ferret bites dangerous

It’s pretty commonly known that ferrets tend to be nippy animals. We’ve all heard the occasional horror story of a ferret bite gone wrong and someone needing stitches or is now missing a small chunk of their hand. So how true are these stories? Can ferret bites be seriously dangerous? And are pet ferrets safe, especially around children?

Why Ferrets Bite

“If you are really scared of a ferret you are not going to like ferrets,” according to the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC). “Ferrets may growl and bite if they feel threatened or if they are unhappy. Ferrets are highly social animals who rely on a close relationship with their owners, so being left alone can cause a lot of anxiety. But ferrets are generally well mannered with people they know well. Leaving them at home on their own will mean they spend a lot of time alone or in very small rooms, which can make them agitated and stressed.” Ferret bites can be caused by mishandling and improper handling of the animal in some cases.

Can Ferret Bites Be Dangerous?

Ferret bites tend not to be dangerous to adults as long as they clean the wound afterwards. To children with particularly soft skin though, ferret bites can be particularly vicious. Below we have outlined a few of the most horrific attacks:

  • A four month old girl from Colorado suffered a series of ferret bites to the face that required 39 sutures.
  • A three month old had 40% of both of her ears chewed off by a ferret, requiring plastic surgery.
  • A six week old boy in North Carolina was attacked by his family’s ferret while sleeping in his crib. Most of his left ear was eaten.

These terrifying attacks are typically isolated to particularly young children who have recently drank milk. For the most part, adults will need at most a few stitches.

Are Pet Ferrets Safe?

The short answer is yes, but with conditions. There have been a few cases of ferrets biting adults seriously, but the real danger is when there are young children in the home. Just like other pets, ferrets should never be allowed outside of its cage in the same room as a small child. If you’re bitten by a ferret you need to get the wound checked out by a doctor or vet for any unusual signs of an infection or bites that could be dangerous to you.

For the most part, ferrets can be trained to not bite their owners hard and will instead be “nippy”, just like a cat may bite you playfully but they won’t break the skin. If a ferret is raised in a loving home where they don’t have to worry about their next meal and they aren’t stressed, they likely will not cause any damaging bites to their humans. However, ferrets simply cannot be trusted around other animals and children.

What Happens if a Child is Bitten by a Ferret?

There are a number of reasons why ferrets are more dangerous to children. For one, small children are about the size of typical ferret prey, so they may view them as food instead of friends, resulting in a much harsher bite than they would give you. Another reason is children tend to be loud and touch ferrets with much more pressure than they are used to, which can result in them attacking out of defense or stress. Children also have softer skin and will have a worse reaction to a typical ferret bite than an adult might. For these reasons, if a child is bitten by a ferret it is very important to take them to the doctor to have the puncture wound thoroughly cleaned.

What to Do if a Pet is Bitten by a Ferret

Depending on the size of your pet, a single ferret bite can range from lethal to dangerous. If they are not playing, a ferret will attack another animal because it sees them as prey or if the ferret feels threatened. Similar to if your child was bitten by a ferret, it is important to take your pet to the vet to have their wound cleaned as ferret bites can be very dirty and cause deadly infections.

How to Care For a Ferret Bite

It is extremely important to thoroughly clean a ferret bite any time it breaks the skin. There is one case where a woman was bitten by her ferret on the hand, hard enough to break the skin but not enough to need stitches, so she didn’t go to the clinic. Her bite developed an infection so bad they needed to amputate. After cleaning, cover the bite with a band aid or wrap it with gauze so no more debris can get into the wound.

Conclusion

Ferret bites are more likely to occur when the ferret is anxious or hungry. A ferret that has been properly trained and is in a loving home will rarely seriously hurt an adult. As always, it’s always a good idea to use common sense and be extra careful around your ferrets. If you have small children or other pets, exercise extreme caution. Never allow your ferret outside of their cage while there is another small creature in the room.

cat and ferret

When considering adding another pet to the household, you should always keep in mind any current pets and how well they will get along. When people are concerned about the relationship between ferrets and cats, they are almost more concerned about the well being of the ferret. It is important to keep in mind that a ferret can be just as dangerous to a cat as a cat is to a ferret. So should the two even make an attempt at living in the same home?

Why Ferrets and Cats Have Trouble Getting Along

There are many reasons why ferrets and cats might not get along well. One factor is that cats have been known to kill kits and adult ferrets because they see them as prey due to their small size and may hunt them. Another factor could be the ferret. In the wild, ferrets will actually hunt in packs and eat animals much larger than themselves. Due to this, the ferret may actually hunt your cat and could actually kill it if they get in a well-placed bite. For this reason, cats and ferrets should always be kept separate – even under supervision as they are both extremely fast and it will be too late if you need to intervene. If the ferret is inside the cage, it is safe to supervise them in the same room.

