Appropriate company for ferrets
Ensure your ferret has appropriate company
To be kept with at least one other friendly ferret, unless advised otherwise by a vet or clinical animal behaviourist. Many ferrets (but not all) enjoy each other's company, but must have their own, marked space in their home range.
- Groups should be carefully matched - a maximum of four animals, (preferably littermates), is ideal.
- How well ferrets get along depends on factors such as genetics, housing, group composition and their previous experiences.
- To be neutered unless you intend to breed from them and provisions have been made to care for both parents and offspring. Unneutered male ferrets may be more aggressive.
Careful daily checking for signs of stress/fear/aggression within the group.
- All ferrets should be alert, active, handle-able, explorative and playful, without displaying any fearful behaviour.
- Persistent hiding/biting/fighting indicate aggression in the group and are reasons to make changes to the group or to the housing e.g. adding hiding places or moving 1/2 ferrets to other suitable accommodation.
- If there are signs of aggression, carefully check for wounds (especially around the neck). Seek vet advice if wounds are obvious or you're not sure.
Daily handling from an early age - they can form strong bonds with humans. If properly socialised, this will be a pleasant and welcome daily activity. If kept on their own for some reason, ferrets must be provided with companionship by daily interactions.
- If carefully introduced early in life, ferrets can also develop friendships with other animals (non-prey species), and daily interactions with them can be beneficial.
- All handling to be a non harmful, pleasant experience.
- To stay with their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old - to learn behave in a group.
- Places to get away from companions if they want to and enough resources (e.g. shelter/food/water/hiding places) for all ferrets at all times.
- To be cared for by a responsible person when you are away.
- To never be left unsupervised with another animal or person who may, deliberately or accidentally, harm or frighten them.