Ferret Friendly Hammock Advice

ferret hammock

Image Credit: Selbe 3

If there’s one sure thing about ferrets, it’s that they love to sleep and spend most of their lives doing it! Adult ferrets can sleep from anywhere between 15-20 hours a day whilst the youngsters are a bit more active. Considering how long they spend sleeping, having a comfortable bed for them is extremely important.

What are Ferret Hammocks?

They’re just like hammocks for people but on a smaller scale! The bed is suspended from the cage, keeping them off the ground. There are a few designs of ferret hammocks including pocket designs that allow the ferret to sleep on the outside or in a tunnel in the interior of the hammock which some ferrets prefer.

Why do Ferrets Love Hammocks?

There are a few theories as to why they love them:

  • A hammock puts a ferret into their favorite sleeping position, curled up into a ‘doughnut’
  • Keeping the ferret off a hard surface it reduces pressure on their joints
  • Ferrets are naturally clean and like to sleep away from their litter box and food.

What to Look for

Ferret Babies

Image Credit: Tambako The Jaguar

When you’re looking to purchase a hammock for your ferret, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that it is machine washable as to keep odor to a minimum
  • Washing the bedding every week or two is advisable.
  • There should be no loops in the fabric otherwise you risk your ferret getting a nail caught in the material.
  • Depending on what climate you live in, getting a lined, or double layered, hammock is a good idea for your ferrets comfort.
  • Also consider how the hammocks are hung up as they will need to be easy to remove for cleaning, something that easy to remove and reattach will make your life a lot easier! Some already come with hooks or clips. Whatever type is used, make sure that there is no way a ferret can get their foot caught in them.

So You Want A Pet Chinchilla

Gray Chinchilla

Image Credit: Cat19y/wikimedia.org

Chinchillas have become an increasingly popular pet choice in recent years. The delightful round-eared rodent definitely has cuteness as a selling feature, but there is more to caring for a chinchilla than their small rodent counterparts. Living up to 20 years, a chinchilla is a long -term pet choice with very specific care and environment instructions. The decision to add one to your family should not be taken lightly.

Chinchillas are highly active and playful rodents. A healthy adult weighs approximately 2 -4 pounds and grows to be 8 – 11 inches long, not including their fuzzy tail (which can add 4 – 6 inches). They are nocturnal creatures often referred to as crepuscular, a term indicating a notable increase in activity at both dawn and dusk. They are naturally very curious and may occasionally stay alert during the day (if something sparks their interest). For the most part, however, chinchillas are very sensitive about sleeping and do not adapt to daytime activities as well as other nocturnal creatures, such as the cat.

The basic feeding of a chinchilla has gotten much easier with their popularity. Chinchilla pellets and hay are available in almost any pet store. They do not bathe and actually, they avoid getting wet. Their fur is cleaned with chinchilla dust, and dust houses should be readily available for use in their cage.

Like other rodents, these animals have teeth that constantly grow, bringing up two crucial topics. If left unfiled, their teeth can grow up to 10 inches per year. Overgrown teeth can be very painful and interfere with a chinchilla’s ability to eat. Chew sticks or store bought chew toys should always be available to your pet. Otherwise, a chinchilla will try, with a very high success rate, to chew anything.

Their cage should not only be isolated from wires and spacious enough to accommodate activity (18x18x24 inch minimum for one pet), it should be considered “chinchilla proof.” A standard plastic hamster cage or home-made wooden cage is not a practical idea.

Chinchilla natural habitat

Chinchilla natural habitat

The chinchilla originates from South America. The mammal scan be commonly found along the Andes Mountains. For this reason, they do not tolerate heat well. It is more than comfort or preference, temperatures above 78 degrees Fahrenheit can cause heat stroke. An environment at or slightly below 72 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal. Taking into consideration the chinchilla’s small size in comparison to the predators of their natural environment, they are understandably timid. As small prey, their instinct is fear.

Chinchilla’s are often misunderstood. They are extremely playful fun creatures that thrive in routine out of cage playtime. Watching a chinchilla in action is a reliable source of pleasant entertainment. However fluffy and lovable they may look, chinchillas rarely cuddle or snuggle. Forming a close bond will take time and patience.


Chinchilla Breeding

Baby Chinchilla by Carlos Gracia

Image Credit: Carlos Gracia

Chinchillas are mid-sized rodents that are mostly found in the South American region (wikipedia). Naturally, they feature a variety of colors which can be black, white, violet and ebony colors (chinchillaparkplace.ca). Their habitats are known for their cold weather and low humidity.

Because of their friendly nature, chinchillas are mostly used as pets if well handled. Caution is to be taken when introducing children to them because if squeezed, they can bite back in retaliation. Adult females have a usually larger body frame than the males.

The Chinchillas have a life span of 20 years (chinchillafactssite.com) and a pregnancy of approximately 115 days. Usually, their newborns are ready to go once they are born. Because of a preferably better life span than other rodents and a pleasant smell, they are usually bred in large numbers. The breeding of female chinchillas have a maturity of 7-8 months. They are ready for breeding because at this stage, its high peak season for breeding. During the long gestation the female exhibit aggressive characteristics because they entirely isolate themselves from the male.

