Ferrets? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-04-2011, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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I am thinking about getting a ferret. I have had guinea pigs and rabbits before in the past but they weren't really very fun since I like active, playful animals. I was thinking of getting a ferret.

I have read things on line about them and watched vidoes and they look awesome! I haven't been able to find any opinions about them though from ferret owners. Most websites I have found are mostly just informative. Basicly, I just want to know is what are ferrets like? My friend said her cousin had some and even though the scent gland were removed they still smelled, they were mean and they bite a lot.

I kinda am just curious about any information about there behavior and any expriences you or anyone you have known had with them. I don't want to spend a bunch of money on the cage and suppiles and stuff and realize that it's not what I expected, so any info helps!
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-04-2011, 10:32 PM
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I have a ferret named thumper. He does smell, but i bathe him twice a week to keep the smell down. He actually goes into the shower willingly. You also need to keep up with cleaning their cage and bedding to keep the smell down. While ferrets can be playful and nip...for the most part he is extremely gentle and would rather bite and drag his toys around. HE absolutely loves shoes! I need to hide them. Also, you need to let them out for at least a couple hours a day....So you need to be able to at least be able to devote 3-4 hours a day. I let thumper roam while i'm at work in one room with a tiled floor and for the most part he is pretty good about litter box training. THey are awesome little guys....very inquisitive and smart!
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-04-2011, 10:49 PM
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Ferrets are really awesome! I wanted one but they do smell. Females smell less though (apparently). Some guinea pigs are actually pretty active. Ok mine isn't one of them. She loves to laze around and eat, but when she was young she would still go off and explore (too scared now), and she SPEAKS to us. SHe cries when she's hungry, she shutters her teeth when my dad does something that makes her nervous, she purrs when she's happy and will follow you wherever as long as you have a lettuce in hand lol. I even taught her to climb the stairs.

While Ferrets are cool, as mandie said they do take a lot of time. You mentioned you didn't want to spend too much, well you have to spend at least a couple 100, because they need those big/tall cages, a litter box, woodchips, food ...and although you don't have to splurge on the toys, they love those hammock and tunnel things you hang, so you need to buy one of those.

You can always go on craigslist or kijiji and buy a second hand cage though. That would save you a lot. :)

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post #4 of 13 Old 04-04-2011, 11:11 PM
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I say get one they are really good pets I think. I used to have two of them and they are a blast. They can get into trouble and are like having a two year old around, but many animals are like that. As said above you do need to let them out of their cage to have some play time. If you keep them clean they dont smell that bad. I have never seen a mean ferret mine where very sweet one of mine was a little devil when he was little he was 8 weeks when I got him and we named him demon. He was a handful when we first got him, but he grew out of it and turned into a very good pet. Good luck on the ferret search keep us posted and post pics if you get one.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-04-2011, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Cool! Everything sounds great! I'm thinking of buying the cage and supplies and maybe asking my mom to buy the ferret for graduation :) Is it okay to buy them from a petstore or should I buy one from a breeder? does it make a difference?
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-04-2011, 11:45 PM
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I got mine from a pet store. Just make sure they dont look sick they should be playful and active.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-05-2011, 09:39 AM
Join Date: May 2010
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Petstore is fine. There aren't a huge amount of ferret breeders out there. Also you could check craigslist. A lot of people give them away for free!
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-05-2011, 10:29 AM
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Ferrets are akin to kittens on crack. If you think you can handle that type of personality, then go for it.

I had a female, and they're about half the size of the males. They're also more prone to bite and far more territorial than males. The males tend to be more snuggly.

Ferrets are either going full bore, or they're asleep. They don't really have an in between!

They need a LOT of exercise and socialization time every day. If you can't dedicate at least two to three full hours a day to play with your ferret and let it roam the house, don't get one. They can go sour very quickly if not allowed out of their cages for long periods of time.

Ferrets do have a musky smell, but a lot of it has to do with the food they eat. Penny never smelled bad, but then, I didn't give her cheap, crappy food.

They can live up to 8 years, with 6 being the norm. That's a long time for an animal that's pretty high maintenance, which is why you see so many of them up for adoption.

I loved Penny, but if I get any more, it'll be males and I'll get two, so they can keep each other entertained when they have to be in their cage.

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post #9 of 13 Old 04-05-2011, 12:57 PM
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I have a Female, her name is Missfit, but we call her Lil' Miss. She's adorable.

I must be lucky, cause Miss doesn't smell at all. Her odor is no more than a dog, or a cat, or a horse. Meaning, that you smell a horse, and he smells like a horse. You smell a dog, they smell like a dog. I really do not notice a strong odor from her at all.

Her Brother, Rocky - R.I.P, never had an odor either. *shrugs shoulders*

Little Miss doesn't bite, she is very playful when she's awake - she "War Dances" a lot, which is halarious to watch. She can be quite social, she'll follow me around the house, sleep in our bed - and at other times, she's be a total recluse.

She is a free range ferret. We never lock her up in her cage, it is left open for her to go in and out on her own free will. She's usually very good about going in her litter box, but sometimes she doesn't make it - thank goodness for my Lil' Green Machine and piddle pads.

I've bought her toys, but she'd far rather play with my Husabnds dirty socs, or any size, shape, make of bags. The moment she hears a plastic grocery bag crinkle...she comes out of the woodworks to play in it.

She sleeps the majority of the time. I can see her "war dancing" and running around one minute, and the next, she's sleeping in her bed in her cage, or our bed, or in my Husabnds dirty clothes pile in the washroom.

We had to childproof the house, lol - they are very mischevious!

Little Miss and her Brother who passed of cancer, we adopted. We adopted them from someone who couldn't spend the time with them that they needed or give them the care that they needed. We paid $100 for the two of them, with their cage and all supplies.

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post #10 of 13 Old 04-08-2011, 09:49 PM
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Ferrets are great! I used to breed them. The females seem to be a lot less smelly than the males, and often gentler, too, I found. If you can get a really young one and start handling it right away it will bond with you like you wouldn't believe! They are very smart and clever, and extremely playful. Just make sure you teach it early that a hard bite is not acceptable. They CAN bite hard- one bit my finger right to the bone when it got it's head stuck in the bars of a cage and I was trying to free it. My favorite one, a female named Snuffles, was just like a dog and just as trainable, too. She had free run of the house and yard, but I did keep an eye on her outside because of predators (eagles, hawks, etc.). But in the end she was too friendly- went over to visit the neighbor one day and she mistook her for a rat and killed her. Beware of people like that!
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