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How to Look After a Pet Ferret: Beginner Guide for New Keeper

keeping pet ferrets

Ferrets are very playful animals who love to play with their owners and other pets. They like to hide in places where humans cannot see them. This makes them great escape artists because you’ve no idea where your pet ferret has gone!

They also enjoy playing games such as tug-of-war, chase, and hide-and-seek. These games help keep your ferret active and healthy. Ferrets are social animals that need the company of others and are usually kept in pairs. 

Ferrets are known to be friendly and affectionate towards people. They are usually well behaved and easy to train. Their personalities vary from person to person. Some ferrets may be shy and quiet while others are outgoing and adventurous.

If you do decide to add a new ferret to your family, there are some things you should know about this particular breed before bringing him home.

In this article you will learn show

What is a ferret? 

A ferret is a small domesticated mammal that belongs to the weasel family. They are native to North America and have been around for hundreds of years.

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The name “ferret” is derived from the Latin furittus, meaning “little thief”, a likely reference to the common ferret penchant for secreting away small items. (wikipedia.org) Ferrets are small animals that have short legs and long bodies with bushy tails. The average weight of a male ferret is about 3 pounds, a female 2 pounds. Ferrets have little to no predators and they are not classified as either wild or domesticated animals, but instead fall under the category ‘miscellaneous.’

They have an average length of 51 cm (20 in), including a 13 cm (5.1 in) tail, weigh about between 0.7 and 2.0 kg (1.5 and 4.4 lb), and have a natural lifespan of 7 to 10 years. Ferrets are sexually dimorphic predators, with males being substantially larger than females. (wikipedia.org) 

What colours are ferrets?

There is only one “breed” of ferret – Mustela putorius, but they come in many colours and patterns with sable being the most common and cinnamon the rarest. 

There are eight basic ferret coloursAlbino, Black, Black Sable, Champagne, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Dark-Eyed White and Sable.

There are also different markings and patterns on these ferrets, depending on their coat type. Some typical markings include spots, stripes, and patches.

Black ferrets are more popular than white ones because they look much cuter. However, if you prefer a white ferret, then go ahead and choose one. It all depends on what looks good to you.

How long do ferrets live?

Ferrets live between six and ten years in captivity. In the wild, they will live up to 15 years. Like dogs, ferrets can get sick and die at any age. However, if you take care of your ferret properly, he should live a long life.

The lifespan of ferrets varies according to several factors, including diet, health, environment, and genetics. For example, a ferret that eats a proper diet and lives in an ideal environment will live longer than one whose diet consists of junk food and does not receive enough exercise.

How big are ferrets?

Ferrets are smaller than cats and larger than rabbits. They measure approximately 12 inches from head to tail and weigh anywhere from 1 pound to 4 pounds.

How long does it take for a ferret to grow to an adult?

It takes ferrets about two months to reach adulthood. This means that by the time they are four months old, they will be fully grown. At this point, they will begin to mature physically and mentally.

Ferret Behaviour and Temperament

What personalities do ferrets have?

Ferrets have a lot of different personalities. Some ferrets are very adventurous and love to explore, while other ferrets prefer to stay in the same spot all day long.

What are normal behaviours for ferrets?

Ferrets spend most of their day sleeping, and they wake up to play, poop and eat and drink fresh water. They can be trained to use their litter box for bathroom purposes like cats do.

Why do ferrets chew everything?

Ferrets chew everything because they need to explore. They also like chewing on things because it feels good on their teeth and gums.

What should I do if my ferret chews something I don’t want them to chew?

If your ferret chews something you don’t allow, then find a way to replace it with an appropriate toy. 

How do I stop my ferret from chewing?

You can try putting some chew toys into their cage so they have something else to chew on. 

Housing your ferret

Can you keep ferrets outside?

Many ferret lovers enjoy the convenience of an outdoor enclosure for their pets, but you should be aware that it can pose a serious threat to your ferrets. Outdoor enclosures are not always predator-proof, meaning they are vulnerable to attacks by other animals.

