Guide For Keeping A Ferret As A Pet: Everything You Need To Know


Are you thinking of having a ferret as a pet?

Do you have what it takes to keep ferrets as pets?

Before you answer those questions, read my article because it will tell you everything you need to know about owning a ferret. Can you have a ferret as a pet, do ferrets make good pets, how to get a pet ferret are only a couple of questions I answered here. If you have doubts about owning a ferret, read this post first!

Can You Have A Ferret As A Pet?

You can have a ferret as a pet in most countries in this world. They are actually getting more and more popular in the pet department because they are absolutely adorable. Ferrets are pretty smart animals and they love to have fun which makes them great anti-stress furballs for almost every home.

can you have a ferret as a pet

But, there is a catch in keeping a ferret at home. You can have a ferret as a pet as long as you are 100% sure it is legal to own a ferret in your country. If you want to know more about it, read my post about Where are ferrets legal?

Do Ferrets Make Good Pets?

Yes, ferrets make good pets. But, you have to learn about them before you decide can you have a ferret as a pet or not, just like with any other pet. When you look at the pros of owning a ferret, you should know this. Ferrets sleep almost 18 hours a day, they are smaller than the average cat and you can train them. All of this sounds perfect, but that doesn’t mean a ferret is a perfect pet for you.

do ferrets make good pets

There are a few issues regarding ferrets and most of them are connected to the lack of ferret-related information. You have to work really hard to gather all the information about ferrets before you can decide to own one. They aren’t suitable pets for people with babies and other children and they don’t get along with small animals, especially rodents and rabbits. If you want to see the pros and cons of owning a ferret, read my post about the reasons why ferrets are good pets.

Where To Get A Ferret As Pet?

There are a couple of options for you to buy ferrets as pets. Not all of them are good, but they still exist so it is my duty to show you the pros and cons of all options. There are two main categories for getting a ferret. You can get it in a pet store or from a breeder. Let’s take a look at each option better.

Ferrets From A Pet Store

Most ferrets you see in pet stores come from ferret farms. Those farms aren’t the best places for ferrets since they breed them only to sell them. That means cages are small, ferrets aren’t socialized and their genetic material is bad. Also, ferrets are descented and desexed way too early in their life which can cause numerous medical troubles in the future. You can read more about ferret farms in my post about ferret mills.

ferret in the pet store

Once a ferret gets to a pet store, other challenges happen. When a young ferret comes to pet store, he will probably bite hard because nobody told him not to. So, he ends up in a cage where he gets clean water and some generic food. Most of the time that food is not good for a young ferret. Since employees don’t have time to deal with ferrets, he will continue with his biting habit even in the new home. Those are only a couple of problems young ferrets encounter in pet stores, you can read more in my post about ferrets in pet stores.

Ferrets From A Breeder

Ferrets from a breeder are much better options than ones from pet stores, but you have to be careful here too. There are two types of breeders. Good breeders know how to handle a ferret and bad breeders, also known as backyard breeders. Good ferret breeders take care of their ferrets and their offsprings, socialize them and take care of genetic material. That means they don’t breed ferrets with similar genetic materials (somehow related), but they use different ferrets from other countries, even continents.

ferret from ferret breeders

Backyard breeders are similar to ferret farms. Just by their name, you can assume where they hold their ferrets. In a shed in the backyard, which is not bad in general. But, the problem is that most of the time those sheds are dirty, with small cages. They don’t really care about genetic material and if they can’t find a different ferret, they will breed ones that are somehow related. So, how can you tell which one is better? Read in my post about ferret breeders.

Adopt A Ferret

If you want to save a life, you can always go and adopt ferrets as pets. You can do that by visiting your local ferret shelter or contact someone through social media that has to set his ferret for adoption. When you are adopting a ferret, you can adopt both young and old ones. If you want to do it through a shelter, you can talk with personnel and ask them for help in choosing a ferret. They can recommend you a ferret based on your lifestyle and his personality because they want to make a perfect match. You can read more about the entire process in my post about ferret adoptions.

ferrets for adoption

What Is A Cost Of A Ferret?

