Ferrets are fun, curious, and sociable mammals. Experienced owners agree that each pet ferret has their own personality and temperament, but they all love attention.
So, if you are looking for a pet you can pick up to play and cuddle, you are in for a treat. If you are considering adopting a pet ferret, here is what you need to know to become a responsible owner to your new furry friend:
What are the different ferret breeds?
Choosing your pet ferret can be just as delicate as picking a specific dog or cat breed. However, while there are many different types of ferret, you’d be pleased to know that distinctions don’t affect their health. The ferret lifespan doesn’t vary regardless of ferret breeds. How long do ferrets live? Up to 10 years with the appropriate care. The average lifespan for a pet ferret is around 6 years.
Ferret breeds come in an array of fur colour and length:
- Black sable and Black sable mitt
- Chocolate & Chocolate mitt
- Cinnamon & Cinnamon mitt
- Pattern, like & heavy
- Pewter (heavy silver)
- Sable & Sable mitt
- Siamese & Siamese mitt
- Striped white
- White with dark eyes (aka not Albino)
Your pet ferret could have a whippet body type with a long and slinky silhouette, or a bulldog body type which is blocky.
Where to look for ferrets for sale?
Some ferret breeds are rarer than others, which makes them more expensive. How much are ferrets? You can expect to pay anything between £10 to £100 in the UK. As a rule of thumb, Jills, the female pet ferret, are more expensive than Hobs, male ferrets.
The cost is influenced by the fur, its length and colour. Consequently, if you’ve got your mind set on buying an Angora pet ferret, you are likely to pay a high cost.
Ferret owners pay more when the ferret has been fully prepared for adoption, meaning that it has been vaccinated, microchipped, and can have been neutered.
Additionally, you will notice a big difference whether you get your ferret from a pet ferret breeder or a rehoming or rescue centre. Breeders can set higher price tags for their ferrets. However, if you are looking for a baby ferret, you are more likely to find your dream pet with a breeder or individual owners. You can adopt a baby ferret at 8 weeks old.
If you don’t mind the age of your pet ferret, rehoming centres have a lot of adult ferrets who are looking for their forever home.
You will also need to buy all the essentials before getting your pet ferret. As a rule of thumb, a pet ferret needs a safe ferret cage, a litter tray (inside the cage), food, relaxing areas, and play equipment. You should also purchase cleaning and grooming equipment ahead of the adoption. Ideally, when you are ready to adopt, you can ask for a full health check so that you can get your pet ferret insured from Day One.
What do ferrets eat?
Ferrets are what is called obligate carnivores. It means that they must eat meat to stay healthy as they can’t get essential nutrients from other types of food. While it doesn’t mean that a pet ferret will eat only meat, their diet consists predominantly of meat in various forms. But you can provide non-meat treats from time to time.
Ferrets are small creatures with a fast metabolism. Therefore, unlike a dog that can have a specific feeding time, your pet ferret needs to maintain constant access to food and water all day long. Most owners choose to weigh out their pet ferret’s daily food allowance and leave it in the bowl. However, you will need to remove all uneaten food at the end of the day to keep the cage clean.
Your ferret’s diet needs to be varied but with a strong focus on meat. It can include the following elements:
- Ferret nuggets such as our range of ferret food
- You can also use a raw food diet, using whole prey feedings such as mice or chicks.
- Clean and fresh water. Ferrets can drink from bowls or a cage water bottle with a metal spout.
- Some treats such as a boiled egg, for instance. You can also buy specialist ferret treats.
- Vitamin pastes and oils, which can be crucial to maintain your pet ferret’s health. You can use these as a reward as part of the training.
Ferrets love to play, so you can also hide food in tunnels or pipes to keep your pet active and engaged.
Beware of daily allowance; otherwise, your ferret will put on weight. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make food part of an active game. However, remember that a pet ferret will put on winter weight, which is a perfectly normal phenomenon.