Anyone On Here Own A Ferret? I'm Looking For Advice And Direction!

Discussion in 'Ferrets' started by bizaliz3, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. bizaliz3

    bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

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    I will be getting a ferret in the near future, I am very nervous about it. I honestly don't want one. I worry about it getting along with my dog. I worry about all the fish tanks and all that.

    But my teenage daughter has earned the privilege, she is earning the money to get the ferret and all the necessary supplies, so I am a bit stuck now LOL

    I would like any and all advice please!!!
    Do they still stink if the scent glands are removed? (assuming the cage is kept clean)
    Would baby gates on each end of the hallway accomplish anything for play time? Or will they crawl right up the gates? They advertise these ferret play pen things, but can't they just climb right out???

    The plan is to get one of the huge multi story ferret cages. And then all the playtime outside of the cage will have to be closely monitored because I do worry about all my tanks. My house is SOOOOO not small animal proofed! lol

    Would petco be an ok place to buy one from? They have theirs de-scented and fixed.
     
  2. James17

    James17Well Known MemberMember

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    Let her look into a Prairie Dog, they are legal to own in the U.S. again. They are smaller and the sweetest things.
     
  3. yukondog

    yukondogWell Known MemberMember

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    I've had several years ago, I can tell you they are escape artists, can climb anything, they are very inquisitive and will get into anything they can and mine I never could potty train. They were very fun to have, good luck.
     
  4. Punkin

    PunkinWell Known MemberMember

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    I've never had one of my own, but have babysat one. She was very well behaved. Potty trained to go in a litter box. Didn't bite. She was an albino one. She did have her scent glands removed, but there still was an odor, but I did not find it offensive. I think they are the cutest things! If your daughter changes her mind and wants a rabbit, I've had those for years!
    Edit: We'd babysit her for about 2 weeks for several years until she passed away.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    bizaliz3

    bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

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    LOL at one point it was going to be a rabbit. It started out as a cat. Then it became a rabbit, then it became a chinchilla ( @Aquaphobia helped me nip that one in the bud) and now its a ferret. This is the one she has been most serious about and has put the most research into. And she has officially purchased her first couple items for this future ferret of hers.

    See this is what makes me nervous. I think it is a real crapshoot with ferrets. I have heard some awful ferret stories, but I have also heard a lot of amazing ferret stories. I could end up with one like the one you babysat....friendly and litter box trained....or one like @yukondog that won't go in the litter box and gets into everything.

    I wish I could pick one knowing exactly what it's personality will be. Or at least get one that is already litter box trained.

    I am just very nervous. This could go really well or it could go REALLY BAD.
     
  6. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

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    It could be a crapshoot with any animal you get. That's part of the process. There isn't any way to predict what will happen, you just gotta take the leap of faith. I have never owned ferrets, but have owned a couple of dogs and more than my fair share of cats. You just never know what will happen. We have had to return a dog and a cat because they weren't right for us. But all the others have been amazing. Maggie (the dog) will be 14 next week, and is the center of our house. Although don't tell Lucy (the cat) that. She will argue with you about it lol
     
  7. OP
    OP
    bizaliz3

    bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

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    Very true @~AlliSten~ it is a crapshoot with all living beings. Very true.

    I know someone who has a ferret that is just like a dog in every way. It has free roam of their house, it hangs out with you, follows you around, sits on your lap....goes limp in your arms....it is the cutest sweetest thing ever. I wish I could be guaranteed that from our future ferret!!! lol
     
  8. Punkin

    PunkinWell Known MemberMember

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    So true. I've had 3 cats since I've been married. Still have one of them, she will be 19 in June. Had one til he was 17 and the third til he was 12. All 3 have been perfect cats. Well behaved, just perfect! I share an office with a girl who has nightmare cats. And it makes me nervous that I may never have such good cats again!
    Edit: sorry I'm getting off topic :rolleyes:
     
  9. OP
    OP
    bizaliz3

    bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

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    @Punkin that's exactly how I feel about my dog. She is 8 years old and she is the world's greatest dog....she is so well behaved and more like a cat than a dog.

    She is my first and only dog I've ever had, so someday WAY IN THE FUTURE when she passes and I get a new dog, I might be in for a rude awakening!!!!

    I have been so spoiled by her!!!!!! I'm really worried about how she will respond to another furry animal. She has a hard enough time with all the attention the fish get!!!! I would much prefer that she remain our only furry pet. But I made a promise that I have to stick to.
     
  10. Drummindot

    DrummindotWell Known MemberMember

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    We don't currently have ferrets but I've had many over the years. They would often free-roam the house but that was AFTER we did some extensive ferret-proofing.
    One big tip I have for you is to lay on the floor and look at things from their perspective. They can collapse their bones like mice and hamsters and as a result fit through smaller openings than you'd think. They are expert climbers! They are also very very smart.

    Also, many kitchen cabinets have gaps underneath the toe kick. We found this out the hard way. We had one crawl through a hole in my toe kick at the corner where the cabinets meet and I didn't think I'd ever get that ferret out from underneath my kitchen cabinets. She finally came out (6 hours later) and then we closed that gap.
    Also, they love shiny things. Anything skinny they will steal and horde it somewhere. If you wear a lot of rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings they may try to steal them right off of you! It depends on the personality of the ferret some are horrible about it and others could care less but if you go into it knowing that is a possibility you'll be ahead.
    They are very inquisitive and like a challenge. They will see ferret-proofing or baby gates as a challenge, accept it, and to their best to conquer it!
    They love to climb so a cat tree is wonderful for them. They love to play in paper bags and plastic bags. Never leave them unattended with a plastic bag. It's ok for them to play in them but they will curl up and go to sleep in one and if you're not there to be sure there's an opening for air it could be disastrous. When I would get home from the grocery store I'd let mine out of the cage and put a big pile of plastic bags on the floor and they'd go nuts. It was hilarious.
    Ours were always in the cage at night, or when I was not at home. They need the same constant supervision a toddler does!
    We had cats and dogs as well and they got along alright. I introduced them with something that smelled like the ferret first before they met the actual ferret.
    I have heard they will try to get to and hunt a pet bird. I don't know about this for sure but it makes sense at ferrets are wonderful hunters.
    I would feed them cooked chicken with the bone (supervised) and they'd love that.
    I'm sure there's more but I can't think of it right now.
    Good luck!

