A couple of us thought that it would be good to have a thread to direct people to, when they ask for information on ferrets while they are considering getting one. So, here is a bunch of important and general information, more info then you ever wanted to know :rofl1: GENERAL INFORMATION So, you think that you would like to have a ferret as a pet. Here is some information that will, hopefully, help you in deciding if the ferret is the right pet for you. Ferrets are amazing pets, and lots of fun to have around. The best way I can find to describe the fun of a ferret, is if you take the loyalty of a dog, the independence of a cat, and add a little bit of special, and you get a ferret. There really is no animal that is kept as a pet that comes near the special bond of a ferret. Ferrets will make you laugh, will test your patience, and will just bring so much joy into your life. Beware â€“ ferret math strikes! You my start with one or two, but you will end up wanting more. For the most part, you will either love having ferrets, are you will hate it. I have never run into an instance where it was in the middle. A few key things to think about before choosing to get a ferret is that they are litter animals, have a short life span (7-9 years), likely will get sick come middle age, and are expensive for upkeep. We will talk about all that a bit later. The time commitment is also a great one, which you have to think about. Ferrets need at least 2 hours a day out of cage, but most prefer more, especially if it is a single ferret. There is no guarantee that your ferret will get along with your dog or your cat, so you need to make sure you have a way to give the ferret running time away from your other pets. Ferrets should never be allowed to roam around small animals, or reptiles. Ferrets will gladly eat them as a snack, and with reptiles, it can cause huge problems and even kill the ferret. If you want a pet that will sit there and cuddle with you, a ferret is not the pet for you. While some are cuddly, most will deal with cuddling for a few minutes, and then want to play. They sleep for majority of the day, but when they are awake, they are awake and wanting to play! FOOD Ferrets are obligate carnivores. This means that anything other than meat is not digested. Therefore, they do best on a high quality, grain free diet. Ferrets can eat either a high quality ferret food, such as EVO Ferret or Zupreem (they have a grain-free variety), or a high quality kitten food. When choosing food, there should be no fruits or vegetables, especially in the first 5 ingredients. If there is any corn, if should not be any higher than the 4th ingredient. The first 2 ingredients should be meat, with 3 of the first 5 being meat. Ferrets need a diet that is high in protein, moderate in fat, low in fibre and carbohydrates. The suggested minimum for protein is 36%. Protein is important for both tissue growth and muscle repair. The suggest fat is 18-40%. Fat is important for heating the body, and providing energy â€“ which a healthy ferret will have plenty of! Due to a lack of cecum to process fibre, the maximum amount a food should have is 3%. A low carbohydrate amount is very important in ferrets, as higher amounts of carbohydrates are thought to contribute to Insulinoma (which we will discuss later). The average is 34%, but the lower the carbohydrate level is, the better. Ferrets can be put on a raw diet. The raw diet for ferrets is very similar for that of dogs, just smaller amounts of food is needed daily. Ferrets are able to eat bones, and should, for a balanced diet. They can eat prey model raw â€“ rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc, or they can be fed the same meats that you would eat. Regardless of which, they need to be given hearts, livers, kidneys as well as a large variety of meat sources. Of course, feeding your ferret raw is thought to be best for them, if you can do it right and ensure they get everything they need. Ferrets imprint on kibble at a young age. What that means, is the more they eat at a young age, the better. While it is possible, it is much harder to get an older ferret to eat raw or a new brand of kibble than it is a kit. It is suggested that as a kit, you feed a large number of different foods, so if one food is ever discontinued, you can switch without a problem. That said, it is always better, if you are feeding kibble, to have 2 or 3 kibbles mixed together, as not one kibble is perfect for ferret health. Ferrets are just so weird, that nobody is quite sure what they need in their day to day diet, they just have guesses. All ferret owners need to know about something called Duck Soup. If you ever have a sick ferret (which you will at one point, I guarantee it), Duck Soup will be a life saver. There are tons of recipes out there, as not one recipe works for everybody. The most basic of recipes is: 1. The kibble your ferret is used to, soaked in water or chicken broth until mushy 2. Water 3. Canned feline A/D 4. Cooked chicken Stick it all in a blender, add water until a soup consistency. You can freeze it in ice cube trays, and take out and thaw as needed. Alternately, if your ferret will not eat Duck Soup (which some will not, especially if you get them as older ferrets and they were not imprinted on it as a kit), you can get Gerber baby food, meat and broth (they have different varieties, chicken, beef and turkey) and feed them that. Duck soup or baby food are also good to get some weight on a ferret that is a little on the skinny side. Treats should be given in moderation. Ferrets will eat either cat or ferret treats. Most treats out there for ferrets, are loaded with sugar, and really should not be fed very often. Many ferrets will take some dehydrated meat as a treat, which is much better for them. Not only is there no sugar, but it is a natural meat source that they will love. If they will take dehydrated meats as treats, you can give them all they like without worry. You can find a chart here: Ferret Universe-Ferret Food & Litter that outlines the most popular foods that people feed their ferrets, and lists the top 5 ingredients as well as protein, fat, fibre and carbohydrate levels. It can help in choosing a food for your ferret. Keep in mind when looking at the chart, that many holistic cat foods are not listed, so take the list with a grain of salt. Mainly, it will help you to learn what to look for in a good food for your pet.