How to Introduce Your Ferret to Your Cat

There is no way to have a ferret in your house without your cat knowing – they will hear and smell the ferret. Having another unidentified animal in the house can be stressful for your cat, so you should actually introduce the two even though they won’t be spending any time together. While your ferret is inside their cage and awake, let your cat into the room so they can check out the ferret. You can plan to feed the ferret and give your cat treats at the same time to further increase a good feeling while they are meeting for the first time. Your ferret will likely not pay any attention to the cat at this time as they understand they can’t get out of the cage, which is fine.

What If My Cat is Aggressive Toward the Ferret?

Some cats will be unable to accept that there is prey in the house that they are unable to hunt. Unfortunately your cat may remain stubbornly planted outside your ferrets cage, constantly looking for an opportunity to attack. Unfortunately, even though they are unable to physically hurt the ferret, this increases feelings of stress for your ferret. If you cannot prevent your cat from constantly hunting your ferret, you will need to keep your ferret outside of the room where the cage is held.

How Dangerous Are Ferrets to Cats?

Ferrets can be the size of a small, average-sized dog, which makes them look like they would be a pretty gentle creature. However, this is not the case. Ferrets hunt and eat animals much bigger than them by precisely biting the neck and ripping the jugular vein. If your ferret suddenly decides to attack, it will be too late for you to make any kind of preventative action and your ferret could kill your cat in an instant. Luckily, if you are feeding your ferret enough and the cat is not causing the ferret to act defensively, lethal attacks are rare, but your ferret may still cause substantial damage to your cat.

How to Ensure the Safety of Both Animals in the Home

The safest way to keep both a ferret and a cat in the home is to never let your cat in the room when it is time to let your ferret out of the cage. If your cat won’t stop hunting your ferret while they are in their cage, you will need to keep your cat outside of the ferret’s room at all times. However, make sure to let your cat observe your ferret in its cage every few months so the cat doesn’t become stressed from unidentified noises and smells.

Cat Toys Can Be Dangerous to Ferrets

The actual animals aren’t the only danger when keeping these two in the same house. If your cat leaves their toys strewn about, there is a chance your ferret can find it and begin playing with it. It is important to remember that cat toys were not designed to keep up with a ferret. Cats will only ever softly bite on toys. Ferrets on the other hand, chomp, rip, and attempt to eat anything they can fit in their mouths. Never allow your ferret to play with a cat toy unsupervised.

Conclusion

Some people consider their cat or ferret to be very tame and say they “wouldn’t hurt a fly”, but the fact remains that both these carnivorous animals are ferocious hunters and could do deadly damage to the other in an instant. Never allow them to be in the same room when your ferret is not in its cage and keep in mind the mental health of each of your pets, as constantly being hunted will cause both animals to feel deeply stressed.

male vs female ferret

Some people may find it interesting to learn that male and female ferrets act differently, even when they were spayed/neutered at a young age. Some people find that ferrets are better able to bond with a member of the opposite sex. Generally, male ferrets are more cuddly and female ferrets are more active. It’s important to remember that every ferret is individual and while most males are more cuddly, you may still find one that simply doesn’t enjoy cuddling.

Differences Between Male and Female Ferrets

Ferrets are generally docile animals and are not prone to biting. However, with young and un-spayed females, some female ferrets will put on a show of aggression when they are feeling vulnerable or stressed. With proper training and of course after your female is fixed, she will be no more prone to biting than a male. Females also enjoy more play time and will enjoy the company of other ferrets more than a male necessarily might. Males in general are less nippy and less playful. They enjoy more time spent lounging with their humans. Keep in mind that these are just generalizations of the gender and your ferret will have their own traits and preferences.

Different Cuddliness

Here are a few possible ways that male and female ferrets act differently in regard to lounging and affection:

If your ferrets are allowed outside of the cage long enough for them to no longer want to play and instead it becomes nap time, males will much prefer napping in your lap or around your shoulders. Females are more likely to want to sleep in an enclosed area where you won’t be able to reach them – they prefer their space while they are sleeping.

While they are awake however, female ferrets would much rather play with you.

Why Female Ferrets Tend to be More Active

Female ferrets are naturally active and love to explore and play. Female ferrets often get bored and are more likely to explore when they have the chance. They need toys and things to roll around in. Females will require more stimulating environments – they will not be satisfied if they are forced to sleep from boredom. You will want to have a large play yard or enclosure. They also need more stimulation from humans and other ferrets. If they don’t have enough stimulation they can experience lack of energy, lethargy, and even depression. Female ferrets are also more apt to chew on their cages or clothing.

Why Male Ferrets are More Cuddly

Generally, male ferrets have less energy. Your male will spend less time playing with you or other ferrets and may instead sleep through play time. However your male still loves spending time with you. While they may not have the energy needed to play with you for the duration of play time, if you make yourself calm and still, they will be more likely to curl in your lap in order to show their love. Both male and female ferrets form strong bonds with their humans – they just show them in different ways.

