I am thinking about getting a ferret next year when i move into an apartment. Any dopers out there with on or two or three of these things?

A good buddy of mine’s gf has two of them.

One is very nice and the other not-so-nice. It tends to bite quite a bit (I’m always sure to have my feet up on the chair when I’m sitting around their place).

Not to say that I’m discouraging you buying them. Besides that one, the ones I’ve seen have all been pretty cool.

I have two, my boyfriend has three. Ours have only been nippy as babies, and really no more so than any other baby animal with teeth. Of course they all have different personalities; his oldest chases my feet constantly while the middle one is convinced she can drag us behind the couch with the rest of her toys. His youngest is a big bruiser of a male who believes he can fly.

The older of my two is a rather mellow girl, though she’s plenty active when she feels like being playful. The baby (only a few months old) is hyper but calming down. She plays with toys (loves ping-pong balls) while her “big sister” prefers to mess with boxes and paper.

I think they make great apartment pets, provided you have the space for a big enough cage. Maybe it’s what we feed ours, but so far litter pan cleaning isn’t bad at all, and I’ve never noticed the supposed bad smell that some claim ferrets have. They should have plenty of time outside the cage each day; I try to give mine a couple of hours at least and the BF lets his out for even longer.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

Yeah, i am only going to get one to start out with. I dont want to take on more than i can handle and i’ll get another one maybe after a year or so. I’ll probably let it out of its cage most of the day (i am only a student). I have always wanted a ferret and the idea to get one finally hit me today.

Wonderful apartment pets? No thanks. I have had 3. They are about the cutest pet you could have, and about the most fun too. They are soooo playful.

However, their Urine is absolutely vile, even if they are descented. Your neighbors will not love you for that.

They get into everything and anything if you let them.

Can be quite difficult to paper train, but not impossible. They seem to prefer backing up to one of two corners in particular of a room and lettin’ er rip.

Young ones (Kits) cry…suprisingly loud. The closest noise I can think of is a piglet grunting. Kinda weird.

Quite a handful for a pet. They can be extremely messy. I do not recommend owning one if you do not have a house with a back yard. Even then, I would really think about it. You will have to clean them at least once a day if you don’t want people do be offended by any odors. It can be real bad.

Get a kitty.

I plan on training the ferret to use a litter box if it already isnt traind already. I plan on adopting one rather than buying a kit. And i read that the more you clean them, the smellier they get.

From “The King of the Ferret Leggers: A True Story”

I own a Ferret and am looking for another. My cat doesn’t like him, so I let him out when the cat retires to the windowsill in the next room and I close him in.

My ferret is nuts!

He prowls around the floor getting into everything, climbs into the space under my kitchen counter where I pile my plastic grocery bags and just goes wild with them, usually managing to pull most out onto the floor. He crawls delightedly under anything cloth on the floor, plays with cardboard tubes, climbs up into my lap and tries to walk across my keyboard. He grabs my stinkiest, old tennis shoes and burrows into them, then drags them behind my waterbed, which takes me 10 minutes fishing with a broom handle to get them back.

When I play with him, he acts like I’m trying to eat him, and when I stop, he chases me across the floor and vigorously attacks my shoes. He tries to crawl up my trouser legs, tussles with my hand, nibbles on my fingers and now and then manages to get up on my waterbed and cleans off the normally clutter headboard for me.

Sometimes he crawls into the pillow cases and goes to sleep or lurks delightedly under the blankets, exploring every inch, coming out to playfully attack me, then darting back in and daring me to catch him.

He is ever curious. Once I mistakenly left a bag of his wood shred litter where he could reach it and before I noticed what he was up to, he had happily dug most of it out and scattered it across the floor for me to clean up.

He does stink! He smells like urine and I have to use Ferret deodorant to de-stink him frequently, which he doesn’t like. I feed him a teaspoon of Ferret oil, which he goes bonkers over, to keep his coat looking good and for his skin and bath him now and then with Ferret shampoo.

I leave a small towel in his big cage with toys because he likes to burrow under it and discovered one reason for him stinking so much. He drags the towel over to his bathroom spot, urinates and defecates on it, then later crawls under it! I’ve got to find a better substitute for him to burrow in.

I washed his Ferret hammock, because it started to reek, and he got all flabbergasted about that. He pulled stuffing out of it for two days. Then he hung upside down, over the side, ass end in the cradle, head end under it, chewing at the material now and then.

He’s cool. Not real bright, but cool!

My anosmic friend (learned that word from Cecil–in case you haven’t read that column, it means she has absolutely no sense of smell–I am not kidding) has ferrets, and she loves them. I have always thought they were cute, and I used to think that they would be great pets, but, man, they reek. They use a litter box and everything, but they still stink, and they can stink up the entire apartment. One of them bit my husband once, too–didn’t break the skin, though, thank goodness. He is now permanently “anti-ferret”.

Oh, and do not build a ferret cage out of plywood! (It was her now-ex-boyfriend’s idea.) It just traps that smell right in. Cough up the money for the nice metal one at the pet store that can be thoroughly cleaned.

Another consideration is the veterinary cost. One of my friend’s ferrets got cataracts, and then the other one got cancer. She couldn’t exactly afford these treatments, but she paid for them anyway. I don’t know how common it is for ferrets to get sick, but I did notice on eBay once a series of auctions for homemade mailing labels. Each auction title featured the words “Ferret Surgery Auction”. So, if you get one, I hope you are as prepared as possible for “unexpected expenses”. I wouldn’t want to see you panhandling on eBay.

