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What I Learned From My First Ferret

Readers share lessons taught to them by their ferrets.

My first two ferrets (I got them together) were Magick and Spirit. The most important thing I learned from them is that no two ferrets are the same. Magick just adores her tennis balls, Spirit likes his stuffed animals. Magick will cuddle on my lap and Spirit will go nuts if restrained too long. When I let them decide what they want instead of trying to force them into “ideal” ferret mode, we’re all a lot happier. 
- K. Ricke, Illinois

Twiggy was my first ferret and she taught me lots. She taught me how smart ferrets are. After looking for a very long time for a tube of toothpaste that came up missing, I asked her where it was and she promptly went to where she had put it and brought it out. When we brought home Ceasar from a rescue he was almost twice her size and decided he should be boss. He would pick her up and carry her around. It took a couple of days for her to figure out that if she grabbed his ear he would go wherever she wanted. They called a truce.
She had slept with a tiny stuffed toy since she came home. Caesar was not going to sleep with a toy, so he put the toy on a shelf in their cage. She brought it back to her bed. He put it back on the shelf. She brought it back. The third time he put it back on the shelf, she picked up his toy from the shelf and dropped it to the bottom of the cage. She then put her baby back in her bed while he went all the way down to retrieve his toy. She slept with that baby until she died six years later.
- Deanna Penzkofer, Arizona

My first ferret, Huxley, taught us that ferrets are very intelligent and require a lot of entertainment and mental stimulation in order to be happy. Before we got him, we figured that he would be no more demanding of our brainpower than a cat, at most. And, while he does sleep a bunch more, it seems that we really need to interact with him a ton. 
- Amanda Wood, Ohio

My first ferret’s name is Gracie (still have her), she’s 7. The most important thing I’ve learned from her is that nothing is ever ferret-proof no matter what you think and that no matter how hard of a day you’ve had your ferret doesn’t care and loves you just the same. 
- Eric & Becky Gorsich, Illinois

My very first ferret, Dude, is still with me now. He is 5 years old. I got him as a 6-month-old ferret when I was 12 years old. He has taught me many things: to think more carefully when naming future ferrets, to clean the litter boxes and that it is possible to love an animal as much, perhaps even more, as a human. By far, however, my ferret, my baby boy, has taught me about life. I recently developed my life philosophy after living with my ferrets for so long. All I want in my life is to have fun! That’s all any ferret wants. To enjoy life, to love, to live.
- Krista, New Mexico 

My very first ferret was named Cat. He taught me to treat ferrets with love, kindness and patience even if they try to bite your hand off every time you go near them. Thanks to him I have rehabilitated biters for years! 
- Ailigh Vanderbush, Indiana

My little girl Tinker taught me many things, the most important thing being patience because she got into everything all the time when she was a kit. The key was not to get angry at her for being what she was but to modify some things that I did or the way I set up my household to help her avoid getting into trouble.
- Corey Wilson, Saskatchewan, Canada

If I only learned one thing from my first ferret it was do not waste any time getting ferrets to a vet when they are sick or showing any signs of not being right. My ferret’s name was Princess, and she was just that.
- Robert Beecher, Arizona

My very first ferrets are the ones I have now. Their names are Podo, Sable, Amon, Kiba and Aphrodite. I’ve learned that sometimes the best things do in fact come from the smallest packages. I’ve learned to love teaching people about them and helping people learn the facts about ferrets rather than the myths. And that sometimes responsibilities can be a fun thing to have.
- Nicole Barcomb, New York

Our first ferret was a female, Zoe. We learned very early after she came home with us to keep a constant eye on her. She showed us many new areas to ferret-proof after we thought we found them all. Also, always remember to look down when coming in or going out your doors. They may be asleep but as soon as you reach that door, guess who is right there with you? That’s right, your furry foot warmer.
- Pat Peters, Pennsylvania

The thing my boyfriend Dennis and I learned from our first ferret, Tweek, was that she did have her own personality. We could read when she was mad, sad or wanted to play.  
- Alicia Mowry, New York