Should You Get a Male Ferret or a Female Ferret?

Keep in mind that every difference you hear between a male ferret and a female ferret is simply a generalization. Some people might say that female humans are more caring while male humans are more ambitious, but these are generalizations that don’t mean much to the individual. Just like humans, your ferret will be unique. You should decide your ferret based on how you bond with them when first meeting them. Gender should only be a deciding factor if you have no other way to choose.

Conclusion

If you’re thinking about getting a ferret, it’s a great idea to learn as much as you can about what you’re getting into. Take the time to do research and find out all of the information you can so that you can make an informed decision that’s right for you. As always, keep in mind that your ferret will be a unique individual and you shouldn’t make assumptions on what they will act like or prefer before you meet and bond with them.

ferret without cage

If you are a ferret lover, you know that ferrets need time outside of their cage in order to live and thrive. If you’re looking to get a ferret for the first time, you might be wondering if you can just take out the middle man and go without a cage all together. While that might seem like an ideal situation to you, there are several reasons why that’s not a great idea. Ferrets can be self destructive and a danger to themselves – their cage helps them stay safe and out of trouble.

Why Ferrets Need a Cage

Ferrets are naturally curious, and living in the wild they would encounter a multitude of obstacles that would go right through their tiny little bodies if left to their own devices. Without a cage, these tiny little animals could get hurt, whether that’s by other ferrets, other wildlife, or by you as a human. Also, you’ll want to be careful of any animals that are in the same area as the ferret cage, especially if they’re small. There are also plenty of environmental reasons why ferrets need a cage – ferrets like to have their own beds and giving them a reliable place that is always theirs and only theirs helps to keep them happy. You will also need a cage if your ferret gets sick, because they might hide away from you and you will need to be able to have quick access to them.

How to Find the Right Size Cage for Your Ferret

You want to make sure that your ferret has the appropriate space and the right quality of environment they need to live comfortably and well. Ferret cages come in all sizes, and unfortunately some are way too small. Before you jump into a purchase, it’s important that you understand how much space your furry friend needs. Ideally, your ferrets cage should really be as big as you can afford/fit in your house. You need at a complete minimum, 2.5 feet of cage space per ferret. The best cages are about the size of a wardrobe and come with multiple shelves and ladders so your ferret can have enough space to play by themselves.

The Benefits of a Ferret Cage

A cage helps keep your ferret safe from other household pets and small children and it prevents them from chewing on things like cords or anything else that could be harmful. It also makes it safer for them to play. While they’re in a cage, they can’t chew on objects that they shouldn’t be able to. Aside from eating everything, ferrets also run very quickly and like to play hide and seek. A cage will prevent your ferret from getting lost in an unsafe part of your house or running out the front door. Last but not least, a sick ferret will hide from you and you will need to have easy access to take them to emergency vet appointments.

What You Should Know About Taking Your Ferret Out of the Cage

In order to keep your ferret happy, you will need to take your ferret out of the cage for at least an hour and a half every day. To prevent anything dangerous from happening to your ferret, you should let them play in an enclosed room that has been ferret proofed. This means you have picked up everything that they could chew and they can not crawl under/up to any area where you won’t be able to reach them. Your ferret should be supervised during play time because they will surprise you and get into things that you previously wouldn’t have considered a potential problem.

A Few Words of Caution

If you’re looking for an adventurous and social pet that loves to roam the world and climb on everything, then you’re going to want to get your hands on a ferret. Ferrets require a safe and secure space to live in. To ensure that, ferrets require a solid steel cage that can be built to protect your ferret from harm. In order to keep your ferret safe, you need to keep your ferret in their cage. They need the structure and safety that comes with being locked up inside their cage for a few hours every night.

Conclusion

Most ferret owners have heard the warnings about keeping a ferret on the loose in your home. Ferrets are actually very adaptable and thrive on being active. Ferrets need to run around to thrive so when you don’t take them out of their cage, you might be surprised how quickly they get bored of waiting for you to play. However, ferrets also get into everything and no matter how much you try to ferret proof your home, your ferret will be much safer with a cage.

ferret vomiting

Your ferret throwing up can be a very scary time for any ferret parent. Unlike us and most other animals, puking actually hurts ferrets and is very dangerous. Whether they are throwing up because they are sick or because they have ingested something that is now causing a blockage – ferrets should see a vet if they are throwing up. Because ferret health can take a nose dive so quickly, it’s important to begin treatment at home.

Causes of Ferret Puking

When ferrets throw up, the exact cause is usually unknown. Most ferret puking happens if there is a blockage in their stomach. An old food pellet can become lodged, or even a small fragment of a plastic toy. On the other hand, some ferret puking is because of illness or injury. In those cases, a ferret may throw up several times until the body can correct any problems. No matter the reason for a ferret vomiting, it is unlikely to be resolved on its own without vet intervention.

