Do Ferrets Make a Good Pet?


Ferrets are great animals that are also incredibly active and fun to watch. Ferrets can make wonderful companion animals, but anyone who has owned one before will tell you that they are not for everyone. Because ferrets have more unique requirements than cats and dogs do, the overall cost of caring for a ferret during its lifetime is significantly higher. Ferrets are susceptible to a wide variety of diseases because of the way they are often bred. They are also a lot more active and naughtier than cats and dogs, and some people just aren’t able to keep up with the continual supervision that’s required during playtime because of how active and naughty they are. 

Ferrets are not suitable as pets for everyone, but the appropriate owner may turn them into wonderful companions. They are affectionate and form bonds with their owners, they remain silent for a significant portion of the day, and ferrets are among the most playful of all domesticated animals. On the other hand, it appears that they have acquired a terrible reputation that is, for the most part, unwarranted. Find out more information on how ferrets can make wonderful pets if you are thinking about getting one as a pet.


What is a Ferret?

Physically, ferrets and cats are quite comparable to one another. Hobs, which are male ferrets, can grow to be up to 4 pounds (around 2 kilograms) in weight. The female, sometimes known as a Jill, can grow to be up to 1.2 kilograms (2.5 pounds) in weight. There is a wide variety of coloration found in ferrets, however, the most common varieties include chocolate, sable, cinnamon, and white with pink eyes. It’s not uncommon to have white patches on the throat or toes. 

The color and density of a ferret’s coat will change with the seasons; during the winter, it will become darker and denser, and during the summer, it will become lighter and shed. Ferrets typically achieve their full size between the ages of 5 and 6 months and are considered adults at one year of age. The average human life span is between six and ten years, but many people only live for a shorter amount of time due to disease or accidents.

If the gonads of a ferret are removed while it is young, the animal will have less of the musty odor that is typical of the family of mammals to which it belongs. In most cases, the removal of the anal scent glands takes place at the same moment. Before they are sold to customers, many ferrets have these surgical procedures performed on them. If this is not the case, it is essential to have a female ferret spayed before she experiences her first heat cycle to avoid potentially lethal outcomes such as the development of hyperadrenocorticism. 

As a result of their higher rate of red blood cell formation, the spleens of many adult ferrets are quite enormous. The presence of an enlarged spleen in a ferret is typically not caused for concern until the animal exhibits symptoms of sickness; however, you should have your ferret examined by a veterinarian just to be safe.

Things to Consider Before Acquiring a Ferret

They can make wonderful companion animals, and as a result of their growing popularity, they are now stocked in pet stores throughout the United States. In a great number of jurisdictions, the laws that made them unlawful in the past have been overturned since then. However, in some regions, it is still against the law to possess them. 

Ferrets have been kept as pets for almost 2,000 years, even though their popularity in the United States has only just lately increased. Nobody knows when or where the domestication of these animals first started. Despite this, there is evidence to suggest that ferrets were utilized in the Roman Empire for hunting during that period. 

Ferrets are not like other types of pets, even though they have been tamed for a long time. Before adopting them, it is vital to have a solid understanding of their care and disposition.

The Legal System Is Complicated

The public’s acceptance of ferrets has never been on par with that of cats and dogs. The regulations regarding the ownership of ferrets as pets are murky and inconsistent from state to state. It is imperative that you become familiar with the legal requirements in your region before you adopt a ferret. It is not always safe to assume that having a ferret in your possession is not against the law. 

Ferrets, for instance, are not permitted in any way in the states of California and Hawaii. In California, no explanation is provided; however, in Hawaii, the possible spread of rabies as well as harm to native bird species is given as a justification. Also, it is being suspected that Hawaii is concerned about what occurred in New Zealand when domestic ferrets that were let out were killing native birds. 

In several cities, like Washington, District of Columbia, ferrets are not allowed to be kept as pets. Additionally, their possession is prohibited on the majority of military sites. In some other regions, the laws are somewhat difficult to understand. Ferrets are allowed to be kept as pets in Illinois and Georgia but breeding them requires a special license. It is theoretically against the law to own a ferret in the city of Dallas, Texas. 

On the other hand, regulations concerning the vaccination of ferrets have been created, which has the effect of rendering the law somewhat ambiguous. In most of the state of Wisconsin, ferrets are not permitted, but the specific restrictions differ depending on where you are. It is completely against the law for them to be within the city limits of several locations.

They Might Smell

Like other animals, ferrets produce a peculiar odor. In the wild, they can more effectively mark their territory more and attract potential mates by using this odor. Unfortunately, the human nose detects a strong musty quality in this aroma, and a large number of people find it to be disagreeable. 

The anal gland of the ferret is responsible for contributing to some of this odor. This gland is removed from many domestic ferrets, most commonly before they are placed on the market as pets. However, they also produce the odor from a variety of different glands located throughout their bodies, therefore a ferret can’t be odorless. 