We got our first two ferrets together, Boo-Boo and Chico. We learned that ferrets are the most inquisitive little creatures in the world, plus we learned that whatever we brought into the house was theirs! No matter what it was, they always seemed to know when something new was in the house and would make a beeline for it when they were given their out time. 
- Judy Tribbey, Illinois

The most important thing I learned from my first ferret is that Kirby could never be alone. Ferrets are not just social, they need a family. This means that having more than one ferret is essential. After figuring this out, he was never alone — whether he was with his ferret brothers or me — until the moment his heart stopped in my hands last year. 
- Jason Hark, Massachusetts

My first ferret’s name was Frosty, he was 3 to 4 years old and had been living together with his brother. I didn’t know if I could take on two ferrets at a time, so I only brought one home. In the next few days, Frosty became very depressed — wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t play — I thought we were going to lose him. I decided to get him a companion, Smokie, to see if that would help. They hit it off great. Frosty came out of his depression and got back to being his old self. So what I learned was not to separate friends if at all possible.
- Mike Schott, Ohio

[I learned] unconditional love. His name was Bailey, and my family does something special every March 11 to remember him. That’s also why my Roller Derby number is 3/11.
- April Hampshire, Colorado 

The most important thing I learned from my ferrets is that no matter what you should never stay mad for long. I cannot stay mad or even pretend to ignore them if they have done something wrong. So why let the little things bother you in other people?
- Yvonne Ferguson, Ontario, Canada

My very first ferret was a tiny little female sable point we named Victoria. She taught me something my mother had been trying to teach me for almost 20 years before I left home: Life is much easier if you pick up after yourself.
Vicky managed to get a hold of my purse, empty it and turn it inside out. She then proceeded to get away with my car keys, my cell phone, lip gloss, cough drops and a few odds and ends. The part that brought home the lesson to be learned was when Vicky ran across the floor in the room I was sitting in with company. Wondering what made my guest giggle I turned around just to catch Vicky disappear in her hidey-hole yet again, clutching a tampon in her fangs. What an amazing little teacher she is.
- Conny Weber, Indiana

My first ferret taught me how quickly these animals can capture your heart and lock it deeply away in the immaterial essence of their mysterious life. These magical creatures can captivate the most naive audience with their innocent mischief and mutiny. They provide a bright light in the darkest of depressions and bring smiles to paralyzed faces. 
- Susan Jones, Texas

Posted: April 2, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

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What I Learned From My First Ferret

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Reader Comments
My first ferret Rebel taught me so much in his short 5 1/2 year life. He taught me how to budget, the responsibility of having a pet and how you always have a need for a travel buddy. Rebel loved to ride in the car. everytime i went to leave he would scratch and dook in his cage like "take me with you!" We moved 4 times together and he just loved packing up his cage and checking out our new destination. i love him with all my heart and it tore me to pieces when he passed away very suddenly to day before thanksgiving in 2011. He was an amazing animal and i do not know what i would've done without him in my life.

Striker was his other half and i very quickly realized that once they loose a partner it is really hard for them to bounce back. Striker grieved and eventually 4 months later passed away at the very young age of 3. Please if you get 2 ferrets make sure you are prepared for them to loose a partner and give them 10 times more attention then you did before or get them another partner to play with.
Theresa, Scotia, NY
Posted: 9/3/2013 11:38:06 AM
I got my first fourlegged baby for my daughter. When she left home I was left with a ferret. Kodo stole my heart. I spent over 18 months searching for a second for him. Sally our little lover girl, when i saw her i knew instanly she belonged with us. They have been forever two years old. They are soooo smart and I have loved my time with them so much i look forward to seeing them on the otherside!
Mary Kay, Wasilla, AK
Posted: 10/18/2010 4:51:41 PM
My first 2 ferrets, Jack and Puff Puff, showed me the true meaning of ferret math. I am now owned by 6 ferrets. And if I could afford more, I'd probably have 20.
becka, bucksport, ME
Posted: 5/22/2008 11:16:34 AM
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