Baby ferrets – All you need to know

Baby ferret is often called kit. This soft and adorable little thing will steal your heart on the first sight.

But if you have never had a ferret as a pet before do think twice whether you should give your heart or to stay away.

Kits are really cute but require your attention 24/7. You would really have to be his/her parent. On the other hand kits are easy loving and entertaining creatures who will give you a lot of fun and amusement if you have time to spend with them.

I recently have spoken to my friend John, he has had several ferret pets in his life but most of them were already adults when they come to his house. A few months ago he decided to take a kit for the first time. He gave me some very interesting facts and advice when it comes to baby ferrets and their care

Let’s see the general info about baby ferrets first

  • One jill delivers from 4-8 kits but these are average numbers. The size of the litter could be only one kit or up to 14 kits. The thing is that every jill has from 4-9 nipples so this is the number of kits that can nurse at the same time.
  • Kits come to this world blind, deaf and with no teeth.
  • They are very small, usually a few grams ( around 10gr ) and the size of your small finger. Both jills and hobs are more less the same size at birth. Kits grow very fast, for example after 4 weeks the average weight should be around 200 gr.
  • They are totally dependent on their mother and ferret mum usually is very careful mum. For example she knows how many kits she has and if only one is missing, she will start looking for it. So if you have a situation ( which is not recommended unless you are very experienced in ferrets ) that you have a mum with kits and at some point you take the kit, maybe to cuddle or whatever and then return it back, always show your empty hands to ferret mum.
  • Period of the third or fourth week of kits life is very important as many things are changing. Around 3.week they start to get baby teeth and after 4.week their eyes and ears start to open. If you buy the kit from the pet store usual age you will get is about 4-8 weeks old.
  • After 4.week of their life kits start to eat solids – first some kind of soup -mush. This soup is usually is made of meat ( cooked or raw ) soak in water together with kibble and maybe some other food supplement that your vet suggested you.
  • After 6 weeks kits stop nursing and definitely start with solid food but now they are ready for chewing so they can eat something more serious than a soup! Pay attention when they start to eat solids the scent they have will change . Until that moment they have some mild baby smell similar to puppies smell but after they start with solid food the well known musky smell will appear
  • Kits start to play at the age of 4-5 weeks so this period is also ideal to start a litter training
  • They lose baby teeth around the age of 9 weeks and almost at the same time they get permanent teeth.
  • Jills are considered mature at the age of 6-8 months and hobs a bit later around 8-10 months but both genders are teenagers until they are 1 year old.

Now you know bit more of general information and numbers lets see what does it mean in real life.

First of all you should not buy or adopt a kit younger then 4 weeks as hand-feeding can be quite challenging and almost impossible if the kit is 1-2 weeks old.

What to check before you buy baby ferret?

After you decide to buy a kit you should of course check if it is already vaccinated or you should perform that at local vet practice. The usual time for the first vaccine is at the age of 6-8 weeks and that would be a distemper vaccine. In the next 6 weeks your kit will receive another two doses. Also, the rabies vaccine should be received at the age of 12-16 weeks.

After vaccine issue you should discuss with your vet about spaying / neutering your ferret. This procedure is usually carried out at the age of 6-8 months before ferrets become mature.

Baby ferret litter training

Be aware that you new, cute pet comes to your home with no pre-knowledge so you should start with training right from the beginning.

The most important litter training. The good thing is that it is very easy to notice when your small friend needs a toilet. Usually, ferrets like to do that in some corner but do not like to that where they sleep or eat .

You should first put a litter box in some corner of the cage and then when your baby ferret becomes more active you should put several more in a few corners of the play area outside of the cage. It is much easier to train the baby ferret then adult one who already get used to live perfectly without a litter box. Every time when you kit does the business in the right place give it some treat.

To be honest you will need a lot of patience but with that and little luck after a few days you will be proud of your furry friend.

Train your baby ferret not to bite you!

The other important thing you need to teach the young ferret is not to bite you. if you do not train it in this early time stage, later on, you could end up with a very aggressive, badly behaved ferret.  

For example every time when it tries to bite you can spray it with water, after it ends wet and surprised a couple of times, it should stop with this bad habit.

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