Hello Jemma, Jack and Tepin!
Breed: semi angora ferret
Age: 2 years
Likes: sugary goods. Tepin has a crazy sweet tooth, and steals any snacks that are left out unsupervised.
Dislikes: the hoover (when it is on). Wet paws. The electric fire places.... she actually unplugs it.
Indoor/Outdoor Pet: Tepin, although a proud owner of her own cage, has free run of the house all day everyday.
Thank you both for taking the time to talk to us and answer some questions as we celebrate National Ferret Day at Hoobynoo!
Jemma, when did you first get Tepin? What made you decided to get a Ferret as a pet?
I had wanted a furry ferret companion for a few years before I got Tepin. However I had never actually handled a single ferret in my life. I spent about a year doing research online to gain a better understanding of all the things I was going to need in order to make a comfortable home for a ferret. I knew ferrets could be devilish and naughty, and that was exactly what I was looking for in an animal companion. I was not disappointed. I have had Tepin for about 2 years now, and have become a massive ferret fan!
What sort of things did you have to consider before getting your fuzzy friend?
Ferrets explore the world using their mouths and teeth, so biting is to be expected. I was very conscious that this little creature could not live out her life in a cage. The thought alone saddens me, and I was focused on training her to be less 'bite-y' and ferret proofing the whole house to make it possible for her to have free run of the house and for the cage to become a nice controlled space for evening sleeping and her feeding.
Ferrets are carnivores, so Tepin gets a small portion of raw meats (ranging from bones, chicken, lamb, and organs) three times a day, along side a bowl of pellets which she can nibble on through out the day. Her raw meat feeding happens in her cage, where she can stash the food she hasn’t got room for in her tummy. This is important as otherwise we would end up with raw meat hidden in all corners of the house.
Once she was about a year old, Tepin got an her first injection against canine distemper, this one comes around yearly and I think it is the same for cats and dogs. This then made it possible for Tepin to explore the great outdoors!
How do you find keeping a ferret as a pet? I’ve heard they can be a handful sometimes, any stories?
Oh my goodness!
Where to begin on the little trouble maker. There have been so many scares and so many funnies, it often feels like being mummy to a crazy toddler who simply doesn't understand the concept of “no!” Something my partner and I discovered very quickly was how smart she was. Ferrets are intelligent little creatures and it was surprising to watch her figuring out the world around her. She quickly learnt how to open drawers, which has resulted in my clothes always having a slight ferret muskiness as she has made my clothes her blankets.
Tepin’s most incredible feat was the unplugging of the electric fireplace. We simply could not believe it! In our small cottage, the fireplaces have all been boarded up, but we have an electric fire instead. On cold days the fake fireplace will get turned on, and hot air blows out of the fan. Tepin was not keen on this hot air as we soon found out! We would watch her approach the fan, checking to see if it was on, discovering that it was, she would follow the electric cord all the way to the source, right to the plug. And then the most incredible thing would happen, she’d grab hold of the plug with her little ferret front paws, and push of the wall with her back legs until she unplugged the fire! For safety reasons however, we had to discourage this from fear of her getting electrocuted or something.
But still, we just couldn’t not believe how good she was a problem solving. She also steals things and hides them. She’s tried to steal PS4 controllers, styluses, and of course, anything sweet.
I’ve seen you post pictures of your walks outside in the park! How does your ferret enjoy the outdoors?
Tepin loves it out and about, however I was surprised to discover that she was not a fan of snow.
We do get some attention when walking Tepin and we try to choose quieter times to walk her to avoid dog walkers. It is a shame but I really don’t want the risk of any accidents. Walking a ferret is so different to walking a dog, she walks us and we follow essentially. She’s getting better on the leash, starting to understand the slightest of tugs and nudges. I definitely think she prefers walks in the woods rather than open parks. In the Park she seems to look for shelter, once in the coverage of trees she gets more into exploring through the leaves and dirt.
What types of food does she eat? Has she got a favourite treat?
She is purely carnivores, and gets a selection of raw meats such as chicken bones, chicken, pork, and beef meat, and organs (mainly chicken liver). She loves all the things she can’t have, if junk food gets left out she will steal it. There is the oil supplement that we used to help train her out of biting which she loves. We use it when guests come around to help them settle with the ferret as she goes from nipping to licking.
6. Any advice for others who might want to get a ferret?
Be consistent and be patient. Never let frustration turn into aggression.
Ferrets will not learn from aggression, it will simply make them more aggressive and they will bite harder. Ferrets are definitely not for the faint hearted, and are a pet that require a lot of attention. It is so rewarding to see a bond form between man and ferret because it was an aspect I was not expecting and was so pleasantly surprised. Lots of love and care, and attention! Play, play, play, is all ferrets want to do, and if you are their play mate, the bond is incredible!
I love this little animal so much! She has fully converted me into a crazy ferret lady!
Thank you all so much for today and we hope you enjoy National Ferret Day!