Ferrets can escape easily from an outdoor enclosure and may become lost or injured outside the home. Therefore, if you choose to keep your ferrets in an outdoor enclosure, it is vital that you take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

What size should an outdoor ferret enclosure be?

A ferret enclosure should be a minimum of 4’x4′. The size can always be expanded later if need be, allowing for more freedom and space in the enclosure.

Can you keep your ferret indoors?

Ferrets are naturally active at dawn and dusk animals, so this will either be great, or it may disturb you. An indoor ferret cage will need to be kept immaculately clean and large enough to run around and exercise.

How much space do indoor ferrets need?

The size of the cage will depend on how much space you have available. Ferrets are happy to live in a roomy cage at least 2x2x3 feet, but it’s not uncommon for their cages to be 4x4x5 feet or more.

How much daylight do ferrets need?

Ferrets are not nocturnal animals, so they do need to see daylight during the daytime hours. Ferret cages should be situated in a room with plenty of windows and natural light. Important: If you do not have a room with lots of windows, then it is best to purchase artificial light that mimics natural daylight.

Do ferrets sleep well at night?

Yes, ferrets sleep soundly throughout the night. In fact, they often snore!

How do I make sure my ferret sleeps well?

Make sure your ferret gets plenty of restful sleep every day. Provide a safe place where your ferret can hide during the day as they will spend up to 18-20 hours asleep! Ferrets are crepuscular animals, which means they sleep during the day and then become active in the evening or early morning.

ferrets make great pets
Ferrets make great pets

Creating the right environment for your ferrets

What to put in your ferret’s enclosure

Your ferret needs a variety of different objects to play with and chew on. These include:

  • Toys
  • Hammock
  • Litter box
  • Food bowls
  • Water bottles
  • Bedding

There are many places online and offline where you can buy ferret supplies. 

How big should your ferret’s cage be?

Ideally, your ferret’s cage should be large enough for them to move around freely and allow them to play, run around and exercise. It should also be large enough to provide adequate shelter from the elements. A good rule of thumb is to give your ferret about 3 square feet per ferret. This allows for movement around the cage and gives them a comfortable amount of space to stretch out and relax.

Hazards around the home and garden

One of the most common hazards to ferrets is electrical wires. Ferrets love to chew on anything and everything, so they will always be looking for something new in their environment. When a ferret chews on a wire, they can get electrocuted and die. This is why it’s important to keep any wires out of the ferrets’ reach.

Ferrets also like to play, and they will do this by jumping on things. Anything light or fragile (such as a lamp) should be put out of the way.

Ferrets are inquisitive animals that will often chew on things to find out what they’re made of. This can lead them to consume materials like cardboard, insulation, and paper products. When these materials are ingested, they can cause intestinal blockages.

Keeping your ferrets clean

It’s important to keep your ferret’s cage clean because it helps prevent diseases and parasites. Ferrets shed hair all over the place, and if left unchecked, this can build up and create an unsanitary mess.

Cleaning enclosure tips

Clean your enclosure regularly with ferret friendly cleaner. Change the litter tray daily.

Cleaning your ferret’s coat

One of the most important jobs you have as a ferret keeper is keeping your pet’s coat clean. A dirty, greasy coat can lead to skin problems and may even cause illness in some cases.

Clean your ferret’s coat by using a damp cloth to wipe the animal’s skin every day, paying special attention to any areas with grease or dirt buildup.

Ferrets don’t need to be bathed often unless they get very soiled. 

They will usually groom themselves, but you should brush them too with a ferret bristle brush, and not an ordinary pet hairbrush.

If you notice any signs of illness or disease in your ferret, contact your vet immediately.

Ferrets and Odour

What do ferrets smell like?

Ferrets have a scent that may not be agreeable to everyone. They are often described as smelling like wet dog, cat urine or musty. It is important to clean your ferret’s cage and bedding regularly to reduce the ferret’s odour.

