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I may be adopting a lone female ferret soon. She is almost 2 years old and I would be her 3rd home. The two previous owners have learned that she is not good with kids which is why she is up for adoption again. I haven't had ferrets before so I'm not sure if I would be able to provide the best home for her or not. I'm not sure how important it is for ferrets to live in pairs, but she has been a lone ferret all her life and I have no idea how to go about introducing ferrets, or where to even look for a second ferret (other than pet shops that usually only sell babies). Is it possible or reasonable to keep lone ferrets as long as they get a lot of human interaction?

The main thing that makes me worry that I might not be the BEST home for her is that I do tend to spend most of the day out of the house, at my friends house nearby campus or at my girlfriends house. In the evenings and nights I am home with my rats and that's when I do free range time for the rats. My girlfriends small dog often comes with us to college since we are only in class for a couple hours a day, and then rest of the time he hangs out with us. Would it be unreasonable to have a ferret which spends 90% of their time outside the cage, coming along with me like a dog? I know ferrets sleep a for the majority of the day so I was wondering if she might be able to hang out on leash/in a carrier/in a body sling/at my gfs house while I'm over there. Or would this be too stressful for a ferret? I know I would never cart my rats around like that all day because it would be terrifying for them, but for the dog coming out with us during the day is something that he enjoys and looks forward too. I'm just not sure of ferrets are more like a dog or more like a small animal that scares and stresses easily?

Finally, please don't get mad at me if I have this all wrong! I don't know much about ferrets besides their diet and housing requirements at this point. I've just been offered this ferret to adopt and I am not so sure I would be a good candidate, but if it turns out that I would be able to provide her a good home I would be interested in giving her a nice forever home. I know many people bring ferrets outside on walks and to play at parks, but I'm not sure if too much outside time can be harmful for them?

Thank you in advance and please do excuse my ignorance, I'm just trying to learn as much as I can about the topic before I give an answer :)
 

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Ferrets spend most of their time sleeping. 18-20 hrs a day. They will get up several times in short intervals a day. Sometimes they will spend a few hours up at a time. They can get stressed easily. Mine loves to go outside on the leash. But remember they can get bordetella and distemper so I would advise to stay away from areas where dogs roam. Make sure it is current on vaccinations. Some ferrets do well as lone ferrets. I would not advise to carry them around all day. Ferrets poop alot! Simular to rats, but their poop is much bigger than rats and a different consistency. They have fast metabolisms so they eat frequently, which means lots of poop. Like rats, they are very intelligent and can get bored easily. So provide lots of stimulating toys and rotate them out. It is hard having rats and ferrets , they both require alot of play time. So just make sure you have the time to dedicate with both each night. Generally they say to have free play time with ferrets for atleast 4 hrs a day. Mine dont stay up no where near that long. But they do get up in short intervals frequently.also, they are prone to certain diseases so I would research these common diseases b/c they are expensive to treat, so make sure you can afford vet costs.but they are awesome fuzzy critters and a joy to have. Hope this helps...if I can answer any more questions feel free to ask. I my self just adopted two ferrets recently.This is so far my experience. And still a learning curve.
 

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I have a concern that they are rehoming because the ferret is not good with kids. People say that a lot when they really mean it bites. I would never want a first time owners experience be with a ferret who bites. It could be they were just worried about normal ferret play and mouthiness around a child, but I'd probably ask some questions.

Ferrets are 100% carnivorous and will go after the rats if given a chance. They are not like cats and play with food, so it would be fast, it's up to you to make sure they do not meet up and everyone is safe.

Many ferrets love to go places with their owner. They can get stressed-usually it's change of ownerships and loss of cagemates. They are prone to ulcers-when I say uclers I mean bleeding uclers. Most of the time it means an overgrowth of helicobactor and has to be treated with medication. For this reason, I ask you not to take the ferret unless you are ready to provide a lifetime home. Most ferrets are fine with moves-as long as they have their human and cagemates. They can mourn hard.

Ferrets on leashes have to be watched 100%, their neck and body is the same size and can always just slide out if the decide to. Most are not going to be happy just hanging out in pack, they are very active. They may sleep for up 20 hours a day, but when they are awake, they are very awake. A large carrier with a litter box, bedding, food/water is fine for traveling and most won't mind and may even enjoy it, especially if they are used to coming out while awake (either loose at friends or on a leash). They are neither diurnal or nocturnal-so pretty easy to get to a schedule. Wild relatives-polecats-will be noc or diurnal depending on the area the live and the prey they hunt. Our pet ferrets will go either way by the schedule you let them out and such. Keep them vaccinated if taking outside and understand there are things they can still catch. But rabies is more to save them from other humans-if they were to bite or ever scratch someone they will be treated like a dog or cat if vaccinated. If they are not vaccinated, well it's not so good for them.

I really hate ferrets being alone. You just can't be with them enough. Besides you don't fit in a hammock. :) Unless you have a ferret who really hates other ferrets, I don't suggest keeping them alone.

They live considerably longer lives than rats, so it's a longer term commitment. It can be expensive medically. Pretty much expect the last few years to relatively expensive with vet care. Good food if premade is going to be expensive-if doing the raw food diets-can be very time consuming.

One thing if you do it-I think every owner should know-please feed more than one food. Even if the current food is junk, do not cut it out till they are eating another f ood. Ferrets get really used to one food-so if the product you use has a recall or changes formula you can have a ferret who doesn't eat. (yes they will just not eat) Their metabolism is extremely fast, so they will go down hill fast without intervention. I suggest at least a mix of 3 dry foods-and then fresh meats if you are able-they like things like turkey/chicken baby food as well. Just try and find one that has no flour and is just meat and water. (If I remember correctly I think beechnut has one)
 
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