Pet ferrets: what to take into account before you take one home

Looking for a unique companion? How about a ferret as a pet? The idea is not new: ferrets have been kept as pets for about 2500 years. In the US, they are even the most frequently kept pets after dogs and cats. But here in Europe the idea is less common. What should you know if you are considering taking home a ferret?

Little rascals

Not sure if a pet ferret is right for you? Then first take a look at your lifestyle. Because ferrets are intelligent and mischievous rascals, but they do need a lot of exercise and attention to be happy. At the same time, a ferret is like a toddler who has sipped your coffee. Sweet, but very active!

If you get a ferret as a pet (or two, because they don't like being alone), it will be a full-fledged family member, not an accessory. Do you like life at home? If you answer yes wholeheartedly, your ferret will make sure there is never a dull moment for as long as they live (which is eight to ten years)! But you're also guaranteed years of love.

The pros of having a ferret as a pet

Ferrets are homebodies and can get along perfectly fine in either an apartment or a house, provided they have enough room to roam around. They are very social and quite attached to their owner. They sleep most of the day (4 to 6 hours), but when they're awake, they're wired!

Their upkeep is not too expensive, especially compared to other pets such as a dog. Expect costs for basic supplies (cages, toys, bowls ...), the vet (castration, check-ups, vaccinations) and food.

The cons of ferrets as pets

The word 'ferret' comes from the Latin furonem, which means 'thief'. And that is quite an apt description. If you have a ferret as a pet, you have to adapt your house to suit it, because anything they can break, they will. They poke around everywhere - including (and especially) in places where they don't belong. Because ferrets are cute, but live to play. Be prepared!

Many pet owners let their animals have the run of the house. There's nothing wrong with that. But it's still a good idea to keep ferrets in their cage at night and while you're away, for their safety and your peace of mind.

The word 'ferret' comes from the Latin furonem, which means 'thief'. And that is quite an apt description.

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