How to reduce ferret smell

Ferrets have a strong odour. The top three things you can do to reduce the smell are: 

  1. A healthy diet
  2. Clean their cage daily
  3. Regular grooming

How to clean your ferret’s scent (anal) glands

A ferrets scent glands are located at the base of their tail – often referred to as anal glands. These glands produce an oily substance called sebum which protects against bacteria and other microorganisms. The sebum is released through the glands when the ferret is stressed or excited.  

They do not need specific cleaning unless they are blocked.

Should you remove your ferret’s scent glands?

Removal of scent glands ( otherwise known as descenting) is illegal in the UK.

How neutering can help reduce ferret odours

Neutering ferrets reduces the amount of testosterone produced by the testes. Testosterone causes the production of more sebum than usual. If neutered, less sebum is produced, so there is less chance of the ferret being smelly.

Litter training ferrets

The best way to train your ferret to use litter boxes is to start early. Litter training ferrets is a very important part of the care process.

Start teaching your ferret to use a litter box as soon as they have settled in. Wake your ferret up and put them in the litter box; when they have done their business, reward them with praise and a treat. Repeat this three times a day for a couple of weeks and they will soon get the hang of it.

Ferret owners have reported success with using newspaper, mulch bedding and other types of litter in order to train their animals. One popular training method on Reddit is to put some of the animal’s faeces on top of its litter box so that it will eventually learn to use the box in order not to soil its cage.

Which litter tray to use for a ferret

One of the main aspects associated with keeping a ferret is maintaining their litter tray. The most common type of litter tray that people use for ferrets are either plastic or metal, but there are also some other types of litter trays available. The size and shape of the tray is really not that important, but it does need to be large enough for your ferret to comfortably turn around in. You might find that you need more than one tray too! 

What to put in your ferret’s litter tray

When choosing what to put in your ferret’s litter tray, make sure that it doesn’t contain any chemicals such as bleach or ammonia. This could cause health problems for your ferret.

The most popular substances are wood pellets and paper pellets. The main difference between them are that the wood pellet break down into powder when wet and become more absorbent, but the paper ones don’t. Whichever you choose, they need to be dust and chemical-free.

If you want to keep your ferret’s litter tray cleaner, then you should regularly change out the litter. A good tip is to place a piece of paper towel under the tray before putting new litter in as this will make it easier to lift out. Some people like to line their ferret’s litter tray with a waterproof material such as rubber matting or carpet, however this isn’t necessary. 

How often to clean your ferret’s litter tray

If you don’t clean out the litter tray every few days, you may notice a buildup of mould and/or bacteria within the tray. This could lead to health issues for your ferret if left untreated.

At the very least, you should empty your ferret’s litter tray every day and clean it thoroughly once a week.

Neutering your ferrets: what you need to know

Neutering ferrets is an essential part of caring for them. Neutering your male ferret will reduce the amount of testosterone produced by the testes, resulting in lesss unwanted behaviours.

Neutering ferrets is usually performed between 3 – 6 months old. However, many ferrets reach sexual maturity at 6 – 7 months old. So, if you plan on breeding your ferret, then you need to wait until after they are fully mature.

An intact male is known as a hob, and a neutered male is a gib. 

Female ferret season cycle

Female ferrets are known as ‘Jills’ and start their season and most fertile period during January to March. However, unlike in most of our pet species, ferrets are induced ovulators, which means that unless they are mated or given hormonal medications, they aren’t able to come out of season and this causes suppression of their bone marrow which can be fatal.

Hormone injections for female ferrets

Injecting hormones into female ferrets is another way of controlling fertility – it’s known as the ‘Jill Jab’. There are different types of hormone injections available depending on how long you want to keep your ferret in heat. Some ferrets can stay in heat for up to three months while others can go for six months.  

Spaying female ferrets

Spaying female ferrets, also known as neutering them, is a common practice that helps to control population growth. Female ferrets can be spayed at any age, but it is more complicated than the males and so should only be done when they are over 12 weeks old.

Ferrets are usually spayed by removing their ovaries and uterus with the use of a surgical procedure. This surgery is usually done when the ferret is between 3-6 months old, but can be done at any age if needed. Spaying will help control unwanted pregnancies and prevent reproductive cancers that can be life-threatening to your ferret.

