The Joys of Owning a Ferret
Ferrets are Cute & Rowdy Little Furballs!
My husband and I recently bought a 2 month old male Sable ferret. He is very young and is dark-colored overall, with some white markings on his neck, head, and feet. We named him Oscar, because that sounded like a mischevious name. And ferrets sure are mischevious!
Oscar, because he is so young, sleeps so much during the day that he is only awake for about 4 hours a day. No kidding. He sleeps all through the night, and most of the day, and is only awake for a few hours.
But when he's awake, you'd better watch out! He wants to do nothing but come out of his cage, be set down on the couch, and to burrow into every nook & cranny he can squeeze himself into, and some that he can't. He literally throws himself off of stuff, and launches himself at us when he's playing.
We like putting our hand inside a blanket and then playing with him, and he "play bites" our hand; not a real bite, but sort of a "nibble" where he doesn't fully close his mouth and bite. We were taught at the pet store how to grab him gently by the scruff around the back of his neck (called "scruffing") and to firmly tell him "no!" if he bites us for real.
We are working on training him not to bite and how to use his litterbox, which is in one corner of his cage. He hasn't quite figured out the litterbox thing yet, but that's okay; he's still little!
We've only owned Oscar for 2 days, but he is already a blessing to our lives. He is so much fun, so cute, and so energetic. I am so excited to watch him grow and learn more about us and his new world! We truly seem like new parents, because we are constantly talking about him, checking on him at night, and worrying about his safety when we're gone from the house.
Right now, because he is so young still, he requires a lot of energy, attention, training, and patience, but it is worth it. He will grow to be a very social, friendly, smart ferret. (At least that's our hope!)
Ferrets are often misunderstood creatures. Still known as "exotic" pets, they are becoming more & more popular as pets. They are illegal in some states, like Indiana, but legal in Ohio (where I currently live). They are carnivores in the wild, so their pet kibble consists of poultry & pork parts and meat. Yum!
Did you know that ferrets are related to the otter and wolverine? How cool is that? Perhaps that's why they have such long, weirdly-shaped bodies!
They say that ferrets who are held a lot by humans learn that humans are their friends and caretakers. A ferret who is not held, however, will remain sort of wild and will bite. They also say that ferrets are extremely social creatures, and that they need a lot of company. They suggest getting 2 ferrets if you know you won't be around much, so they can have each other for company.
I work from home, however, so we only bought one. I know that I can give it the attention it deserves, and since it's only awake for 4 hours a day, that's not hard at all!
Eventually, we are going to leash train Oscar, so hopefully we will be able to take him on walks through our neighborhood. Ferrets are very much like cats in the way that they are so trainable.
I strongly suggest getting a ferret for you or your family if you are willing to train it and spend the required time with it. They truly are amazing animals, and ours is already starting to follow us around and get excited when we come home.
Now if only he would sit still long enough so I could love on him and stop scrambling around! There he goes, disappearing inside the couch again!