A friend of ours lives in some apartments in town and her neighbor dumped a ferret outside... just left it out there. I have no idea why. My friend has had it since yesterday, and today my father in law was over there and I have no idea what he was thinking but.. well now the ferret is here.
She's SO SWEET! Just calm and tame as can be, but really skinny and reallly really smelly.. She needs a bath! I'm going to start doing research and get her taken care of for now, any tips would be welcome! But we're not keeping her... 3 cats, a dog and a fish is way too much as it is! Well... If it where up to me I would so keep her! But it's not my decision alone.
The funny part is it just happened.. my husband, daughter and brother are all out picking up dinner.. and have no idea this happened. My husband is gonna have kittens when he finds out! (That's ok, I love kittens)
Any first timer tips would be great, she needs a bath, she's eating the boy's cat food and has clean water, and right now she's sleeping in Sadie's old dog crate in a burlap sack with an old cotton shirt in it. She's maybe 6 months old, I THINK, very under weight, that much is very clear, but happy, curious and SWEET! She LOVES being held! I need to get her cleaned and healthy and find her a new home.
I can't say no to an animal... when we go to the grocery store I'll see stray cats and kittens and almost every single time I'll leave a small bag of food and call the cats. I've picked up a few kittens this way and found them good homes. I'll never understand the mindset it takes to just throw an animal outside with no one to care for it! And a ferret? What where they thinking!?
So sweet of you to take her in! I'll be able to help.
Bathe the ferret in baby shampoo (Best), 2nd best is just regular dog shampoo.
Ferrets do like cat food, and it's a good way to get her to gain weight. Keep feeding her cat food but also give her fruit. Ferrets usually like bananas (Mine LOVED banannas), grapes, apple (Cut up), raisins, and any dried fruit. Keep a food bowl with her at all times, as in, don't try to feed her for 5 min, then take it away. Leave the food and water bowl in her cage. She should be given fresh water a couple times a day and her food needs to be refilled once or twice a day. (Remember her fruits too!)
A healthy weight for a female ferret is 1.5-3 pounds. Also, make sure her cage is good. If her head can fit through- Her body will fit through. You should clean it out everyday. And is you can, add some bedding in there, or atleast a little container with some cat litter in it. The ferret will only go to the bathroom in one corner, so make sure you clean frequently.
She's in a medium sized dog crate, the sides are solid with air slits and the front door is wire but the holes are only about an inch each, she can get her nose through not up to her eyes. There's no space at all around the door. She has a burlap sack and a cotton shirt, and right now she's climbed inside the shirt and is asleep. I've got a bowl of fresh water and a bowl of cat food in there right at the door, but no bedding for a potty... BUT! I set her down on a puppy pee pad (we have a few left over from training Sadie) and she used it. The friend said she used a puppy pee pad in a box while she had her, so I'm hoping this will work, but there just is not much room in the crate, so I'm going to be cleaning it a lot. I have a bottle of baby shampoo and a bag of mixed dried fruit, banana chips and such, laying around the house and saved the apple slices from my lunch (salad) for later tonight, but from what I've heard they can't digest plant matter very well, so I'm kind of reluctant to try. especially if she's been ill. I have no clues about the background on this animal
I'm really wanting her to put on some weight. While I'm not sure how much she SHOULD weigh right now, based on how she feels in my hand, she's skinny. I've had rats and mice my whole life and when you pick one up who is sick or hasn't been fed properly, they have a feel to them.. I can't explain it, it's just the way they feel. She feels like that.
From what I understand they are meat eaters, and I want to get some protein into her diet asap. I have some ideas, but want to run them through the grinder first.
Eat yolk or scrambled eggs?
Cooked unseasoned and unsalted chicken?
I also thought I might get some crickets from the bait store across the street as I've read they like insects.
Any thoughts on these ideas would be appreciated! I'm not finding her a permanent home til I know she's healthy!
By the way, she's white with black eyes and sweet as candy. She loves being held and wants to play with the cats, who don't know what to think of her! I've started calling her Sweetpea. I have no idea how someone could throw something so lovable out.. I've handled a few ferrets but never met a nice one.. Sweetpea is so so so... sweet!!
Hubby got home and hasn't said more then "There's a ferret in my house" and then we ate dinner... so.... I have no idea what that meant, LOL. I think he's just used to me bringing in animals.
Congrats on your rescue! I hate how heartless people can be! I mean, if you're going to buy an animal at least do the research on it! My goodness. Or at least surrender it to a shelter. Dump it outside.. Yikes! Can you imagine if ferrets were'nt mandatorily spayed before selling in petstores?! We'd have as big a problem as Vancouver had with the wild domestic bunnies!
