Choices … “What Kind of Ferret Should I Get?”


Have you asked yourself “What kind of ferret should I get?

Hrmmmmm …

*Scratches head* …

I think you’ve come to the right pageย  ๐Ÿ˜€

What should I get???

A Big Boofy Boy or A Slim Delicate Girl?

Obviously if you want ferrets to use for ferreting, you might want to think about getting a girl, as they tend to be slim and lithe and would be the best for flushing rabbits out of their burrows.

boy and girl ferret

As you can see from the above picture, Muis, our albino girl, is narrower and shorter than Otis.

I have no favorites — I love having boys because there’s more of them to cuddle. However some boys don’t enjoy cuddling while some of the girls love just lying in your arms all day if possible. It all depends on the temperament of the ferret.

Boys cost less to sterilize but they might have bigger appetites than a girl, so would cost more to feed in the long run.

ferrets eating

Here you can perhaps get a better idea of sizes. The boys are opposite each other in the middle, with the girls on either side of them.


 

Young or old?

Kits can be a handful, they sleep less, are pretty boisterous and extremely curious.

They’ll be into everything and you’ll need to watch out to make sure they don’t get out or get stuck in odd places which haven’t been ferretproofed properly.

young ferret

But if you get an older ferret – again, depending on personalities – you might find him or her far more sedate and laid back, like our super first male Chucky — we should have called him Mr Supercool Dude!

old ferret

If youโ€™re a first-time ferret owner, I would suggest calling up the ferret society in your state (for Sandgropers thatโ€™ll be WAFFS) and speaking to someone on the committee. They are all ferret fanatics and would give you lots of information.

For you other Aussies, please check out the page with a list of all the Aussie Ferret societies listed for one in your state.

You’ll probably find that the committee members would be more than happy to let you go over and check out their ferrets so that you get hands-on experience and are able to see if they really are the pet you want for yourself.

Becoming a member of the ferret society would be a great idea because you could mix with like-minded people at all the functions and learn a whole lot about these special little animals firsthand from people who know what they’re talking about.

 


 

Where Should You Get Your Ferret From?

Pet Stores?

The Papers?

Ferret Societies or Shelters?

If youโ€™re a first time ferret owner, then the best thing would be to become a member of the ferret society as quite often, they have ferrets which need to be rehoused.

Although it might not be possible to know the exact background of that particular ferret, they certainly would know if it was a zany ferret (like Kaos) and therefore unsuitable for new owners, or whether it was a placid, calm ferret, which would be ideal.

I would imagine the new American ferret owner could go to a shelter and talk to people there about the ferrets in their care and see which one would be the suitable.

Seems like a win-win situation, with the ferret getting a loving home and the new owner getting a ferret well suited to his particular lifestyle.

 


 

The Healthy Ferret

If youโ€™re getting a ferret from a pet store or through the papers, look for:

bright eyes
a lustrous, glossy coat
full (not broken) whiskers
clean teeth
pink nose and gums (pale could mean anemia)
a nice, clean bottom under its tail

female ferret

 


 

Should You Get More Than One Ferret?
Ferrets are gorgeously gregarious little animals and I believe 2 ferrets would be happier together than just one on his own. However that’s entirely up to you.

Imagine coming home to seeing a sad little fellow who’s been left alone all day with no one to play with …..

male ferret

…. instead of a drawer full of snoring weasels who’re completely exhausted after causing chaos and mayhem around your house all day!

choice of ferrets

BTW, the photo of CJ looking out from the drawer was taken before his friends woke up in the same drawer ๐Ÿ˜€ He certainly wasn’t a lonely only ferret!

But what happens if you already have one ferret and wish to get another?

It should be fine but, as always, it depends on your ferret’s personality.

Some ferrets welcome newcomers with open arms — you can almost imagine them saying “mi casa es su casa” as they put their arm around the new ferret and show them around the house.

Others will narrow their eyes when they first meet them and you can just see their minds working overtime on how they can jump the intruder and shake the living daylights out of them!!

With ours, the boys have all been extremely friendly to new boys and girls, while some (not all) of the girls have been nice to some girls and completely beastly to others.

Kaos was fine when Snoopy joined our family but when Muis came, all hell broke loose.

Both Kaos and Snoopy were horrible to her and used to take every opportunity to jump on her and bite her. It got so bad that I had to go to the vet to get something to put onto Muis’ neck that would taste foul and stop the two old harpies from picking on her.

It lasted around 7 days and finally they accepted her into the fold.

Strangely enough they also were a bit unpleasant to Kahlua when she came to live with us and that surprised me, as she was only 7 weeks old and I thought they’d act motherly towards her.

If you have that problem, just get some Bitter Apple or something similar to put on the neck of the ferret that’s getting beaten up and let them sort themselves out.

It’s not nice when the newcomer gets picked on but it doesn’t last and once they all know exactly where they all stand, peace reigns.

But even now occasionally I catch Muis giving Kaos a hard time, as if it’s payback for when she was on the receiving end!


 

As Iโ€™ve said throughout this site, if you get a ferret you must be prepared to treat it like one of the family and look after it during the good times and the bad.

