The black-footed ferret is an intriguing creature for exotic animal lovers. This is the only ferret native to North America. It just happens to be illegal to own this animal as a pet because it is an endangered species. This creature is also called an American polecat. So, if you see anyone walking down the street with a black-footed ferret he is likely breaking the laws of the United States.
Why is it Illegal to Own a Black-Footed Ferrets as a Pet?
The adorable looking black-footed ferret has been on the Endangered Species list of the United States since 1973. Moreover, there are some distinct differences between the black-footed ferret and its domestic relatives that illustrate why it is not an animal that a person should consider having as a pet even if it were legal which it is not!
A black-footed ferret is a wild animal which means that unlike a domestic ferret, its natural instinct is to hunt, kill and eat smaller animals. Another important difference between a domestic ferret and a black-footed variation is the daily routine. The domesticated American polecat will generally adapt to their owner’s schedule while a black-footed ferret is most active in late evenings and early dawn to mid-morning which could result in it becoming a ‘holy’ terror in a neighborhood.
A homeowner with a black-footed ferret which is allowed to ‘roam’ in the backyard during its active hours could expand its search for food to the properties of other people in the neighbourhood with surprising consequences such as small animals suddenly turning up ‘missing’.
Moreover, because there are so few black-footed ferrets in the United States as illustrated by it being an endangered species, any individual that owns one is preventing it from creating offspring and increasing the population.
The black-footed ferret is an attractive, intriguing animal that a person should not own if they want to stay on the ‘good’ side of the U.S. government and the people in their community.
Until a baby ferret is around 6 weeks old the pet is completely dependent on it’s mother. At that time your job as a baby ferret owner is to take very good care of them so that the female can care for her baby. The mom will feed, clean, and care for her kit until it is weaned. Once the newborn has been weaned it will require your care.
Once a kit is weaned it becomes dependent on it’s owner for food and water. Water can be provided via a water bowl, or bottle. A ferret is more likely to drink from a bowl. Check the water container often to be sure it is full and clean. Ferrets tend to spill and dirty their water at least once a day.
Ferrets are meat eating animals. Once they are weaned, baby ferrets require a food that is high in animal fats. Cat food is not an adequate nutrition for small ferrets. It lacks things that ferrets require. Purchase Purposely designed packaging from the pet store or online to ensure that your baby ferret is getting all the nutrition it needs.
Selecting a Cage For Your Baby Ferret
When selecting a cage for your kit remember that they grow fast. Make sure it is at least three feet long. Look carefully at the sides of the cage. If there is any chance that your ferret could squeeze their head through the sides of the enclosure then do not get this house. Serious injury or escape could occur. You will need bedding, food and water dishes, and a litter pan to start with.
Ferrets tend to “go” in the corner of their cages. Your baby ferret will need a little litter pan. Place either ferret litter or non-clumping cat litter in the tray, and place the pan in the corner of the cage. If the ferret does not get the litter concept at first and “goes” elsewhere in the cage you can teach it by placing the droppings in the litter. The ferret will get the point.
Attention and Bonding
Ferrets are intelligent animals. They need love, attention, and stimulation. Ferret owners can develop bonds with their companions the same way cat and dog owners do. Ferrets love to play. Be sure to offer your baby ferret suitable toys.
Bathing Your Pet
Bathing is not really necessary unless your baby ferret has fleas. These insects can make your pet anemic. If you see even one flea on your baby ferret, give it a bath using a flea killing shampoo. Flea anemia is very common in baby ferrets who are not treated with a spray. This health condition can be fatal.