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Ferrets are playful and full of energy. They will live for around 8-10 years and grow to around 2.2kg in weight. They are not often available in pet shops due to the space they need, so you may have to research a local breeder. Look online for these breeders and to contact other ferret owners for their recommendations of where you can purchase one.
They are not a pet for beginners but rather someone who has experienced keeping other small animals before.
There are a variety of colours available, the most common is a yellowish colour, but there are other colours such as the silver, sable, cinnamon, and the albino ferret. Males and females both have their good points and bad points, for example the males have a greasy skin secretion during the mating season which can be very smelly. Females will be in season for 6 months of the year if they are not bred or neutered.
When purchasing your ferret check its body condition. It should be bright and alert with no discharge from the eyes or nose. It should have a healthy looking coat with no bald patches.
You will need some basic equipment for your ferret. Be sure to buy this all in advance so that you can settle your pet into its new home as soon as it arrives home.
You can keep ferrets indoors or outdoors. If you keep them outdoors then you will need a well built, secure cage with places where the ferret can shelter from bad weather and not be in direct sunlight. They are very good escape artists so make sure it is very secure, with no opportunities for the ferret to break out. Indoors you should provide a cage at least 4ft long, by 2ft high and 2ft wide. Again it needs to be a sturdy cage that they cannot escape from. If you are keeping more than one ferret then the cage will need to be substantially bigger. Fill the cage with tubes, hammocks, tunnels, and lots of other things for the ferret to play with. You will need a food bowl and water bottle of a suitable size. They will also need a nesting box to sleep in. A brush or comb is a great idea so that you can groom your pet and get it used to being handled.
Finally you will need some food for your ferret. There are many complete ferret foods available from pet specialist stores. You can also feed you ferret cooked meat, vegetables and vitamins in small amounts.
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