Do keep in mind that vomiting and a hairball are different. Because ferrets groom themselves, like cats, they may occasionally get a hairball. While unpleasant, hairballs are usually not dangerous to ferrets and do not need to be met with a visit to the vet. Hairballs will be less wet than vomit and they will never be accompanied by food.

What to Do Next

A ferret throwing up is very serious and you need to call your vet to make an appointment as soon as possible. Because exotic pet vets can be difficult to reach during evenings and weekends, you may be put in a position where you need to wait before your sick friend can be seen. In that case, you will need to begin care before you visit the vet. Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. If you have any other ferrets, they should be separated in case your ferret has an illness.
  2. In case your ferret has a blockage, you should stop giving them food. If you have dogs, you will be familiar with this step. If they have a blockage, there is no chance any food will make it through, so giving them any food will result in them vomiting even more, which is harmful for them.
  3. Give your ferret Pedialyte to help restore their lost electrolytes. This step may sound unusual. When we say that vomiting is dangerous to ferrets – we mean it. The actual act of vomiting is dangerous for them because they lose so many vital electrolytes in the process. Unflavored Pedialyte mixed into their water dish (in a 50/50 mixture) will help to keep that danger to a minimum.
  4. Inspect all toys, bedding, etc, to look for missing chunks. After your other ferrets and your sick ferret are safe, you can begin to look for signs of what could be a blockage. If you find something, you will know what to keep away from your ferrets and it will be very useful for the vet.

What to Do If Your Ferret is Sick

If your ferret is throwing up, don’t panic. They could just be sick. While we all know that stomach bugs and the flu can really stink, they aren’t usually the end of the world. Even though they should still see a vet and it is still dangerous, this is likely the best option you could hope for. If your ferret appears to be sick, they will likely be uninterested in playing or snuggling and will just want to sleep alone in their cage until they are feeling better. Make sure they have access to clean water at all times. Also, do NOT feed them treats. The last thing they’ll need is more calories.

How to Treat a Ferret that is Sick

Emergency ferret care is the best you can do for a sick ferret. You need to go to a vet as soon as you realize your ferret is sick. You will want to avoid making the ferret sicker than necessary by not waiting too long. Symptoms of serious illness include inability to move, lethargy, decreased appetite, increased thirst, and vomiting/vomiting blood. What to do if your ferret has thrown up blood or vomited an unknown object? If your ferret is sick and has vomited an unknown object, you need to seek medical treatment for your ferret. This may require a call to a veterinarian or emergency veterinary hospital. It is important to keep your ferret safe by not introducing substances into the ferret’s system that will make your ferret sicker.

How to Treat a Ferret with a Blockage

Your ferret is experiencing digestive distress. This is because they may have eaten something harmful or inhaled something that is now affecting them. Start by removing anything from the cage that they could have chewed so they cannot hurt themselves any further. After you speak with a vet, they may want you to try to get the ferret to pass the blockage. You can do this by feeding your ferret a can of mashed pumpkin (the kind you make pumpkin pie with). If he can not pass the blockage on his own, your ferret may need surgery to remove the issue. It is important to keep your ferret under a watchful eye until you and your vet are sure the blockage is gone.

Conclusion

A ferret vomiting can be a scary experience. Whether it is caused by a blockage or an illness, throwing up is a dangerous act for a ferret. Make sure to keep them properly hydrated and under a watchful eye until you can make a visit to the vet. Ferrets should be separated while they are sick and anything that could have been chewed should be removed from their area in order to keep them safe.

ferret care

If you’ve seen ferrets at your local pet store, you may be interested in these fuzzy little creatures. While a lot of people believe that any pet that can be kept in a cage may be a low maintenance pet, this is most definitely not true for ferrets. Ferrets need daily playtime with their humans or they can actually get sick. They also have very particular diets and need to have access to new toys all of the time. So what do you need to know to raise a healthy ferret?

Is a Ferret Right For Me?

If you don’t mind putting in about the same effort as raising a dog, ferrets are perfect for you. Even if you aren’t a cat or dog person, ferrets are a wonderful choice for someone who wants a pet that will play with them and cuddle them. Although they are quite a bit different than a dog, they are still very similar in the amount of effort it takes daily to raise one. Ferrets can be a very relaxing pet, providing both playtime and a good place to spend a quiet evening. If you’re someone who wants a more casual pet, you might be better off with a small rat or hamster. If you have never had a ferret before, you might want to take a little bit of time to figure out whether ferrets are right for you.

