Essential Ferret Supplies and Some Ferret Resources

There’s a lot going on this week. So today’s post is going to be quickie.

Below you will find a list of the essential ferret supplies and a few links to some goodPet Ferret on Bath Tub resources for information about pet ferrets.

New owners are sometimes surprised by the number and variety of ferret supplies they need. Ferrets are not like goldfish or pet rocks. You will likely need to make a significant outlay to get everything you need to keep your ferret healthy and happy.

The essential ferret supplies you’ll need are:

  • Quality ferret cage. A wire-mesh cage with at least two square feet of floor space per ferret.
  • Pet carrier. Your ferret will need to see a veterinarian at least once a year and probably more often in that critical first year. You’ll need a sturdy pet carrier to transport your fuzzy.
  • Ferret bedding. Because ferrets love to burrow and to snuggle up when they sleep, they need cozy bedding. Whether it’s an old blanket or a swinging hammock or a hanging pirate-ship bed, comfort is the key here.
  • Ferret food. Whether it’s canned, dry, or even whole prey, the food you choose must be specifically intended for ferrets so that it meets their needs for a high-protein, high-fat, low-fiber diet.
  • Food and water containers. These should be heavy and durable to resist tipping. Many ferret owners prefer to use non-drip water bottles.
  • Litter box and non-clumping litter. Remember that ferrets love to dig, so choose a corner-fitting box with high sides (and be sure to secure it to the cage). Non-clumping – and dust-free – litter is essential to protect ferret health as the clumping variety can play havoc with the digestive system.
  • Hygiene items. Shampoo, brushes, combs, nail clippers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, ear washes, vitamins, and supplements are every bit as important for your ferret as they are for your own health.
  • Harness and leash. A ferret needs to be out of the cage for several hours each day. One way to keep your fuzzy busy is to take him for a walk in the great outdoors. Just make sure to use a ferret harness and NOT a collar to avoid any possibility of escape or choking.

One of the best ferret sites I have come across is All About Ferrets. There, you’ll find plenty of articles about ferret care, an active forum, and an interesting blog.

As for ferret books, the two I recommend (so far) are Ferrets for Dummies and Getting Started with Pet Ferrets (of course).

Kim Schilling’s Ferrets for Dummies has most of the basic information new and long-time ferret owners would need to make sure their pet ferrets are healthy and happy. A strength of this book is the wealth of ferret health information. Schilling does a good job detailing ferret health issues, as well as possible prevention and treatments. She also provides a lot of good advice on choosing a vet.

Getting Started with Pet Ferrets is our book on ferret adoption, ferret care, and ferret health. It is designed for fairly new ferret owners and attempts to fill in many of the blanks and weak spots you will find in other ferret books. It also contains a useful ferret-preparedness checklist – to help you make sure you home is ferret ready and ferret safe before you bring you first fuzzy home to live with you.

If you know of other good ferret resources (sites, books, videos), just leave a comment or send an email and let us know.

More on Ferret Beds – Location Matters to Pet Ferrets

If you’re a new ferret owner, you may think that all ferret beds are just about the same. But what you use as a ferret bed and where you put it will make a difference in your pet ferret’s wellbeing.

First, the sleeping area in the ferret cage should be roomy enough for your ferret to stretchPet Ferrets in Pirate Ship Bed out in and sleep. But also keep in mind that your fuzzy kids will also need room to burrow, dig, and create “nests” for themselves. These are instinctive behaviors in ferrets, and you need to provide for them.

Ferret bedding materials can be something as simple as an old T-shirt loosely draped in a corner of the cage. Others like to use old comforters, blankets, rugs, sweatshirts, towels, etc. Anything of that nature can be used to make a secure, dark, comfy sleeping space and would make a great ferret bed. (Just one caveat though: Do not use items that have stuffing or fibers that your ferret could chew up. They could become lodged in your pet’s digestive tract and create health problems down the road.)

If you’ve spent any amount of time researching ferret supplies, chances are you’ve fallen in love with the many cute ferret hammocks, sleep sacks, and other similar items available online or in many pet stores and magazines. They are undeniably fun to have, and ferrets love to curl up (or, in the case of many ferrets, pile up) in them. Before you buy, make sure they are made of machine-washable fabric and that they can be adapted to your cage. The cutest hammock won’t do any good if you don’t have a place to hang it.

If you’re on a budget, you may find it less expensive to make your own ferret bed. There are many patterns available online that will show you how to make your own sleep sacks and hammocks.  Making your own ferret beds will allow you to personalize them somewhat. For example, you can use fabric from your children’s outgrown clothes. Or you can go to a fabric store and select materials that would go with your home’s décor.

Whatever you use, make sure that it will withstand ferret wear and tear and (especially in the case of used items) that it doesn’t have any buttons or other things that your ferret could chew off and choke on. When you do create the item, be careful to make all seams secure. You’d hate for your fuzzies’ hammock to suddenly collapse with the whole gang inside it.

Once you have your ferret bed completed, you need to place it correctly. It’s best to put it as far as possible from your pet’s food, water, and litter box. Not only will this make it easier for you to clean, but ferrets tend to avoid sleeping near their toileting areas.

Most ferret experts advise letting a ferret explore his cage. That way, you can see where it chooses to toilet. Place the litter box there and then choose another spot for the ferret bed. Some savvy ferret owners will place the litter box and food/water bowls on the lowest level of a cage and reserve all the upper levels for sleeping/nesting/play areas. Such an arrangement confines the greatest possible ferret mess to the lower level, making it easier to refill the bowls, empty the litter pans, and so on.

A multi-level or multi-compartment ferret bed also allows your ferrets a chance to get away from one another for privacy. While ferrets are social by nature, they also need a chance to be alone. If you have more than one ferret, you may need more than one bed/nesting area.

A ferret bed is a perfect example of “doing unto others as you would have done unto you.” You yourself probably love a bed that is comfy, soft, warm, and that provides a certain amount of privacy. Provide those same qualities in your ferret bed, and you’ll have healthy, happy pets.

For more information on ferret beds and ferret care, take a look at Getting Started with Pet Ferrets.