The procedure is also necessary if you want to show your ferret. 

Neutering male ferrets

Male ferrets ( known as Hobs or Jacks ) can be neutered from around 4 months of age and it is a more straightforward operation than for females. 

Vasectomy for male ferret

Vasectomy is the surgical procedure for neutering your Jack ferrets.

It is a simple surgery that can be done at any age, but it’s important to remember that there are some risks.

The most common complication is the risk of infection, which can be reduced by keeping your ferrets in a nice warm place like you would when they are recovering from any other surgery.

Feeding your ferret

Ferrets require high protein diets. They also benefit from a diet rich in omega fatty acids. It is best to feed your ferret a commercial food designed specifically for ferrets.

You can buy these foods online or through your local pet store.

If you’re looking for a specialised diet for your ferret, check out our guide to feeding ferrets.

The ideal diet for your ferret will include:

  • Commercial ferret nuggets. These will contain the full range of nutrients your ferret needs.
  • You could also feed your ferret a raw food diet.
  • Vitamin pastes and oils. 
  • Occasional treats, such as boiled egg or cooked chicken.
  • Constant access to fresh, clean water.

What do ferrets eat?

Ferrets eat a diet that is high in protein and fat, but low in carbohydrates. Ferrets naturally prefer dry food, and they love meaty foods such as chicken, beef, lamb and pork. They also enjoy eating fish and vegetables.

When feeding your ferret, make sure to feed them twice daily. It is recommended that you feed them once in the morning and again before bedtime. You can mix up their diet by adding different flavours to their food. For example, try giving them a little bit of tuna mixed in with the rest of their food.

What shouldn’t ferrets eat?

Ferrets are carnivores. They should not eat any dairy products of any kind or sugar, onions and garlic in any form, or anything sweet.

What do ferrets drink?

Ferrets need plenty of water to survive. Make sure to give them fresh water every day. If you notice that your ferret has been drinking less than usual, then take them to the vet immediately. 

If you don’t have access to clean water, then you can buy bottled spring water or tap water. Make sure to filter the water through a coffee filter or a paper towel first.

What treats can you give ferrets?

Treats are great fun for ferrets. Try offering them something like cooked egg, cat treats, and bits of chicken, turkey, or lamb.

Feeding a sick ferret

If your ferret is showing signs of illness, contact your vet straight away. They may recommend a change in diet or medications once they have reached a diagnosis.

Make sure to keep your ferret safe during this time. Keep them in a quiet area where they won’t disturb others.

Keep your ferret well hydrated and fed regularly.

If your vet prescribes medication for the ferret, follow the instructions to ensure that he receives an adequate amount of food and fluids.

Playtime for your ferret

Playtime is an absolute must! Ferrets are very curious and playful.They love to play games with you, especially if you let them get used to being handled.

Try playing fetch with your ferret. This game teaches your ferret how to retrieve things and it’s a lot of fun.

Give your ferret some toys to chew on. You can find lots of toys at your local pet shop.

Don’t forget to exercise your ferret.  

They need at least one hour of playtime outside their cages per day, ideally 2-4.

What exercise do ferrets need?

Ferrets are playful animals that need plenty of exercise and room to explore. It is important that you provide your ferret with a variety of toys, tunnels and other things to play on so that they have something to do. You should also provide them with a couple of hours of playtime outside their cage each day. Plus, some time running around the house on a leash or in an open room.

How long do ferrets need to play?

Ferrets are highly energetic animals who need plenty of playtime. Some ferrets will be more active than others, but you should aim to have at least 2- 4 hours a day where your ferret is running around the room. This will help to keep your ferret healthy and happy!

Training ferrets

You can train your ferret by using positive reinforcement. For example, when your ferret does something good, such as sit, roll over, or jump up, reward them with praise and attention.

When training your ferret, make sure to use rewards that are appropriate for your ferret. Don’t try to teach your ferret tricks that are too difficult for them to learn.

