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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2003, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Should we get a ferret?

Hi! I am swinging between a ferret and a flying squirrel. I've never owned a flying squirrel, although I have owned a ferret before, but I was younger and didn't really get the concept of actually taking care of it.. My mom did everything.. Can someone possibly give me some Ups and Downs to owning them? I know they can be potty trained- so that definately an up!! And they're just so cute! Thank you soo much...


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2003, 09:26 PM
 
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Here is a link about ferrets http://www.thechipster.com/fert-man.html. My ex has one and they are very intelligent animals. I always got after him for not having him descented because they do have an awlful odor to them. The life span of a fert is longer than a flying squrril plus they have to be vaccinated and have their paws trimmed once a week.

Good Luck!!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2003, 09:44 PM
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Hi Rocheal! To be honest I can't think of many downs... BUT several ups, IMO.

Ferrets are VERY smart animals and learn VERY quickly, although they are stubborn & persistant sometimes. I don't know anything about flying squirrels so I really can't compare there.

Ferrets love attention! They more you give them, the happier they are. There are some things that you really need to be aware of though... They LOVE rubber, why I do not know but they do. The soles of your shoes, the buttons on a remote control, bouncing balls, you name it... if it's made of rubber or anything similar they will most likely chew on it & play with it... try to avoid allowing this as the rubber won't digest & could actually cause a blockage in their intestines, which could be very dangerous & possibly (worse case scenario) even require surgery. I give my ferrets the stuff called ferretlax, which is a flavored gel like ointment in a tube that you feed to them periodlically. Although I have heard many other ferret owners say vasoline works just as good. It helps to lubricate the digestive tract to avoid blockages & hair balls.

Another thing is (according to some reading I have done on the web) ferrets supposedly have a short term memory and if out of the cage roaming will not remember to go back to the cage to go potty if they are too far away from it. Personally I don't agree with this as all of mine go back to their cage as long as I leave the door open. But maybe I am just lucky? Thought I'd mention it anyway... you may want to invest in some litter boxes to place in various corners just in case. As a general rule, they almost always go in a corner.

Ferrets are creative creatures and also climbers. If you don't want your ferret to steal your keys, wallet or other small objects keep them up high where you know there is no way for a ferret to get to them or else keep them in another room the ferrets can't get to. Also, in this catagory, if you have plants you may want to put a thick layer of rock on the surface of the dirt so the ferret doesn't dig them up because the love to dig & they love dirt!!

Having a ferret is like having a 2 year old child running around all the time... they are always into something & need to be watched carefully so they don't get into anything that can harm them.

It is very important to ferret proof your home or the area that they will be allowed to free roam. This means even getting on your hands & knees & finding ever nook & cranny there is that they may be able to squeeze into. (behind the stove, under the fridge, inside the base of the cubbords, under or behind the washer or dryer, etc) If their head will fit the rest of their body will too!

You should do some research on ferret health as well to learn what is normal & abnormal in daily ferret life. As kits (youngins) you are safe for the most part, but as they get older, like humans, the start to develop health problems. Granted not all ferrets have health problems, but it's nice to know about anyway. One of the most common is Adrenal Disease (A big sign of this is hair loss starting on the tail.) There is also Insolinoma, Diabetes, & Deafness. (although they can be deaf at any age, that is more of a hereditary trait most common in pandas, blazes & DEWs or dark eyes whites) You deffinately want to make sure there is an exotic vet with knowledge of ferrets in your area.

Personally I think ferrets are a great pet, but then again I am biased (I have 4 of them). I would suggest considering 2 though to be honest just cause ferrets love to play & have lots of energy. That way they don't get lonly while in their cage or while you're away.

There is actually A LOT more to learn than what I just said, so if you have specific questions please feel free to ask!! I'm here for ya no matter what you decide!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2003, 09:54 PM
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2003, 11:18 PM
 
