What To Know Before Adopting a Ferret

by | Pet Planning |

Photo Credit: galleryhip.com
Photo Credit: galleryhip.com

It’s important to research the needs of any potential pet beforehand to see whether the two of you will be compatible. Ferrets are playful, social, curious animals that get very attached to their adoptive families. Most people are surprised to learn that ferrets are actually domesticated—having originally served as working animals to hunt rodents—and as such are reliant on their humans to provide them with quality time, care and a loving home.

If you’re considering adopting a ferret, here are a few important things to know:

Ferrets can live as long as dogs and cats

While the average life expectancy of a ferret is 6-8 years, a healthy ferret can live up to 11-12 years! If you plan to adopt a ferret, keep in mind that this may be a long-term commitment as a pet owner.

Ferrets require patience

Ferrets are very curious pets that love to explore, play, and sometimes get into mischief. While you’ll no doubt be entertained by their antics, you’ll also need a good sense of humour in case your ferret causes any damage to your property or belongings. For the safety of your ferret, make sure you properly ferret proof any room that your ferret will have access to.

Ferrets and some household pets don’t mix

Ferrets will typically get along fine with dogs and cats, but must be kept separate from rabbits, rats, hamsters, mice or other small rodents. If you have a rodent as a pet, a ferret may not be the best addition to your pet family.

Ferrets have high exercise requirements

Ferrets should not be kept in their cage all day and should have at least 3-4 hours of supervised playtime every day to exercise and roam.

You must ensure your ferret is fixed

It’s essential that your ferret be fixed. Unspayed females will stay in heat until they are bred. If the ferret does not mate and remains in heat for a prolonged period of time, there can be several health-related complications including death. It’s advised that male ferrets also be neutered, as intact male ferrets will tend to be more aggressive.

Ferrets do better in groups

While it’s not mandatory to get a second ferret, ferrets are very sociable animals and do best in a household where they can live with one or two other ferrets. Even with other ferrets to play with, they will still need some quality time and attention from their owners.

Ferrets have very quickly gained popularity as a household pet in the past 20 years. And it’s no wonder, with their playful curiosity and close bond they form with their pet parents. If you think you would be compatible with a ferret and are willing to put in the time and effort to properly care for this pet, then a ferret will make a very loving addition to your pet household.


We have supported the OSPCA since 1951

We have supported OSPCA since our arrival in Canada in 1951.  Keep up the greatest  T.L.C. for animals.

-Paul & Des