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postheadericon If you are planning on owning a baby ferret, there are some facts that you might like to know

If you are planning on owning a baby ferret, there are some facts that you might like to know.

Female ferrets (or Jills as they are known) have, on average, around 6 – 10 baby ferrets in each litter. A baby ferret is known as a ‘kit’. They are born blind and their eyes only start to open at about six weeks old.

A kit should not be separated from its mother until it is at least 10 weeks old. Parting a kit from its mother before this time is not recommended as in the first few weeks of its life, the kit needs to bond with its mother and is also dependent on her for its food.

Depending on where you bought your young ferret will determine whether or not you need to arrange vaccinations. Typically, an adopted ferret will have had his initial vaccinations already as these can be administered at 9 weeks. Ferrets are normally vaccinated against canine distemper.

A kit needs the right kind of diet to give it the best start in life. Baby ferrets require a high protein diet, so choose a specially formulated ferret food. Avoid giving your kit any cat food as this won’t have the right amount of protein. Aim for a food that has at least 35% protein and 20% fat. Provide fresh water for your kits at all times.

Switching a ferret’s diet quickly can cause problems, so find out what your young ferret was eating before you brought him home and wean him off that and onto what you plan to feed him with.

You can train your new ferret to use a litter tray. It’s a good idea to find out what litter he has been using at the pet store, the breeders or the shelter and use that to start with so that he feels familiar with it. Some litters are dangerous for ferrets, so avoid any of the clumping, silica based ones. Wood shavings are not recommended either. The best type to go for is compressed newspaper pellets or wood pellets. Praise your ferret for using his litter tray and reinforce the desired behaviour. It’s a good idea to keep your ferret’s toilet area well away from the area in which he sleeps.

Ferrets emit a natural odour that’s quite unpleasant. You can help to reduce the intensity of the odour by having your ferret neutered and de-scented.  A young kit may smell more pungent on his first day at home with you for a number of reasons. Firstly, baby ferrets simply have a strong odour. Also, as they get excited the smell can become more intense. If you have had your ferret de-scented and neutered or spayed, the smell will lessen as the ferret gets older.

Ferrets love to play, so make sure you spend some time each day having fun with your new family member. Ensure your home is ferret friendly by hiding any exposed wires (he’ll want to chew them!) and putting away anything your young kit may swallow.

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