What Ferrets Need

If you retain any one thing from this article it should be this: ferrets are a lot of work. If you are planning on getting a ferret because you want to watch it play in its cage and pet it sometimes, then do not get a ferret. Ferrets have delicate health (they are one of the only pets that can actually die from depression). They need at least an hour and a half per day of outside of the cage play time with you. Ferrets also have a diet that can be hard to accommodate with the easily accessible bagged food. Based on the quality of pet stores local to you, you may need to get creative or spend more than you would think to feed ferrets the amount of protein they need.

Ferret Health

The number one thing you should learn before getting a ferret is: the have very fragile health. Ferrets can get sick from any number of things and every time a ferret gets sick, it is very dangerous. Add in that ferrets get into and will eat anything they can possibly reach, and you can conclude for yourself that it is very important for all ferret parents to know where the exotic pet hospital is.

You should get an annual health check for your ferret. This check will help you keep track of any problems your ferret may have and allow you to get advice from professionals regarding treatment. Your vet may also be able to give you some information about local places to get healthy ferret food, as this can be an issue. Your vet will also be able to tell you about the local exotic animal hospitals. This information can be helpful when your ferret is losing weight or vomiting.

Ferret Nutrition

A ferret needs a varied and specific diet. Ferrets need more meat in their diet than dogs and even cats. You can likely buy a bag of “ferret food” from wherever you got your ferret, but most of them are not up to our standards. If you need to feed your ferret food from a bag that is easily accessible in most stored, kitten food actually has the most meat in their food, more than cat or even ferret food. The best thing to feed ferrets is just straight meat. You can purchase dried meat sold as dog food fillers from most pet stores.

The amount of food a ferret eats will vary based on the size of the ferret and the quality of their food. For the most part, ferrets will not overeat but before you get to know your ferret, you should monitor their weight to make sure they are getting enough food. It is important to note that if you are feeding your ferret wet food, you will need to make sure they eat it immediately or bacteria could grow in it and it could make them very sick.

Ferrets should always have access to fresh water, so it’s very important that you keep their water dish clean. Ferrets can drink either from a traditional bowl or a water bottle that clips to the side of the cage. Some ferret parents prefer the water bottle because ferrets tend to make a mess with bowls of water (or really anything they have access to), while other prefer to give the bowl of water because it adds another piece of stimulation to the cage.

Ferret Socialization

Ferrets need daily socialization to avoid depression. Ferrets need at a minimum, one and a half hours outside of their cage to play with their humans. This step of care is essential when your ferret is still a kit, as they are still learning if humans are trustworthy. A ferret kit who does not receive enough attention from their human will turn into a ferret who bites.

Ferrets also love other ferrets! Having someone else to play with in the cage is a major way to increase overall stimulation and reduce the chance of depression. Ferrets form extremely strong bonds with their friends and will miss them terribly if they are away, so take great care to keep bonded ferrets together whenever possible.

Ferret Grooming

Ferrets should be bathed at most once a month. While ferrets can be very stinky, that is just their natural musk. While you can cover it up with shampoo, the smell will just return in a day. Baths remove the oil that a ferret needs on their fur, which over time can lead to itchy skin and a distressed ferret. The best bath schedule is one every 2-3 months.

Ferrets also need their nails trimmed or it can be very uncomfortable for them to walk. Most ferrets don’t enjoy getting their nails trimmed so the best thing to do is hold them on their backs with your palm on their stomach, and smear some delicious food for them to lick off the back of your hand while you clip with the other hand. Ferrets tend to be food motivated and forget about everything else in the world while they are having a snack.

Ferrets will also need their cage cleaned daily to avoid getting sick (and stinky). Luckily, ferrets naturally go to the bathroom in corners, so a corner litter box is ideal for ferrets. The litter boxes have easy clips so they can be removed and cleaned with ease.

Ferret Toys

Ferrets need toys to remain stimulated but it is important for those toys to be inspected daily to make sure they haven’t been worn down to the point of posing as a health issue. You should assume that your ferret will attempt to eat any toy you give them. Ferrets are basically just even more energetic puppies. Ferrets cannot have soft toys as they will easily tear into them. Any rubber toys should also be a hard rubber. Ferrets will tear off chunks of soft rubber and eat them, potentially choking or causing a blockage.

When letting your ferret out of the cage, you will discover that ferrets are delighted to make literally anything their toys. A fun game you can play with your ferret is simply with a towel or t-shirt. Cover the ferret with the material and they will enjoy getting out from under it. Let them walk on it and then pull it out from under them and they will playfully attack the material.

A ferret’s favorite toys are those that can be played with friends. For solo toys, ferrets enjoy tunnels and “digging pools”, which are kiddie pools filled with plastic balls, similar to a ball pit.

Ferret Behaviors

The main concern new ferret parents have is if their furry friend is sleeping too much. Fear not – ferrets sleep roughly 16 hours per day. Ferrets are diurnal, so they are only awake for a few hours at sunrise and sunset. Some ferrets are cuddly and will enjoy sleeping while curled up in your lap while some like to be left alone while they sleep.

