Did you know that ferrets are the third largest pet in the U.S. after a dog and cat? The sad thing is many people will get a ferret and really not know how to take care of them. I never in my life thought I would ever own a ferret. I couldn't even touch them until four years ago. My daughter adopted 2 of them. I grew to love these two little guys who are so lovable and friendly. There are ferret farms where they mass breed ferrets (just like dogs and cats). It is a cruel fate for them, for many of the babies are taken from their mother at a very young age (3 - 5 weeks old) which ususally results to having their eyes forced open, and neutured or spayed at a very early age. This is bad for them. They need to stay with their mothers at least until 12 week old in order to get the nurturing they require. I firmly believe that it is because of this that causes many of the illnesses that ferrets who come from these breeding farms get and causes some of them to die an early death (3-6 years old) when their life span is to live at least until 10 years old (maybe longer). Ferrets are a high cancerous animal. Many get adrenal disease as early as 2-3 years of age. It is a costly disease to treat. Some signs of adrenal are losing hair on the tail and up the spine, around the neck. Ferrets that bite are ususally like that because of being taken away from their mother at an early age and not get any socialization. These ferrets need to be worked with and the person needs to be patient in doing so. Ferrets can be friendly with other animals as long as one works with the ferret and the other animal. I have known ferrets that are biters, some very vicious biters, and it is usually because of coming from a bad experience or because of having no socialization. We have a ferret whose name is Vanity. She was a rescue and was nicknamed "Killer Ferret." We were told when we got her that she was a serious biter and would attack any other ferret that was put in a room with her. My husband worked with her for 6 months and now she is nothing but a love bug. Her experence was horrendous. For four years she was forced to fight for her food among many other ferrets caged with her. She was left in her cage with many ferrets, which when rescued, was covered with feces and had no water. She and the other ferrets were horrendously neglected. This was due to a person who "collected" ferrets. My advice to anyone getting a ferret who really isn't familiar with them is to first make sure that you read up and do research on them, and then, just like a dog or cat, are willing to take on the responsibility of owning one. They need their shots, medical attention, etc. They also need to have the room which they are put in "ferret proofed" so that they cannot get into any situations which might lead to injury or possibly their death. We have a room just for the ferrets. They have their tunnles in their, their play toys, and their litter boxes. My ferrets are litter trained and go in their litter box but, they need to be taught to do that. They also only use their litter boxes in their cage (which I call their condo). They are very friendly and love human contact. They also smother you with kisses when you pick them up.
One of my friends grandfather had a few ferrets and all I remember of them is that they were always running around the house and pooped everywhere. This probably isn't true about all ferrets (probably just how he raised them). I love all animals - even ferrets. But I don't think I'll ever own one - I like dogs a lot better. No offense.
Good post seabreeze. I had a ferret for 10 years, I totally agree with what you're saying. Something I wanted to add about how ferrets are prone to cancer is that a lot of ferrets are chemically altered instead of surgically. This is done at a very young age like you said and is spectulated to cause a higher risk in cancer. It is suggested that when you decide to purchase a ferret to look on his/her belly for stitches (if it's just a baby) or stitch scars. My ferret came from a breeder and not a mass producer, which might explain why he lived so long. But like you said, a lot of ferrets bought at pet stores are from mass producers that chemically alter the ferrets and take them from their mothers way too early. Thus they usually are biters or get health problems very early on in life.
i will admit that they are quite comical little creatures. they are very interesting to watch and some of their behaviors are pretty funny. but i have never had a pleasant experience with one so i will never own one. i wrote about my experiences with them on your other thread about ferrets. and there is 1 mass ferret breeding farm where a majority of the ferrets found in our petstores are from. they are not a very healthy breeding farm. we are always seeing ferrets from this farm coming down with adrenal disease. i used to work with a guy who did ferret rescue. so they are not immune to needing rescue either.
Wow. That is a lot of stuff I never knew. I had some friends that owned ferretts, and I love them and would consider owning one one day. Now I am more informed, and will def. do some research before buying if I ever decide to get one.
I love animals, but due to my brother owning an "attack" ferret I would never own one. We had this ferret as a baby and it loved everyone but me! It bit me from the first moment we got it, when it was loose I could not be in the house or it would attack me, draw blood, bite etc. So naturally I am not a big fan, although I'm sure there are some nice ones out there. Like you said they are a responsibility, I know my brother got bored and did not pay attention to his, it eventually died of cancer, sad life for the little guy.
Both of my ferrets died recently. My ferret ,Luigi, died in November, and my other ferret ,Beechie, dies a month ago. I purchased them both at pet stores, and it is true what is said about purchasing ferrets from them. Luigi only lives two years,and Beechie only made it to three. Usually the ferrets that come from the Marshall's breeders are the ones that come with problems. I learned the hard way about buying ferrets from PetCo. One died from cancer and the other started having respiratory problems. The vet bills for both were huge, and neither made it. What's worse is not the money that will be invested in trying to get them healthy again, is the lost of a very loved animals. Seriously, if you are purchasing a ferret, I promise you will fall in love immediately, and you won't regret it, yet make sure you do your research on the breeders. It will save you the lost of a money and heart ache.