The exact origin of ferrets is unclear, but it is believed that they were domesticated from European polecats around 2,500 years ago. Ferrets were originally used for hunting rabbits and rodents, as their small size and agility allowed them to chase prey into burrows. They were also kept as pets by royalty and the wealthy, with evidence of ferrets being kept as pets dating back to the Roman Empire. In the Middle Ages, ferrets were used to control rodent populations in towns and cities. Ferrets were introduced to the United States in the 18th century, where they continued to be used for hunting and pest control. Today, ferrets are primarily kept as pets and have gained popularity as affectionate and playful companions.
Ferrets are playful and intelligent animals that require specific care to stay healthy and happy. Here are some tips on how to care for ferrets:
Diet: Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means they require a meat-based diet. High-quality ferret food, such as kibble or raw food, should make up the majority of their diet. You can also supplement their diet with fresh meat, eggs, and small amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Housing: Ferrets should be kept in a large, multi-level cage with plenty of space to move around and play. The cage should have a solid floor and be lined with bedding material that is safe for ferrets to burrow in, such as paper or cloth.
Exercise: Ferrets are active animals and need at least 2-4 hours of supervised playtime outside of their cage each day. They enjoy running, exploring, and playing with toys, and need plenty of mental stimulation.
Grooming: Ferrets should be bathed every few months and have their nails trimmed regularly. They also need their teeth brushed and ears cleaned occasionally.
Health care: Ferrets should receive regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and be spayed or neutered. They are prone to health issues such as dental problems, adrenal gland disease, and insulinoma, so it's important to monitor their health closely and seek veterinary care if needed.
Overall, ferrets make great pets but require a lot of care and attention. With proper care, they can live up to 8-10 years.
Our sanctuary is home to over a dozen ferrets.