In case we were to ever consider getting a ferret I will ask a few important questions. Are ferrets good pets for small children? If you have other pets in the home (cats, dogs, fish), would adding a ferret be a good idea, could they all get along? Can ferrets be litter trained? Just a few important factors we would need to consider in our family before ever purchasing a ferret. Thanks for your willingness to share your ferret experience.
I wouldn't recommend a ferret for very small children (younger than 7). Unless you make sure you ALWAYS supervise the ferret/child playtime together. For one thing, ferrets can nip. They usually DON'T break the skin. But they can. It's kinda like getting bit by a cat. A child may (out of reaction) shake, throw, or strangle the ferret.
In my experience, ferrets and cats can get along great. But it mainly depends on your cat. My cat and ferrets are all good buddies. They love each other. It's very cute. Ferrets will generally play really rough, so if you've got a very patient cat, or a cat that likes to play...ferrets and cats are really fun to watch together. But cats can get too rough with their claws and teeth. So like I said, it all depends on your cat. I wouldn't trust my parents dogs around my ferrets. But I HAVE heard of ferret owners who's dogs get along fine with their ferrets. But that also depends on the dog, I think.
Ferrets can be litter-trained, but keep in mind they will never go in their litterbox 100% of the time. Sometimes they will go right outside the box, just because they feel like it. Sometimes when my ferrets are running around outside the cage, they'll go back in there and use the litterbox. Other times, they'll just go right on the floor. You basically have to keep in mind that if you have a ferret, you'll definitely be picking up poop off the floor every so often. You have to have a lot of patience and a good sense of humor! It's like having 2 year olds for about 10 years! LOL!
My ferrets and my collie get along great. Im worried about them getting to know my cat because she used to be an outside cat, and brought home squirrels and rabbits and i think she would see these ferrets and think "lunch" It definitely depends on the attitude and character on the other animal that you want to introduce your ferrets to. Whether it be a cat, dog, horse or rabbit. (my rabbit and ferrets like each other lol, very ironic too) My ferrets are 3 now and i have had them since they were pulled from their momma. Definitely great animals to own. Id compare them to kittens that never grow up out of the kitten stage lol
my cat and ferret LOVE each other! they chase each other all around the house!!!
my dogs also love the ferret! ( i have a puggle and two labs!)
I also have a 3 year old who lives across the street from me and otto is great with her but have to be careful because he gets frisky and likes to nip at you.
other then that ferrets are AMAZING pets. Id would encourage anyone to get one if they have the time and energy it takes to raise one!
My ferret and mother in laws cats got along good when we lived there but at times the cats would play in ways I wasnt happy with. They wouldnt intend to hurt her but she's my baby so I kept them away when not under direct supervision. Ferrets are great pets. They can be littered trained-I think just a tray with layered paper towels works best. They sleep most of the day and are great in small apartments. My ferret is not caged. She has a cage and willsometimes sleep in the hammock but the majority of the time she doesn't go in the cage at all. Females are more docile then males. Having just one ferret makes ferrets act more cat like but multiples they act very ferret like-nipping roughhousing(playing) and more energetic craziness like. My ferret loves sleeping with her stuffed animals, and tucking them in at night. She loves rides and planing. She gives kisses and has never bitten anyone, human or animal. She loves people and always runs to the new person in the house playing and inspecting. They find the cutest hiding places to sleep. She has adopted my small suitcase, she crawls iin through the pull out handle we have sinse made this her nest with her favorite blankets and stuffed animals.(of course we leave the top unzipped and unaligned so she can crawl out and have fresh air) When we moved I had all my balled up sock pairs in a pilllow case. She quickly started sleeping in this pillow case with the socks. A couple days later I walked in the room and in her cage up in her hammock were 2 of the balled up sock pairs. One of them was mens socks and more than half her size- she literally dragged them out of the pillow case up the ramp into her cage then lifted them up into the hammock! Ferrets love to sleep under blankets all cuddled up and in hammocks. Multiple ferrets often sleeped cuddled. My ferret is a only child but loves to cuddle with her stuffed animals-which she has many. I first noticed her affinity for them when she adopted my stuffed animals! I can't say enough about the joy and love she has brought into our life.
