National Ferret Day

posted: by: Dawn, RVT Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Today is National Ferret Day!  Ferrets are fun little pets that are related to the wild Black-Footed Ferret and also to the skunk family.

Many people think ferrets are cute and fun as kits, or babies.  But ferrets grow up and continue to be mischievous and require a lot of exercise and careful attention to keep them out of trouble.  A ferret's lifespan is 6-8 years, with some living longer.  People considering owning a ferret need to be sure they are ready for that commitment.  They should also be aware that ferrets as pets are illegal in some areas, and they should check their local laws before buying or adopting a ferret.

Ferrets should be housed in a roomy cage with ample time out of the cage to exercise.  Ferrets are small and wiley and will go under and inside appliances and furniture.  They will also pick up anything off the floor, from shoes to toys to marbles and buttons.  Before allowing your ferret to explore, get down on the floor and look for where you think a snake could go.  If a snake could get there, so could a ferret!

Ferrets have similar nutritional requirements to kittens, and should be fed a commercial ferret food or a high quality kitten food.  They can be litter trained, but require a low dust/dust free litter, such as Yesterday's News pellets.  Being so low to the ground, their noses are very close to the litter and dusty litter can cause respiratory problems.  Ferrets potty in corners, so a high backed corner litter box is ideal.  Keep this in mind, also, when your ferrets are out exploring...they won't always return to their cage to potty!

Ferrets require yearly trips to the vet for a rabies vaccine.  Those visits should increase to twice yearly when the ferret is 4-5 years of age.  Ferrets don't routinely need baths...once or twice a year should suffice unless your ferret likes to find the dirtiest corner or dig in the soil of potted plants.  Bathing stimulates the body to produce more oils, which is what gives the ferret its musky smell.  Bathing too often will make your ferret smell muskier.  And speaking of musky, ferrets do have a natural musky smell to them.  Some are stronger than others.  Some people love the smell, others cannot tolerate it, so this is definitely something to consider before opening your home to a ferret (or two or three!).

Ferrets enjoy living in pairs or groups, so consider opening your home to more than one ferret.  You'll find them sleeping in a ferret pile in a hammock or under a blanket:)

Ferrets require a lot of work, but can also be a lot of fun.  For more information on ferrets, visit:

Heart of Ohio Ferret Rescue:

Humane Society of the United States: