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Ferrets/sick ferret?


Hello my name is joe.. and I just bought 2 ferrets the family said they were about 2 1/2 years old.. the female is energetic and likes to explore but the male is kinda bony and lazy.. he eats fine and poops fine and when I take him out of the cage and let him explore he does for a little while but seems kinda slow when moving.. but after a little while of exploring he loses intrest and goes back to his cage and sleeps.. if I have him in my lap or hes in the cage he just sits there and other than sleeping together the two ferrets dont interact much I know that some ferrets are just naturally un playfull but the boniness worries me just wondering if hes naturally lazy or he sick?

Hello Joe,

I'm glad you wrote.  There a couple of things you can do for your skinny little friend.  First of all and most important, you're furry little friends need vitamins.  Ferret vitamins have special nutrients in them that their regular ferret food does not contain.  I use FerretVite but any quality ferret vitamin will do.  Make sure you follow dosage directions - an overdose will cause diarrhea and you certainly do not want that.

Another thing that has worked very well for me (to promote weight gain) is serving a teaspoon of baby food along-side the little guys regular diet.  I use Gerber Junior Ham & Gravy.  If you can't find that, try chicken baby food.  Each morning I place a portion of regular ferret food, a spoon of baby food, and the vitamins on a small plate (away from the other ferrets).  It only takes a week or so to see results.  Do not worry if your little guy gets hooked on this special diet.  I've had one ferret on it for 3 years.  He is now pushing 8 years old and in excellent health.

If there are no health issues with your little guy, after a few days, he should become more interested in the world around him.  Continue to watch the ferret bon bons, urine should be clear and yellow.  Also look for runny nose or wheezing.  Toss an old soft T-shirt into the cage.  They love to snuggle in them.  No treats; at least for now, unless it's a few slivers of plain boiled chicken.

Please keep me posted, Joe.  I'm here to help.

Warm Regards,


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Janet Russek


I can answer questions re: Feeding(keeping that body weight up) General Care, Safety, Behavior, Best Cages, Proper Toys, Dangers to Ferrets (ferret proofing your home), Play Area/Room Suggestions.


I've raised ferrets very successfully for approximately twelve years. I usually kept three at a time. I presently have one. I've tried a variety of cages, habitats, toys, treats.

Highschool grad with some college.

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