People also become concerned that their ferret will bite. While some ferrets are prone to be more “nippy” than others, any hard biting habits can be unlearned while your ferret is still a kit. While your ferret is a kit, after they bite, just grip them by the scruff. This doesn’t hurt them but it lets them know that biting is not acceptable.

Aside from when they are sleeping, your ferret should be very energetic and excited to eat and play. If your ferret does not get excited about food or play time, that is a very telling sign that something is wrong and it’s time to visit a vet.

The Ferret Shopping List

Before you bring your new furry friend home, you will need a few things.

  1. A nice size cage – Some people think ferrets can fit in a large guinea pig cage. They cannot and should have a much bigger cage, about the size of a wardrobe.
  2. A litter box – Corner litter boxes that clip to the cage are best, because ferrets naturally want to go in the corner of their cage and if the box doesn’t clip in, the ferret will push it around the cage and spill litter everywhere
  3. Ferret litter – It should be noted that cat litter should not be used in a ferret litter box, because they will attempt to eat the little rocks and they will inhale the powder from the litter, which is harmful to their lungs.
  4. A water bottle or clip on bowl – Ferrets can drink water either from the same water bottle that a guinea pig or hamster would drink from, or they can drink from a bowl. A bowl that can be clipped onto the cage will prevent water from spilling when they attempt to push it across the cage. The same bowl can be used for ferret food.
  5. A hammock – Ferrets love hiding holes and soft places to sleep. A hammock that hangs from the bars of the cage will be a greatly appreciated necessity.
  6. Nail clippers – Unless you plan on taking your ferret to the vet every month, you will need ferret nail clippers.
  7. Ferret safe toys – So they aren’t bored while in their cage, ferrets should be provided at minimum a hard chew toy.
  8. Ferretone – Ferretone is a healthy treat for ferrets. While it shouldn’t be given in excess, it makes nail trimming a breeze.

Conclusion

Hopefully this article has provided you with a rough estimate of the amount of care it takes to raise a healthy ferret. Too often, ferrets are bought on a whim because people believe they can be kept in a cage all day like some other pets. Ferrets require daily socialization, thorough grooming, and have a diet that is hard to meet the requirements of with basic bagged food. But if you love and care for your ferret, they can make the best of pets.

ferret depressed

Have you noticed your ferret sleeps more often than they should? Are they not eating as much as they used to? Are they no longer excited during play time? Unfortunately, depression is a real and serious issue with ferrets. Ferrets may become depressed if they are not having enough play time outside of the cage or if another ferret has recently passed. Depression can lead to death in ferrets, so it is important to get this fixed as fast as possible.

Depression in Ferrets: A Dangerous Threat

Dogs and cats are much less complicated than ferrets, and mental health issues in dogs and cats are of little threat compared to the mental health of ferrets. It is important to know that if your ferret is exhibiting any of the symptoms of depression, get them help immediately. The most common symptom of depression in ferrets is a lack of interest in playtime. If your ferret is no longer playing or getting excited over play time, this is a very serious symptom that needs to be addressed. Ferrets who have been depressed are often sad and lethargic. They may be cranky, eat less, and not play as much as they should. Your ferret may also be showing signs of self-harm. Ferrets can bite themselves when they are depressed and not feeling well. In severe cases, ferrets can even die from depression.

Causes of Depression in Ferrets

There are several factors that can cause depression in ferrets.

  1. Dramatic changes to the ferret’s home environment. If the ferret has recently been rehomed, it may be experiencing depression simply because this is a big change. Ferrets may also experience depression if they are used to being with another ferret, but the other ferret has been rehomed.
  2. Ferret Death. If you had more than one ferret, but one of them died, the other ferret knows the original one is dead and they go into a period of mourning. However this type of depression is just as dangerous as the rest. Some ferrets will simply give up on life after the passing of their friend, so it is important to get them help.
  3. Dangerous Neighbors. Ferrets can become stressed if introduced to another ferret who may be treating them poorly. Similarly, if another pet or perhaps even a child is tormenting the ferret while they are in their cage, they may become anxious and depressed.
  4. Disturbance from Lack of Stimulation. If your ferret hasn’t been receiving enough stimulation time outside of their cage, they will become depressed.

How Do I Know if My Ferret is Depressed?

If your ferret is always sleeping, then there could be a possibility that they are depressed. They may also eat less, stop playing with the other ferrets in the house, or are not socializing with their owners. As a rule of thumb, ferrets are known to sleep around 16-18 hours a day, so if your ferret is sleeping more often, these are signs that your ferret could be depressed. If your ferret is traditionally excited when you open the cage for playtime, but they instead are staying asleep or simply do not care that it is play time, this is the most common signal that your ferret is depressed.