I like tropical fish. They are perfect apartment pets. But then again, I am biased :).

Our ferret is the sweetest pet I have ever known. We nearly lost him to cancer two years ago, but surgery pulled him through. He is now nearly eight years old and probably won’t be with us for much longer. He has gone through his terrorist stage and is now very mellow. He has become quite affectionate and loves a cuddle. We will miss him terribly when he goes. I hope we get another ferret when that time comes, but my wife will probably want to wait a while.

I seem to be one of the few ferret owners that has just one. She’s the sweetest girl, so happy and loving. I wouldn’t want to have more than one for the same reason that I won’t have more than one cat. They tend to bounce off of each other.
I have a cat, too. They play together when Chan is out of her cage, chasing each other around, play fighting. It’s so cute. She’s fixed, but not de-scented. I just clean her out once a week, and everything is great.
She lives in a ‘Ferretrail’ cage, which is like those cages for hamsters that have the tubes around that they can crawl through, only sized up. It’s a 3 level cage with coated metal for the bars, and the shelves and bottom are made of Rubbermaid-style plastic, very easily washed. I use corncob litter in her litter pan, and I used to use alfalfa hay on the bottom. I recently stopped using anything but the litter in her pan, and I noticed a pretty steep reduction in the amount of smell, so she’s not gonna get any more filler. She seems perfectly happy without it, to be honest. She has a hammock, some wooden beads, a couple of balls, and a ‘camping blanket’ that she loves to tunnel around in. It’s a heavily compressed wool felt blanket. Every night, when we let her out to play, we shut the bedroom door, and put up an old window screen in the doorway to the dining room, so she’s shut into the living room with us. I’ve read some horror stories about ferrets drowning in the toilet bowl, or chewing wires behind the fridge, so when she’s out, we keep a very close eye on her.
Some people think that they stink, but to tell you the truth, I think they smell like warm honey. Of my sibs, two think think that Chan smells faintly of urine, and my other sister thinks that it’s a honey smell. I find it very pleasant, actually.
There are also landlords that don’t appreciate the finer pets, such as ferrets, so it’s a good idea to check first.

There is a ferret in our condo, when GF bought it from a pet store a couple of months ago it was just a few weeks old. I say “it” because we have no idea as to its sex. To me, it looks like a male but GF says it’s not. In two more months, we’ll take it to a vet for rabies and other shots and have them tell us for sure. Our ferret has been descented and we use an odor-removing shampoo every few days. The only real ferret odor we have is the cage. HomeSlice, before you bring yours home, check around the floor of your home and plug up any holes. Our ferret managed to squeeze through a hole between the dishwasher and the cupboard. GF was frantic until I managed to grab it.

We have a ferret (Nigel) and absolutely love him! He is descented but he does need to be bathed at least once a week. He seems to think he is the biggest badass in the neighborhood. He torments the cats (they actually like to play with him) and even chases my boyfriend’s chow/lab. They are a lot of work and not cheap to own, but we do plan on buying a second.

If you want something just as cute but not nearly the expense or work, I suggest getting a rat. Ours, Willis, is a total sweetheart. He plays and snuggles and doesn’t need to be bathed all the time, although he loves taking a swim in the bathtub every once in a while. He isn’t much smaller than Nigel.

I’ve never owned one, but my good friend Ryan had two, and I knew him with his ferrets, and heard enough about owning them, to have gleaned this wisdom:

  1. They can live ten years, but you’ll be lucky if they last five. American ferrets are inbred and cancer-prone; they’re especially susceptible to cancer of the adrenal glands. Your veterinary bills will be high, perhaps higher than you can afford if you’re a student.

  2. Ferrets have been domesticated longer than even cats, but most American governments are ignorant of this, and they are banned under anti-vermin laws in many states and cities. They may not be legal to own where you live. I think they’re illegal in New York City (hi Rosebud!), and Mayor Giuliani himself ridiculed the very idea of owning ferrets. Foolish man, of course, but those are attitudes you’ll encounter.

  3. Once you’re a known ferret owner, other ferret owners will contact you asking you to take their ferrets. They’ll have excess kits, or they’re moving to where ferrets are illegal, or the other pets don’t get along with them, or something like that.

Here in SC, it used to be legal to own a ferret, you just couldnt buy one, but they recently changfed that.

Hi, Five! Yep, I’m an outlaw :wink:

Seriously though, no one’s really enforcing the ban in NYC and it’s easy to find and buy ferrets in places just outside the city, like Yonkers. Plus, I’m working on an article right now about the ban and it turns out there was a court order to halt its implementation-- so, if I’m understanding my source correctly, it hasn’t even really been legally enforceable yet. And there’s considerable pressure to revoke it entirely.

That said, my boyfriend and I try to keep our ferrets to ourselves, so to speak. Don’t really feel like arguing with somebody in the park about how we shouldn’t have them.

On another note, I’m surprised so many of you mention the smell. All five of ours are descented and fixed and I honestly haven’t ever noticed any reeking. The only real exception is if one of us has been away for a couple of nights and the animals fill their litter pan (just to clarify, we live separately so it’s not five in one cage). I’m pretty sensitive to bad smells, too.

What does descenting a ferret do?

This is sadly true. Ours cost us just over $600.00 two years back because of the adrenal gland situation. It took two surgeries for him. Not that he wasn’t worth it.

HomeSlice, ferrets are related to skunks. Both animals have odor producing glands, when get one these glands will probably have been already removed. This procedure usually results in greatly reduced odor.

Both animals have odor producing glands, when you get one these glands will probably have been already removed.