Ferrets have a lifespan of about 10 years and are carnivores, just like dogs and cats. Many people feed them on dry or tinned cat foods but clients do tell us that the specific “ferret diets” or a natural diet of whole dead rabbits/pigeons/rodents seems to produce ferret motions that are both smaller in volume and less smelly so we would definitely recommend you consider those options!
Ferrets can be kept indoors but most are housed outdoors. The size of the cage is not as important as the security. Ferrets are known as phenomenal escape artists and will easily escape from the tiniest hole so be prepared! It’s best to ensure that they do have a separate sleeping area where they can hide and bedding such as an old T-shirt or towel is best.
With adequate supervision, ferrets can be happily kept with dogs and cats but clearly not with rabbits or other small furries - as they’ll eat them!
Ferrets breed from their first Spring after birth and the females -“jills” are in season from Spring to Summer. Puberty starts at the first spring after birth and pregnancy lasts 6 weeks. The normal litter size is 6-8 and the eyes will open at 4/5 weeks; weaning is by 8 weeks.
All ferrets need a yearly vaccination against the Canine Distemper virus.
Flea control is very important. We recommend a modern spot-on treatment that is used every month. The drug sits on the skin and fur and kills fleas that jump onto your ferret’s fur. Deworming is by a tablet. There are lots of products available through supermarkets and pet shops but the most effective treatments are only available through a vet practice like ours.
Most commonly we see ferrets with fleas and ear mites when they have not been treated with a good flea control product. Ferrets sometimes suffer from heart disease.