Ferrets & Their Environment
How To Care For Your Ferret
Although ferrets have eyes, they are not unable to see that well. As a result, they use their other senses to guide them through their environment using their hearing and smell.
Since domesticated ferrets are not afraid of humans, they will be able to handle any new environment that they encounter without any fear. In fact, they don’t mind living with other ferrets as it has been observed that some sleep on top of each other.
This is as people have observed are very different from their close relative the European polecat that chooses to live in isolation.
One reason that ferrets behave this way is due to the fact that they have been neutered thus decreasing the tension or rivalry in finding a mate however, they still show aggressive behavior towards other ferrets when playing, marking their territory or hunting. Let’s talk about this behavior in their environment some more.
Ferrets play among themselves and neck biting is one example. Some scientists believe this is how the male controls the female during mating. But since they are already neutered before being given to the new owner, this may serve another purpose such as practicing how to hunt.
Since domesticated ferrets no longer have to hunt for food, this is now used to protect themselves from an attack. The amazing part about it is that because ferrets have very thick skin on the back of their necks, you won’t find a single mark afterwards.
Being on the offense is not the only way to fend off attackers. Other tactics include dancing, hissing, lunging, sideways attack, screaming, snapping of the jaws and a clucking sound.
You can prevent a fight from taking place by providing a separate area for both ferrets to call as their own. Eventually, they will sort out their differences which is something we humans also do whenever we are engaged in an altercation or misunderstanding. But fights among domesticated ferrets are rare given that many owners just purchase one.
Given that ferrets are very friendly and sociable animals, you have to house proof your home as these curious mammals will most likely go to dark corners and small holes. They might take a nap under the cushion of the couch when they feel like it so you better check underneath first to prevent any problems.
They will also have to be toilet trained so they don’t dump their waste just anywhere in your house. Studies have shown that this is the ferret’s way of marking their territory and if they are out of the cage, they can easily find the litter box even if this has been relocated.
In terms of their diet, experts suggest that this should be a combination of various products so that they don’t get used to one type of food. If one runs out, this can easily be changed with another. Also, the amount of protein that they should take in decreases as the ferret grows older.
Ferrets are adaptable mammals and once they are brought home from a breeder, pet store or animal shelter, they will in no time adapt to their new environment. So, just give them some time to get themselves familiar with their new surroundings and don’t be scared if they show some aggressive behavior because after all, they were once from the wild.
David M Peterson
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