything. So my sister started playing with it every night when she got home and is now really sad because she left and the ferret won't have anyone again. Soo, we are trying to convince my dad.

    LOL! Wayyy to warmer then wherever you are.
     

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