A ferret is a domesticated form of the European polecat. It is a mammal that belongs to the same genus as the weasel, Mustela, and the family Mustelidae. A ferret has a fur that is generally brown, black, white or mixed. Their average length is of 51 centimeters, consisting of a 13 centimeters tail. They weigh approximately 1.5-4 pounds. Their natural lifespan is seven to ten years. The male ferrets are typically larger than the female ferrets.
Ferrets have been used as domesticated pets for at least two thousand years. In some parts of the world, they are used for hunting rabbits, but mostly they are only kept as house pets. The black ferrets are considered to be endangered species.
What are the characteristics of ferret?
Ferrets have a slender body shape. They are long and their average length is about 50 cm. ferrets average gestation period is 42 days and the female ferret have litter two to three times each year. Ferrets become sexually mature at about six months.
Ferrets stay asleep for 14 to 18 hours a day. They are most active during the dusk and dawn. If they are kept in a cage, they require to be taken out for exercise and to satisfy their curiosity. They need an hour in one day to play and roam around freely. They happily live in social groups and are territorial, prefer to sleep in an enclosed area.
When the ferrets are excited or thrilled, they perform a behavior called ‘weasel war dance’. They do frenzy sideways hops, leaps and bump into nearest objects. This behavior is not aggressive but joyful in vitiation to play and goof around. They have a soft, clucking noise and when scared or threatened, ferrets make a hissing sound. When ferrets are upset, they squeak softly.
What do ferrets eat?
Ferrets are known to be obligate carnivores. They usually rely on small prey which includes meat, organs, bones, skin, feathers, and fur. Ferrets have a short digestive system. Their metabolism is quick and they need to be fed frequently. They are fond of eating prepared dry foods that include meat that provides them with high nutritional value. Some ferret owners feed mice or rabbits to their ferrets to match their natural diet. They cannot digest any kind of plant matter. Foods like fruit are not recommended for ferrets and they might have negative ramifications on ferret health.
Ferrets and litter
Safety and smell control should be the two most important factors that should be considered before bringing a ferret into home. The ferret owner must watch out for the best litter option when keeping a ferret as a pet. The litters that are made out of paper and wood are highly considered. The absorbent rate of these makes the ferret stay comfortable.
Some of the factors that should be considered are as follows
There are many factors that are to be considered before buying a litter box for the ferret. This makes sure that neither ferrets dig their own poop nor they feel uncomfortable.
Ferret safety and protection
This is the most important thing to consider when choosing a litter option. One must not use litter equipment or boxes with sharp edges or rough surfaces that could cause injury to the ferrets or suffocate them. Small cat litter boxes must be avoided for ferrets.
The substance by which the litter boxes are made should be able to control the odor. Foul litter smell could cause discomfort to the ferret. One must use a litter box that could absorb the bad odors and doesn’t make their space too smelly.
Easy litter boxes
The litter boxes must be easy to use and easy to go to. This makes it simpler for the owners to teach their ferret pets the training methods for litter.
Keep the litter box dust-free
Ferrets are very prone to allergic reactions from dust. They are very sensitive to respiratory systems and it is important to keep the litter box dust-free and clean.
How Do You Get a Ferret to Use a Litter Box?
Ferrets are very trainable; hence one should be patient while teaching them the right ways to litter. Ferrets are considered to be very low-maintenance pets. They react well to training and learning techniques taught to them from early on and does not make the training process difficult for the owners. Since the young ferrets are caged and separated from their mothers at a very early stage of their life, it is important for the ferret owners to train them with affection and care. There are some ways of teaching the ferret to use a litter box. A few of them are as follows-
Rise and Shine method
One should get their ferret to imbibe a habit of using the litter box as soon as he wakes up. Reward the ferret with a treat after every time he uses the litter box. This will get him hooked. In a couple of days, ferret will automatically use the litter box simply out of habit.
Praise the ferret
If the ferret uses a litter box, praise him and reward him with a treat. The nicer they will believe the owner is to them after they’ve used the litter box, the more they will use it.
Follow Your Nose method
Many experts suggest that ferrets love vanilla smell. Putting some of the vanilla extracts around the litter box and also inside the litter box will make the ferret follow the smell and they will simply find the litter box.
Other helpful tips
- Never punish the ferret for making mistakes. Add a little more ferret littler boxes if necessary in different parts of your house.
- The owner should use a low walled litter box. One must also put a little waste in the litter box so that the ferret can make out that it is a litter box.
One should always be patient and consistent use these tips to train a ferret. It takes time for any animal to learn something. There are some best litter for ferrets available in the market both online and offline.