Good News (Maybe) for Ferret Owners in New York City

New York pet ferret

 

For 15 years, ferrets in New York City have been living in the shadows, outlawed under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who famously told a ferret fancier that “this excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness”.

 

Now there’s a bit of hope for the slinky creatures. Years of lobbying by ferret owners has finally landed an audience in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, which says it could hold a hearing by the end of the year on a measure to make ferrets legal once again.

“Why would you ban ferrets?” asks Candace Lucas, who has owned ferrets for about 25 years and currently shares her Manhattan apartment with six-year-old Tink. “How is a ferret any different than having a dog or a cat? Why would a ferret be something that would create any kind of problem?”

Ferrets are legal in most of the US but are prohibited in California and Hawaii and in some municipalities, including New York City for the stated health department reason of “vicious, unprovoked attacks on humans”. Backers say ferrets don’t attack unless they have been starved or abused.

Read the full story here.

 

Ferret Photos Cheaper than iStockphoto

A panda ferret playing with a favorite ferret toy.

And there are many more to come.

 


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A Treasure Chest of Ferret Musings

A Treasure Chest of Ferret MusingsPet ferrets are funny little critters, and your mind will often wind up in strange places once you start thinking about them. Ferret musings often take you down paths you otherwise wouldn’t travel. But it’s all good and all fun.

That’s what our latest little ferret book is all about. In it, you’ll get:

  • Chapter 1: What is a Ferret?
  • Chapter 2: Basic Ferret-Ownership Facts
  • Chapter 3: Some Interesting and Odd Ferret Facts
  • Chapter 4: Why a Ferret?
  • Chapter 5: My Husband’s Take on Pet Ferrets
  • Chapter 6: A Straight-from-the-Ferret’s-Mouth Ferret Manual
  • Chapter 7: Ferret Name Games

And here are a few excerpts from A Treasure Chest of Ferret Musings:

Well, first off, a ferret is a small, elongated, long-whiskered bundle of energy – when it isn’t sleeping, which is most of the time. It is a creature that when active (which, again, is only about 6 hours a day) is furiously playing – running, jumping, hiding, chewing, stealing. Or not . . . because it may be asleep. A ferret, then, is a seeming contradiction – a living paradox.

Mitochondrial  DNA analysis indicates that ferrets were domesticated about 2, 500 years ago. Some people claim that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate ferrets, but there really isn’t any good evidence to support the claim. There are colonies of feral ferrets in remote areas of New Zealand and on the Shetland Islands.

Finally, and slightly related, a ferret is a marriage-saver. There is almost nothing that can lift you out of a depression or turn aside an angry mood like watching a pet ferret play. So when my wife is angry with me – gratuitously and for absolutely no justifiable reason – she will often go play with and talk to her ferrets. And then, when she comes out of her room again, she is in a good mood. Her anger has passed, and she doesn’t wish I lived somewhere else. So, thanks to Rikki and Possum and Loki and Luna, my wife’s ferrets, our marriage is still intact.

The thing you need to keep squarely in mind at all times is that adult humans are lazy. They don’t sleep nearly as much as we do, but they are far less active when awake. They seldom run, they don’t hide under the bed, and they never get on top of the dresser and play among the knickknacks. Even human kits (“children,” I think they call them) usually don’t play as vigorously as ferrets, and I’ve never seen one do the ferret “war dance.”

There are many methods you can use to come up with a name. For starters, try a variation of the name “ferret,” which  derives from the Latin word for thief (furo). Just play around with that, especially if yours particularly lives up to that moniker – for example, Thief, Robbie, Raffles (a famous British thief), Spy, Robin Hood, Bandit, Dodger, etc. Of course, Ferret or Furo work just as well.

A Treasure Chest of Ferrets Musings

*     *     *

More ferret books from Karen:

“Danny and Oliver: A Ferret-Rescue Tale”Twelve-year-old Danny McGuire loves his pet ferret, Oliver – but Danny’s parents don’t. They also think he should do more of the things “normal boys” do. Still, Danny manages to remain fairly cheerful and keep his grades up. Oliver consoles him, his mountain-bike rides bring him solace, and his best friend Mike offers some hard-won advice.  It all works out, for the most part, until . . . things go terribly wrong. But, then, it pays to remember that a rescue ferret can sometimes “rescue” a bad situation

Ferret Toys: Keeping Pet Ferrets HappyWe ferret owners are all a little “crazy” when it comes to our fuzzy kids. Just as we do for our human children, we want the best, most-stimulating toys we can afford for our pet ferrets. But how do we wade through the thousands of choices and the many manufacturers. And where is the best place to get ferret toys? And what about homemade toys? These are the questions this little book will answer.