Just because theyโ€™re small and sleep a lot, it doesnโ€™t mean they should be locked up in their cage 24/7 because youโ€™re too busy to interact with it.

Donโ€™t even think of getting one if thatโ€™s a possibility. Seriously!!

You can read a sobering story about three ferrets which were dumped by their owners and how they ended up in shelters here.

It made my heart ache to read about how they were treated by their original owners but thank goodness they ended up in a safe environment.

I will say it again … do not get a ferret unless you are prepared to make it a part of your family for life – for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.

Go to a shelter and talk to the people there.

Hold a ferret and get to know what they’re like as pets before you actually get one so that if you decide to get one, you will know exactly what you’re getting into!


 

 


Comments

Choices … “What Kind of Ferret Should I Get?” — 12 Comments

  1. I’m thinking of getting a pet ferret, and a petstore near my house sells them, however most or their noses look dry/cracked. Is this normal? Also, I am at school for nearly seven hours every day of the week. Should I have my mom feed or play with the ferret while I’m gone? Thanks!

  2. Hi Shea
    A dry nose is not a sign of illness with ferrets – my guys usually have dry noses when they wake up after sleeping. However a dry/cracked nose doesn’t sound right. Is the heating up high in the pet store? That could be the reason the poor guys’ noses look like that?!
    Ferrets need to have food (and water, of course) available 24/7 so unless you’re planning to feed your ferret a raw diet, then it’s probably not necessary for your mother to feed your ferret. However it would be great if she’d be prepared to play with it while you’re at school ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ferrets do sleep a lot but when they’re up and about then they do love company!
    I’ve never caged my ferrets so my guys were always free to run around when they woke up and back in the old days, when I worked, they had each other to play with when the house was empty.
    From what friends who do cage their ferrets say, when their ferret wakes up, they usually make it pretty obvious that they want out and are ready to weasel wardance ๐Ÿ˜€ If your mother sees your ferret wide awake and itching to get out, then it’d be great if she were willing to play with it ๐Ÿ˜€
    Hope that’s been of some help!
    Cheers
    ~Nona

  3. Hi Shea
    A dry nose doesn’t mean a ferret’s ill as all ferrets wake up from their snoozes with dry noses. However a dry/cracked nose doesn’t sound right ๐Ÿ™
    Does the pet store have its heating up too high and that’s why their poor little noses are the way they are? If you think that is the reason for their noses being in that condition then I hope you’ll alert the staff to do something to fix the problem!
    If your mother is happy to interact with your ferret, that would be a great thing! Ferrets should always have food (and water, of course) available 24/7 so unless you’re planning to feed your ferret a raw diet, then she wouldn’t have to worry about that part. But it would be lovely if she’d play with your ferret if she sees it’s up and about in the cage!
    All my guys have been free roam so when we were out at work, they could always run around and play with each other if they wanted to, so I have no experience about how ferrets act when they wake up from their slumber and want to play. I would imagine they’d make it obvious that it was time for them to be allowed out to wardance ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I confess I’ve heard a few stories from parents who’ve ended up looking after their kids’ ferrets and they’ve all said how they’ve totally fallen in love with them! I bet that will happen to your mother! LOL!

  4. I’m looking forward to getting my ferret buddy soon. I’ve been reading that they get lonely and mom will only let me get one. I have a slightly older small dog. He’s kinda scared of everything but likes to play, will he be enough to keep my ferret friend company while I’m at school?

  5. Hi Tareah
    You have to be sure that your little dog won’t snap or bite your ferret ๐Ÿ™
    If you can put the two together then you must watch over them like a hawk, ready to pick either your dog or your ferret if things go south!!
    How they relate to one another depends on the two animals – some small dogs would be happy to tear a ferret apart while others wouldn’t ๐Ÿ™ Some big dogs would do the same ๐Ÿ™
    I was told that Jack Russell Terriers were not suitable to be around ferrets as they were hard-wired to kill rodents and so – a ferret being a small animal – might be just the right animal that a Jack Russell would kill!
    I have a Facebook friend who had a Jack Russell Terrier and a ferret and they were the BEST of friends – it was so gorgeous to see the photos of the two animals together – and I know my FB friend and her dog were totally brokenhearted when her ferret had to be put down due to insulinoma! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    Also greyhounds … I knew a friend whose ferret was killed when the greyhound she was fostering got into her sitting room and killed her ferret which has just recovered from an operation for adrenal gland disease ๐Ÿ™
    I have seen stories about greyhounds being great with ferrets and other small animals!
    So, to be honest – you are the only one who can see if your dog will be okay with your ferret.
    Have the two of them together and see if there’s any sign of aggression on your dog’s part – I don’t think your ferret will show any aggression but maybe it will ๐Ÿ˜‰ – if either of them do, then you’ll have to work out how to make sure that the two of them are happy with each other!
    Hope that helps !
    Big hugs to your little ferret from its new buddies down under ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Cheers
    Nona

  6. I’m at school for seven hours and what happens if my grandparents don’t want to play with it while I’m gone and my grandparents are only going to let me get one ferret but I’m not sure when I’m going to get my ferret and are you aloud to play with your ferret as soon as you get it ๐Ÿ˜Š what kind of stuff should I get it and what kind of food should I get for my ferret ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‹

