Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ferrets
If you have questions about ferrets, we have the answers you need! Check out the following FAQs to find out more about the needs, health and care of ferrets.
Whenever you need more answers about ferrets – or you are ready to get optimal nutrition products for your ferret, simply contact the pros at Totally Ferrets.
Q – What are ferrets and what do they do?
A – Ferrets are small mammals (usually weighing 1 to 5 pounds) that are related to the European polecat. As part of the weasel family, ferrets (technically referred to as Mustela Putorius Furo) have fur that is black, brown, white or some combination of those colors, and their life typically spans 6 to 10 years.
Intelligent, curious and playful, ferrets are generally most active around dawn and dusk. They tend to:
- Burrow and sleep in enclosed spaces (for 14 to 18 hours per day)
- Hop, leap and chatter when excited
- Hiss or softly squeak when scared.
Q – Do ferrets make good pets?
A – Yes, ferrets can make wonderful pets for people of any age! They tend to bond quickly with owners (and other pets) and are cuddly, fun creatures.
It’s important to point out, though, that some states (as well as specific counties and/or cities) may have specific restrictions (or required permits) for keeping ferrets as pets. Check with authorities in your area if you are unsure about the legalities (or restrictions) related to having ferrets as pets in your city, county or state.
Q – Do I need a cage for my pet ferret? Or can (s)he roam freely around my home?
A – Generally, it’s recommended that pet ferrets are kept in cages, with bi- or multi-level cages being preferable (so ferrets have some space to run and play).
What is NOT recommended is:
- Keeping ferrets in aquariums (where there is little to no ventilation)
- Letting ferrets freely roam around homes (as they can get into areas where they shouldn’t be – like within walls, for instance – possibly damaging a home and/or accidentally hurting themselves).
Q – What do ferrets eat?
A – Ferrets are carnivores, and they require a high-protein diet (with meat being their main protein source). Although the best diet for a particular ferret will depend on its age and health, generally, ferret diets should be high in protein and fats while being low in carbohydrates.
Totally Ferret offers a variety of ferret foods that are nutritionally complete and balanced to contain all of the necessary vitamins and minerals your ferret needs to stay healthy.
In addition to our formulations made for active and show ferrets, we also have specially formulated ferret food for young and older pet ferrets alike.
Q – Do ferrets use litter boxes?
A – Yes, ferrets can be trained to use litter boxes (or do their business in specific spots – like places where you may put down a puppy potty tray or pad). Unlike other animals that may use litter boxes, however, ferrets won’t usually cover their droppings. Also, they can be finicky about using dirty litter boxes.
Q – How do ferrets interact with other pets and/or small children?
A – Ferrets can develop loving bonds with other pets, other ferrets, and small children (relatively quickly).
When first introducing a ferret to a new family environment, be sure to supervise the situation. Bigger pets may be inclined to attack ferrets, and ferrets may want to try to play with smaller animals (like small birds).
Also, be sure to show children how to hold and interact with ferrets (so the ferret does not feel threatened, scared or attacked). Monitored play periods in the first days of bringing home a ferret can be important helping everyone feel comfortable with each other (and understanding how to appropriately interact with each other).
Q – Do ferrets need shots?
A – Yes, ferrets need rabies and distemper shots. Ideally, the first round of ferret vaccinations should be administered when ferrets are between 6 and 8 weeks old, with follow up shots being given at 11 and 14 weeks of age (and then annually thereafter). 1
Q – Do ferrets stink?
A – Ferrets have a specific ‘musk’ scent that tends to be stronger when they are unneutered. This musk, which is for mating and defensive purposes, can be tamed with via:
- Diet – Feeding ferrets food with little to no fish or fishmeal in them can help reduce the musky odor ferrets may have.
- The proper care and grooming – Keeping ferrets’ environments clean and properly grooming them can go a long way to reducing any musk. Some essential care and grooming practices (to limit ferret musk) can include:
- Regularly cleaning ferrets’ cages and bedding
- Using deodorizers in litter boxes
- Cleaning ferrets’ ears (at least once every two weeks) and bathing ferrets (no more than once every couple of months, as frequent bathing can increase the oils they produce, creating more musk).
Get More Answers about Caring for Your Ferret: Contact Totally Ferret Today
The friendly, knowledgeable professionals at Totally Ferret are ready to answer your questions and help you select the best products for your ferret.
To speak with one of our professionals and find out more about the best food, supplements and other products for your ferret(s), contact Totally Ferret today by calling (303) 410-1101 or (877) 545-5462. You can also email us via the contact form on this page.
Our standard business hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:30am to 3:30 pm, Friday 7:30 am to noon (Mountain Time).
If you reach our voicemail during business hours, please leave us a message, including your contact information, so that we can get back to you as quickly as possible. We promptly respond to all calls, voicemails, emails and other inquiries.
Based in Broomfield, Colorado, Totally Ferret is a division of Performance Foods. We ship orders to every state in the U.S., as well as internationally.
1: Here is more detailed information regarding ferret vaccinations from the American Ferret Association (AFA).