It’s best to start training your ferret from a young age. When your ferret is younger, they will be less likely to become frustrated or stressed out.

Your ferret needs to be trained on a regular basis. Training sessions should be short and last between 10 minutes and 20 minutes.

Care for your ferret

Trimming claws

Trimming a ferret’s claws is not a difficult task and should be done on a regular basis to protect furniture, carpets, curtains and your clothing. The best time to trim your ferret’s claws is when they are sleepy. Place your ferret on a table or chair and gently hold their front paws with one hand while trimming the nails of each paw with the other hand.

Grooming coat

A ferret is a good pet for people with allergies because they only have short hair and don’t shed dander like other pets. However, they will need to be brushed regularly to keep their fur soft and clean. Brushing your ferret’s coat is easy. Simply place your ferret on a grooming mat or towel and brush its coat thoroughly. Be careful not to pull or tug at the skin. Use a firm bristle brush and work slowly. Brushing your ferret’s coat daily will help prevent many problems and build a great bond between you.

Bathing

Ferrets don’t require much bathing. Just wipe off any dirt or mud with a damp cloth. If your ferret has been swimming, rinse his or her body under cool water.

Treating fleas

Fleas are common parasites found in ferrets’ coats. They cause irritation and itchiness, which makes it hard for your ferret to sleep. Fleas are usually most prevalent during spring and summer months. To get rid of fleas, apply a topical insecticide to your ferret’s coat once every two weeks.

Dental care

Vets usually recommend twice-monthly tooth brushing to keep your ferret’s teeth in tip-top condition. Clinical signs of dental disease in ferrets include but are not limited to: bad breath, tartar buildup (identified by brown-colored teeth), red and irritated gums, irregularly placed teeth, broken teeth, or mouth sores. If your ferret is affected by dental disease, he or she may have a difficult time eating.

Hairballs in ferrets and how to deal with them

Ferrets, like cats, groom a lot and they will inevitably get a hairball. However, unlike cats, ferrets can not vomit up a hairball. It has to pass through their system. As hairballs in ferrets are not an easily treatable condition like they are in cats, it is important to take steps to avoid them in the first place. The best way, of course, is by brushing your ferret regularly. If your ferret suddenly stops eating, it might be because of a hairball blockage, so it is best to call a veterinarian for help and advice.

Socialising ferrets

Socialisation early in life helps ferrets become more confident around new situations and people. It also reduces stress levels and improves their health.

Ferrets can become friends with other household pets like dogs and cats, but they must always be supervised during playtime.

How many ferrets can live together?

The social behaviour of ferrets is dependent on whether they are domesticated or not. Domesticated ferrets have been bred to be friendly with humans and so live happily in human company, whereas ferrets in the wild are much more cautious.

Domesticated ferrets will often live happily together, but the number depends on their age and how well you have socialised them.

If you have an adult male ferret, it is best to only keep him on his own. Females can live together quite happily as they don’t tend to fight each other over territory or food.

Introducing your ferrets to each other

Introducing ferrets to each other can be tricky, but it is worth the effort. This should be done gently and slowly so that neither animal becomes stressed.

Keep them apart initially and after a week, swap their bedding so that they get used to the other ferret’s smell.

To introduce a new ferret to your resident ferrets, start by preparing a neutral ground and removing any objects and furniture so that if they fight, you can separate them without having to try and get them out from under the sofa. Then, give them a chance to sniff each other’s scent.

A ferret’s natural instinct is to bite and fight with other ferrets, and you’ll probably notice lots of poop and smell, but as long as no blood is drawn, they should be fine. You won’t need to separate them if they are just playing.

Keep introduction sessions short ( 10-15 minutes) and repeat every few hours for the first day. 

Signs your ferrets may not be suited

A ferret that is not socialised will act differently than one that has been appropriately exposed to the outside world. Signs your ferrets may not be suited include:

-Seeming overly aggressive or fearful

-Attempting to bite when handled

– Biting other ferrets and drawing blood

Don’t worry if they don’t get on at first. Just keep them in separate cages and let them out separately for exercise.

