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10 Most Common Questions About Ferret Kits
Baby ferrets, or kits, as they’re also called, are delightful little creatures boosting strong personalities and a lot of energy. As such, many people that want to buy a ferret, think of starting off fresh with a baby ferret. However, many are confused about what caring for a baby means. Here are the answers to the 10 most common questions about baby ferrets.
1. Is a kit right for me?
This mainly depends on your available time. It’s true that kits are more active and much more playful than adult ferrets, thus requiring a lot more time and attention, but give them the love they need and you’ll get to watch them grow and enjoy them buzzing with energy for years to come. Bear in mind thought that you’ll have to train and also socialize the little guy; in effect, you’ll be his bigger (human) brother, teaching him to tell right from wrong.
The problem gets even more complicated if you already have small children in the house. Human kids and ferret kids aren’t a good combination since not only you’ll find it hard to dedicate time to both, but kids can often be pretty cruel to small animals even without realizing it, and kits have the bad habit of nipping. As such, there’s some potential for conflict and injury. So before you make the decision, think about whether or not you can provide the kit with all the time and attention he needs, without impacting your work or your children.
2. How much does a kit cost?
This depends from country to country and on whether you buy him from a pet store, breeder or shelter. In the US, you should be prepared to pay anywhere between $75 and $300. Shelters are the cheapest, but you’ll usually find only adult ferrets there. Pet stores are second, while breeders are the most expensive.
3. When can I neuter/descent my baby ferret?
If you want to neuter and/or descent them, wait until they enter the seventh week of their life.
4. What should I feed my baby ferret?
Unless you raised him since birth, a kit must be weaned off his old diet. To make your life easier, when you buy your new pet, ask the breeder or pet shop employee what kind of food they’ve been giving him and, if they’ve given him special food, what brand it was. If you decide on switching the diet, don’t do the switch abruptly, but slowly and gradually introduce the new food to his diet.
While adults will do just fine eating cat food, ferret food is recommended for babies because they need higher quality protein in their diet and cat food simply doesn’t have that. A tip to remember is to soak the food in warm water for a few minutes, regardless of whether you’re switching their diet or not. Make sure the food contains 35 percent or more protein and some 20 percent fat and look for balanced fats such as poultry fat because it contains a better mix of essential fatty acids, essential to your small ferret. Also ensure he has plenty of water all the time and change the water twice a day. Never leave your baby without water! Dehydration can cause serious health problems.
5. Is it safe for my children to play with a kit?
For the sake of both your young ferret and your children, it’s probably a good idea to keep them separated as much as possible, or at least keep them under supervision while they play with each other. The problem goes both ways: children can easily hurt a baby ferret while playing with him, and the latter have the bad (though cute) habit of being nippy. Biting isn’t a habit you should encourage in your ferret, especially when you have small children around.
6. How should I set up the cage for my kit?
You should prepare a large cage for them and make sure they’ll have plenty of room to move about and play. Try avoiding metal cages since they’re prone to rusting. If you buy a cage made of plastic-coated wires ensure that your fuzzy isn’t chewing on the wires. The cage should also have plenty of places for the kit to sleep and hide in. Accessories such as hammocks and sleeping sacks are much appreciated by babies, but make sure they don’t injure themselves using them. For bedding you can use any type of soft padding.
7. Do baby ferrets need vaccinations?
Depending on their age, little ferrets generally need up to five vaccinations. If you bought him from a trusted source, he probably already had his first shit (called distemper shot), so you don’t have to worry about that. Make sure the ferret you buy has a health certificate, so you can see what shots he already had and take him to the vet to schedule future vaccinations.
8. How many babies can a ferret mother have?
Normally, a mother will give birth to 7 or 8 kits.
9. My ferret just gave birth, but her kits seem to be blind. Is this normal?
Don’t worry, this is completely normal. As many other animals, ferrets are practically blind at birth. It’s only later, after about three weeks, that they start opening their eyes.
10. When can baby ferrets leave their mother?
They’re ready to leave their mother after six weeks. This is when you should step in and assume the role of ferret parent. Remember to take them to the vet by the time they’re seven weeks old.
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