What to Get for a New Ferret ?
For a new ferret, you will need to get housing , bedding , accessories , toys , food and health supplies .A harness and leash for walks, a pet carrier for travel and visits to the vet and an emergency fund for possible health problems.
I’ll give you a list of everything that every new ferret owner will need for his new companion.
1- A new ferret will need an enclosure (a cage) and a Travel Carrier
First of all, I recommend that you free-roam your ferret(s), that is to say, give them free access and reserve a whole room just for them, a room that you will secure (ferret-proof) and furnish so that your ferrets can play and do their mischief in it and sleep if they want to take a little nap too.
Of course you will always need a special cage (enclosure) for them when you are away from home or when you are cleaning…etc
A cage where they will feel safe to sleep too and even you will feel safe when you know your ferrets are in their enclosure.
This cage is larger than the minimum requirement of 24″ x 24″ x 18″ high (60 x 60 x 45 cm), ferrets need space and a secure enclosure, so they can’t escape and chew up all your furniture while you’re away!
You will need a Ferret Scatter guard too to put at the bottom of the cage .
Travel Carrier or a Backpack for a new ferret:
You will probably need a Small pet Carrier to move your ferret from one place to another like when you take him for his vaccination or just a visit to the vet or even when you want to clean his pen and you don’t want to release him in the house.
If you are a fan of hiking, biking and going out, and you want your ferret to go with you, you will also need a Ferret Backpack, which is a kind of transparent backpack that will allow your ferret to enjoy the scenery too.
A playpen for your new pet ferret:
The Playpen is necessary to get your ferret out of its enclosure while restricting it to a specific area, especially if the rest of the house can be dangerous for your ferret.
You will soon realize that it is very difficult to contain your ferret in any playpen, neither the one for rabbits, nor even the one for puppies will be able to prevent him from going out.
I recommend this playpen, which doesn’t have many horizontal bars, so it’s almost impossible for your ferret to climb it and it’s high enough that he can’t jump over it.
For the Parc and the outside like your backyard , you can get a Portable Foldable ferrets playpen .
Your ferret will need a harness & a leash:
Ferrets love to go outside and enjoy the fresh air and greenery in the Park and even right in your backyard.
You can’t just let your ferret go, so you’ll need a harness and a leash so you can take your ferret anywhere you want and even show him around your town, being careful to pick him up every time you see a dog, but especially a rabbit or any other rodent that might awaken your ferret’s hunting instinct
You’ll need Cage Covers for your New ferrets :
To avoid certain diseases such as Adrenal Disease in Ferrets, which is characterized by hair loss (alopecia), you should keep your ferret’s cage out of direct sunlight.
You should also cover your ferret’s enclosure so that they feel safe and this shade or partial darkness will make them feel as if they are asleep in a den, which helps them enjoy their resting hours in their enclosure.
You will cover any place where they sleep during the day with a dark fabric, like the dark box that you can make with a big cardboard box and put in the room of your ferrets to make their naps in the dark.
I recommend that you use this Black Cage Cover to cover the cage that I recommended before, made especially for your ferrets’ enclosure.
Air filters for your new ferrets room
For a new owner, the smell of ferrets may seem a little too strong, because it is different from that of cats or dogs and you will of course quickly get used to this smell but before, you may need to install an Air Filter to reduce the musky smell that your ferrets will give off especially in the room reserved for them or where their cage is installed.
This Pet Safe Air Filter ( GermGuardian AC4820 ) is also for ferret owners who have allergies or just a sensitive nose, especially if you bring your new ferret home during the summer.
2- A Good Food & Water Bowl for a new ferret
Ferrets are notorious for chewing on everything around them, even bowls that contain plastic or silicone, and risk an intestinal obstruction at any time.
Splashing in their water bowl as well and wetting everything around them, and most importantly, they love to spill their water bowl, which makes getting them water to drink a difficult and delicate mission and choosing the right water bowl for your new ferrets a task to be taken very seriously.
I recommend (Combo food and water bowl) for your new ferret “a Spill proof water Bowl“, which is a set that also contains a food bowl and a water bottle attached to it that automatically delivers water as the ferrets drink and the water level decreases in its bowl.
This way, your ferret won’t be able to spill it or shake it and get everyone around them wet, they’ll just have a little hole to drink from!
The water will also stay clean in the bottle and will be served automatically when the ferrets want to drink.
3- Your New ferrets will need a Litter Box
Your new ferret will go to the bathroom on average 8 times a day, so you will need a litter box that will absorb odors and urine and prevent your ferret from soiling the entire space.
You will have to install a Litter box in each room where your ferret could be alone ! and a last one in his enclosure for the few hours he will spend there.
I recommend a low lip litter pan which should be able to hold your ferret’s entire body otherwise he will surely urinate or relieve himself outside his litter box just by mistake.
