Well if you are seriously considering being owned by one of these wonderful creatures there are a few essential must-do’s:
- Firstly talk it through with all members of the immediate family. Everyone has to be happy with the decision to bring a ferret into your home and life.
- Think about what you will be doing in 10 years time. If you have any future life-changing plans, would your ferret fit in with them?
- Buy or borrow some books about ferrets. You can never stop learning about them!
- Talk to people who have ferrets and listen to advice when it is being offered. Unfortunately you will always come across someone who knows it all, because they have a friend or a friend of a friend who keeps ferrets. Smile politely and go and ask somebody who really knows about them. Don’t be embarrassed about asking for advice because ferret keepers love to talk about ferrets!
- Join a local ferret club.
- Decide on what sort of accommodation you will be supplying for your ferrets, remembering that the more space the happier the ferret.
- Find a ferret-friendly vet (the ferret club can often help locate one in your area). It is worth being willing to travel to find the right vet.
If you do think that a ferret might be the perfect pet for you and you would like information on where to find some, please contact one of the numbers below:
Contact the Club Committee Members
STARescue Basingstoke – Shirley King: 01256 330532
STARescue Sonning (Reading) – Claire Shuttleworth: 01189 690 435
Depending on the time of year, you may be able to get a kit. This will be within the months of May and September ordinarily. Adults are always available. Some pet shops will sell ferrets, but ask questions and make sure the sales person is knowledgeable about ferrets. If they appear to be nervous of the animal you can bet that they have had little, if any, handling and contact with people.
You may find a breeder, but check the condition that the ferrets are kept in, make sure the kits are bright eyed and alert. Never accept a kit younger than eight weeks old as the longer it stays with mum the better, provided the breeder is handling them daily.
Think first about obtaining a ferret from a rescue centre (such as STARescue). They will very often have kits at the right time of year and adults can be found throughout the year. Many people hold the misconception that a ferret will be more affectionate or easy-going if you have had it from a very young age. However, most people with experience will tell you that this is not the case. Some ferrets from rescue centres have been mistreated, in which case there may be a few issues that would make that animal unsuitable for a beginner. However the majority of rescued ferrets are just as affectionate, easy-going and fun to own as any ferret from a breeder. Very often an adult is the best choice for a beginner as kits will mouth and chew a lot more.