New To Ferrets . . . QUESTIONS! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
Ferret Discussion Mischievous antics, missing items, and all else ferret.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 134
 
Question New To Ferrets . . . QUESTIONS!

Please Please Please don't attack me for any question I may ask!! Just trying to learn everything possible . . . and I cannot find any helpful websites, who better to ask than the wonderful community here at Paw-Talk!!

1.) What do you feed your ferret? Is it correct that they need 35-40% protein and 15-20% fat!
2.) What if I cannot find a ferret food in my area that provides that? Can I feed a more expensive kitten chow containing 40% protein and 18% fat?
3.) What toys do ferrets like?
4.) Is pine bedding OK for ferrets?
5.) Tips on ferret proofing a trailer anyone?
6.) Flea control? Specially sold ferret flea stuff in pet store as opposed to flea color
7.) Should the ferret wear a collar and be leash trained?
8.) Any neccesary vaccination?
9.) Anything I missed?

Last edited by KaiyasMom; 11-11-2004 at 05:06 PM. Reason: typos
KaiyasMom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 05:32 PM
Obsessed With Turtles
 
fstybrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of Procrastination (MN)
Age: 44
Posts: 3,463
     
Please don't ever think you'll get attacked here for asking question to learn all you can! At least I wouldn't do it. I think it's great you want to learn what you can & I admire you for that!

I will gladly take the time to answer all your questions this evening after I get home & take care of a couple things. If you think of anything else you haven't already asked feel free to add to yoru list!
fstybrat is offline  
post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 134
 
10.) I have a 4 level cage (with ramps from each level) . . . what types of things should I put in or would the ferret prefer it bare?

11.) Is it true that they do better in pairs? And should it be Male Female or Female Female . . with no Male Male (as in many other animals males tend to fight.)?
KaiyasMom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 134
 
12.) In the "litter box" what type of litters are ferret safe? Normal cat litter or do I need something special?
KaiyasMom is offline  
post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 08:31 PM
Obsessed With Turtles
 
fstybrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of Procrastination (MN)
Age: 44
Posts: 3,463
     
Ok since it will take me a bit to go through all the questions I would suggest by reading this thread if you haven't already. There was another person with lots of ferret questions & I answered a lot of them there...

Ok now I am going to your questions
fstybrat is offline  
post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 08:40 PM
Obsessed With Turtles
 
fstybrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of Procrastination (MN)
Age: 44
Posts: 3,463
     
Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiyasMom
12.) In the "litter box" what type of litters are ferret safe? Normal cat litter or do I need something special?
This is sorta a tricky questions. Yes you can use cat litter, BUT keep in mind that ferrets have a sesitive respritory system & the dust in clay cat litter (scoopable or non-scoopable) may cause breathing problems for them.

Another option would be corn cob litter (many people use this in bird cages). For a long time I swore by it to be honest & it is still my second choice. Some people have told me that corn cob litter can harvest mites, but I never had a problem with it in the 2 1/2 years I used it.

Another option would be what they call "wood stove pellets". I have never used or seen them so I can't say one way or the other how they work. Many people than have used them though like them.

And finally you could use carefresh bedding. It is sorta like a recycled shredded paper. This is what I use. There is virtually no dust & it absorbs orders better then the other options as far as I know. It can be a little spendy depending on how much you buy at a time & where you but it. I get a 10 cubic foot bag & pay about 17.00 for it.

I believe up above you asked about pine bedding... I would strongly reccommend against this because of the pine scent & the respritory system problems it can cause.

