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    An Enchanted Forest

The Love of Ferrets

Growing up I had no idea what a ferret was.  It was back in the late 1990s that I met a coworker who had 13 ferrets.  I thought she was nuts.  How could anyone think to have THAT many ferrets?  Later, I met my future husband who had two ferrets of his own.  One was extremely protective of him and challenged me to get her to love me as she did him.  I took on that challenge as I soon fell in love with both of his ferrets.  Why?  I have always grown up with dogs and cats and ferrets remind me of stretched out kittens who love to play, play, PLAY!  They also have so much personality in their faces and in what they do to keep themselves "occupied".  Some love to steal items such as socks, insoles, dog toys.  Some love to love bite you to get you to join them in play.   There are ones who let their curiosity get the better of them and sometimes face harm in climbing too high.  

I currently have 7 ferrets and most people whom I meet are like "You have SEVEN ferrets???"  I explain that they came in groups of two or three, adopting them as the group or my husband needed their companionship.  Ferrets are playmates that feed off of one another's energies.  They are better in groups than one because they are up several times a day and need playmates as well as someone to snuggle with when nap time approaches.  Typically, they are much like cats in that two females do not typically get along unless they were raised together.  Most boys get along unless they have not been neutered.  There is a chip that can be inserted to reduce the tension between ferrets who are aggressive.  It needs to be reinserted every year at a cost of around $250.  

Daily care for ferrets consists of a diet that is high in protein.  We typically mix Purina Kitten Chow and Totally Ferret.  We got this recommendation from the lady who runs a local Ferret Rescue that we got our majority of ferrets from, as she used to work with a Veterinarian and teaches Ferret Health at a local University Vet School.  We also have a bottle of water available near the bowls of ferret food that is left out for whenever they wish to eat.  As they typically eat several times a day, this works out perfectly for them.  Ours our what is referred to as "Free Range" which means they are not kept in cages.  They snuggle under furniture or in drawers lined with blankets as well as one has a "bachelor pad" under the TV stand.  Some ferrets are kept in cages so that they don't possibly escape or damage carpeting as they like to scratch at it.  If you do choose to put them in a cage, you will need to let them out a couple of times a day to play and basically get exercise.  We also use a dust-free cat litter that looks like rabbit pellets as litter.  Ferrets use a litter box much like a cat does.  This type of litter breaks down into a sawdust-looking pile but doesn't kick up dust when dry.  It also captures the smell that some people do not enjoy.  Speaking of odor, ferrets each give off their own unique "scent".  Some believe it's a musk-like scent but my experience has been more toward a urine type of smell.  One only smells it when your nose is close to their skin.  The scent comes from their secreted oil that keeps their skin hydrated.  Ferrets need baths only about every couple of months so that their skin is not dried out by the Ferret Shampoo, which you can find in most pet stores.