During mating, chinchillas of different sex are placed in different cages and their behavior is observed. The lesser they are hostile, the more they are transferred to other cages containing different sex for breeding. Taking chinchillas of different strains can increase chances of breeding a chinchilla that has poor traits from other chinchillas. It is estimated that chinchillas can mate three times a year and they are capable of producing up to 4 babies a maximum in a single litter. It is prudent to keep young female chinchillas from old males because the females are too aggressive and can bite off the male animal parts.

Chinchillas have a difficulty in birth mostly because many of them have a small pelvic that when giving birth, the baby is not able to pass through. Though recommendation of caesarian is necessary, it is pretty risky because of the proximity of the pelvic borne to the womb. Due to the complicated nature if delivery for chinchillas, they should be given maximum care.

The male chinchilla is very careful after mating since they clean their penis. Vets strongly recommend that the male chinchillas should have a check of its groin zone to observe whether there is a hair ring due to rubbing after they mate. Traces of hair if found around the penile region, are removed so that they don’t accumulate in the reproductive organ. It is important to note that if massive accumulation there will be severe pain, difficulty when passing out urine and eventual damage of the penis.

If there any hair fur or presence of hair around the groin region, it is recommended to apply the petroleum jelly to bring about a lubrication effect that does away the clogged fur and the ring cut carefully with scissors. The dust bath should be removed during delivery. Most births do occur usually in the morning and night hours. Because they are quick, the female experience intense pain as they wreath, stretch and wet their noses.

2 chinchillas

Image Credit: Jennofarc

The birth kits have their own placenta and the substance is eaten immediately they are released from the womb. The chinchilla should be given attention during birth but be careful as this would make them insecure leading to a visible attention because the contraction of the womb can hamper the release of the amniotic fluid resulting to a complicated and painful delivery.

In the vicious cycle of breeding chinchillas, they may be faced with health problems from parentage that are easily spread to the offspring genetically and it will cause more problems in subsequent chinchilla generations extinction being a major. When breeding, the pets make noise that is shrilling and a waxy crystal clear liquid that contains the semen. Finding this substance does not entirely mean that pregnancy has occurred. One should look out for the gestation and observe the characteristics of the female chinchilla i.e. more sleep.

Finally, breeding of chinchillas (Mutation Chinchilla Breeders Association) is a difficult and expensive venture to undertake because of their aggressive and delicate nature of delivery. With good cages and diet that includes supplements in case of shortage of milk from mother chinchilla the newborns can be sold at a good price once they are between 12-14 weeks of maturity.


Ferrets: The “Prankster” of Pets!

Ferret by Selbe 3

Image Credit: Selbe 3 (Flickr.com)

Once you’ve met a ferret, you’ll never forget them! These adorable animals are never-ending balls of energy and their antics can keep you laughing for hours on end! Whether they tip-toe along the back of your couch or slink alongside the furniture, when you succeed in catching them in the act of preparing to pounce on you or their latest toy, they seem to have springs for legs and not a bone in their body as they act surprised and catapult themselves into the air.

They are quirky, to say the least, not only in their movements, but in the wide variety of personalities they come with! Some ferrets are a bit shyer than others and may need time to adjust to their new human family (and a while longer to adjust to any other family pets). Others are outgoing to the point of seeming to perform from a seemingly never ending bag of tricks just to make you (and even themselves) laugh at their antics!

Hide Your Jewelry!

Ferrets love to play, hide and seek, not just with you but with your possessions, especially if it’s something shiny and small! If you can’t find that bracelet, necklace or other earring, chances are your ferret has it, safe and secure, somewhere under or in the furniture!

Personality Plus!

Some ferrets can, when properly introduced to the others, get along fine with larger pets in the household; some won’t. Dogs seem to be fine with playful ferrets; cats, not so much! If you have smaller pets, like mice, hamsters, chinchillas, lizards or birds, keep in mind that ferrets are carnivores and very capable hunters. So, no matter how friendly your ferret’s personality is, it might be best to keep the smaller members of your extended family safely locked up in their cages.

Proper Supervision!

As with any animal you decide to acquire as a pet, caution and supervision are the keystones to building a safe and healthy relationship. Ferrets, no matter how cute they may appear, are definitely not an exception to this rule and can inflict a very nasty bite! This is very important to remember, especially if you have young children and/or smaller pets. Never, ever leave a ferret free to run around unless you are there to keep an eye on them. They are still animals and will protect themselves if/when they feel threatened, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!


Want Ideas On Caring For Cats? Check Out This Article!

Black Cat

Image Credit: imageartifacts (Flickr.com)

Cats, like other pets, require a proper diet with the right amount of vitamins and nutrients. Kittens suffer when their owners do not follow proper dietary recommendations or give them the attention they deserve. Cats need to eat a balanced diet with proper vitamins and minerals, just like dogs and other companions do. Without these basic needs, you could have an unhappy and unhealthy pet. Read the suggestions in this article to learn how to best feed your furry friend.

Take Them To The Vet Yearly

In order to be sure your pet is healthy, take them to their veterinarian regularly. Most vets recommend yearly check-ups. If the cat requires certain immunizations, more exams are necessary. When the kitten seems to be acting abnormally, take it to the clinic right away.

Check-ups are an absolute must for any pet companion. Cats require special visits to the vet to prevent illness. The vet can check their overall health. Do your best to use the same practitioner for your pet’s entire life. This way, the doctor will be very familiar with your cat and its health status.

Make sure your kitten has routine check ups and vaccinations to ensure their long life and good health. Kittens need good medical care just like  children. Its best to bring them regularly for health checks to ensure nothing bad is going on. Your cat will be a valued member of your family, which means treating it just as you would other loved ones.

Health

Make sure you keep up on flea and tick medicine. A few drops monthly can be very effective. Fleas and ticks can cause illness in your pet, and using one of these medications is the best way to prevent that. Make sure to get a brand specifically designed for use on feline in order to keep your kitten safe.

Cats can get the same sorts of sickness domesticated pets get. You know your companion’s habits, and you should be able to tell when they’re not feeling well. You should have your vet check out your cat. The doctor can often rule out the possibility of serious conditions.

If your Cat Is An Outdoor Creature?

Cat

Image Credit: John Kittelsrud (Flickr.com)

If your cat is an outdoor pet, then you should ensure it wears a tag collar. If your pet gets lost during its time outdoors, a tag makes it easier to locate the cat. You have to be sure you have your pet’s name and number are written on the label.

Most kittens prefer to be mostly nocturnal. In other words, they’ll be up and about late into the nighttime. If your cats are keeping you awake into the middle of the night, close the door to your bedroom. Hopefully, you won’t be able to hear their sounds as they walk around.

It is not advisable to punish your cat if they make a mess in the area outside of the litter box. Maybe the improper box care on your part causes the mess, not the animal. If you attempt to treat your pet in a harsh way, you may cause fear and resentment–and more accidents!

Cat and Dogs

Do you own a dog and a cat? Then you know that your barking friend  love to eat cat`s food! Thus, you must keep kitten`s meal out of the dog’s reach. This will prevent the two from fighting over the water when the food dishes are empty.

Housing

Cats like to be up high. Your kitten will be truly happy if you provide a place for them to view their surroundings. If you can’t afford a cat tree, give the pet an empty rack of his own. The cat will especially enjoy it if you put a blanket on top.

Playtime

Image Credit: psyberartist (Flickr.com)

Image Credit: psyberartist (Flickr.com)

Play is something that all cats need to do. Playing is a very common activity shared by most animals. While a senior cat probably won’t be very rambunctious, the right type of accessories will get them interested. Make sure you play with your pet at least once a day.

Any chemicals that have phenol should be kept away from your companion. A lot of household cleaners have this in them, so you should read the labels before using them around your house. The smell from this chemical is disliked by animals. Also, when exposed to phenol for too long, it can cause issues with their liver.

If you decide to remove your cat`s claw, never allow it to go outside. The pet will have difficulty playing with other animals and may get hurt. An indoor cat can be declawed. However, you should still only remove the pet’s front claws. Don’t have the back claws removed, since cats don’t use them to scratch up your furniture.

Food & Diet

Make sure that your cat is eating dry food when possible. When kittens are young they are going to have to have wet food due to having small teeth. However, dry food is better for adult cat teeth. A picky cat might like dry and wet food mixed together.

Precautions to Prevent Health Issues

Avoid using phenol-containing chemicals if you have cats. Phenol is found in common products such as cleaners. Not only is the smell offensive to cats, but exposing them to this chemical for prolonged periods of time can lead to problems with their liver.

Collar

Cats are curious by nature, which can end up getting them into trouble. There are ways to make sure that their collar does not get stuck. Bands designed to release when sufficient force is applied (“breakaway” collars) are a good choice. This accessory can really be a life saver for your pet.

Make sure your cat has a collar if it goes outside. This can help if your pet becomes lost while wandering in the outdoors. Be sure the name of your furry friend and your phone number can be found on the label.

Keep a collar and tag on your cat. Cats are intelligent and will take whatever chance they can get to go outside. If your pet ever wanders off, a band with an i.d. tag makes it more likely that someone will bring him home.

Spaying or neutering your animal is one of the most responsible actions you can take in your career as a pet parent. Cats’ reputation for curiosity is well-deserved. Even your indoor cat will always look for ways to go outside. Even a short visit outside can lead to unwanted kittens down the road. Each year, thousands of stray kittens lose their lives.

Pets can be pricy to care for and cats aren’t an exception. It’s so much work, it rivals raising a human child! Now that you read this article, you know what it takes to good care for your feline. And when you care for your cat properly, you’ll find that your cute companion is happier and you can enjoy your cat that much more.