Q - I am a middle school teacher and am interested in getting classroom pet. My students have requested a ferret, but I have read they might not be the best choice for a classroom. I am a resource teacher and have no more than 5 students in my room at a time.
Please let me know your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions on adopting a ferret for our classroom.
A - Ferrets have been kept in classrooms settings but in my opinion that is not an ideal place for them. I will list the reasons why, if they do not apply to you and your class please get back to me telling me why they do not apply.
1. Ferrets need a minimum of 4 hours out of the cage time, our shelter ferrets are getting 6 to 8 hours in 8 separate ferret proofed enrichment rooms. They have high energy and need a great amount of stimulation.
2. Ferrets can get through a 1" space, they can get under doors, out though areas pipes come in and out of a wall, generally bathrooms are the most ferret unfriendly rooms.
3. Ferrets eat erasers, latex, rubber bands, crayons, plants, depending on the class; you are going to have many of these items at their disposal. When they chew/eat them they end up with intestinal blockage, causing an emergency run to the vet.
4. Ferrets do not make much noise so can be under foot before you know it and are stepped on causing injury or death to the ferret.
5. Ferrets can be litter trained but their world is their toilet. They are perpetual 2 yr olds that never grow up, if they are at play and have to potty they will stop where they are, deposit their waste and move on.
6. Ferrets climb anything and everything, if there are book cases and shelving they will use them to get up, if the books are in the way they will clean the shelf off to make it so they can get to where they want to go. I have attached 3 pictures of an example of climbing, this ferret was in the room with me so I grabbed the camera to document her climb.
7. Ferrets require vaccines, and regular vet visits, not all veterinarians care for or know how to care for ferrets. We drive an hour and half one way to see a ferret knowledgeable vet . Depending on where you are located will depend on the availability of a ferret knowledgeable vet.
I hope this helps you decide what is best for the class, children do love ferrets but they are children and mixing 2 legged furless kids with 4 legged 4 fur kids is going to be a handful for you.
Back to the main Q & A page