Q: Help my ferret is lost outside! How do I find her? Will she survive on her own?
A: Unfortunately, only 8% of lost ferrets ever do return home on their own. Ferrets usually do not survive long outside because of predators, traffic and climate. If the ferret that is lost can not find their way home, it is lost forever, unless some miracle someone finds her and takes her. So be careful!
The international call service number for missing creatures is 20 0428 7466, so if you have lost or found a ferret or need to give one up, don’t hesitate to call.
Here are more tips for finding a lost ferret:
- First, check the house. They can get inside things they can get their head through-if you have a small ferret then a hole the size of a half dollar is big enough to get lost in. Check for holes in the walls, floors, doors; wherever they may have gone.
- Look inside closets, drawers, under dressers and other furniture, shelves, in clothesbaskets, under and inside refrigerators and other appliances. Check the inside of the cabinets at the highest level, sometimes they climb on clothes and end up on the top shelf or in your pocket. Check inside trash cans, even in the newspapers (you know ferrets ….).
- If the ferret is somewhere in the house, set out a cage with the door open. The smell of the cage mate can lead the lost ferret home. The smell of it alone should bring him out of hiding, but you should check these places anyways.
- A tired, hungry ferret will be seeking their home, so leave open a carrier with some bedding, as well as food and water next to your front and back doors.
- If you lost ferret away from home, contact Fres online immediately and tell them that you have lost or found a ferret. A lost pet is an emergency, so they act quickly and efficiently to get the lost pet home. There are hundreds of lost pet bulletin boards on the Internet, but they are the only full-service for lost animals.
- Then contact animal control, your local ferret shelter, humane society, any place that can accommodate a lost ferret if it is found. If you lose your ferret or know someone who has, please contact your local vets and the RSPCA, but also check with any prosperity ferrets in your area. They may have your ferret. They will not rehome the ferret until at least 10 days have passed, and you will not have a healthy ferret “put down”.
- Next Contact MPP. The Partnership maintains a list of missing animals (courtesy of the professional detectives of PET) and lost animals rescue workers (volunteers) who can come to your home to help try to locate a lost ferret using yard-to-yard search with detecting dogs. They can also put up posters, hand out flyers, and contact neighbors and witnesses in the area.
- Check Facebook listings. There are many sites facebook ferret pages like Abington Ferret Refuge, Lost & Found Pet pages, local sales, which are also good to help track down a missing pet. We also discovered that you can post on Craigslist, as of the February 3 update, in lost and found pets.
- For a small fee, put an ad in the Lost & Found parts of the community pages, saying that you have a lost ferret, being sure to include your contact information. It is usually best to run a lost pet ad for approximately 2 weeks. Some papers have free Lost & Found sections, so take advantage of this service.
- Print lost ferrets notices and drop them in any mailbox for 4 or 8 blocks in each direction. Put “Lost” on top of writing large enough to be read from a passing car. Look for signs or posters of a missing pet within a few blocks to ½ mile.
- Then put posters around, asking neighbors if they had seen her, and if they saw how the the ferret got lost and about where it was lost. Bring your photo of your ferret, or copy a picture of a ferret from a book. Take a picture or another ferret with you, because some people do not know what ferret looks like.
- FRES suggests that the owners approach all the neighbors in the area, door to door, for the best chance of finding a lost ferret. Your neighbors will hear you, even if the ferret is oblivious to the fact that you are looking for him. Most found ferrets are reported to Ferret Society by a neighbor, who was not aware that the ferret lived on the other side of the fence!
- If you live in an apartment: Tell the owner and the tenants that you are missing your ferret and if you hear a noise that sounds like a mouse (scratches, etc.), it might be a ferret.
- Stay alert and keep checking places where they can be trapped, such as garden sheds and fences. If the ferret is used to going for walks with you on a leash, check out the areas in which you have brought your ferret before. Ask permission to enter or sheds and garages of neighbors and ask neighbors to check their outbuildings for evidence your ferret got into one of them.
- Finally, lock your home while you’re looking for your pet. Criminals can see the lost pet as an opportunity to gain access to your home when you are outside and can also benefit from a lost pet for ransom / manipulation, so minimize these risks and protect yourself, your family and your other pets.
- If the ferret finally does show up..if have not already, attach a bell to the harness, it will be very handy if you ever should lose your ferret again, so can you locate the missing ferret by the sound of the bell.
Over the years I have saved a lot of ferrets, which I believe have been lost hunting, so be prepared before you leave and take the time to put the training in. If you are in the UK, google club ferrets with GB, who can get you in touch with Some rescue people in your area.
How far Will Lost Ferrets Travel?
Ferrets can travel a fair distance when lost, some even find a new owner or get picked up by someone else, and some seem to just disappear into thin air. However, this will depend on the population density in the area where you are (ferrets lost in the rural areas will travel further than one lost in New York).
Ferrets have been known to travel miles, but usually they try to find a close, safe place in the garage, patio, or barn. In one case, the police officer found a ferret that traveled a mile in three months.
Ferrets will go much further than this, if food is scarce, but if a series of burrows have many rabbits in the vicinity of where it was lost chances are it will stay nearby.
Ferret Proofing Your Home to Prevent Losses
Once I lost my own ferret and panicked when I could not find it. Within 5 minutes he found that my home lacked a bottom overhang on the kitchen cabinets had 3 / 4ths inch section that was open, somehow he squeezed up and I need to remove the woodwork to get him out.
If you just let your ferret run it will be difficult to trace. You might find it in small places you never knew existed, and if you sit on the couch cushions before checking you can seriously hurt or kill a ferret.
They can get lost or hurt easily. Your ferret will injure themselves and possibly die if you do not ferret-proof the places your ferret has access to. Ropes are unacceptable, as well as beach chairs, folding beds (ferrets can get stuck), plants, your ferret will dig into them, and also quite a few other things.
Make sure that the house / frame is sound with no weak points where he could chew the cables, and add additional bolts top and bottom on all doors, for small animals are surprisingly strong and can get out through extremely small spaces. Also check the roofing is intact, if there’s any weak point they will find it and will get out.
Ferrets Escaping their Harnesses
If you plan on taking a ferret outside, make sure they fit tightly in the correct harness because it’s easy for them to weasel their way out of it, and if your ferret should escape the chances are very slim that they would survive more than a week outside on their own.
We spent a fortune on a harness, and then one day my ferret escaped, while walking with my two dogs. I was stopped by a neighbor, a farmer, and asked if I knew someone who had lost the white ferret, I promply answered NO. To this day, I feel guilty about my answer, but I’m happy to know that someone found him and looked after him. I’ve heard of people keeping them as a pet, and there are groups who do ferret racing in local events which must be good for them to meet with there neighbors.
Can Lost Ferrets Survive Outside?
Ferrets are not good at directions and will probably get lost fast. Runaway ferrets will have a tough time, may die within a few days of starvation, so collars with ID tags are a must for every ferret that out of the house with its owner.
The chances of a lost ferret hits a lasting even more than a few months is minimal, according to the San Diego veterinarian Dr. Jeffrey Jenkins.
Today ferrets do not survive long in the wild, since they’ve lost much their instincts for hunting. Unless you find your ferret, or your ferret is to find a new owner, and soon ….. chances are it will not survive.
Ferrets are not in the wild but if the ferret was to get away and somehow manage to survive, their main diet will be based on hunted meat.