What To Do if My Ferret is Depressed

If your ferret is depressed it is important that you contact your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian may take blood or perform a physical exam to check for a physical reason that could be causing your ferret to be depressed. If there is no physical reason, your vet will speak with you about the cause of depression in your ferret and steps you can take to help them. Your vet may also prescribe medicine or suggest a change in diet to help ease your ferret from the symptoms of their depression. It is important to take your furry friend to the vet as soon as possible so they won’t end up “giving up on life”.

Conclusion

Ferrets are amazing animals. Their brains are much like humans, so they can also suffer similar mental health issues as humans. Your ferret may experience depression because of a wide array of causes. If you are noticing your ferret sleeping more than normal, not eating as much as normal, and not being excited during play time, it is time to take your friend to the vet.

ferret spay

If you’ve gotten your kit from a responsible breeder instead of a “ferret mill”, your little lady may still be intact. This is because spaying at too young an age has been shown to reduce the amount of hormones which are important for ferret growth. It is imperative however, that your ferret be spayed before her first estrus as she could develop a life-threatening anemia.

Why is spaying your ferret important?

Ferrets are small animals and this is why ferret breeders recommend that they be spayed as late as possible. With female ferrets, this first full year is crucial to their physical and mental development. Without this growth hormone stimulation, they will not reach the size and maturity they need to be in order to do everything their little hearts desire! However, it is of the utmost importance that your ferret is spayed before her first estrus or she could die.

A female ferret will stay in heat until she breeds. If your ferret enters her estrus and you don’t have any male ferrets around, this means she will stay in heat forever. An estrus causes more and more estrogen to be released into the blood, which causes anemia. Anemia can kill a ferret very quickly, so if your ferret has signs of anemia, it is important to get her to a vet as soon as possible.

The physical and behavioral differences between a spayed and an intact female

Except for a small scar on her tummy (which you may or may not be able to see), you will not notice any physical difference a spayed or intact female ferret. Behavioral differences mostly vary per ferret. The most common change is a cuddly female may be less cuddly after being spayed. She will still be social with you, she just may no longer want to sleep in your lap. However, this is a small price to pay for your furry friend’s life!

When is the right time to spay your ferret?

It is important to understand that ferrets are year-round breeders, which means that you are not safe from estrus no matter the time of year. A ferret can experience her first estrus any time between 4 months of age and 8 months of age. Because of the dire effects of not spaying your ferret, it is important to ere on the safe side and spay your ferret at 3 months of age.

What to do if you waited too long

If you’re reading this article because you have an intact female and you are now noticing she doesn’t feel too hot – take her to the vet immediately! If she has developed anemia, she will likely need to be put on hormone therapy, receive blood transfusions, and be spayed as soon as possible. Even with immediate vet intervention, after developing anemia, not all ferrets make a recovery.

How can I tell if my ferret is spayed?

If you got your ferret from a big pet store (PetCo, PetSmart), your ferret is already spayed. These major retailers receive all of their ferrets from the same ferret company, which spays all of their females before they are shipped to the store. If you’ve gotten your ferret from a smaller pet store or a breeder, it is best to simply ask them. If for some reason this is not possible, you may be able to tell if your ferret was spayed because they could have a scar on their tummy, a chip taken out of their ear, or a small tattoo placed inside their ear. If you are not sure your ferret is spayed, it is best to have them taken to a vet to make sure.

What if I want to breed her?

If you want to breed your female ferret, you need to make sure you have a male available at all times. In order to avoid anemia, your female ferret will need to mate every time she goes into heat. This means it is best to have at least two in tact males. That way, if one becomes sick or for some reason is unwilling to mate, your female will still be able to exit her cycle and not develop anemia.

Owning a breeding pair

Owning a breeding pair of ferrets is not for the faint of heart and should not be done on a whim. The mating ritual for breeding ferrets can seem violent to humans, but it is important to leave them be. When preparing to mate, the male ferret will bite on the female’s scruff of her neck and drag her around. While this is happening, the female ferret will yelp like she is in pain.

After a successful mating, the female will be pregnant for 42 days before she births a litter of usually between 6 and 12 kits.

Conclusion

Ferrets are cute little creatures and it is important to keep them healthy. If you have an intact female that you will not be breeding, you need to have her spayed in order to save her life. If you are considering breeding your ferret so you will not have to spay her, you may want to think again as it is a difficult task where many things can go wrong. If your female already has anemia, take her to the vet immediately so she can receive hormones and blood as needed.

Axolotl Size Main

The axolotl is one of the weirdest and most unusual salamander species. Popularly (but inaccurately) known as the Mexican walking fish, this amphibian won the hearts of people all over the globe. But how much do you know about this adorable creature? In this article, you will find interesting facts about axolotl size and features.

Axolotl Size

When they hatch, baby axolotls are about 0.5 inches (11mm) long. At first, they usually grow about an inch per month. The size of a fully grown axolotl can vary from 6 to 18 inches (15–45 cm). Yet, it seems that the average size is around 9–10 inches (23–25 cm).

An adult axolotl can weigh anywhere between 0.13 and 0.5 lbs (60–225 gr). However, they reach up to 1.1 lbs (0.5kg) in captivity. So, if you want to keep one as a pet, be prepared to invest in a bigger aquarium.

Axolotls reach their full size at 18 to 24 months of age. Their growth rate on factors such as water temperature and diet. A good rule of thumb is that the adult axolotl’s head should be as wide as its body.

We should also mention that there are some differences between male and female axolotls. Females will usually have rounder bodies than males because of the eggs they have to carry. Also, male axolotls will often have a more stretched body with a longer tail.

Other Features

Physical Features

Axolotl SizeThe physical features of axolotls are similar to those of salamander larvae. These features include external gills, otherwise known as the cute ferny antennas on their head. The other feature common for all salamanders is a dorsal fin, commonly referred to as “the tail”. Axolotls are also known for their wide heads and lidless eyes.

 

Colors and Variations

Axolotls have four pigmentation genes. This trait leads to considerable differences in color. These differences have been further increased by their popularity as pets. Namely, new and unique axolotl types were created in labs to meet the popular demand. Axolotls will typically exhibit colors such as gray, olive, brown, white, pink, and blue.

Natural Habitat, Life Span, and Diet

Axolotls are fully aquatic species. In other words, they spend their whole life in water. More specifically, in lakes of the Valley of Mexico.

They can live up to 15 years, but the average life of an axolotl is around 10 years long.

Axolotls’ diet is purely meat-based yet flexible. Namely, in nature, they can eat anything from worms and insects to small fish and even other salamanders.
Fascinating Abilities
An interesting fact about axolotls is they can regenerate organs and lost limbs. They are also over a thousand times more resistant to cancer than mammals. These impressive features have made axolotl a sensation in the scientific world. Experts are hoping they will eventually harness their abilities to help humans.

Conclusion

We hope that you’ve learned something new about axolotl size and features. They are truly a gem of the amphibian world thanks to their rare and remarkable features. Not to mention the role they might have in fighting cancer and regenerating damaged organs. All in all, axolotls deserve both our interest and appreciation.

Axolotl in the Wild Main

When shopping for a new pet, most of us are probably leaning toward a cat, a dog, or a fish. That’s perfectly natural, but some people still opt for stranger options, like the little axolotl. Small, cute, and slimy, this companion seems to be taking the world by storm. Requiring little care and attention, the axolotl can be the perfect companion for first-time pet owners. However, you need to learn how they are in the wild to take better care of them. Let’s take a look and see what we need to know about our aquatic friends and their controversial status.

All About Axolotls

Axolotls are a type of salamander native to Mexico that can live up to 15 years in the wild. They are also known as the walking fish for their amphibian lifestyle. Axolotls can be found in a variety of colors and patterns, most notably black, white, or gold.

It’s worth mentioning that these little fellows don’t go through metamorphosis and instead remain aquatic their entire lives. That means they should be handled with extreme caution, so as not to hurt them.

Behavior

Axolotls are not particularly social animals, so they don’t require any tank partners. You should definitely not mix them up with other species, especially fish, as they will try to eat them. Even other axolotls can end up as prey, so the best bet is to raise them in separate enclosures.

Diet

An axolotl in the wild will usually eat snails, small fish, and worms. When it comes to those in captivity, avoid feeding them fish or worms you caught yourself as they might contain parasites. Most axolotl owners prefer to feed them small stripes of liver, beef, and shrimp. It’s important to know your axolotl’s age and size, as the amount of food they require will vary.

Axolotl in the Wild
Enclosure

Unlike most amphibians, axolotls don’t require a dry area in the enclosure. Instead, they prefer different depths of water, with shallow and deep areas aplenty. When it comes to size, a 15-20 gallon fish tank is a good choice. The size will ensure that your little friend will have plenty of space to swim. And lastly, avoid placing the tank in bright sunlight and always make sure the temperature doesn’t go above 75°F.

Controversy

There is a bit of controversy when it comes to owning an axolotl, as they are considered an endangered species. The majority of pet axolotls are descendants of bred animals, usually used for scientific purposes. Furthermore, some states, like California and New Jersey, have laws against owning axolotls. Before buying one, make sure that your state allows it and the person selling it is a reputable breeder.

Let’s Get Swimming!

All in all, it’s easy to see why axolotls are starting to gain popularity. They are easy to care for and are adorable to look at. However, the controversy surrounding their status will surely make some people want to free their axolotl in the wild. Nevertheless, people that choose to stick with this aquatic friend will enjoy their company for years to come.