Ferrets are among the most popular pets around the world. Originally, ferrets are cold-weather creatures. And if you go back years before they were adopted, you can see that ferrets originated from the hemispheres. Well, since they have long been domesticated, so, are ferrets sensitive to cold?
Well, the domestication of ferrets ensures that they are not affected by external factors. When thinking about housing your ferret, you should think about the temperatures in your area. Ferrets overheat when the temps go beyond 27 degrees Celsius.
At the same time, I must mention that ferrets do well in cooler temperatures. So during winter, you will need to ensure that it is not too cold for your ferret but also not too hot. If you keep your ferrets outside, then you will need to keep the temperatures in your ferret’s hut regulated.
Are Ferrets Sensitive to Cold? Do ferrets get too cold during winter?
As I have mentioned above, ferrets prefer cool weather than warm weather. In fact, your ferret may enjoy winter more than he enjoys summer. However, this is not to say that ferrets cannot be sensitive to too much cold.
For instance, ferrets do enjoy playing in the snow. If you let your ferret out for a few minutes, you can see how much joy it will bring. Your ferret will want to dive and make crazy tunnels. Unfortunately, he might not realize that he is getting too cold.
If your ferret gets his fur wet, it is possible that your ferret will get cold. He might start shivering, which is not a good experience. You might end up going to the vet’s office if your ferret gets too cold.
Do not get me wrong, if there is snow, you may take your ferret outside for about 15 minutes. If you are not comfortable bringing your ferret outside, then you could bring some snow and pour it in your bathtub.
Do not let your ferret stay in the extreme cold for too long. They risk getting their fur all wet.
Should I provide my ferret with a home heater during cold nights?
During extremely cold nights, you should never think about adding a home heater in your ferret’s room. Well, I understand your efforts but as I have indicated above, ferrets do better in cold weather than warm climate.
Ensure that his room is not dumping at all. At the same time, if you have visible heating cables installed your ferret could chew them. Well, they also tend to explore a lot. As a result, your ferret can easily get burned by the heating radiators in your house.
Ensure that your ferret does not reach the radiators that could leave him burned. Also, consider concealing your heating cables, if that is what you are using.
A home heater will provide so much heat that your ferret might have heatstroke. This is a serious condition by the way, which could cost him his life. Therefore, even during winter, be careful not to make the room too warm for him.
What is the ideal temperature for a ferret’s room?
I have already mentioned that ferrets will live in cooler temperatures better than in a warm climate. However, I have not mentioned the suitable temperatures for a ferret. As I have previously indicated, ferrets are susceptible to overheating.
Now, the ferret’s body does not facilitate cooling by itself. I mean, a ferret cannot sweat through the massively thick coat. Also, unlike dogs, your ferret cannot pant to cool off. This means that if the environment has higher than required, your ferret is most likely to go on heatstroke.
Ferret housing should, therefore, be temperature regulated, especially during summer. Well, you might not need to do anything as it might not hurt your ferret even one bit.
Ferrets thrive in temperatures between 15 degrees Celsius and 21 degrees Celsius. When the temperature gets higher than 26 degrees, your ferret starts panting. He will lose his mobility or move quite slowly even when he should be playful.
Other symptoms that your ferret is overheating include vomiting, salivating, seizures, lethargy, and wet mouth and nose with mucus. You should act as quickly as you can to cool him down. If your ferret spends more time like this, he will eventually succumb to heatstroke. This is especially if the temperatures go beyond 30 degrees Celsius.
First aid for a ferret going in heatstroke
Once you notice any of the above-listed symptoms of a heat stroke, you will need to act fast. However, it is not advisable to rapidly lower his body temperature. It could make the symptoms and the condition of your fuzzy buddy worse.
Several methods can be used to calm your ferret down:
Dip a washcloth in the water and wipe your ferret’s body. Concentrate on the paws, mouth area and tail. There are the areas he is likely to lose heat fast from. Do this repeatedly as you steadily bring his body temperature down gradually. This is a useful first aid method for ferrets who are already in heatstroke.
Alternatively, you may use a basin of cool water. Only do this when your ferret is comfortable with playing with water. Also, if he seems to enjoy his monthly bathes, this could also be an ideal method to use on your ferret. Now, dip his legs in cool water and allow him to get comfortable. Then you can pour some water on his tail and let him play in the water.
You can also use ice blocks wrapped in towels in your ferret’s cage. If you notice that your ferret is getting hot, place this in his cage. The ice will melt on the towels making them wet and cool. Your ferret will use the towels to cool his body down. Besides, this will also keep his cage cool.
Ferrets are not too sensitive to cold. In fact, they thrive in cooler weather conditions than they do in a warmer climate. However, you should not let your ferret get too cold. It could lead to getting some of his body parts such as paws and ears numb. At the same time, do not install any heating systems in your ferret’s room.