The ferrets or mustela putorius bore are a mammal considered to have been domesticated for about 2,500 years. It is known that Caesar Augustus sent ferrets or mongooses to the Balearic Islands to control the plagues of rabbits in 6 BC
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More recently, the ferret was used for hunting lagomorphs , since they could move in their burrows without problems. In some countries as Australia continues to be used in the face of the great plagues of rabbits that this country suffers from time to time.
Finally the ferret has become a fantastic pet because it is a very active and extremely curious animal. It is an incredible animal that will surprise anyone who wants to adopt.
There are a wide variety of ferrets that are visually different by their size, color or appearance. They can also be distinguished by the size of the hair.
We must consider that the size can vary depending on the sex, this because a female ferret is usually 30% smaller than the male. It is considered an adult from the 9 or 10 months, at which time we can already identify its size as:
- Wiped or small – They weigh between 400 and 500 grams.
- Standard or medium – Usually weighs between 500 grams to 1 kilo.
- Bull or large – They weigh up to 2.5 kilograms.
The ferret can have a multitude of colors , because there are no equal ferrets around the world. Among them we find shades such as white, champagne, black, chocolate, cinnamon or tricolor. In addition, there are also very concrete patterns like Standard, Siamese, Marble, Uniform, Gloves, Tip or Panda.
The size of the hair will be different in winter and summer. Basically we have different according to their stature, for example, we find in the Wiped variety a short and extremely soft, velvet type. The Standard presents for each type mohair, the longer you can have a ferret. Lastly, the Bull has short hair and nice feel.
They are very sociable animals that generally accept other members of their species and even cats with no problem. They love to play and sleep with each other to warm themselves, is that the ferret hates loneliness and will feel very happy to have another member in the family with whom you can pass the time.
It is also no problem to have a ferret alone, although one should be aware that it should give you toys, care and daily attention.
Although there are many myths about the ferret’s aggressive behavior, the truth is that for 15 years the breeders have selected more docile and quiet specimens for breeding. This means that most of the ferrets that are found for adoption are not aggressive . Still, if we decide that the ferret will be the ideal pet for our children we should watch over their behavior for a while.
The child can not consider the ferret as a teddy, can not play and annoy him whenever he wants. They are sensitive and small animals that, in the face of a physical threat, acted in a rush or scratching with some force.
They are intelligent and curious animals that throughout the day are restless and with great energy. This is offset by the 14 or 18 hours a day they spend sleeping.
The ferret requires a different feed than the pets we are used to. It is a small carnivorous mammal with high protein requirements. For this reason, your food base will be the meat and only from time to time can we give you fish. Never give her cat food.
In the market we find several specific rations and the ferret is a much more common animal than most people think. These rations are usually made with crushed chicken, a treatment that facilitates digestion. It is not recommended that cereal content be high.
Like cats and dogs, there are also specific rations for each stage of your life, for example juniorfood has more fat or calcium, while the adult type is more a maintenance food and booster.
Finally, let’s talk about the goodies , very important to improve our relationship with the ferret and make him understand the actions he performs correctly. You should not abuse them, but we can offer you a certain amount per day, for example, when you urinate in the right place. Everything must be done in a very positive way, this will help to improve the well-being of our new family member.
Be careful if you have hamsters or rabbits at home, they can become prey to the ferret. We should never give them grapes, sugar, chocolate, butter or peanuts.
If we are thinking of adopting a ferret we should exercise extreme caution when they find themselves outside the cage , they have very easy to move around in the cabinets and different spaces they can find around the house.
Remember that they do not know the danger of biting a cable, moving a folding chair, etc. Their curiosity is such that they can end up getting hurt or very hurt because you do not take the necessary security measures.
As we commented, the ferret is a very curious pet that will need to make some small adaptations to your house, so that he can adapt himself. Check the small places where you can get stuck, always close the trash and watch any appliance at your fingertips.
If you ask yourself about the ferret’s daily life and your activity, you should have asked the question: ” Can the ferret be closed or can it go free? ” So the best thing is to stay in your cage while away from home, this way we prevent any accident from happening while we’re out. On the other hand, and in front of our presence, it is very important that the ferret walk free in the house while we offer him affection and attention.
Your skin produces a layer of fat that insulates and protects it, so it is recommended to bathe once every two weeks, this would start to produce a greater segregation of your glands which would increase your body odor. We must use specific products for the breed and if not find a shampoo for cats puppies.
Like the dog, the cat or the rabbit, the ferret needs to go to the vet with a certain regularity. From your youth you will need to receive the relevant vaccines , against distemper or rabies for example. Vaccine it is very important to prevent these diseases.
It is also important to think about castration , a supportive practice that allows us a better health condition, a decrease in possible aggression and the appearance of diseases derived from heat, such as anemia.
It has odorous glands next to the anus that they use to mark territory although it can also segregate them through the excitation or in a state of panic. The lack of these glands make ferrets more likely to suffer from rectal prolapse and even other diseases. In any case, we must know that if removing it does not make a possible odor disappear, this will only be possible through castration.
Here is a list of the most common ferret diseases:
- Adrenal disease : this is an excessive growth of the adrenal glands. It can be identified by loss of hair, a greater aggressiveness and in the case of females a growth of the vulva. For these cases the veterinarian should make a diagnosis and will probably effect the gutting of the affected glands.
- Insulinoma : Pancreatic cancer. It is difficult to identify because it is a disease that causes lethargy, constant drool or foam in the mouth as well as attacks in more severe cases.
- Viral diseases : They may suffer from epizootic catarrhal enteritis (an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the intestine) which presents with strong green diarrhea. It’s a treatable disease. We may also come across the Aleutian disease that mainly affects the immune system and is very difficult to detect.
- In Brazil it is allowed to have a ferret as a pet.
- In Chile we have a SAG regulation that controls the tendency and reproduction of this mammal.
- USA does not restrict ownership of ferrets except California, Hawaii and counties such as New York, Washington DC, Beaumont and Bloomington.
- In Mexico a marketing authorization is requested if you wish to dedicate to the creation of ferrets, which authorization has to be approved by the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources.
- In Australia a license is required for the possession of any ferret, except for the states of Queensland and Northern Territory where it is prohibited.
- Selling, distributing or breeding ferrets in New Zealand is prohibited .
- It is also prohibited to use the ferret for hunting in France and Portugal.
- In Portugal it is allowed to have ferrets as pets.