In fact no matter which bedding you choose to go with... always get unscented.
fstybrat is offline  
post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 134
 
I read the other post . . . helpful! Thank you! Any of my other questions that could be answered would always be helpful!
KaiyasMom is offline  
post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 134
 
My parents use the wood stove pellets to heat their house and I use to use them in kitty litter box if I ran too low on kitty litter . . .good plan . . but is there any harm in ingestion or are ferrets not likely to try them?
KaiyasMom is offline  
post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 09:37 PM
Obsessed With Turtles
 
fstybrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of Procrastination (MN)
Age: 44
Posts: 3,463
     
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiyasMom
10.) I have a 4 level cage (with ramps from each level) . . . what types of things should I put in or would the ferret prefer it bare?
I also have a 4 level cage but without ramps. I just stager the shelves to stimulate their climbing ability.


ferrets get bored ratehr easily so the more variety you have the better. As you can see I have a variety of sizes of hammockes & tunnels, as well as a couple beds & blankies. I have found it easier & cheaper to sew my own hammocks using polar fleece then it is to buy them. I deffinalty wouldn't leave it empty in the cage though.

Quote:
11.) Is it true that they do better in pairs? And should it be Male Female or Female Female . . with no Male Male (as in many other animals males tend to fight.)?
Yes pairs are always better so they don't get lonly, of course you want to be sure you can afford caring for more than one though too, I don't mean just food & such I mean long term vet care as well. (don't get me wrong I am not saying you can't afford it I mean that in general )
To my knowledge same sex pairs don't matter. I have 3 females & 1 male & have never had a problem. The only thing you would want to make sure is that if you have a female she needs to be altered before she is 6 months old because if she isn't bred when she goes into heat the hormones could kill her.
fstybrat is offline  
post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 134
 
Awesome about the cages . . I love "Decorating" so my animals can play . . .and hammocks are my favorite to make . . he doesn't use the ramps to often he's more interested in finding his own ways around the cage . . .

Ok . . I was just wondering about pairs . . I'm going to see how it goes with one for a while . .. maybe some time down the road I'll think about investing in another
KaiyasMom is offline  
post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 10:20 PM
Obsessed With Turtles
 
fstybrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of Procrastination (MN)
Age: 44
Posts: 3,463
     
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiyasMom
1.) What do you feed your ferret? Is it correct that they need 35-40% protein and 15-20% fat!

2.) What if I cannot find a ferret food in my area that provides that? Can I feed a more expensive kitten chow containing 40% protein and 18% fat?
I'm sure you've seen this thread it is a ferret food comparison that give you an idea of what is & isn't good to feed. I will find the exactly percentages for you & get back to you on that one though (my brain is drawing a blank right now)

but I do believe those #'s are right. Yes you can feed a high quality kitten food if you are unable to find ferret food though. Most ferret owners actually mix ferret food with kitten food. I personally use a mixture of 8 in 1 ultimate ferret food and natural gourmet kitten food. My ferrets love it & haev no problems on it.

Quote:
3.) What toys do ferrets like?
anything they can hide in. blankets, towels, pillow cases etc. some of them also like balls & mice. Actually they are a lot like a cat in the aspect of toys. They especially love plastic bagsg or anything that makes a crinkly sound and long tubes (like an acordian dryer tube) and also boxes. It doesn't matter if it is upside down or on its side or right side up... they will play with it for hours.

Quote:
4.) Is pine bedding OK for ferrets?
I answered that above in the litter/bedding question

Quote:
5.) Tips on ferret proofing a trailer anyone?
I live in a trailer as well gosh how would I explain this one... where is your ferret cage located in your trailer & what part of the trailer are they allowed to run when out of the cage? I section off the hallway using a baby gate (I started out with a solid board though untill they got used to not trying the hallway anymore) so they are not allowed in the back of the home which is where the bathroom, bedrooms & furnace closet are. So when they are out they have the living room, kitchen, dining room & foyer to play in BUT only when we are out there to supervise them The best way I can think to secure areas is for you to get on your hands in knees & think like a ferret (nosey & determined to fit in the smallest of holes) if the head will fit likely the body will too. make sure there is no styrofoam or rubber they could get into as these are surely going to be investigated by them & it could cause blockages in their intestines.

Quote:
6.) Flea control? Specially sold ferret flea stuff in pet store as opposed to flea color
I would talk to a vet on this one... I have been fortunate enough to not have to worry about fleas but I believe you can use kitten advantage on them, like I said before doing so call the vet so they can check out the severity of the infestation. Fleas can cause anemia in ferrets.

