When you want a small, active, and playful pet, but not the same dog or cat that seemingly everyone else has, a ferret might be the right pet for you. Ferrets belong to the European polecat family and people often use them for hunting. However, many people keep them as pet companions. However, before choosing a ferret, learn about their social needs, compatibility with other pets, and age considerations to make sure you bring the right pet into your home.
Consider Your Free Time as Ferrets Are Social
Ferrets are naturally social animals and crave human interaction. They also love getting into mischief, so having the time to spend with them and keeping your eyes on them is imperative. While you can keep them in a cage when you are not around to make sure they do not do any damage to furniture and other belongings, when you are home, they will want to play and often get lost under and behind things. Keep watch on your ferret when it is not in its cage to make sure it does not get into trouble and destroy parts of your home.
Think About Ferrets and Your Other Pets
If you want a ferret, there is a good chance you are an animal lover and have other pets in your home. If you do, make sure your ferret is compatible with them so you do not need to break up constant animal fights. Ferrets naturally get along with birds, rabbits, fish in tanks, rodents, and lizards. However, you must train them to get along with dogs and cats. Introduce your new ferret to your dog or cat incrementally so they slowly get to know one another. Have one person hold the dog or cat and another hold the ferret so they can sniff each other out and not pounce right on each other. Dogs and cats also get territorial over their food, so feed these animals when the ferret is not around to steal their food. Ferrets are also compatible with children, but when they interact, an adult needs to supervise at all times.
Consider the Age of the Ferret
If you do have time constraints, adopting an aged or abandoned ferret may be your best bet. These ferrets do not need the extra care and attention that baby ferrets, called kits, do. As they age, ferrets become docile and require less time and attention. You may need to retrain an older ferret, but the ferret may have an inherent understanding of rules. However, if you have the time to dedicate to raising a ferret from babyhood, you can buy a kit and train it to thrive in your home and even use a litter box. They do need some pet supplies, so keep that in mind as well.