Getting Started With Pet Ferrets: A Primer for Prospective and New Ferret Owners – Karen’s goal in writing this book is simply to help people who are in the same position she was when she first started out (accidentally) with ferrets. Four years ago, she had no knowledge of ferrets and ferret care and no idea about where to turn for help. Her aim, then, is to provide all the basic ferret information in one place, making it easily accessible and fun to read. This book is meant to be, just as the title suggests, a primer for new and prospective ferret owners.

2 in 1 Ferret Book: Getting Started with Pet Ferrets and Ferret Toys – So you finally got that pet ferret you’ve been wanting. But now what? Ferrets do make great pets. They are fun, quirky, lovable, playful, mischievous, and entertaining little critters. But they also require a commitment on your part. You will need to invest time, money, and energy to take care of your woozles properly. Reading our 2 in 1 Ferret Book will aid you in preparing and getting outfitted for your ferret journey – especially the ferret-cage and ferret-readiness checklists. And then there are the toys – most likely lots of them. Just as we do for our human children, we want the best, most-stimulating toys we can afford for our pet ferrets. But how do we wade through the thousands of choices and the many manufacturers. And where is the best place to get ferret toys? And what about homemade toys? This book contains our two top-selling ferret books with new additional material. 

 

Some Ferret Resources

Panda Ferret PlayingHere are a few ferret resources to help you with both general and specific information, as well as in the case of a ferret emergency.

1. American Ferret Association, Inc

888-FERRET-1

afa@ferret.org

www.ferret.org

2. The Ferret Council Ferret Emergency Response, Rescue & Evaluation Team (FERRET)

EMERGENCIES ONLY: 860-906-8798

info@ferretemergency.org

www.ferretemergency.org.

3. Ferret Health Advancement Department, Michigan State University

ferrethealth.msu.edu

4. International Ferret Congress

ferretcongress@ferrectcongress.org

www.ferretcongress.org.

5. Support our shelters

ferretshelterfund@supportourshelters.org

www.supportourshelters.org.

Also, you might check out our 2 in 1 Ferret Book.

 

New “2 in 1 Ferret Book”

A New Ferret Book that Includes Both Getting Started with Pet Ferrets and Ferret Toys – With Updated Information and New Material

New Ferret BookHere’s a brief description:

So you finally got that pet ferret you’ve been wanting. But now what?

Ferrets do make great pets. They are fun, quirky, lovable, playful, mischievous, and entertaining little critters. But they also require a commitment on your part. You will need to invest time, money, and energy to take care of your woozles properly. Reading our 2 in 1 Ferret Book will aid you in preparing and getting outfitted for your ferret journey – especially the ferret-cage and ferret-readiness checklists.

And then there are the toys – most likely lots of them. Just as we do for our human children, we want the best, most-stimulating toys we can afford for our pet ferrets. But how do we wade through the thousands of choices and the many manufacturers. And where is the best place to get ferret toys? And what about homemade toys?

This book contains our two top-selling ferret books with new additional material. 

Our new 2 in 1 Ferret Book will give you the basics of ferret care and the low-down on ferret toys. It’ll also save you some money – always a good thing this time of year.

Happy Holidays!

 

How Would Pet Ferrets Train and Manage Their Humans? Take a Look . . .

Our Humorous Little Ferret Book is Finally Here – A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human.

Here’s the description:

So you really think you “own” your pet ferrets and that they live in “your” house? Well, think A Ferret Manualagain – because it just may be otherwise. And that’s exactly why we’ve written this humorous little book, “A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human.” It examines ferret training and ferret care from a ferret’s-eye point of view. Here’s what you’ll get . . .

Introduction – An Overview of Human Nature

Toys – Get What You Really Want

Meal Time – Make ‘em Get It Right

Litter Pans and Cage Configuration – Or the Power of Poop

Real Estate – Location and Size

The Annoyance of “Ferret Proofing”

Conclusion

Ferrets are unique pets and will often, as we demonstrate in this little book, make you see things in a unique way. Enjoy.

Here’s a sample:

So, you’ve finally acquired your very own human, have you? Good for you and congratulations! It sure beats being crowded together with a bunch of total strangers in a tiny cage at the pet store, doesn’t it? But . . . while this is a great accomplishment and a first step toward a happy life in a home of your own, your job is just beginning. You have a lot of work and a long road ahead of you.

