Ferret Basics

Average Lifespan = 7 to 9 years

As large a cage as possible is best for your ferret and many have several levels to allow for more surface area for the ferret to climb and play. Be sure to provide sleeping areas, using towels, old T-shirts, or a commercial “ferret hammock”, and, in one corner, a litter box with a low dust litter like those made from paper pulp (Carefresh, Yesterday’s News). Ferrets love to play in boxes and run through tubes; make sure they are not able to chew or ingest any part of their toys. And if you allow your ferret free in your home be sure to properly “ferret-proof” the environment.

A commercial ferret food such as Totally Ferret or Marshall Farms Ferret Food is recommended and Ferretone or Laxatone can be offered as a treat. Cat or kitten foods are not an appropriate choice because they are not nutritionally balanced for ferrets and can cause health problems.

Always have an initial physical exam performed on any newly acquired pet. Ferrets also need to get yearly rabies and distemper vaccinations. A yearly exam is essential for vaccine booster shots and to stay on top of problems as they develop. Blood work can also help to diagnose early signs of problems. Age-related diseases tend to occur after the ages of three to five years. Medical problems that require veterinary attention include vomiting, diarrhea or dark stool, lethargy, sneezing/coughing, abnormal hair loss, difficulty urinating (especially males), or any change in appetite or behavior.