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I definitly say YES to that. As long as you research and know what is involved in owning a ferret you will be a wonderful ferret owner. Fstybrat has given you some good sites, i urge you to look them over.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-21-2003, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much!!! Wow!! You must LOVE your babies, fsty!! You brought back alot of old knowledge that has been lost in the cracks of my brain.. I remember that my ferret used to steal wallets.. keys... money... Anything that he could get his little paws on. The only problem is we have 5 chinnies that would probably spray him when he got close to their cage. Eventually I will have them up on a short table though so that's good. If we got one, I would like to have him out as much as I could. We have a dog that he could play with- mine used to play with our dog all the time... they'd run up to her and then arch their back and hop backwards- then turn around and run sideways back to her. It was strange- they're definately funny animals. I always thought you could buy them descented. Did you get yours from a breeder? If we get one- Im going to fund a good breeder around here somewhere.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2003, 12:49 AM
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Actually my very first fert I got from my moher-in-law (but she, the ferret, has since past on) of the remaining 4 I have 3 came from a pet store, 1 of which was a rescue situation cause he was a SEVERE biter, my 4th one was another rescue that was surrendered becasue the previous owner was moving & couldn't take her with. She was 1 of 3, but I did not have enough space for all three

All of my fur babies came to me descented. To my knowledge (at least in MN) it is illegal for a petstore to sell a ferret that has not be descented. If you do buy from a breeded I would strongly advise having it descented right away, AND if it is a female it is very vital that you get her spayed BEFORE she comes into her first heat or you could lose her. I need to read up more on that one though. There is something within the chemistry of their body that goes beserk in females and can kill them upon their heat if not spayed. *DUH Kay, why didn't you mention that before*

Snoopy is the love of my life when it comes to my ferrets... we came a long way with him (he was the biting, pet store rescue) and now he is the biggest baby ever!! If you want to read his story you can here.

As for the ferrt with the chins... I don't honestly know about that one? I thought about getting a chin, but my place is far to small to keep them separate. They both need their individual attention and I felt it would be infair to the chins as they would not have had as much room to run & play as the ferrets. So I guess my opinion on that is if you are abel to keep them in separate rooms allowing them bothe adequate spacfe then by all means go for it!

If you need anything at all I'm here for ya! If I don't have the answer I will do my best to find it for you.

Let us know what you decided to do
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2003, 09:01 PM
 
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just a note, ferrets do NOT need to be descented. Descenting is a procedure that removes *only* the anal scent glands(located on either side of the rectum); it does not affect the ferret's natural musky odor, which they will have with or without their anal glands. It only removes their ability to "release" their anal glands, which they normally only do if terribly frightened or majorly PO'd....it's a strong odor, but it disipates quickly. These anal glands are "powered" by a ferret's hormones...once neutered or spayed, the glands lose their fuel so to speak. Descenting is an unnecessary surgery and should only be done if the anal glands become impacted and/or infected...ie only for medical reasons. In many countries descenting is illegal and considered "mutilation". Many people mistakenly believe a ferret that is descented is odorless or doesn't have a smell. This is very untrue. They don't smell any worse with their anal glands still intact. Of the 12 ferrets I own, 7 are not descented...there's no diff between them and my other ferrets' odor other than when my whole hobs go into rut, but that isn't in direct relation to their anal glands. I would not advise descenting a ferret. Reputable breeders also advise against it. It's an unnecessary procedure that can do more harm than good.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-24-2003, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Ok- this may sound weird and this may suprise everyone but we got a bunny!!! We both decided a ferrit was a little out of our price range right now and the seperate space a ferrit does really need isn't too possible right now because we do have 5 chins and that wouldn't be fair to take away their space to give to a new animal. Ya know? The bunny is perfect for us- just never realized it before!! Thanks for all the help, I'm definately going to get one later- I look forward to it!! Thanks so much. You can see the bunny pics and story in the bunny section!! He's (she's?) so cute!


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-24-2003, 11:09 PM
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That's great Rocheal! I think in all fairness to the chins, your decision was well thought out! afterall the chins were there first!

gonna go check out your bunny now!!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 12:34 AM
 
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Ferrets are normally always fixed and descented when u get them from a petshop. 4 of my ferrets were rescues. They are all Marshall ferrets and the way to tell if they are is Marshall's puts a blue dot tattoo on there ear. That certifies that it was fixed and descented that is done as far as I knowfor all ferrets. Ferret jills (females ) go into heat and will die if not breed by a male. So its more like an insurance policy for a ferret also i think it helps with the males becoming aggressive. The guy I rescued my ferrets from is a world of knowledge. He has at least 15 ferrets at a time he is medicating and giving a life too. But he is there if a ferret is in need. Triple F farms doesn't tattoo the ferrets but they have to be descented and fixed. I questioned that when i got my two new ones.
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adrenal disease, exotic vet, flying squirrel, flying squirrels, fur babies, hair loss, litter box, litter boxes, pet store, potty train, potty trained, reputable breeder


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