What to do if ferrets become aggressive

Ferrets are naturally shy and cautious animals. If they feel threatened, they may react aggressively to make themselves seem larger and more intimidating in order to fend off the threat. The best way for you to avoid aggression is to prevent your ferret from feeling threatened in the first place.

Handling your ferret 

How to hold a ferret safely

First and foremost, make sure you’ve got a good grip on the ferret. The best way to do this is with your hand cupped under their belly, supporting them from below. Be very careful not to squeeze their belly or allow them to slip through your fingers.

If the ferret isn’t too happy with this, they will wriggle and squirm until you let them go. This is a sign that they don’t want to be handled and should probably not be picked up again for a while.

how to hold your ferret
How to hold your ferret

Common Health Problems

Ticks

Ticks are small creatures that attach themselves to the skin of mammals. They can be found in tall grasses, shrubs, and dirt areas. 

Ticks are a problem because they can transmit diseases to pets and humans. The most common diseases that ticks carry are Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Tularemia.

Fleas

A flea infestation is a serious problem for ferret owners. Fleas are a common problem for ferrets. If left unchecked, flea infestations can cause anemia in the pet and make them more susceptible to other health problems. Fleas are also known to cause tapeworms in ferrets.

To treat a flea infestation, you need to make sure that your pet is treated for the problem with insecticide or another form of treatment. If you choose to use an insecticide, make sure that it is compatible with ferrets and their sensitive skin.

Ear mites

Ear mites are a common ailment in ferrets. These microscopic parasites will often live and breed inside the ear canal, which can cause irritation to their host’s ears. Fortunately, they are easy to spot and treat. It is important to disinfect the ears of your ferret with a topical ear cleaner, such as mineral oil or hydrogen peroxide, before applying any medication. This will remove any debris or bacteria that could interfere with the medication’s effectiveness.

Use a cotton swab to apply an anti-parasitic ear ointment, such as Ivermectin, to the inside of your ferret’s ears. Keep a close eye on them for a few hours after treatment and report any new symptoms to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

How to prevent fighting and injuries

Ferrets are territorial animals and can fight with other ferrets. Fighting can lead to injuries or even death. If you have more than one ferret, it is important that you provide them with enough space to avoid contact with each other.

When ferrets are not fighting, they can be quite gentle and loving animals. They may enjoy climbing on your clothing or playing in the small spaces.

Heat stress in ferrets

Heat stress in ferrets is a common problem. Ferrets are not built to work in hot, dry climates because they have little sweat glands and can’t pant like dogs or other animals do. They can also have trouble with the heat because they are prey animals and as such not meant to be out in the open.

Ferrets do best at temperatures between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius). This means that your ferret’s cage, bedding and other equipment should be kept away from direct sunlight or heating devices.

What diseases to ferrets develop as they get older?

Gastrointestinal disease, dental disease, cardiomyopathy, renal disease, and cataracts are common diseases in senior ferrets. They may also suffer from hairballs, ulcers and inflammatory bowel.

Ferrets often survive for about 7 years, but may live up to 10. They can get cancer or other diseases that affect the skin and respiratory system. Vets consider a ferret to be ‘senior’ at 3-4 years of age.

Veterinary Care

What vaccinations do ferrets need? 

Vaccinations your ferret will need are rabies, canine distemper, and monthly heartworm treatment.

Heartworm is a disease of the heart and lungs caused by parasites. It can be prevented with monthly pills or injections.

Do you need to microchip a ferret?

If you buy or adopt a ferret, I’d recommend getting it microchipped even though it is not a legal requirement. A microchip is implanted under the skin, between the shoulder blades. It has a number that can be read by scanners and contains information about your pet’s identity. You will need to have your ferret microchipped if you are planning on taking it with you abroad on holiday.

Benefits of microchipping a ferret

Microchipping is the best way to ensure that your ferret will always be identifiable. These implants are small and painless, fitting inside the skin between the shoulder blades. Most ferret owners opt for a microchip, which can be read by any scanner and provides an excellent way to locate your pet in the event of escape or theft.

