Ferrets still suffer from lots of myths and misconceptions that just might put certain people off sharing their homes and lives with them and it is one of the objectives of the Wessex Ferret Club to put things right for our little furry friends and clarified and dispelled these.
- Ferrets Are Not Talkative
Ferrets will not only tell you when they are happy but they will soon let you know when they are not happy about something too! They may not be the most talkative of pets to share a home with but they do make funny little noises which along with their “dance moves” which are referred to as”dooking” can keep owners amused for hours!
- You Cannot Train a Ferret
Ferrets are clever creatures and they are sensitive too! Because they are intelligent, they can easily be trained to do lots of things including how to use a litter box which is why they make ideal house pets! They love interacting with people and this means they can be taught to do all sorts of tricks learning commands with ease.
- Ferrets Have Very Good Vision
Just because they go down dark burrows does not mean ferrets have very good vision and if fact, it’s thought they only see things in reds and blues. It is their incredible sense of smell that helps them in dark places when they are out and about on “the hunt”.
- Ferrets are Dirty Animals That Poop Everywhere
As previously mentioned, ferrets can be taught to use a litter tray and are not “dirty” creatures at all – quite the opposite because they will naturally make their “toilet” in one corner of their cages and it will always be the same. However, if you don’t clean out their “toilets” – then naturally this will get a bit “smelly” – the key is to clean their litter trays as often as you would that of an indoor cat.
- Ferret Have to be Kept Caged
This is one of the biggest myths about ferrets. Many people choose to give their pets free run of their homes, much as they would a dog or a cat. However, you would need to “ferret proof” your house and this includes making sure your pet cannot get out through any small holes and to make sure all wires are protected because a ferret adores chewing through these and many other things!
- All Ferrets Bite
This is another myth because most ferrets will not bite as long as they have been well socialised from an early age and handled gently too. If a ferret does have a tendency to bite it is more often due to the fact they have been badly handled or mistreated in the past by people who need not know how to treat them properly. Ferrets love to be shown affection which is what these lovely little creatures quite rightly deserve.
- Ferrets Don’t Need Veterinary Care
All animals that are kept as pets need veterinary attention even if it is only for a regular health check and to have their vaccinations. Ferrets need to be vaccinated against distemper and they should see the vet on a regular basis to make sure they are in good health. The key is to always catch an illness early so that you give your ferret the best chance of making a full recovery.
- Ferrets Only Eat Fruit
Ferrets do like to have fruit in the diets, but they also need to be fed veggies and meat too! They need to be fed a well balanced, nutritious diet that’s got lots of good quality protein in it – remember ferrets are in fact, carnivores.
- Ferrets are Really a Type of Rat
This is one of the biggest myths out there because ferrets are in fact descended from polecats and they are not rodents at all. They belong to the weasel family together with otters, badgers and skunks to name but three other species from the same family as ferrets.
- Keeping a Ferret as a Pet is Hard
Ferrets are demanding little creatures and there’s nothing they like more than playing and interacting with the people they love – when they are awake that is. However, you need to hide small things away which includes house and car keys because these little furry creatures are quite mischievous and will steal anything they can drag along or get in their mouths in order to stash them away in a favourite hiding place (or two).
- Ferrets Smell
This is another very popular myth and misconception about ferrets. It would be fair to say that the majority of animals have some sort of smell and this is as true of ferrets. However, if they are neutered, males lose any stronger odour they may have. With this said, cleaning out their cages and feeding a ferret a good quality diet helps keep any odours to a minimum much the same as with keeping an indoor pussy cat. Lots of ferrets love playing around in water, so you can give them a bath from time to time which is usually around once a month had will reduce any odours if there are any!
- You Can Use Any Cat Litter For Ferrets
Ferrets have a very sensitive and delicate respiratory system therefore you should never use just any cat litter in their trays. Any type of litter that’s too strong smelling should be avoided at all costs and you should avoid using any litter that clumps because these are very dangerous to ferrets. You should never use any wood shavings or bedding either.
- I Have Allergies so Can’t Keep a Ferret as a Pet
Ferrets are considered to be hypo-allergenic creatures therefore they are a great choice for anyone who suffers from any sort of allergies. But with this said, it is always safer to spend a little time around a ferret to make sure they don’t trigger an allergic reaction.
- Ferrets & Children are a Dangerous Combination
This is true to a certain extent but it is not typically the ferrets that are the problem but rather the kids who want to play with them. This is because little people can often be a little too rough when they handle ferrets. They may also be a little too loud which might well send a ferret into a panic – the result? A good nip which can be painful because ferrets boast rather sharp teeth! Children should never be left unsupervised when there are ferrets around but this is just as true of any other pet including cats and dogs!