Quote:
7.) Should the ferret wear a collar and be leash trained?
Collars on ferrets tends to be a picky issues with many ferret owners. Lukily that hasn't been an issue on Paw-Talk
Some people use them while many others don't.
I personally don't use collars on my ferrets BUT I di have them leash trained so I can take them outside when weather permits.
This is what I use for my ferrets:
http://www.petco.com/product_info.as...0&dept_id=%2D2
it acts as a harnes yet is fully adjustable to fit all of my ferrets

[quote]8.) Any neccesary vaccination?

Yes they require all the same vaccines that a cat requires for the most part, I believe I posted about that in another thread, let me go look & I will reference that here for ya.

Quote:
9.) Anything I missed?
No matter how hard you try you will likely never know everything

Oh yea... this is your only warning... ferrets can be addicting! lol

If I think of anything specific I will let eya know
fstybrat is offline  
post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 11:46 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 47
 
Hi there! I'm a bit new to ferrets as well- I own 2 young ones as we speak- but I did tons of research online about them so I have some minor answers to some of the questions. About food, I buy Marshalls ferret food which has all the correct amounts of protein and such that is good for a ferret. They are carnivors so they need this type of nutrition. I'm not sure where you're from, but if they have a Petco around you, I'm sure they have it- Called Marshalls Premium Ferret Diet. Kitten food I have read can be okay but has been known to either not give the ferret enough nutrition or too much- I can't remember. People used kitten food before ferrets had food products of their own made- but lots still use the kitten food. I would recommend chow made especially for ferrets. Toys- this is hard. They love balls and things that they can chase, but be careful what you choose. Ferrets can chew chew chew at toys and get particles stuck in their tiny little systems. I bought a bag of balls a week ago for ferrets from the store, and the ferrets have managed to chew up one ball and I'm still looking for the little rattle beans inside. These types of things can get stuck in their digestive tracts- (called a blocking). Find things that are not easily chewable. AND BEWARE: ferrets will find their own toys around your place. Pens, bottle tops, coins, even measuring cups, etc... watch them while their out so they don't choke or chew the **** out of your favorite... whatever. Bedding- pine is bad. Red flag here! Ferrets get respitory infections pretty easily. Pine is bad for their lungs. Newspaper shredding/mulch is also bad. Use corn bedding- or like me- full newspaper that I change every 2 days. Cheap and easy to clean. For litter- you can use kitty litter but that which is not perfumed. This can irritate them. It also may discourage them from wanting to go there. If you want to know more about litter training- send a personal message to me- I HAVE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT THIS AREA. Whatever you do for fleas- don't dip them. Ferrets skin is too sensitive for that. As for a leash or collar- I've done the leash thing- but not in cold fall or winter- that's harsh. I've seen collars on ferrets but it's not nessesary. Maybe so with a bell if you want to know what they're getting into next. For vacinations- they need a distemper shot once at 6-8 weeks, then at 10-12, and a third at 14 or so weeks. They don't cost too much and Marshalls covers the first shot for you. (If you were to buy or have purchased him there). Marshalls gives the ferrets to the pet stores at 6 weeks old- and usually give the shot 2 days before that. Rabies vacination is also recommended. I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for but this is what I have read from several sources. If you find anything that I was incorrect about, please let me know. I'm caring for my own babies as well. Good luck- they're great and wonderful pets!
tycor2328 is offline  
post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2004, 08:48 AM
Obsessed With Turtles
 
fstybrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of Procrastination (MN)
Age: 44
Posts: 3,463
     
Tycor the reason I didn't mention newspaper is because of the ink on it. it rubs off on a ferrets coat as well as if they chew on it the ingested ink could be harmful to them.

My personal opinion of Marshalls is not as high as others. Their food quality is not near that of 8 in 1 ultimate (which can also be found at petco & petsmart). As far as the kitten food goes... some kitten foods are way better than ferret foods are.

