Ferret

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Google Maps location for Mulberry Lane Vet Hospital

Mulberry Lane Vet Hospital
294 Lords Place
Orange
NSW 2800

Phone:
02 6360 3071

 

Vital statistics

Life expectancy 5-9 years Weaning 6-8 weeks
Breeding 4-8 months Pregnancy 42 days
Liter size 1 to 18 Adult body weight 0.5-2kg

 

Ferrets are carnivorous animals whose relatives include the weasel, mink and otter. They are inquisitive by nature and will endlessly explore the surroundings. They are clean animals that are sociable and enjoy human companionship. They display many instinctive traits such as play & hunting. There are many coloured varieties including the “fitch” or “sable” (Cream undercoat with black feet, tail and black mask on their face), albino and cinnamon are also common.

 

Housing:

• They should normally be cage confined when the are not under direct supervision. However they do require daily play time and interaction in a safe area outside confinement. This will also maintain their bond to you.

• They enjoy exploring so try “ rearrange” their cage furnishings regularly ( provide boxes, plastic tunnels etc)

• They often prefer to sleep in a small cosy area

• Ferrets like to chew, so be careful of objects around the home or in their cage that may tempt them. Swallowed objects may become hazardous by way of intestinal obstruction.

• Ferrets are readily toilet trained as they often toilet in corners, place kitty litter trays in the corners of the cage and in the rooms that your ferret uses to play in. Suitable litter types include, recycled paper cat litter or shredded paper.

• It is important to house your ferret in an are that wont become to hot as ferrets are prone to heat stress.

• Ideally, ferrets need to be exposed to normal day/night cycles throughout the year. Some occasional exposure to sunlight may also be beneficial.

Handling:

• Ferrets will often nip or play bite when playing. They need to be tought at a young age that biting people is inappropriate.

• If need be ferrets can be gently scruffed by being held from the back of the neck. This may help to calm them down and can be used with a verbal no if they have bitten you.

 

Feeding:

• Ferrets are strict carnivores. In the wild they prey upon and eat whole animals. They require a diet of meat/animal products that are high in proteins and fats and low in carbohydrates and fibre.

• On the market there are some good quality commercial ferret foods available in Australia but they're not always easy to come by. The alternative is to offer constant supply of high quality high quality commercial dry kitten food. Recommended brands include, Royal Canin kitten food, hills science diet kitten food and Iams kitten food.

• Bones that are raw and meaty are also great for their teeth as they help to clean them.

• Treats can also be offered such as fresh fruits and vegetables can be given but only in minute quantities, they should be soft and easily digestible such as melons and pears.

• Nutritional supplements are not necessary .

• Clean fresh water should be available from a bottle or heavy bowl daily.

 

Health and veterinary advice:

• All ferrets should be vaccinated against canine distemper. Two vaccinations are required if the ferret is less than 14 weeks old and thereafter a yearly booster vaccination is required.

• Ferrets need to be on monthly heartworm prevention such as Revolution or Heartguard

• Ferrets should be vet checked yearly while young and then twice a year after the age of 3 or 4 years.

• Is is a good idea to quarantine any new ferrets for at least 4 weeks before introducing them to your other ferrets.

• Desexing is recommended for males and is a must for females from around 6 months of age before their first heat

 

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