FERRETS AND CHILDREN
We do not recommend ferrets for homes with children under six years old; sometimes not with children under eleven, because the ferret is a delicate animal that can be easily injured and crippled for life. Their back is particularly vulnerable to injury from an uncontrolled squeeze, hug or by improperly picking up or holding the ferret. The ferret is not a “cute, cuddly, stuffed toy.” They can not take the rough handling that all too often is doled out by a young child. Even if your child has been taught how to handle small animals with care, you can’t be sure that all of your child’s friends are similarly civilized.
Infants are a particular problem. Some ferrets seem to be attracted by the high pitched cries of babies. Others, always curious, will investigate all new furnishings, sounds and smells. A infant tends to grasp anything that is near it and attempt to “suck” on it. The pain of the grasp, and being drawn to the mouth will terrorize the small animal. The infant is likely to be scratched and even bitten by the frightened ferret as he tries to get away. Another possibility is your ferret trying to drag the infant to his “den” to “protect it”. Regardless of the reason, the result is an injured child and another story to add to the myth of the ferret as a vicious attacker of infants and children.
No one who is unable to protect themselves should ever be left alone with any animal -dog, cat, parrot, anything – at any time. It’s only common sense.
Topics: the ferret manual