A well cared for ferret can live up to 10 years, or even older, though 6-8 is a more usual lifespan. As a result these guys are a huge huge commitment and could require your dedication for a decade or more. As a result they are like any pet, not a choice to be taken lightly.
Like any animal ferrets can and do get sick. As an exotic pet however it is not always easy to find vets who can treat them and you will need to do your research to make sure the vet you choose for your ferrets is one who is knowledgable and experienced in their care. Often they may need to be referred to an exotic specialist vet. This does not come cheap, so please think carefully about the costs that may be involved in caring for an exotic pet before you get one.
Female ferrets come into season during the spring and will remain in season until they are brought out. It is vital your female is either spayed when she is old enough or has the jill jab (a hormonal injection to bring them out of season) if left a female ferret will remain in season, become ill and could eventually die.
Although a male ferret will not become ill if allowed to remain in season they should still be castrated when old enough. In season a male ferret will begin to smell very strongly and become aggressive towards other ferrets. If kept intact they will have to be removed from their group and live alone for most of the year. Once neutered or implanted (implant keeps male ferrets out of season for up to 3 years) they lose almost all their odour and can live peacefully all year with their cage mates. An in season hob is not a pleasant pet to own.
Baby ferrets nip. They nip ALOT! they are naturally very nippy as young animals and need to be socialised and trained not to bite humans. We start this process when they are here with us but if you are new to ferrets you need to understand this. They will nip you a lot as babies and it not because ferrets are aggressive. It is simply how they play.
Never ever hit, flick or in any way physically punish your ferret. You will only teach him/her to be afraid of you and to bite more. The more time you spend handling your ferret the tamer and more handleable they will be.
If you are new to ferrets please take the time to research their needs and make sure you go and meet some ferrets before you make a decision. If you would like to know more or have any questions about owning ferrets please get in touch using the contact us page and we will be happy to talk to you about their needs. Alternatively join a forum to learn more about these animals such as www.ferretforums.co.uk which has lots of knowledgable ferrets owners and lots of threads dedicated to questions about their care.