First of all, humans aren’t really very teachable. But, then, there are very few animals as inquisitive and as intelligent as ferrets. That means training your human will require, in varying degrees as your unique situation demands, inventiveness, persistence, consistent application, and time.

Okay, let’s get started. 

 

Introduction – An Overview of Human Nature

Following are the four important truths about or principles of human nature that will form the foundation of our guidelines and rules for training and managing your human. Remember these and adapt your training tactics accordingly, and you should see some success in your human-training efforts.

1. Humans are basically lazy creatures.

The thing you need to keep squarely in mind at all times is that adult humans are lazy. They don’t sleep nearly as much as we do, but they are far less active when awake. They seldom run, they don’t hide under the bed, and they never get on top of the dresser and play among the knickknacks. Even human kits (“children,” I think they call them) usually don’t play as vigorously as ferrets, and I’ve never seen one do the ferret “war dance.”

Because they are lazy, then, and slaves to the law of inertia, humans are just downright hard to train. The difficulty lies in getting them to change a behavior. For some bizarre reason, they prefer the familiar and easy to the better course. And never forget that humans just aren’t as smart as ferrets. There’s really nothing you can do about that, though.

For a human, it takes a lot of effort to learn something new and change a thinking pattern and/or a behavior. That’s why they dig in their heels and resist change: because it takes effort. Ironically, though, humans often expend more energy resisting change, owing to their inherent laziness, than they would actually making the change. (But, remember, they’re just not all that bright.) So, one of the keys to successfully training and managing your human will be persistence. You will simply have to work at it assiduously until you’ve achieved the desired results.

Just don’t give up. Success could be right around the corner.

And here’s another sample:

Litter Pans and Cage Configuration – Or the Power of Poop

Never, ever underestimate the power of poop. But keep in mind, too, that with every power there are attendant dangers. Here’s what I mean.

We ferrets have our own peculiar and distinctive pooping preferences – especially when it comes to location. Your human, however, will have a hard time fully understanding this and grasping our uniqueness as pets. And, as a result, they just lump ferrets in with other pets – say, dogs* – and think that, like those other pets, we just stop and poop wherever we are when we get the urge. In addition, since your human really does believe he or she owns you, your human may try to determine for you where you should poop. But don’t fall for either of these poop-related fallacies.

Keeping in mind our four principles of human nature, work toward a cage-and-litter-pan configuration that suits you. For example, if your human does even a little reading, she will know that placing a small piece of your poop in a litter pan is supposed to encourage you to do your business in that pan. Sounds a little disgusting, I know, but just humor your human, and try to do a little pooping in that pan where the piece is. Hopefully, your human will also realize that we like to back into a corner to do our business and, knowing this, will have provided triangular-shaped corner litter pans. This will, of course, make it much easier to play along with your humans pooping plans.

If, however, you just can’t bring yourself to poop in the pan designated by your human, then it’s time to exercise the “power of poop.” Just find the spot in your cage where you’d most like to do your business and then start pooping there. Your human will then either move that pan to or buy another one to place in your preferred spot. Pretty simple, really.

But do be careful. If you don’t poop judiciously and strategically, you may find a whole floor of your cage covered with litter pans. And this, of course, would greatly decrease your play and sleep area. Even worse, if you don’t confine you pooping to only one floor of your cage, you may find litter pans cluttering all the floor areas. So . . . have a pooping plan.

*(Note: It’s often the case that humans have other pets, dogs more often than not. And, owing to their innate lack of intelligence and tendency not to observe well, your human will sometimes want you to be friends with a dog way before the dog is ready. So . . . be careful when this happens. Avoid both teeth and crushing paws. If a dog does get too rough with you, don’t bite in self-defense – the dog will likely bite back. Instead, run and hide under the nearest low piece of furniture – and stay there. Your human will see your behavior and be more cautious about introducing other pets after that.)

 A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human – we think it’s a fun little read.

What Are the Top 3 Ferret Toys (According to my Ferrets)?

There is, of course, a dizzying multitude of ferret toys on the market. So trying to find great toys for your fuzzies can be both confusing and overwhelming. And because of that, it’s easy to spend a small fortune trying to find just the right toys for your pet ferrets. But maybe this post will make it a little easier and save you both time and money. Following are the toys my fuzzies have chosen as their top 3 favorites.

Ferret Tunnel System – This consists of a long section (or sections) of pliable, bendable clear-plastic tubing. It’s about 4 to 5 inches in diameter and has enough stiffness to retain its shape while your carpet sharks travel through it. They won’t get stuck because, with a little effort, they can turn around in the tunnel.

