home : 1. the basics : questions about adoption

questions about adoption

Won't a "rescue" ferret have problems?

Socialisation problems are generally uncommon with ferrets - almost all the ferrets who come through our rescue system are social, friendly and do not have behavioural problems.

Just as with dog & cat rescue we do have occasional cases where a ferret has been mistreated or neglected and in these cases, the ferret is kept by one of our carers (who has had lots of experience with lots of different ferrets) until they learn to trust humans again. They are then also rehomed - with an experienced owner.

Fortunately ferrets are very loving animals, and can overcome bad experiences once given the right environment and lots of love.

I'm a first time ferret owner - what would you recommend?

We recommend getting older ferrets if you are a first time owner. Baby ferrets (kits) can be very enthusiastic, and this can be a bit overwhelming for someone who hasn't had ferrets before!

Just like puppies & kittens, ferret kits don't understand that human skin is more fragile than their sibling's, so need to be taught to be gentle with us.

Older ferrets (6-12 months onwards) are usually already nip trained and toilet trained.

We also often have bonded pairs or trios looking for homes - this is a great option for new ferret owners, as it saves introducing new ferrets at a later date (which can sometimes cause fights).

How many ferrets should I have?

How long is a piece of string!

Most ferrets love company, either human or ferret.

Keeping just one ferret is fine provided you have lots of time to spend with him/her. Seeing two or more ferrets play together is a joy to watch.

If you adopt a single baby ferret and would like to add another ferret to the family in the future, we recommend doing so sooner rather than later. This is because ferrets which have been kept alone since they were young can have difficulty accepting playmates when they get older.

If you adopt a single older ferret (who has always be kept as a single ferret), there may be difficulties with new ferrets being introduced to the family - because they have always been kept alone, they may lack the ferret social skills needed to deal with a new playmate (especially if they were taken away from their mum & siblings too early).

Having said that, new ferrets can often be introduced with out any problem at all. Ferrets are a lot like humans, they can love each other or hate each other for seemingly no reason at all.

Patience is often the key, as most ferrets sort out the pecking order if left to it (there are exceptions to this, so contact us if you're having trouble with introducing a new ferret to the family)

I would like to get a baby ferret, rather than adopt an adult

We often hear from people that they would prefer to have a baby ferret so it will bond to them more than if they adopted an adult. This is really a non-issue with ferrets - a ferret will love you completely whether they are 8 weeks old or 8 years old when they meet you.

We often have quite young ferrets looking for homes, some under 1 year old.

If you do decide you would definitely like to have a kit rather than an older ferret, we recommend that kits stay with their mum & siblings until they are a minimum of 10, but preferably 12 weeks old.

Ferrets can develop socialisation problems if they are taken away younger - especially to single-ferret households.

Ferret Society of Canberra

 For more information or to make comments please email mail@ferretclub.org.au