Look at this food comparison chart: here

This chart is used by many of the highest knowledgable ferret breeders & owners out there. 10 is the best & 1 is the worst. Marshalls is rated 5.the first 6 ingredients (which are always the most important ingredient to look at) are: Chicken By-Product, Herring Meal, Corn, Cod Fish, Chicken Liver, Dried Beet Pulp. It also is preserved with BHT or BHA which can actually kill your ferret.

I copied this from that page it has some very important points to know when choosing a good food:
Quote:
The most important thing to remember when deciding what food and or treats to provide to your ferret is that ferrets are obligate carnivores. This means that they require animal protein and cannot process vegetable protein or gain nutrients from vegetables. This is because ferrets lack a cecum, the section of intestine that helps omnivores like us process vegetables.

Also, from the time food enters the ferret's body until the time it exits is a matter of only a few hours. Because of this, ferrets need high quality food with high levels of fats and protein because as the body has less time to absorb these important nutrients. In Ferrets for Dummies (2000), Kim Schilling recommends that the food you feed your ferret contain at least 34% protein and 20% fat. We also recommend that when you read the ingredients on the label that the first ingredient should be an animal-based product and that at least 3-4 of the first 6 ingredients be sources of animal-based protein. Many high quality cat and kitten foods meet the important nutrient requirements of ferrets and are acceptable to feed your ferret as well as many of the foods marketed directly to ferrets. It is important to read the labels closely to determine what is the best food for your pet
Of course I am not telling you that you can't feed your ferts Marshalls, if they are doing well on it & that is what you like than great. I just wanted you to be aware of your options thats all Of course Marshalls is going to say to feed their food to the ferrets they breed, they want the profit. 1 of my ferrets is a Marshalls ferret & to be 100% honest I have a lot more health problems with her than I do the other 3. I have heard many meany stories that don't make Marshalls look good, but I am not here to bash them so that is irrelevent.

I have had ferrets in my life for a little over 5 years now & will gladly help you guys out in anyway that I can to be sure you are able to give your fur babies the best life they have! I'm here to help if ya need me.
fstybrat is offline  
post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2004, 02:02 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 47
 
Thank you!!

Fsty brat,
Thank you so much for your reply. Wow, I had no idea about the ferret food. I'm glad you sent me that chart- some websights can be very misleading I guess. 8 in 1 sounds like a promising brand. I'm going to try and shift my ferrets over to it - since they're still so young, I might be able to do if with little problems. As for the newspaper, good call. Actually my veternarian told me it was fine to use it- but to tell you the truth, he didn't act like he knew too much about ferrets. It's sad becasue no vet in my area actually works with many ferrets. I'm still looking for other options. Thanks again for your reply- very helpful. Tycor
tycor2328 is offline  
post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2004, 02:16 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 47
 
Is it a bird? A plane? Nope, it's a ferret!

Another question... sorry. See, you've been so good at answering my questions- you're just encouraging me Okay, I understand ferrets don't have the best eye sight, but my ferrets keep getting up onto high places such as couches, counters, window sills... most of the time they're good, but sometimes they jump or fall off. They seem fine afterward, but I'm worried about their little legs. Do you happen to know if their bodies are meant to handle large falls, or should I line the floors with pillows? I can't really help them getting up onto the counters- they have a will and have a way. And they're fast about it cause they know I don't like it. It just makes me cringe when I see one of them fall. I watch them carefully afterward for any limping or strange behavior- but I'm afriad I'm being a bad mommy. How bad are these falls for their little bones? Tycor
tycor2328 is offline  
Reply

Tags
adrenal disease, ascorbic acid, bird cage, calcium pantothenate, carefresh bedding, chicken meal, choline chloride, corn cob, crude fiber, crude protein, dried beet pulp, feline pine, ferret food, folic acid, fur babies, hair loss, high quality kitten food, kitten food, kitty litter, level cage, litter box, litter train, litter training, local shelter, pet shop, pet shops, pet store, pet stores, pine bedding, pyridoxine hydrochloride, royal canin, thiamine mononitrate, vet care, wonderful pets, wood stove pellets


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome