Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Should I get a ferret, ANOTHER cat, or a snake?

I have a dog but don't want another. I cold go for another cat though but difficult as do deciding what kind. A ferret that has been decented would be great but I don't know where to get one or how much. then again, a snake would be nice because with the animals I have it can be chaotic but worth having them all around. and snakes are low maintenance but once again... don't know where to start.

Any suggestions?

Sugar babies... can they be descented?
Please do extensive research before getting any pet, ferrets, snakes, and sugar gliders need a lot of specific care requirememnts.

Ferrets are extreamly high maintenance pets. Start up cost for a ferret is around 500 dollars. When you first get your ferret she will need to see a vet(not apart of the 500 dollar start up). Most states require yearly vaccinations for ferrets(rabies, distemper) this can cost upward of 150 dollars. They also need monthy heartworm pills

Ferret food is expensive. They should have at least three high quality food mixed togther. Marshals food is not a high quality food(do not feed the ferret this). High quality means first three ingrediants meat, and no fish.34-36% protein and approximately 20% fat (and low fiber) The high quality food can cost anywhere from 15 dollars to over 20 for a 5 -10 lb bag. Feeding them low quality food may be cheaper for awhile, but will lead to health problems and costly vet bills later.

Young ferrets monthy bills may be fairly reasonable, but as ferrets age they are extreamly likely to get adreanal disease. You are more likely to have a ferret get health problems when they get older than not, and older is only about 4, so expect high vet bills for about half its life.

Ferrets are smelly, there is no going around that fact(even decented). Since ferrets are strictly carnivours they have a short digestive tract, and need food available all the time, therefore they deficate every few hours. They also have a musky smell(even decented) it get into eveything (clothes, etc).

They can be litter box trained, but it is hard, and hit or miss(no pun intended). When they are out of thier cage they will not seek out a litter box and will usually just go anywhere. My ferrets never were litter box trained and preffered to go next to the box/dig in it, rather than use it.

On another note it is recommended to have at least two ferrets as they enjoy the company. They can play and interact with each other(rough housing) in ways they cannot with you. Expect to have your ferret out of its cage for a minimum of 6 hours a day, otherwise she will not be happy.

When they are out they must be supervised as they get into everything, climb everywhere, etc. Mine used to love to go on my dvd shelves and knock them all off(finally had to replace the shelves with a cabinet style)

Some of them can be mean, there is no gaurentee. You must be prepared to deal with an agessive ferret. Do you know what to do with a problem biter. I have a formally abused ferret that was a bad biter(I took some nastly bites to the hands-nerve damage on one hand)

Ferrets must be nip trained when they are young. There are correct and incorrect ways to do this. Hitting, yelling flicking the nose do not work and may lead to an agressive and hand shy ferret. All ferrets nip, there is no way to completly stop, but it should be controled. They should know not to bite you too hard, often, ect. That is where having two ferrets comes in handy(they can play with eachother the way ferrets naturally play)

If you know all the information, and are prepared to make an expensive and long commitment then go for it.

You may also want to look at your future, as ferrets can live 8 eight years. If you are young, what about college? You may not want to go away now but in the future you could change your mind(what then?) When your friends are going off on thier own, and you are still stuck at home you may change you mind(trust me I know :)

Please be sure you hav emergency vet money set aside, it is recommended at least $1000 dollars, you do not wan to end up as one of the kids on here asking, "My ferret is injured how do I treat it without going to the vet." Thats not fair to the pet or responsible.

Sugar Gliders:
Also extremly high maintanance. And even more costly.
Diet is imporant for sugar gliders. They need homemade food that requires specific ingredients(the pellets sold in stores are not good for them or a complete diet) Improper diet causes health problems, including hind leg paralysis, and nutritional deficiencies. There diet must be exact to provide the proper balance of nutrients.

Cage size for a glider must at least 3 feet tall by 2 feet across. Getting a smaller cage may be cheaper and more convinient for you, but it is not fair to the glider, who will spend a majority of its waking hours in a cage.

Sugar gliders are nocturnal. Mine used to be up from around 11pm until 7 in the morning (I have insomnia so it worked well for me). They make noise at night and I was frequently woken up[when I did sleep], by barking and jumping around the cage. You will not be able to keep them in the room you sleep in.

Cost is an issue, a simple grey glider will run you about 200 dollars(from a breeder), and often pet stores up the price to around 250.

Vetrinary care is hard to find for them since they are exotic and many vets do not know much of thier care or have ever treated one. Before even thinking of getting a glider be sure you have a knowlegable vet in the area. Exotic care is also expensive.

Male or female? Males have a distinct odor all thier own. It is not pleasant and will permiate a room. However I have found them friendlier.

You will need two. They can easily get depressed alone and NEED a partner, be sure it is two, males/two females. Males and females will breed, and the female can store semen and have two seperate pregnancies. They can also have upto 4 babies at a time.

Friendliness: Well they are not cuddly pets. Mine would only use me as a perch to jump from the cage to me and back. You can't pet them/hold them.

Bonding: A long process that is done by carrying them in a pocket or pouch around your neck for several hours a day. If they wake up they can make noise so you can't sneak them anywhere(I have tried)

Depending on the snake you will need to purchase a tank every few years as they grow.

All reptiles need special lighting. UVA/UVB lamp and basking lamps.

Start up cost is high probably about 600 dollars for all equipment and them buying larger and larger cages get to be costly.
Sugar gliders do not have a reason to be descented. They do not carry an ''unique'' odor to them.
ok get a ferrett. Cats are lame and you cant play with a snake like you can a ferrett. The only bad side to them is at times they smell like sh*t, and they steal things like car keys and remote controls and hide them. Theyre really playful, i like smacking my friend's ferett around with a stuffed animal, and watching the ferett go crazy and try to kill it. oh yeah, and you can get one at petsmart for like $150-250. i saw one the other day.
Ferrets rule!
A snake is not low maintenance. You have to keep the proper lighting, heat, humidity. Make sure you feed them enough, but not too much. They need to be handled frequently so as to avoid them from becoming aggressive. I think you should just take care of the animals you have. Sounds like you don't have the time to spend with a new one anyway.
It depends on what your preferance is. Think about what your life is like and see which animal would best for your life style. Depending on your dog's temperment a cat or ferret would probably be best.
Let's see, ferrets are expensive to buy and care for and are extremely high-maintenance animals.

The same with snakes.

And sugar gliders. (Who don't need to be descented.)

You already know how to care for a cat so unless you take the time and energy to properly research ferrets, snakes and sugar gliders (I mean actually read up on them), I suggest you go with Garfield.

I have 2 cats and 2 ferrets. I love them all!
Ferrets aren't legal in all states. Friends of ours moved from Georgia to California, where they are illegal. There were plenty of vets who would still treat them kinda under the table, but that could affect their availability. I'm sure you could find a place to adopt one with some research. They're social, so two or more would be better than one. And the ones I knew got sick at the end - I don't know if any of their 4 died of old age.

As far as cats go, I just adopt "mutts". No specific kind for me.

Their ferrets were cute and I love my cats, but if it was me, I'd go for the snake (or turtle or iguana). I like reptiles.
Ferret! You have a cat and snakes are cool but what can you do? look at it? Ferrets are fun to play with and after a while they will most likely get along with your cat too and play together. They are just so energetic and fun- but just so you know, even if they have had thier sweat gland removed, which "takes away the smell" they still have an odor. not horrible but if keep them clean they're fine! you can get them at pet co or any pet store- and they are about $130. they can be expensive starting off but so worth it! they are awesome! the way the can bend and when they run.. you can even get ferret clothes! oh- the even use the cat's litterbox! mine just went straight in there one day and used it - i have never shown her a litter box prior to that. if they dont have one in their cage- they will go to the bathroom on one side so their cage pretty much stays clean. they are very intellegent.
I suggest getting another cat if you really want another animal because ferrets and cats DO NOT mix. They have actually been known to fight each other and stats show that if a ferret and a cat get into a fight-- the ferret will no doubt win.

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