Local woman says ferret is like ‘kitten and puppy rolled into one’

PHOTO SUBMITTED / Ann McManus (from left) holds pet ferrets Bonnie and Clyde, and Irene Sparks holds Gizmo and Ratman. McManus says ferrets make great pets, combining the attributes of a puppy and a kitten "rolled into one."

PHOTO SUBMITTED / Ann McManus (from left) holds pet ferrets Bonnie and Clyde, and Irene Sparks holds Gizmo and Ratman. McManus says ferrets make great pets, combining the attributes of a puppy and a kitten “rolled into one.”

A dog or a cat may be the pet of choice for most area residents, but for Ann McManus, a ferret is the perfect companion animal.

“A ferret is like a kitten and a puppy rolled into one,” says the Brookhaven resident who became interested in ferrets as a hobby about a decade ago.

“They’re really wonderful creatures, but they’ve been so mistreated,” McManus says. “Many people think they are no more than rats, which is certainly not true. They are wonderful house pets.”

McManus explains that ferrets, which are cousins to the mink, can be easily house trained like a cat or a puppy and will use cat litter, puppy pads or newspapers.

“They love to play with toys just like kittens and puppies,” she says, adding that ferrets’ naturally upturned mouth makes them appear to be smiling.

“They always make me smile,” she says. Ferrets are playful, she says, but when they tire of playing “they snuggle together like babies and sleep for hours. They’re affectionate and bond totally.”

McManus, who currently has two older ferrets, has rescued them over the years, once had 17 at a time “and loved them all.

“I’ve adopted and cared for these precious little guys for almost 10 years and have grown to absolutely love them.”

She recommends anyone considering a ferret as a pet learn more first. “Many people don’t know a lot about ferrets, and they should research them before getting one, just like any other animal. ”

The small mammals are fragile, she explains, and they weigh between one and five pounds when fully grown. Ferrets are not rodents, but instead are members of the weasel family and live around six to 10 years.

McManus and her friend, Irene Sparks, whom she met through their shared love for ferrets, are excited to see interest in the pets is growing nationwide.

“Now for the first time, there is a National Ferret Day,” McManus says. The April 2 holiday has been observed by ferret lovers for years, but in 2014, it was officially recognized.

More information about ferrets can be found at the American Ferret Association website at www.ferret.org. Anyone interested in learning more about the pets or who knows about a ferret in need of rescue also can contact McManus at 601-631-4943.

 

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