  7. Hello, I am 12 and for my birthday next year I was hoping to get a cat. I am having second thoughts and thinking about a ferret. I was wondering if you could help me? If I do get a ferret could you give me some info on ferrets. Like food,nsleeping places, which gender to get? And what cage would be the best? Thank you I am so glad I found your page. I have always loved ferrets since I became a rodent person, I always thought otters,weasels, and ferret-like animals have been cute. But I also am a cat person, I am torn between a cat or a ferret. My sister is getting a ferret too, and we think they could be in different cages but be able to get to each other. Is a petstore a good place to get a ferret? Thank you. I appreciate all your time and help.

  8. Hi Elliot
    If you have a look around my website, you should find all the information you need about what ferrets eat and what type of ferret to get ๐Ÿ˜€
    On this page (What kind of ferret should I get?) I explain the difference between getting a boy or a girl and where you might think of getting your ferret, etc.
    However I’m not the person to ask about cages as all my guys are free roam … we only had a cage when I was breeding ferrets and that was a big 3 storeyed cage with pipes for them to go from top to bottom and back down again ๐Ÿ˜‰
    You might also like to watch my husband when he was interviewed for a pet program that was shown 20 years ago ๐Ÿ˜‰

    https://www.all-about-ferrets.com/tv-ferrets.html

    I think getting a cat would be less hassle than getting a ferret – you don’t have to worry about getting a cage or things like that – and cats don’t get as many cancers as ferrets do so you won’t have to fret about vet bills.
    So please take a look around my site … I’m sure you’ll find a lot of answers to all your questions but if you still have specific questions after reading the pages, then please feel free to contact me again ๐Ÿ™‚
    Cheers
    ~Nona

  9. Hello! I am 12 years old and I am obsessed with ferrets. I have been researching ferrets for several months and would love to get one or maybe two so he/she isn’t lonely. I ferret proofed my bedroom, and would be able to let the ferret loose in there, and there is a veterinarian nearby that caters to ferrets. The problem is that while I’m away at school for 9 hours a day for school and I’m worried that they might get into trouble while I’m away, and also my my parents don’t like ferrets, as they have met some ferrets that aren’t very friendly and bit a lot, and so they believe that ferrets can’t be affectionate. (All though I have met some very sweet and affectionate ferrets, they always change the subject when I bring it up.) I’m not sure whether or not to get a ferret or two because of this, and if I do I am afraid my parents would get rid of it.

  10. Hi Alia
    I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties you’re having trying to convince your parents to let you get a ferret.
    You sound like a very responsible person and I’m sure that you’d look after your ferret/s beautifully but if you’re worried about your parents giving them away, then perhaps you should wait until you move out into your own place to get your ferrets?
    The thing is that if you keep your ferret/s in a decent-sized cage while you’re at school then they won’t be able to get into trouble. Once you come home, you can let them out and play with them before & after doing your homework.
    Of course a cage would cost money, as would going to a ferret vet, so would your parents be happy to help you out with the costs? If not, I worry about how you would be able to afford to pay for those things ๐Ÿ™
    It would be great if your parents would give your ferret a chance but it would be a tragedy for the ferret if you got it, and then had to turn it in to a shelter after a few weeks or so because your parents really didn’t like it ๐Ÿ™
    Good luck!
    Best wishes
    ~Nona

  11. Hello Nona, my name is Kina and I am 10 years old and in love with ferrets! The problem is that I might be getting my first ferret in the summer for my birthday which is awesome except the fact that I will be home alone in my house for most of the days because my sister is going to summer camp while my brother goes to preschool and my parents got to work! Which means it will only be me… My mom is very supportive with his ferret she thinks they are very cute but when school starts up again t will be all alone ๐Ÿ™ What should I do?!

  12. Hi Kina
    I think it’s absolutely marvellous that you’re getting a ferret and that your parents are supportive about that! Great news ๐Ÿ™‚
    I don’t think you should worry too much about your ferret being home alone. Ferrets tend to sleep a lot – and I mean A LOT! – and I’ve heard that single ferrets whose owners go to work or school tend to fit in with their schedule. They sleep during the day when no one’s home but when their owners come home, they’re up and wide awake, waiting by the cage door ๐Ÿ˜€
    All you have to make sure is that you can play with your ferret in the morning, before you head off for school, then when you come home in the afternoon.
    If you do your homework in your room, seeing about making it ferret proofed and then let your little one out when you’re in there. You play with it first, before starting on your school work, then let it run around and play with its toys when you’re working.
    Just make sure you get a decent-sized cage for it when it’s locked up there – it should be able to go up and down and not have the litter tray on the same floor as its food and water.
    I’m sure it will all work about fabulously but if you see your baby looking sad and lonely when you come home, perhaps you could speak to your parents and see if you could get it a playmate ๐Ÿ˜€
    Hope that’s of some help ๐Ÿ™‚
    All the very best!! I am so pleased for you ๐Ÿ˜€
    Cheers
    ~Nona

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