Checklist of Product(s) Ferret Owners Need
By Matthew Humphries
Unless your ferret gets into something very nasty, only bathe him about every 6 weeks.
Bathing strips the skin and fur of natural oils and over-bathing may make the ferret smell stronger than usual.
Ferrets like baths about as much as cats. Be ready.
Only use gentle shampoos labeled for ferrets, although most cat shampoos are ok. Avoid dog shampoos.
The best place to bathe a ferret is in a bath tub.
The kitchen sink is ok provided it does not have a garbage disposal.
Do not attempt to bathe a ferret in a shower. A naked human is a vulnerable human.
Ferret earwax is light brown and pretty stinky.
Ferret ears should be cleaned every 2-3 weeks.
Ferrets may learn to tolerate it but never really like it.
Ferrets dig and play in litter. It will find its way into the nose, eyes, mouth.
The ideal litter is highly absorbent, dust free, and fragrance free.
Clumping litters clump in the eyes, nose, mouth, and stomach of ferrets and should NEVER be used.
Clay (non-clumping) litters are dusty and can cause respiratory problems.
The oils in cedar and pine shavings have been linked to respiratory problems with rodents, rabbits and ferrets.
Corn cob litters will be eaten by the ferret and can cause bowel impaction.
Pelleted paper litters like Marshall Pet Ferret Litter are highly absorbent, have minimal dust and can be ingested in small amounts. Ferret Litter Pans Litter training ferrets is problematic at best but it can be done. The right litter pan is essential.
Almost all ferrets prefer to back into a corner and go.
A litter pan out of site is out of mind.
Ferrets do not bury their waste.
Many ferrets (especially males) prefer a pan large enough to get all four feet into.
If the entrance of the pan is too high, the ferret may not bother to climb in.
If the walls are too low, males will overshoot the pan.
Litter depth of about 1â€ is recommended and should be scooped daily.
Pelleted paper litters like Marshall Pet Ferret Litter are highly absorbent, have minimal dust and can be ingested in small amounts.
Generally, ferret diets should have a protein content of 32% – 38%, fat content of 18% – 22% and fiber content of 3% or less.
Two or three of the first four ingredients should be a form of meat.
Corn should also be avoided, especially as the first ingredient. Corn is hard for ferrets to digest.
Many premium kitten foods meet the basic nutritional requirements of ferrets. Premium cat foods will sustain ferrets, but tend to be low in protein & fat, high in fiber.
Ferrets have a short digestive tract. Food passes through in 3 to 4 hours.
Ferrets do not have a cecum (gut cavity where fiber is digested). Hard to break down complex carbohydrates like corn, fruits and vegetables and most nutrition is lost as food passes through.
Avoid foods that contain dried fruits and vegetables.
Changing ferret diets can be difficult because many will imprint on a flavor, aroma, shape, even color of food. Always transition slowly, mixing old and new for several days.
Moderation, moderation, moderation
Ferrets absolutely love treats and will beg for them relentlessly. Treats should be limited to no more than 10 per day.
Meat-based treats tend to be best for the ferret.
Yogurt treats tend to be high in sugar and should be limited to 5-6 per day. Used in moderation, they are quite acceptable.
Dried fruits and vegetable-based treats should be avoided â€“ hard to digest.
Raw vegetables can cause intestinal blockages in ferrets (cannot be digested).
Raw fruits should also be avoided â€“ they are too sugary and donâ€™t provide any nutritional value to the ferret. A raisin or two a day is ok.
Moderation is the key.
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