You can also purchase various attachments to go on the ends of the tunnel. These make the tunnel play even more fun for them and more enjoyable for you to watch. This tunnel system was my best (and fairly inexpensive) ferret-toy investment. My babies absolutely love scampering through, around, and over their tunnel toys.

Just watch them having a ton of fun in this video:

Ball Pit – This is another simple and inexpensive toy that my ferrets love. It’s basically just a box filled with hard-plastic balls. They jump into the box, burrow in among the balls, and wrestle with one another while in the box. My babies love this toy almost as much as they do their tunnels.

Just make sure that if you do get a ball pit, the balls are large enough that your ferret(s) can’t swallow them. Also, the balls should be made of a hard plastic – NOT rubber – so that your fuzzy family members can’t bite or chew off pieces and ingest them.

Peanuts – Another simple and inexpensive toy, the peanuts were, for a long time my ferrets’ favorite. Again, this is another toy that consists of just a box filled with ferret-fancy-tickling objects.

These objects look just packing peanuts – but they are NOT. Never let your ferret(s) play with Styrofoam objects of any kind. They can bite off small pieces of the Styrofoam and ingest them – which could result in a trip to the et and maybe even surgery for your pet.

The peanuts in this toy, though, are made of a starch that is completely harmless to ferrets if ingested. And, boy, do my guys and gal love to dive into the box full of peanuts and get after it. They burrow, they wrestle, they swim, they leap out and back in, they –

Well, just see for yourself in this video:

 

For more tips and ideas on both commercial and homemade ferret toys, take a look at Ferret Toys: Keeping Pet Ferrets Happy.

Stopping Your Pet Ferret’s Biting – Early

Ferrets, just like dogs and children, need to be taught the basics of good behavior early in their fuzzy lives. They don’t come into the world knowing what you want them to do and howMale Panda Ferret Marshall you want them to act. So you need to start early and be consistent and persistent.

Baby ferrets tend to explore their brand-new world with their mouths. They also bite and chew to lessen teething pain. That’s why a mature carpet shark, if she isn’t trained out of this behavior, can be pretty aggressive when it comes to biting.

So here a five tips to help you train your fuzzies not to bite and nip . . .

Ferret Toys Book1. Give them lots of hard rubber chew toys. This way your ferrets take out most of their chewing urges on the toys – instead of your fingers.

2. Deal with a nip/bite immediately. Scruff your ferret – that is, grab him firmly with thumb and fingers by the loose skin on the back of the neck – and say loudly and firmly, “No!” or “No bite!” You can also follow this with loud hissing, the sound a mother ferret uses to scold and discipline her kits.

3. Do not reward the kit for biting. If, for example, you’re already holding your baby fuzzy and he attempts to bite, don’t turn him loose to play. Rather, put him in prison – back in the cage – for punishment.

4. Never hit your ferret. Violence and aggression only engender more violence and aggression. Your ferret could also interpret hitting as a sign that you want to play even harder. Hitting is usually ineffective and can result in even worse behavioral problems down the road,Getting Started with Pet Ferrets

5. Be consistent. You may think it’s cute to get your little fuzz ball all worked up and watch him play bite your hand. The thing is, though, he won’t know that biting at other times and with other people isn’t acceptable. So be consistent in your efforts to teach him not to bite – teaching him that you won’t tolerate this behavior at any time.

Train your fuzzies early on not to bite and nip, and you and they will get along just fine.

Arizona Working Hard to Re-establish Black-Footed Ferret

Black-Footed FerretThe Havasu News-Herald has a March 11 news piece that indicates Arizona’s Game and Fish Department is working hard to and making some progress toward re-establishing the black-footed ferret in the state. Take a look . . .

Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking volunteers to travel to Aubrey Valley, which is west of Seligman, Ariz., for two Black-footed Ferret Recovery Project spotlightings scheduled for March 28-30 and April 25-27. Sign up deadline is March 22, and April 19, respectively.

This year, organizers are experimenting with a new method by conducting two shorter spotlighting efforts instead of one with five consecutive nights of observation. Individuals can volunteer for just one evening or multiple nights.

The species is elusive, nocturnal and endangered. Twice thought to be extinct, a small population of black-footed ferrets was discovered in 1981. A mere 18 were left when captive breeding efforts began in 1985. In 1996, Arizona’s Aubrey Valley was selected as a reintroduction site. The project was funded through Arizona Heritage Funds and matched with federal dollars.

Read the entire article here . . .

Getting Started with Pet Ferrets: Your Guide to Happier, Healthier Pet Ferrets