Unlike dogs and cats, ferrets don’t “bark” or “meow.” But If you listen carefully you will hear your ferret vocalize.
Ferrets make different noises for different emotions. Some ferrets are more “talkative” than others.
Ferret owners describe the sounds that their ferrets make:
“Dook” (or “Brap”) – A fast clucking noise that your ferret may make when s/he is “happy.” You may hear this sound when your ferret greets you or is playing.
“He He He” – Ferrets seemed to be jokers. They may steal your shoe and run away laughing at you in their quiet way!
“Hiss” - Ferrets make this “breath” sound when they are annoyed or “angry.” A ferret may hiss at another ferret that is playing too roughly.
“Bark” – Rarely heard in ferrets, this is a loud chirp that a ferret makes when s/he is very excited, frightened, or sick. If you hear this sound, check your ferret right away. Make sure that it is not choking, or having a seizure. .
“Screech” – This is a very high-pitched sound. Immediately after it, the ferret vocalizes a rapid chattering sound. The screech is a reaction to pain, fright, or anger. This is one of sounds, you need to check out what your ferret is doing. Go check out that ferret.
“Whine” – This is a low moan or cry. Your ferret vocalize to get your attention, he or she may be scared, hurt and in pain. Please go check out the ferret.
Ferrets don’t need treats: it’s us human who think they need treats.
Every pet owner wants a way to reward their pet, and most want to give the pet a “treat.”
Ferrets are obligate carnivores: they require a diet that is very high in meat-based protein and fat. Because ferrets lack a cecum (part of the lower GI tract), they cannot digest plant protein. So fruits and veggies are a “no-no” -- no matter how much they beg. Sugary snacks, such as dried fruit (raisins), not only cause obesity and tooth decay, they can also raise the blood sugar, which signals the pancreas to put out more insulin. Stimulating insulin product promotes pancreatic beta cell tumors (“insulinomas”), a very common cancer in ferrets. Anecdotal evidence even points to kidney failure due to ingestion of raisins and similar dried fruits. [See READING]
“BAD” TREATS: Fruits, including dried fruits, such as raisins; cereal products, bananas, or vegetables.
Here are some GOOD choices ferret treats:
“GOOD” TREATS: Cooked or raw meat: poultry (chicken, turkey), beef; “ferret” treats where at least the first two ingredients are meat-based; eggs; small quantities of cheese; a drop or two of a coat liniment.
Ferrets often develop life-time food preferences during the first six months of life. To prevent raising a “picky” eater, introduce your ferret to various high-quality foods at a young age.
Add a new food to your ferret’s diet gradually. Check to be sure that your ferret doesn’t have diarrhea or other signs of food intolerance. A ferret that is used to a variety of foods comes in handy, especially when your regular ferret brand of food is either out stock or discontinued.
The “best” Ferret Treat is your love and attention: It’s FREE!!
Raisin and Grape Toxicity
Recent reports of toxicity due to ingestion of raisins and grapes (what a raisin is before it is dried) has been documented in dogs and exotic pets. The toxicity is shown as kidney damage. Although the exact cause is unknown, a mycotoxin is suspected either alone or in combination with a yet unknown factor.
For further reading:
Elwood S, Whatling C. Grape toxicity in dogs. Vet Rec. 2006 Apr 8;158(14):492.
Stanley SW, Langston CE. Hemodialysis in a dog with acute renal failure from currant toxicity.
Can Vet J. 2008 Jan;49(1):63-6.
Ferrets are fur-bearing mammals. They consume high-protein, high-fat diets. Their fur has natural oils that repel water. As a consequence they have a natural musky odor.
During the times of year when reproductive activities are ongoing, the odor of male ferrets (hobs) becomes much more noticeable. This may be due in part to an increase in male sex hormones as well as territorial marking with urine.
Ferrets of both sexes also have anal scent glands. Much like skunks, ferrets can release secretions from their scent glands when challenged or fearful. The scent released dissipates much more quickly than that from a skunk, but can leave an unpleasant odor that some find quite objectionable. Although many private ferret breeders do not descent their ferrets, owners may wish to have these glands surgically removed if the ferret releases scent frequently.
Here are some tips on reducing ferret odor: