Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Foster Friend - Tanuki the Ferret

Well, there's a first time for everything. I've never fostered a ferret before, and quite frankly I never thought I'd get the chance! Our shelter's normal policy is to send ferrets to rescues, where they will be taken care of by educated staff and paired with other ferrets. They do much better in pairs.

When I found out that the shelter had gotten in a new ferret, I asked if I could give fostering a try. I've had Tanuki for just over a week now. She's doing very well! She's a three year old sable ferret that was found outdoors. Fortunately, she is quite sociable. She only nips playfully when I chase her around. Chasing is her favorite game. As you can see from her photo she is quite flexible, albeit very clumsy.

A few things I have found interesting about ferrets: I was expecting them to be more like rats than any other animal I have had in my care, but they are really much more like puppies that can be litter trained. Tanuki doesn't have the dexterity of rats, although she is fairly intelligent. Not having the use of thumbs like rats makes a huge difference in what she is able to do. She has a lot more energy than the rats I've had, and she can get into a lot more trouble. Ferret proofing is quite the task. The smell was pretty bad at first, but I'm getting used to it. I hardly even notice it anymore, except for when I am holding her. This may have a little something to do with her change in diet, but I think it mainly has to do with me becoming more accustomed to her scent.

All in all, this is not a pet I would choose for myself unless it was the only type of animal I wanted in my house. I think it would be fun to have a pair of ferrets if I didn't already have the rabbits who roam freely in our downstairs.

Here's hoping she finds a good home soon!


  1. Fostering is way cool. It's a tremendous thing that you do for these creatures who need special help.

    I've never had a Ferret but people who do have them seem to love them. We have some active ferret owner groups around here who have fun and games in the parks with their beasties.

    Marianne Hopkins-Calliope Creations
    I blog on Artfire

  2. That's great that there are ferret groups in your area! There are only two recognized ferret rescues in the state of Wisconsin. We could be doing a much better job with education and rescue in my state.

    I'll definitely have to check out your blog, Marianne! Thanks for reading!