Care: It is important to always have food and water available. They have short intestines and digest food very quickly so they need to eat throughout the day. They also need a high protein diet. I recommend food specifically for ferrets without fruit or vegetable matter. While close to cat food ferret food is usually even higher in protein than cat foot. Ferrets should not be left in cages indefinately! To me this is inhumane. Ferrets are not rodents! They are very loving playful animals. I reccomend having a ferret proof room and having them caged only while out of the house or when having company etc. We have a ferret proof apartment and keep our baby in one room while we are not home. Ferrets need to be socialized. Held and interacted with regularly this can deter nipping. (mine has never bitten anyone) They do have a slight odor which you learn to love. They do not need to be washed often! You can not wash their odor away! In fact washing ferrets makes the odor more distinct as their body replenishes their natural oils. The best odor treatment is to wash their blankets and toy regularly. Their nails are very sharp and need to be clipped regularly. As with any pet they need regular visits with the vet and yearly vaccines such as distemper.
My ferret has given me so much, she has enriched our lives immensely and I would reccomend ferrets for any worthy enough person.
We had a ferret for ten years and it was a loving affectionate pet. They are very unusual animals. The ferret got along well with our African Gray parrot. That being said, one day a police officer visited with his German Shepherd attack dog. The ferret determined the dog was a threat to my mother and the 1.2 pound ferret proceeded to turn the 75 pound Shepherd into a bloody mess. The dog fled the house. I couldn't believe such a little animal could do so much damage. I would be very cautious about leaving a ferret with a baby or a small child, especially if the ferret had not been acustomed to them.
Ferrets make amazing pets. I have 3 right now. They are all on a raw diet and occasionally get whole prey. I recommend that anyone wanting to get a ferret put them on a kibble that has very little plant material or put them on a raw diet.
I also have a ferret who is a great pet! I got him from a breeder, he was returned after a few months because the teenager who bought him didn't know how to handle him and he was biting. Sometimes it was nipping, sometimes he was biting hard! They are fast learners though, and he got over it very quickly. Occassionally he will nip while playing, but he now licks instead.
Ferrets are very smart animals! Very smart! They love to climb, dig, burrow, and generally disturb everything around them, so make sure they can't get at your houseplants, any delicate materials, expensive shoes, etc. Mine learned how to open the kitchen cupboards at one point and would curl up and sleep in the pots and pans. They are also extremely strong animals. I talked to a gentleman who has had ferrets for pet shows and personal pets his whole life, and he warned me that pound for pound they are stronger than a rotweiler, including bite strength. Luckily, they are generally good natured, playful animals.
Ferrets can be litter trained, but I never was successful with it! My guy will jump back in his cage or litter pan if its convenient, but he won't go looking for his litter if its not right beside him. The good news though, ferret poop doesn't smell, sticks to itself so its easy to pick up, and if Mr. Ferret gets somewhere that isn't easy to reach, you can leave poop for a day or two then it sweeps up easily from hard flooring. Pee spots either soak up easily with a papertown, of it they dry I spot treat the area with a natural, non-toxic floor cleaner. Their cages can get a little smelly, so they need cleaned regularly, but if seen to all the time they are no more stinky then a cat. Probably less so actually! And ferrets DO NOT need their scent gland removed, its just like anal glands on dogs, yes they can express it but most vets now believe that removing it causes much more harm than good. They DO need spayed or neutered though.
My ferret is best friends with my cat, but they also grew up together. Sometimes they play a little too rough, but they each give as good as they get so I let them sort themselves out. My ferret and my dog also play, I have a sheltie X. They are not left unsupervised just incase, and they do play rough, but they wouldn't have it any other way.
Ferrets would be suitable for young children to WATCH, as they are very funny animals, and their antics are better than TV. I would not have a small child handle a ferret though, as they can play rough or the child may try to squeeze the squirming ferret and drive it to nip my accident. Ferrets can be hard to hold! I wouldn't give away a ferret because of having a baby, but I wouldn't get one with very young children either. But once the child is a little older, it might be good for the child to help a parent plan new toys and activities for the ferret. If a ferret is a single pet, it should have lots of stimulation, toys and play space that is rotated, crinkly bags, tubes, all sorts of cat or dog toys, etc so a child might have fun planning and changing the ferret play space then watching the little ball of fur play.