Ferrets have become the 3rd most popular domestic pet in the United States.
Ferret Nation: What Do Ferrets Need?
Ferrets were not promoted as household pets in the United States until the 1970s. By the late 1980s, the ferret was booming in popularity, especially in the Southern United States. Today, it seems as though ferrets are everywhere. In fact, ferrets have become the third most popular companion pet in the entire country. But why has this emergence happened?
Ferrets Are Similar to Cats and Dogs
Ferrets are gaining in popularity because their personality combines some of the most beloved characteristics of the two most popular household pets: cats and dogs. Similar to cats, ferrets are small, quiet, and can easily be held. The grown ferret will weigh anywhere from 1.5 to 5 pounds, isn't that light?! Also, ferrets have no problem being left home alone because they enjoy their independence, which is great for owners that are really busy. On the other hand, ferrets also have a number of similarities to dogs. Ferrets, like pups, love to play and are affectionate to their owners. They love spending time with the family and are mischievous, which makes them entertaining to watch.
With the emergence of ferret popularity, many owners may be wondering what their pet needs for a happy domestic life. The two most important things to know concern food and shelter!
Ferrets are small, furry animals and are domesticated members of the Order Carnivora, Family Mustelidae, and Genus Mustela. This means that ferrets are members of the weasel family, and their diet revolves around protein. For a ferret to live a long and healthy life, pet owners will want to provide high protein meals and avoid high carb foods. They are strict carnivores, just like household cats. Often times, good ferret food is the same as good cat food, so luckily it won't be difficult to find. The only cat food that is no good for ferrets are the fish based variety. However even though cat food works, it is always better to grab the premium ferret food if you have the opportunity.
The reason that ferrets need so much protein (Vets recommend that their food be 30-40% protein filled) is because food passes through the short digestive system of a ferret very quickly. This is part of the reason why a ferret's body has problems grabbing nutrients from plant matter. This means that ferrets have a very high metabolism, and it is recommended that they eat every 3-4 hours.
Ferrets love to play, and they love human interaction. On the flip side, they also sleep 16-20 hours per day!
For their own safety, ferrets should be kept in a cage when they are not under supervision. Don't worry though; ferrets don't mind spending time in their cage. Ferrets actually spend 16-20 hours sleeping per day, so the cage provides a ferret with a calm, cozy place to sleep. Also because of the small size of a ferret, cages aren't too confining. Of course, it is equally important that your ferret spend a good amount of time outside of his cage. The American Ferret Association recommends that "Ferrets need a MINIMUM of 4 hours per day out of their cage, at least 2 of which should include human interaction."
As owners, it is important to make sure that your ferret is comfortable. Inside of his cage, there are a few things that your ferret will need to feel at home.
- Because ferrets are one of the most cerebral animals, TOYS will help provide him with the stimulation he needs.
- Your ferret will need to be provided with SOFT BEDDING. Ferrets sleep 16-20 hours per day, so a soft place to sleep will help your ferret be happy.
- It is important that your cage stays in a COOL AREA. Veterinarians recommend anywhere from 50 to 80 degrees. Ferrets are more susceptible to overheating than many other household pets and will actually start to overheat at 85 degrees.
The Ferret Nation Small Animal Cage offers ferrets a great deal of space to be comfortable, have fun, and get exercise.
Having a large, well ventilated cage for your ferret is important. The Ferret Nation Small Animal Cage is one of the best cages on the market today and provides owners and ferrets with everything they need. The Ferret Nation Cage is a two story cage, which can easily be expanded to a third story with the 183 Ferret Nation Add-On. The Ferret Nation Cage can easily be moved throughout the house because of its rolling caster wheels. These wheels also lock into place if you want to safely immobilize the cage. The construction of the cage also allows owners to add in accessories for their ferret to play with and stay entertained. To make your life easier, the Ferret Nation Cage includes a removable plastic pan, which makes for easy cleaning. If you are looking for a cage for your new ferret, the Ferret Nation is sure to satisfy all of your needs.
Each year, more and more ferrets are being sold across the United States. This is because they have proven to be great family pets that can fit into any family. If you have any further questions about ferrets and ferret products, feel free to e-mail or call us anytime. We love all animals and take pride in providing you with any information you may need.
By: Tim Snyder
"American Ferret Association: Frequently Asked Questions." American Ferret Association: Frequently Asked Questions. American Ferret Association Inc., 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 16 July 2013.