Forever Kittens aka Ferrets

Ferrets aka the pit bulls of the pocket pet world with bad reputations hiding their intelligent, sensitive, playful, and loving personalities. In my 15 years of guardianship, I have been able to train my ferrets to use a litter pan like a cat would and taught them commands like stand, stay, come, and high five using a clicker and positive reinforcement. Few of them have been chewers and biters and if they were it was due to neglect or abuse in their previous homes which can be treated with redirection and or simply by ignoring them when they bite. They are VERY HIGH maintenance pets-their cages need to be cleaned 2X/day, they need at least 4 hours/day of play time, vaccines like cats do, bi-weekly nail trims, monthly baths, yearly check-ups, and bi-annual check-ups after the age of 3. And they don’t smell THAT bad! They smell like cedar/pine and I personally love it. They should be fed live or raw meat and/or a special kibble that usually cannot be found in pet stores. Their veterinarian should be someone who ONLY sees pocket pets since they are a very unique species with unique issues that general practitioners tend to overlook or not know how to treat. Despite being high maintenance, in my opinion, they are worth it all and are wonderful companions. They are so much fun, very affectionate, are “forever kittens,” love other animals, follow you around, can be litter box trained but are never perfect about it, can learn tricks and agility, do get into everything due to their courage and curiosity, make the cutest noises, and get very attached to their owners to the point where they can die from depression without them. Many people see how cute they are and think they can be treated like a hamster and live just as long and get relinquished to shelters because of it. Please think long and hard if you are considering adding one to your family and check your local rescue for one before purchasing a ferret. And like all breeds and species, do your research, talk to guardians who have had multiple ferrets, and make sure you have a decent exotics vet near by before adding a ferret to your family.

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