    Those are all valid concerns. The way you work with that is to work with a reputable pet store owner. Any owner worth his/her salt will take a ferret back if they aren't right for that family. I mentioned I had had several. We've had a total of four or five over the years and two had to be rehomed as they didn't work out for us. The pet store owner should be more than willing to take the ferret back if it doesn't work out. They aren't cheap to buy and you'd think the owner would want you to succeed as that is the best for his business.
    If you come across a store that will not take them back if it doesn't work out (you may get a reduced refund or store credit) turn around and leave that store right away. The ones that don't do that often get their ferrets from farms. Their conditions are worse than puppy farms. They can produce a sweet ferret but due the the conditions the opposite it usually the case.
    With the price ferrets bring unfortunately farms are all too popular.
    That being said, most reputable stores won't knowingly deal with them and want you to be successful as that is good for their business.
    I've tried to answer your questions and concerns but I'm sure I've missed something and I'm no expert (I've just had a LOT of pets/rescues over the years) so ask again if I made you think of another question.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2017
  11. Nart

    NartWell Known MemberMember

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    I visited a friend who owned Ferrets. Also worked with a lady who owned 2 Ferrets.

    Let me tell you..... they freaking stink. I even smelled the stench off my co-worker too. I think they just pee on her coat and she wears it without knowing.
    She told me all about her ferret of how it communicates by biting you and all that jazz. I personally wouldn't own a ferret.
     
  12. adsm08

    adsm08Valued MemberMember

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    My only real semi-useful experience with ferrets is that I know they will crawl into a dishwasher that is left open, and do NOT like being in there when it is started.
     
  13. OP
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    bizaliz3

    bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

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    This does spark another question for me....would you consider petco reputable when it comes to ferrets? Do you think they might be using the farms? Their ferrets are fixed and descented......that is desirable to me!!

    Do you know if their ferrets were descented?
    I assure you I will not being unknowingly wearing clothing with animal pee on them. Nor would I not even notice!!!! LOL

    This ferret also will not have free roam of my house. I have too many fish tanks (high and low) and too many hazards in general. It will be closely monitored when it is out of its cage.
     
  14. Nart

    NartWell Known MemberMember

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    @bizalis3 that I do not know. She just had that distinct urine smell.

    That will be good if it does not roam around.
    So your daughter is pretty set on a ferret huh? Try to coax her into something more docile lol... like fishes ;)
     
  15. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

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    FWIW, a friend who bred show chinchillas for years actually prefers ferrets because they're more trainable and sociable with people than chinnies. But she's allergic to ferrets so...
     
  16. beau

    beauWell Known MemberMember

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    I haven't kept them personally, but know that my local humane society will not sell them to anyone who won't commit to giving them hours of exercise daily. (3+) Definitely not for someone with a busy schedule... I know someone in my neighbourhood walks his like a dog, as least in the summer haha.
     
  17. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

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    I have had ferrets in the past and adore them! They can be a lot like cats, and a lot of trouble! But so can fish...
    As far as the smell, it never bothered me. Like all animals, the get dirty and stinky(wet dog anyone?), but you can bathe them very easily in a sink and they sometimes enjoy it! Also, even descented, males smell more strongly than females, and get larger. I suggest you get a female.

    As far as litter box training, they back into corners to go. Just a heads up. Mine would use the litter box in the cage, but any corner in the house was fair game... I'm not too knowledgeable about training ferrets. But I do know it's not like training a dog. No scolding. Probably more like training a cat... if that's possible. Can't train a cat to save my life!

    They will steal shiny objects (jewelry, keys, etc) and hide them in secret places.

    Petco might actually be a pretty good place, since you have to ask to handle them. Some stores have them in open cages to be handled by any 2 year old walking by, and these guys learn hands hurt and bite them. Spend some time with some in the store and see how they react to you, similar to getting a puppy or kitten.

    I think they can be wonderful pets and would probably have one if the hubby would let me. Actually I'd probably have a zoo, so it's good he puts his foot down...

    They are very active and social so make sure they have lots to do to keep them occupied! Good luck!

    Seriously on the baths...
     
  18. Nart

    NartWell Known MemberMember

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    @AngelTheGypsy lol @ your cat training comment. My cat is trained to twirl, sit, and stand-up. Of course... it's only on her terms and when she wants the actual treat to do these tricks. sigh.
     
  19. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

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    @Nart. Yeah I trained my cat to eat and he trained himself to the litter box. He then trained me to clean up all the dead critters he left on the porch, and other stuff. He disappeared in august.... Miss my Gizmo
     
  20. OP
    OP
    bizaliz3

    bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

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    There are so many mixed opinions when it comes to ferrets. I think a lot of people just think of them as rodents. My family hasn't been very supportive at all....but they don't live with me and my daughter, so it isn't up to them. But I am not looking forward to the pending "I told you so's" if things don't work out. And I have a strong feeling they may not work out. :-(

    My biggest fear, again, is how this will affect my dog. :-(
     
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