PRODUCT REVIEW: LITTER

In this article, it’s really necessary to tackle the litter topic for litter box trained ferrets, as there are so many varieties available as well as name brands; all claiming to be the “best” with most label claims that are misleading and/or just are not true. I am constantly being asked to provide advice on which litter works best and which one I recommend or use, and in 23 years of keeping ferrets, trust that I’ve seen and tried them all, and I am very aware that each ferret owner has his/her preference and budget. It goes without saying that there are a few things to consider when considering a litter for your ferret(s), such as cost, their composition (i.e., clay vs. corn cob), scoopable versus non-scoopable, absorbancy, ease of cleaning up, odor control (despite label claims), and most importantly, the ferret’s health (i.e., respiratory). First let’s categorize the litters into individual groups: Pelleted Wood Stove Pellets Non-Scoop Dried Clay Scoopable (Clay and Otherwise) Corncob or other Plant and Wood Materials (*** NEVER use cedar products around ferrets ***) Newspaper It’s fairly safe to say that most caregivers prefer a litter that is scoopable and no matter which of these general products you decide is best for you, being virtually dust-free and perfume free is mandatory for ferret health. Though all litter will have anywhere from a large amounts of dust to very minimal. However, the absorbency is where odor control comes into the equation, not perfumes or scents. One of the first things you may very quickly learn is that ferrets prefer to use the bathroom in corners.  They have...

Our Community Sometimes Seems to be a Ferret Jihad

Being very involved in our community, many times, especially in the past few months, we are so ill-spirited and divisive, it’s very similar to ferret “Jihad”. I know that jihad is very sensitive and a bit over-the-top, but there is SO much bickering.  It is very, very sad. We need camaraderie NOT all the bickering! Some of our most used groups and sites seem to be at each other’s throat.  Why?  I mean I know that when compared to other animal owners, ferret owners are, generally speaking, a very, very compassionate people, but having said that, instead of the direct attacks, banning, and ‘unfriendliness’, we really need to be here for our community members, regardless of whether you agree 100% or not, and I know that no one always agrees, but I have seen over and over again, ferret owners around the globe would rather cut throats than reach out a hand and educate.  Is this really what is good for our beloved ferrets?  NO! We really need to draw ourselves closer and try and share information in order to help ferret owners and when necessary, make our mission to gently educate.  Whether it comes down to ferret diet, litter, caging, free-roam, partial free-roam, and overall ferret husbandry.  Remember, we don’t all post in the same tone.  But that does not give you license to attack the poster.  Like our ferrets, gentleness will go miles more in helping people. Lets say Facebook groups, for example.  If there is a group or site that isn’t a ‘match’ for you, then don’t post there and just simply don’t visit that site....

FERRET HELP IN NYC

** URGENT ACTION NEEDED FOR FERRETS! *** – January 2015 ————————————————————- New York City Ferret Ban: YOUR help is needed! TO VIEW IN YOUR BROWSER, USE:  http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/… Although some news sources have stated the ban on keeping ferrets in New York City, including the 5 boroughs, has already been overturned, it’s not true – YET. Ferret advocate Ariel Jasper and her organization, Ferret Club of New York City, introduced a petition to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to allow ferrets. Everyone who wants to see ferrets safe in the City needs to comment immediately. The hearing at the Department of Health on removing ferrets from their list of banned animals will be January 21. Significant points are: Ferrets only be allowed neutered or spayed; Ferrets must have a rabies vaccination. Additionally, both Ariel and FACT strongly agree that commercial sales of ferrets in the City will NOT benefit ferrets. Experienced ferret lovers know that too often, stores sell animals without proper care information and fad/impulse buys lead to abandonment or worse—ferrets dead from abuse/neglect. If this ruling passes, the NY City Council will issue final regulations in 6 months, but we suggest you also ask right now to not allow pet store sales of ferrets. Please focus on two points: Allow altered ferrets; do not allow pet store sales. All the ways you can comment are listed below. We’ve also included a very simple sample letter you can use. We are urging everyone reach out to friends, family, co-workers—anyone who can be cajoled into signing a letter of support or making an online comment. Share this on Facebook!...

POLECATS AND FERRETS IN MODERN TIMES AND IN HISTORY

Did you know that the domesticated ferret’s direct descendant is actually the European Polecat? The latin name for the European Polecat is “Mustela Puturious” and the latin name for the Domesticated Ferret is, “Mustela Putorious Furo”. The addition of the latin word “furo” to the European Polecat’s latin name is all the more evidence that ferrets are their direct descendants.  “Furo” was added to distinguish the two animals and it actually comes from the Latin word, meaning, “little thief”. ‘Furo’ was added on by the Romans according to the reliable resources. For additional information, the ferret’s scientific classification is: – Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Class: Mammalia – Order: Obligate Carnivora – Family: Mustelidae – Genus: Mustela – Species: Mustela Putorious [Polecat] and add on “Furo” [Domesticated Ferret] Where does the word “polecat” and “ferret” come from anyway?  Regarding “polecat”, one theory connects the word or name with the French words “poule” (meaning chicken) and “chat” (cat), and we have to admit (especially us raw feeders) that polecats and ferrets alike are partial to a plump and juicy chicken at feeding time. “Ferret”, according to the dictionary means, to drive out, to search out, discover, or bring to light..” It may come as a surprise to a few ferret lovers and owners to learn, especially in the United States that there’s approximately 5 – 7 million household pet ferrets that were recorded in the latest census poll (2013). Their attraction is because they are naturally friendly, brave, fearless, talkative, indefatigably curious, and playful, as well as quite prepared to accept humans. They don’t ‘fawn’ like some dogs and they’re not aloof as some cats. They just don’t complain in any form. Just unconditional love. They’re...
The Domesticated Ferret (Mustela Putorious Furo)

The Domesticated Ferret (Mustela Putorious Furo)

There is just something about ferrets that most owners can’t explain.  In the latest 2013 census data, there are approximately five to seven million household ferrets kept as pets in the United States (Biology and Diseases of the Ferret, 2014 3rd edition, James G. Fox and Robert P. Marini, Chapter. 1, pg. 15). Ferret Owners thoroughly enjoy ferrets for a plethora of characteristics, mainly companionship, ease of training, individuality, ease of care,  and simply their good looks and their buffoonery. This article aims at those concerned with the ferret’s welfare.  Most importantly, domestication history, also, it’s of great importance!  This article mainly aims at debunking the public’s myths, fallacies, and misconceptions.  To say the least, these are undeserved and untrue. Fortunately, most ferret owners have a deep respect for their ferrets and have a very close and intimate relationship with them, and would agree when I say, “I am owned by ferrets”. When writing an article such a this, I take on a considerable task.  I’m fighting prejudices, and when the majority of false information and prejudices, which come from a minority of owners, as compared to the majority…the task is a real up hill battle. Ferrets have served mankind very well in the past centuries, and with much dedication. The range of ferret owners is vast.  Fanciers, ferreters, veterinarians, surgeons, students, laboratory workers, shelters and sanctuaries, staff biologists, and wildlife writers.  Although having said this, all have their own strongly held opinions, though it is very unfortunate, and it’s discouraging and harmful to the ferret community at large that there is so much disagreement and contention, but they seem to...