The Pros and Cons of Keeping Ferrets as Pets
By• May 15, 2013
Ferrets are cute and furry little animals that are in the same family as weasels and badgers. Up until the 1980s, it was rare to find a person who kept ferrets as pets. Keeping these wild creatures as pets has become a trend over the recent years. Some statistics indicate that ferrets are currently the third most popular types of mammals kept as pets, right after dogs and cats. Ferrets do make wonderful pets, but like any other animal, they are not suited for every home or environment. Here are a few pros and cons to consider before taking one home.
Level of intelligence
Ferrets are tenacious critters and are known to be good in problem solving. Watching them at work can be a fun learning experience for the owner as well. Try placing a ball inside a large sock or a stocking and you will see how ferrets deal with challenges.
They may be cute but ferrets are still wild creatures. These creatures need to be trained on how to deal with people, especially when being around young children. As kids can be unpredictable as well, the ferret may interpret a child’s actions as a sign that he/she wants to play rough. Even worse, certain actions may be interpreted as an attack. Ferrets can be trained but the training needs to be started while the pet is still young. Older ferrets tend to be more resistant to training.
Ferrets like to steal things and hide it in their personal stash of items. This could include keys and small trinkets or gadgets. Some people may find such behavior as cute although it can also drive people nuts, especially if you need to find your car keys quickly.
Sense of loyalty
Unlike dogs, and cats to some extent, ferrets do not have any sense of loyalty to their owners. As such, they will roam around any area they please and may make a dash for freedom if they find the smallest gap in your door or window. Owners will constantly need to prepare and open themselves to the possibility of losing their ferret at any given moment.
Availability of supplies
Supplies for cats or dogs are abundant and can be found in a wide variety of stores. With the booming popularity of ferrets as pets, food, treats and toys that are specifically designed for them are becoming easier to find. This means ferrets can lead longer, healthier lives.
Information and services
An increasing number of veterinarians are being trained to treat and deal with ferrets so it also becoming easier to find help and treatment in case a ferret gets sick. With more and more people studying, owning or simply getting into contact with ferrets, it is also getting easier to find relevant information about their lives and on how to take care of ferrets as pets.