There are a lot of things you can do to get rid of that odor. Grooming your ferret regularly can help prevent the scent from becoming accumulated and producing difficulties. If their ears are not cleaned regularly, for instance, they are more likely to develop a pungent odor. Their oils are quickly transmitted to any surface that the ferret has had touch with after coming into proximity to that surface.

 It is essential to maintain a consistent cleaning schedule for their enclosure. If at all possible, every one of the cage’s hard surfaces ought to be wiped out daily. its bedding ought to be changed every few days to prevent it from retaining its musty odor in any way.

Ferrets Are Social Animals

This is not the kind of pet that can be confined to a kennel for the better part of the day. They have a remarkable capacity for social interaction. In the wild, many different kinds of ferrets can be seen living in groups called colonies. Even if you buy more than one ferret, your ferret will still depend on you to fulfill the role of the colony while it is kept in captivity. As a result of the very sociable character of ferrets, many individuals choose to adopt at least two of them at once. 

This is not required, particularly if you have sufficient time to engage in social interaction with your ferret. On the other hand, if you do not have that type of time, it is recommended that you adopt two ferrets at once. Even though ferrets are social animals, this does not necessarily mean that they get along well with one another all of the time. The majority of the time, ferrets will not get along with one another. Because of this, it is essential to bring together two ferrets in a measured and thoughtful manner.

They Require Exercise

More than the majority of household pets, ferrets require regular physical activity. They are capable of having a very high activity level and spending the majority of their day running around. They are not suitable as quiet pets to keep inside.

 The majority of a ferret’s time is spent climbing, jumping, running, and hiding. It is not out of the ordinary for them to sneak under the sofa and surprise you when you pass by there. They nearly never fail to exhibit a spirit of cheerfulness. 

There are a lot of owners that enjoy watching their antics, but there are also a lot of owners who find their continual movement to be a bit tiring. This is not the animal for you if you want a warm and fuzzy companion who will curl up on the couch with you. This also means that you will need to schedule a significant amount of time outside of the cage. If you don’t let it, your ferret won’t get very much exercise. It is best if your ferret is free to roam around the house whenever you are around, especially if you have a regular work schedule.

Because they actually can’t be kept in a cage for so long, these animals are typically best suited for households in which there is always at least one member of the family present. However, when they are free to roam, they must be constantly supervised because their active and exploratory nature makes them prone to getting into things.

They Frequently Chew

Ferrets are more likely to chew than cats and dogs because of their long jaws. They will give practically everything in their environment a go when it comes to chewing on it. They have very active mouths and will explore everything with their teeth, including you. They are an extremely mouthy species.

Ferrets are notorious for biting and sometimes chewing on their owners, which is a common behavior for the species. In addition to this, they will gnaw on the legs of furniture, clothing, blankets, and pretty much anything else they can get their mouths on. 

Unfortunately, providing toys to gnaw on isn’t going to assist all that much. This tendency frequently results in ferrets experiencing health issues because they are more prone to consume something that they should not. When harmful substances are ingested, it is often necessary to undergo surgery to have them removed. 

They must be supervised so that they do not consume anything that is not fit for human consumption. If you decide to get a ferret, it is imperative that you ferret-proof your home. Because ferrets are very resourceful, this is typically a bit more complicated than keeping it safe for other types of pets.

Ferrets Need Regular Veterinary Care

Ferrets, like cats and dogs, need to visit the veterinarian regularly. If it receives the proper care throughout its life, a ferret has the potential to live until the age of ten. This was once the average amount of time that most ferrets kept as pets lived. However, as time went on, their lives got shorter and shorter. These days, the average lifespan for one of them is somewhere between 5 and 6 years. This reduction is due to several factors, including poor breeding practices. However, there are a lot of things that you can do to make sure that your ferret lives as long as possible, and one of those things is to make sure that it gets the proper veterinary treatment. 

A checkup at the veterinarian once a year is recommended for the majority of ferrets. Ferrets aren’t regarded as “normal” pets in many parts of the country, so you should look for someone who has expertise working with them. You may need to find an exotic animal vet. The provision of these routine exams raises the possibility of identifying ailments at an earlier stage. Because older ferrets are more likely to have health concerns, some veterinarians recommend taking them in for checkups once every six months.

Ferrets Are Carnivores

Ferrets are carnivores that consume only meat. In the wild, they will not consume anything that comes from a plant. They should also be provided with a comprehensive meat diet while they are in captivity. The easiest way to accomplish this is by feeding your ferret specially-made food. Back in the day, when these animals were not nearly as common as they are today, this particular food wasn’t manufactured. This is one of the primary reasons why so many people feed their ferret cat food. 

However, these days you can get a variety of ferret diets in pet stores as well as online. Because it is designed for ferrets uniquely, rather than feeding your pet cat food, we strongly suggest going with one of these alternatives. You need to make sure that the meal you offer them is of a high grade and that it contains a lot of meat. Verify by looking at the list of ingredients that the majority of the dish is composed of meat.

