Pre-Adoption Checklist

We take the adoption process very seriously for many reasons. Animals suffer because humans just don't think things through thoroughly. Animal shelters/rescues exist because people create the need for them.  Just as not all animals make good animal companions, not all humans make good animal parents. We want the people who adopt our ferrets to be part of the solution, not part of the problem! Ferrets need and deserve love, positive attention, lifelong commitment, safety, and veterinary care in addition to basic things such as food, water and shelter.

Ferrets are not temporary - not disposable - not conversation pieces. They are loving family members who depend on you to love and care for them forever. They will grieve if left behind or are abandoned by their family. So, think carefully before getting a ferret!

Take a good look at your lifestyle and  habits. Ferrets require between 2-4 hours out of cage, one-on-one time with their humans daily. How much time do you have to devote to a ferret? Ferrets are more expensive to maintain than other animal companions. Are you financially ready to meet a ferret’s needs or an unexpected emergency?

No one needs a ferret RIGHT NOW!  Not you, not your teenager, not your mate. Do your homework first.Take your time before making a decision that will impact the life of an animal as well as your life. Ferrets (or any pets) do not make good gifts, and all family members should be involved in a decision like this.

I personally spent a year researching and reading everything I could get my hands on before adopting my first pair of ferrets.  I have never stopped!  You will never know enough.  They are complicated animals that many people, including most vets, know little about. 

Are you ready for ferret?

Below is a list which should be considered and strongly thought about before considering whether you and your family may be ready for a ferret.

- No major life change that will affect your ability or desire to continue holding up your end of the commitment deal. A new baby? A new pet? A new car? A lost job? A geographical relocation? A new spouse or partner? Sometimes things happen and it's out of your control. We understand true emergency situations. But, when you just had to have that cute ferret (with a lifespan of  5-10  years), did you intend on staying childless, or did you just figure you'd dump the ferret when the kid arrived to take his place?  You would not give up your child if life threw you unexpected curves; and if you can’t say the same about your ferret – get a plant instead.

- You have found a vet who is willing to look after your ferret. Even if you can find a veterinarian who will treat this type of animal, will you be able to afford it? There are hundreds of dog/cat vets out there. Have you considered what will happen when your ferret needs veterinary care (not to mention routine care)? Vets are not all-knowing!  Ferrets require specialized knowledge and experience.  Many vets will not treat exotic animals like ferrets. Others may want to, but admittedly lack the knowledge. Vets who "specialize" in or treat exotics are also frequently more expensive. Click here for a list of Veterinarians.

- You are willing to go to any length to ensure the ferret remains a family member-in-good- standing. When your ferret destroys your couch, eats your cat’s food, or poops on your expensive antique hooked rug, are you willing to seek advice from an experienced ferret person? Are you willing to change your routine to be part of the solution instead of getting abusive or dumping the ferret? Ferrets can't chew your favorite flip-flops and require emergency surgery for the resulting blockage -  if they can't get to them. Having ferrets frequently means creative problem solving.  Can you adjust your preferences to accommodate a ferret’s basic nature? Or do you expect the ferret to bend to your will (NOT)?  If you would get frustrated because a ferret doesn’t do what you want it to – get a house plant instead.  Bottom line – do you have what it takes to keep a ferret happy, healthy, AND safe??

- You have a back-up caretaker in case of vacation or hospitalization? While you may be willing to forgo any vacations for the sake of your ferret, what would happen if you were unable to care for your fuzzkid temporarily? All pet owners need back-up plans. Would it be easy or difficult to find responsible, reliable help for your ferret?  Have you looked into availability of ferret sitters in your area?  Do you have a friend who is willing to learn about ferret care?  Do you have a back-up?

If you're grappling with any of the questions above, then chances are you are NOT ready to provide a good home to a ferret. Do some more thinking and researching. Ferrets run, play, jump, climb, dance, poop, eat, poop some more, get into trouble, sleep, grow, demand attention, get sick, poop even more and make nuisances of themselves on a regular basis. If you or any of your family members cannot accept this simple fact of animal companionship, then it would be best to chose a different type of companion.

Pre-pickup Checklist:

Have you gone through the above checklist and have all your plans ready to go? Have you completed your research and gone through our website and resources? If you have and are ready to take the next step, below is a list of items you should ensure you have BEFORE you adopt or purchase your ferret. Relocating can be very stressful on a ferret, so it's best to ensure everything is set and ready to go before your new addition arrives.

1) A ferret-friendly cage - The bigger the better! The Ferret Nation cage is a very popular brand.

2) Food - Please see Nutrition for suggestions on what to feed your ferret.

3) Lock-on crock food and water fishes - Ferrets like to tip over their food and water dishes. So, it's very important to either get a dish that can lock onto the cage, or that is too heavy to push over.

4) Litter pan - It's best to get a little pan that you can fit into a corner. It can also be helpful to get a litter box that allows you to lock it into place, as many ferrets like to move their litter boxes around when they get bored.

5) Litter - Avoid any clumping or sand litter, as this can get caught in airways. Yesterdays New's (recycled newspaper pellets) or Wood Stove Pellets (Non-scented, not pine, and not cedar) tend to be the best form of litter.

6) Toys - It's best to get an assortment of toys, especially ones that you can rotate to prevent them from getting bored of the same thing.

7) Bedding - Blankets, towels, and certain pairs of old clothing make ideal bedding for ferrets. Avoid cedar or pine bedding.

8) Carrier - Used to take your ferret to the vet or on short trips.