First aid for your ferret

What can you help your ferret with at home

It is always best to consult a vet if your ferret has any of the following symptoms.

– Vomiting, bloody stool or black sticky stools, diarrhoea with blood in it, having trouble breathing

– Unusually lethargic or unresponsive

– Swollen throat and difficulty swallowing

Do not give your pet any over the counter medications.

Purchasing Your Ferret

What to think about when getting a ferret

Ferrets are social creatures. They will get lonely if they are left alone for long periods, which can lead to destructive behaviour, so it is best to have them with another ferret or in a large group of ferrets.

Ferrets need room to roam, so you should get them an appropriately sized cage or other enclosure that will allow them to move around and exercise.

Where to get a ferret

Pet ferrets can be bought from a variety of sources, including pet stores and breeders. 

Tips for picking the right ferret

-A ferret should be purchased from a reputable breeder, pet store or shelter.

-Ask the shopkeeper to show you where they keep their animals and check that there is adequate space for them to move around.

-When you buy your ferret, it is important that you buy a baby in the summer which is their natural breeding season.

Ferret pet insurance

Adopting a ferret should be an easy decision because they are not expensive, but it is important to protect them with insurance. There are many options for pet insurance; the most common are pet health plans offered by some veterinarians or through an insurance company.

The cost of ferret insurance can range from £10-£30 a month depending on the coverage and plan.

Ferrets and the law

Is It Legal to Own a Pet Ferret in the UK?

In the UK, it is legal to keep ferrets as pets. However, there are some areas where you cannot have a pet ferret at all, and in others, you can only have one if you have the necessary licences. For example, you can only keep a ferret in some areas if it is registered as an ‘exotic’ pet with your local council and has been neutered or spayed. Check your local council website for details.

Is It Legal to Own a Pet Ferret in the USA?

The Ferret Legal Defense Fund states that ferrets are legal in all 50 US States. However, there are some exceptions to this rule:

– Hawaii – It is illegal for a pet ferret to enter the state

– California – It is illegal for a pet ferret to live in any city or county of California.

– New York City and State: Ferrets may not be sold as pets, and may not be kept as pets.

Final Words… Do ferrets actually make good pets?

Yes! Ferrets are very intelligent and love to play. They are also very playful and like to wrestle. They are great companions for children and adults alike. However, they are not recommended for those who have allergies. Also, ferrets are not suitable for apartment dwellers due to their size. You must provide them with plenty of space to run around and play.

How to Look After a Pet Ferret: Beginner Guide for New Keeper Click To Tweet

Pet Ferret FAQs

Are ferrets high maintenance?

Ferrets require a lot of attention and care, but they are not high maintenance pets. A ferret’s cage should be cleaned on a regular basis (daily or every other day depending on the ferrets) to ensure that they are not living in their own waste.

How much does a ferret alone cost?

A pet ferret can cost anywhere between £10 to £100, depending on the breeder and the age of the ferret.

Are ferrets clean animals?

Ferrets are very clean animals, but they should not be mistaken as being low maintenance.

How long does a ferret live?

On average pet ferret can have an average lifespan of between 7-10 years.

Do ferrets make good first pets?

Yes, ferrets make good first pets. Ferret care can be a bit of work for new keepers and it is recommended that you take on this responsibility with someone who has experience.

How much does it cost per year to own a ferret?

An average ferret will cost between £300-400 per year. This includes food, toys and bedding as well as general health care such as vaccinations or vet visits.

What should I feed my ferret?

Ferrets are carnivores and need meat in order for their stomachs to function properly.

Can ferrets be solitary animals?

Ferrets are social creatures and it is recommended that you keep more than one.

Can ferrets be registered as emotional support animals?

Ferrets are not recognized by the ADA as an emotional support animal.

Can ferrets catch and pass on flu to humans?

Ferrets cannot and do not catch or pass on flu to humans.

What are baby ferrets called?

Baby ferrets (less than 1 year) are kits.

What is a group of ferrets called?

A group of ferrets is a business or fesnyng (fez-ning).

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