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Ferrets/Ferret Weight Issues


Hi Janet! I have two ferrets, both male. One is three, and the other is about three and a half. I've had them both about two years, they were together in the store I purchased them from. The slightly younger one is underweight. I can feel all his ribs and hip bones. When I went last week for a little emergency, the vet noted that he was skinny. He eats multiple times a day and has normal poops. He is more active than my other ferret, who I'd consider quite plump, he wakes up more often. Do you think that is the only thing that is causing him to be skinnier? I feed Marshalls chicken ferret diet, and I do supplement him with FerretVite, though I'm sure I could be doing it more often (currently maybe 1-2 times a week) When he was at the vet, they did an xray, specifically looking for internal tumors, and said he was completely clean from them. (He had one on his toe and it ended up having to be amputated). He does not like most treats I've tried, he will not eat boiled chicken or other cooked meats, or the Duk Soup mixture. FerretVite and those chicken dental sticks are the ONLY thing he will eat. Oh and sometimes Cheerios, but I RARELY give them, maybe one single cheerio a month, if that. My common sense is telling me, that's just how he is, but I thought a second opinion can't hurt.

Dear Kelly,

You are doing just fine (good job).  I do have a couple of suggestions though.  You should be giving the vitamins every day.  Be careful to follow the dosage directions though.  An overdose can cause diarrhea and you certainly don't want that.  Next, I've had two ferrets with the same weight problem so I believe I can help you with that.  It takes a little work but, it did wonders for my little guys.  Continue to keep your ferret bowl filled with their regular food.  But, for your skinny little guy - every morning put about one full tablespoon (no more) of Gerber Junior chicken or ham & gravy baby food on a separate dish for him.  You can warm it or let it warm to room temp on it's own.  If you warm it be certain to stir it around with your finger really well because it does get HOT SPOTS in it.  My skinny little fuzzie started gaining weight right away on this and he is now pushing 9 years old.  Don't let him refuse his other food.  In other words, as soon as he finishes what he wants of the baby food, take it away so he only has access to the regular ferret food.

Please let me know how he does as I am concerned for both of you.  

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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