Fruit is good, but not too much, it can not be their primary diet.
Most enjoy unseasoned/unsalted chicken & beef. (Some feed them uncooked, but it isn't recommended) Yes, bugs also, such as crickets. Some are even fed day-old chicks and baby mice (pinkies). Feeding them this is okay, but don't let them "stash it" or "save it for later". Whatever they do not consume you should remove it from the cage.
You can give the eggs raw, but only one per week.
If you are cooking, I would go with scrambled, with the shell crushed up. Do not add anything, they don't need anything extra.
Peanut butter- A little bit. They make peanut butter treats, so they can be fed plain peanut butter, just not alot. Maybe just a little bit on your finger. If I were you, I'd just buy the treats.
The housing arrangements sound fine.
& I know exactly what you mean. We found a ferret also before. Poor thing was just skin and bones. Didn't look or feel healthy. We really didn't think he's make it, but happily- he did. (: And he lived with our other 2 ferrets for many many years. (:
I know, if you search online about feeding fruits, many people will say no. And you should not give it to them in big quantities. But upon finding a ferret, we took him to our vet, which insisted upon us to feed him fruits. Not lots, but 1 grape a week, and 1 piece of banana every 3 days. We did once a week and a little bit of dried fruits, as recommended by our vet. The vet told us to continue this, add some meat, and also- Cat food. Cat food is usually frowned upon, because, it makes them gain weight quickly. Which for any other ferret, this is a bad thing, But for an underweight ferret, good. Feed her catfood (Dry.) for about 1 to 1 1/2 weeks, then slowly start mixing ferret food in there. Like, one day 90% cat food, 10% ferret food. The next day 80% cat food 20% ferret food, and so on.
Laki I really hope she is spayed, but I don't know the laws on these things in TN, and don't know if she came from a pet store.. she's a mystery right now! But thank you for the confidence and wish me luck!
Thank you so much Exterresstrial. This is the kind of stuff I need to know. I've been researching but talking to someone and being able to ask questions is always best, right?
So, I'mma ask a couple more questions and then leave you alone... until I come to another problem. lol
When you say scrambled egg with the shell crushed up, do they eat the shell as well? And we use all natural peanut butter in our house, the kind you have to stir the oil up in the jar, would that be alright? How would I go about giving her a raw egg? Just the yolk in a bowl?
As for toys, I have a really long box a tent came in, We put a hole in one end and another hole in the top of the other end and duct taped other boxes to it, and another to that one, and so forth. So me and my daughter are basically putting together a ferret tunnel system. She has a lot of old shirts and we cut them into strips and put them in one of the boxes, and another box has newspaper in little clumps, and another is tall and we put wood dowels in it so there are a bunch of rungs leading up. Right now we're just messing around, trying to make something for her to play with when she's in the mood, and I'm wondering if this sounds ok or if the whole thing is just a bad idea. Be honest, it won't hurt my feelings :)
I live in TN also, every ferret we bought (And found) were already fixed.
You're very welcome.
When I did this, yes, 2 of mine would, but one of my girls wasn't interested in it.
Natural peanut butter is fine- Not too much though. Very little. (Treats are best.)
& Yes, I just put the yolk in the bowl.
The box systems are very good ideas. Anytime we get boxes we'd save them and do this, our ferrets would play for hours. They also liked the cardboard middle of toilet paper & paper towels. Another idea, is we would take empty chip bags and the ferrets would play with it because of the krinkling sound it made. And socks, for some reason, if there was a sock laying around, our ferrets Cooper and Mazy would always steal it and hide it under the couch. Ferrets have such personality.
Good luck with yours, any time you have a question feel free to ask!
I hope she is from a petshop, then. I'm not asking the old owners... I'm sure if I knocked on their door right now I'd start cussing and screaming and we don't need that.
I'm kind of looking forward to the experience. I've never met a nice ferret in my life, every one I've come in contact with either bit me, or the owner said not to touch it cause it bites. So this is very new and delightful, even if we can't keep her. My daughter is adding to the tunnel system, she got a bunch of toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls (She keeps them for crafts, lucky us!) and we have a huge long carpet tube on the porch I might cut down and give her a length of.
I'm one of those people who really does love all animals. Snakes, rodents, lizards, frogs, even spiders and insects. I can't think of a single animal that scares me or grosses me out, lol
Sweetpea is still asleep, but we'll see what happens!