Fleas Can Infest Ferrets

Even though ferrets spend the majority of their time indoors, they are just as susceptible to fleas and heartworms as other types of domesticated animals. However, it can be challenging to get preventative medication for fleas and heartworms that is suitable for ferrets. 

In many instances, it will be necessary for you to consult with a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about ferrets. They probably know of an alternative that is safe for ferrets and can recommend it to you as a treatment. Do not immediately go out and buy something that is advertised as being suitable for dogs or cats. These materials are frequently hazardous to the health of ferrets.

They Must Get Vaccines

Vaccinations are necessary for the majority of domesticated animals, including ferrets. Getting your ferret vaccinated against rabies is a legal requirement in many jurisdictions, if not the only one. Ferrets, on the other hand, are susceptible to a variety of different ailments, some of which can be prevented by immunizations. 

Your veterinarian may suggest that you vaccinate your ferret against canine distemper. Although this condition most frequently affects dogs, ferrets are also vulnerable to it and should be vaccinated just like their canine counterparts. 

In most cases, this is carried out on a schedule that is analogous to that of puppies. It is expected that your ferret will require approximately three distinct immunizations spaced out over a few months. They may require multiple trips to the veterinarian throughout their first year, particularly if they require additional immunizations.

Hairballs Can Occur in Ferrets

Ferrets clean themselves in a manner that is analogous to that of cats. When they do this, they have the potential to consume a significant amount of hair. This, too, can result in the formation of hairballs, just as it does in cats. In most cases, they can either digest the hair or cough it up again. However, it does have the potential to cause obstructions at times. Ferrets have a higher risk of suffering from adrenal issues, which can accelerate the rate at which they shed their fur. Because they will eat all of the extra hair as a result of this, it may cause them to have an increased number of difficulties with hairballs.


Reasons Why Ferrets Make a Good Pet

Ferrets Are Adorable

Ferrets are irrefutably cute because they have lovely faces and the eyes of mischievous children. They are not very big, but they have the potential to be a loving companion for your family for a long time. The average lifespan of a ferret is between six and eight years, but some captive ferrets have been known to live as long as 12 years. 

Female ferrets often reach a length of 13 to 14 inches and weigh anywhere from three-quarters to two and a half pounds. Their length ranges from 13 to 14 inches. Male ferrets are often slightly larger. They usually reach a length of 15 to 16 inches and weigh between two and three and a half pounds once they have been neutered. If they are not neutered, they have the potential to become larger.

Ferrets Are Curious and Playful

They will gladly play with ferret toys, tubes, and tunnels and will keep you entertained with their antics for an indefinite amount of time. The simple act of observing ferrets engage in playful behavior for its own sake is sure to put a smile on your face. It has been shown that the happiness and devotion that come from owning a pet are beneficial to the owner’s physical health.

Ferrets Are Social, Companionable, and Loving

It is frequently suggested that owners keep more than one pet ferret in their homes. If you have two or more ferrets, they will engage with one another and play together, sometimes with reckless abandon. This will boost the entertainment factor for both the owner and the ferrets. Even if they have the opportunity to interact with other ferrets, they will still seek attention from their owners.

Ferrets are Wise Animals

Some ferret owners are astounded by their pets’ ability to figure out solutions to challenges. Ferrets have a strong will and will work at something with an astonishing level of persistence to figure it out. They find enjoyment in challenging games and puzzles, and it is recommended that you supply kids with toys or activities that are focused on puzzles.

Ferrets Are Silent

Ferrets are capable of making sounds, and they sometimes do make them, but for the most part, they are very quiet. The only time you will hear them make a significant amount of noise is if they are hurt or scared. They spend a significant chunk of the day dozing off as well.

Feeding Ferrets Is Simple

This is especially true at present because there is greater availability of a wide selection of foods for ferrets that are of a high grade. There are a variety of different pet stores and internet retailers that sell pre-made ferret chow. Even while you can give them a wide variety of meals, the best way to ensure that they are getting the nourishment they need is to utilize high-quality pet food as the foundation of their diet.

Ferrets Have Individual Characteristics

Each ferret is one of a kind and possesses its distinct personality. Each one has its unique personality; some are self-sufficient, while others are very lovable. If you are considering keeping a ferret as a pet, it is recommended that you first spend some time getting to know other people’s ferrets as pets. You’ll get a good idea of what it’s like to own a ferret by seeing how their personalities differ from one another and seeing how different each one is.



Ferrets are the same as many other types of pets. They need regular exercise, food of excellent quality, and checkups at the veterinarian. They have a lot of characteristics both from cats and dogs, although most people don’t recognize them. It is not unusual for potential owners to believe that they are low-maintenance and can be kept in a cage for the majority of the time due to their tiny size. 

Getting your hands on a ferret is not child’s play. It is imperative that you have a comprehensive understanding of the care that is provided for these creatures. Otherwise, you could run the risk of receiving more than what you were expecting.