As I type this, Monty, my ferret, is charging around my feet with a yoghurt pot on his head. He’s in heaven – human company, room to romp and another treasure to stash in one of his many hiding places…. This is typical of my experience of ferrets – playful, hilarious and absolute characters. He’s the perfect pet for my partner and I (both busy 20 somethings) – and with so many ferrets needing good homes, I wanted to write a quick blog post to ask people to consider adopting!
Before we do anything else – let’s handle the baggage. Ferrets come with a lot of preconceptions. They stink! They’re wild animals! They eat babies for breakfast! Firstly, the smell. Anyone who tells you that ferrets have no scent at all is fibbing. Uncastrated hobs (that’s the boys) do have a strong musky scent, but this is vastly reduced by neutering – and while ferrets never lose that unique ferrety smell, it’s no worse than that of a dog or cat – some people even get to quite like it!
Are they wild animals? Ferrets have been domesticated since Ancient Egyptian times – so the modern pet ferret is as far removed from a wild polecat as your local moggy is from his ancestors. Do they bite? As with puppies, ferret kits do play rough – this means they might nip from time to time, but no harder than they’d nip their litter mates, and this behavior is very easily trained away. When it comes to adults, I really do believe that there’s no such thing as a vicious ferret – only a frightened one. The vast, vast majority of ferrets are incredibly easy-going and love nothing more than a cuddle. The stereotype that they bite seems to stem from the days when ferrets were kept for hunting rabbits, lived in tiny cages, and were fed on bread and milk (totally unsuitable!) Roughly handled, starving and in ‘hunting mode’ – it’s not surprising they got a reputation!
Today, ferrets are a great option for anyone who wants the following:
An engaging, playful pet. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to a dog, you might be interested to know that unlike many other small animals, ferrets are incredibly interactive and love nothing better than playing ball, having a tug-of-war, even being taken out for a walk!
A pet that fits a busy lifestyle. Ferrets love attention, but they are most active in early evening and sleep for the vast majority of the day, so you can leave for work in the morning guilt-free, knowing that they’ll be happy snoozing away until you get home.
A constant source of amusement! Ferrets are absolutely hilarious. But be warned – they’re thieves! Have a look at this video of Monty. In a ferret’s mind, everything he comes across automatically belongs to him. We are forever coming across odd collections of bottle tops, socks and clothes pegs hidden in dark corners… Hide your car keys and TV remote – nothing is sacred!
In summary – don’t be put off by the old myths – ferrets are rapidly becoming a very popular choice of pet, and are incredibly rewarding little creatures to own. Bath Cats and Dogs Home has many ferrets that are suitable for rehoming to beginners – so why not do a bit of research and ask yourself if a ferret might just be the perfect pet for you!
Click here to see the video Monty wants a playstation