4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Horribly inaccurate guide by "leading authority on ferrets",
By A Customer
This review is from: Complete Guide to Ferrets (Paperback)Written in the UK, this is not a book for anyone living in the US or anyone wanting to learn more about ferrets as pets. I'd rate this book lower simply for all the inaccurate and false information put forth by a "leading authority on ferrets" whose organization's stated motto is "Improving the ferret's lot through education." By any pet ferret (Mustela furo) owner's standards James McKay fails on both claims.
McKay, writing from a typically myopic European perspective, portrays ferrets here as little more than useful hunting tools with no real value in and of themselves. He dismisses the value of their as pets and gives the condescending impression that this is simply just another American novelty. He seems to contradicts himself by stating they are "friendly as any cat ever could be" in one place and then describing them vicious wild animals in another.
This may be because he never differentiates between ferrets in the US who have been bred docile for use as animal companions since ferreting rabbits was made federally illegal and those in the UK where the sport (if you can call it that) of ferreting is what they are used for. Often he mixes up various Mustela species (e.g. polecats, ermines, & black-footed ferrets) calling them all simply ferrets.
The Introduction and 1st chapter "Origins," including information on ferrets in the US and the black-footed ferret, are so factually flawed as to put his credibility as an expert on ferrets seriously in question. Unfortunately for those in the US printing bad information damages the hard educational efforts with informed research to debunk the many myths that exist about ferrets in this country today.
Since his concern is primarily with ferreting and not with any type of relationship, his suggestions for housing ferrets are aimed at outdoor hutches. His ignorance about keeping ferrets as indoor pets is illustrated by his suggestion to allow ferrets unsupervised free roam of the home. Although there is some mention as to being careful not to step on them, he gives lip-service to proper "ferret-proofing."
At first glance this book appears to be a comprehensive guide to all aspects about ferrets, but further reading provides little useful information among prodigious amounts of fluff. There is an extensive bibliography in the back, but the absence of foot-notes and the amount of misinformation tends to make me believe he has read little and understands less.
Barrons publishes two titles, Ferrets: Everything About Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Diseases, Behavior, and Breeding (Barron's Complete Pet Owner's Manuals) & Training Your Pet Ferret, that are both under 100 pages yet contain up-to-date information and excellent advice compared to the McKays 160 pages. I'd recommend new ferret owners to get both. Even those who might be drawn to Complete Guide to Ferrets [sic] due to it's claim of extensive information on all ferret issues and/or currently have ferrets will also find these to contain gems of obvious yet often overlooked information useful for you and your fuzzie.