You can use potty pads instead of litter boxes, it’s easier to clean and change, I’ll let you try them both and choose the one you think is best for your ferrets.
4- You should get Bedding for your new Ferrets
You should avoid this octopus shaped bed from Marshall Pet, it is very dangerous for ferrets, they get stuck in it easily.
Your new ferret will sleep a lot, on average 18 hours a day and will need a bedding well adapted to his needs or he will cozy up into it.
Ferrets bedding should be hard to chew and tear, easy to clean and wash and above all soft and light.
I recommend for the bedding of your ferret, fleece blankets that you just lay in a corner of the room where they spend most of their time and hammocks that you will hang in their pen.
5- Food for your new ferret
Personally, I am convinced that the industry has not yet developed a diet that really satisfies the nutritional needs of ferrets, so I do not recommend the kibble diet, especially if you do not give your ferret a fresh food supplement.
I am in favor of the whole prey diet and the raw frankenprey diet, which consists of a mixture of different parts of raw meat and feeding your ferret mainly with fresh meat of human quality of course because ferrets are “Obligate Carnivores” that must be fed exclusively with fresh meat.
I know you just got your new ferret, I will recommend you only one brand of kibble for your ferret WYSONG , but I hope that it will be temporary and that you will quickly learn how to feed your ferret with raw meat and why not with whole pre-killed frozen preys like mice…
For treats, you can buy Ferret Archetype or just cut a chicken breast or chicken hearts in small cubes, you will need them during the potty-training of your ferrets.
6- Enrichment and Toys for your new ferret
Ferrets are great sleepers, but once they wake up, they become super-active and need lots of enrichment to satisfy their great curiosity and toys to help them express their behavior and expend their excess energy.
The right toys for ferrets will also help them to improve their mental and physical capacity and avoid not only stress and boredom but also many diseases caused by lack of activity.
The toy that every new ferret owner must have is ferret tubes, with the KONG, these retractable plastic tubes, are a distraction and even a necessity for your ferret because they awaken in him the instinct to go into a burrow, they love tubes and tunnels.
You can buy several tubes and connect them together, just throw them on the floor in the room where you are releasing your ferrets, cover this network of tubes with a blanquette and let your ferrets have fun going in at one end and out at the other, this is how they chase rabbits when they are trained to hunt hares too.
Ferrets also love balls like “Sphero”, programmable robot ball they love to run after the little balls, they also like cotton plush, avoid those with plastic pieces that your ferret can tear off and swallow by accident! (plastic eyes, paws, integrated sound devices … etc)
Your ferrets can be creative and play with anything they find on their doorstep, a cardboard box, your shoe, paper bags, your Roomba vacuum cleaner…
Also find some stashable toys to play ferret fishing with your ferrets, small cotton mice for example that you attach to the end of a wire suspended with a stick.
7- First Aid related items for your new ferret
One of your duties as a ferret owner is to make sure that your furry friend is always in excellent health and that you are always ready to react and do what is necessary in case your ferret is injured or needs first aid in case of a bad adventure! .You should have a ferret first aid kit .
Nail Clippers are essential for ferret owners
Your ferret’s nails should be trimmed on average twice a month or at least once every 3 weeks.
So you will need Cat Nail Clippers, just be careful not to hurt your ferret, ask your vet for advice, he will show you how to trim your ferret’s nails otherwise, there are many tutorials on this on Youtube
Vaseline for your ferret’s first aid kit
Ferret owners know that Vaseline is very important and you must have it in your first aid kit, you will need it every time you suspect that your ferret has swallowed an object, you will give him a little Vaseline to lick in order to help this object to pass through his digestive tract and avoid intestinal obstruction.
In case of complication or big swallowed objects, you must quickly bring your ferret to see a veterinarian.
It is very useful to give pure pedialyte, without sugar or other additives to your ferret if he shows signs of dehydration, it is better than giving him water in this case.
Carnivore Care Supplement
This is a food supplement, created by Oxbow, they have them for different pets.
Carnivore Critical Care is what your ferret will need to eat if he is recovering from an illness that prevents him from feeding himself.
You will mix a little of this powder in water and give this mixture to your ferret until he regains his strength and starts eating his usual food again.
8- Get your new ferret a Healthcare
You need to find a Veterinary Health Center that will treat your ferret in case of illness or in case it needs care. Look for a veterinarian that accepts exotic pets and it is best to find one that already has ferrets as clients and has experience with this kind of animal.
An Emergency Fund for your New ferret
One last tip, put some money aside in case your ferret gets sick!!! ferret care can be very expensive, it’s better to hope for the best but prepare for the worst too.
Ferrets like to put themselves in danger, climb things and chew on anything, so be prepared to intervene quickly and put a few $100 bills aside (plan on between $300 and $600 per year for the vet) in case your ferret gets sick and needs care or even an intervention to remove an object that he would have clumsily swallowed!