Now that you know where you can get a ferret, the next question you have to ask yourself is how much money do you need for a ferret. Owning a ferret is not an expensive job, but it is no cheap either. It requires form you a big budget in the beginning, but if you play your cards right, you can keep the budget under control for a long time. So, besides the price of the ferret, what else do you need?

Cost Of A Ferret

The cost of a ferret varies from 50$ to 300$ and it all depends on your location, ferret’s location, where you get a ferret, even how old is the ferret. As you can assume, pet store ferrets and ferrets from backyard breeders are the cheapest, but that doesn’t make them better options for you. You have to consider that those ferrets have a higher chance of developing serious medical conditions later in life. So, sometimes it is better to give more money in the beginning so you can save up later in life. This is not a rule, but it is a probability. If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, read my post about the ferret’s price.

how much does a ferret cost

Other Ferret Expenses

Now that we know the price of a ferret, what else do you need? You will need a long list of supplies if you decide on ferrets as pets, from big ones like cages to small ones like toys. Most of those products are one-time costs because you will probably buy a cage once in 10-15 years (that is why you have to pick a good one). Besides those one-time expenses, you have frequent expenses. Those are things you have to buy at least once a month, like good ferret food or ferret litter.

cost of a ferret

Medical Ferret Expenses

Medical expenses are another category. One of the things you must do is to neuter or spay your ferret. You have to do it if you have a female ferret or she might die and it is a smart move to do it with a male ferret or he might be aggressive. Besides neutering and spaying, you have to take your ferret to the vet for a checkup once a year so you can be sure you have a happy and healthy pet. What else there is? You can read in my post about the total expenses of owning a ferret.

Things To Know About Keeping A Ferret As A Pet

Doing research is very important, but what is more important is practical knowledge. It is a good idea to read a book about ferrets or a blog from a ferret owner. It is an even better idea to read a blog with practical tips you can actually use in different situations. You can read more about this topic in my post about keeping ferrets as pets, or you can take a look at some of those tips:

How To Feed A Ferret?

Before you even consider owning a ferret, you should know what you can feed him with. Although small, ferrets are beasts, meaning they eat meat and are considered carnivorous. That means you mustn’t give them fruit, vegetables or sugars. The only thing they can eat is meat. The second-best option for a ferret is to eat high-quality kibble with a minimum amount of fibers and sugar. If you want to learn more about choosing the best food, read my post about feeding a ferret.

how to feed a pet ferret

Where To Keep A Ferret?

If you want to keep your ferret safe at all times, it is a smart idea to invest in a good cage. Since ferrets sleep most of the day, keeping them in a cage when they sleep is an OK idea. But, what if you aren’t home when they wake up? Well, they will have to be in the cage so you have to buy the best possible option for them. The cage should be safe, comfortable, and big enough for them to play, drink, eat and sleep in it. Read more about choosing the right one in my post about the best ferret cages.

How To Keep Your Ferret Safe?

Ferrets as pets are mischievous creatures and they can get in trouble in a blink of an eye. They are very flexible and they can enter almost every hole you have in your home. Under the couch, behind the fridge, in the drawer, you name it. That is why there is one special term used in the ferret owner world – ferret proofing. Ferret proofing is a list of errands you have to to do prevent your ferret from getting in trouble. What is this list of errands made of? Read in my post about ferret proofing.

can i have a ferret as a pet

How To Train Your Ferret?

One of the good things about ferrets is that they are trainable. You can train them to use the litter box, to stop biting, to act nicely with other household members, even to do some tricks. All you need for it are snacks and a lot of patience. Ferrets are smart, but they tend to get distracted so the best way to train them is in short periods. So, how can you do that? You can read all about it in my post about training ferrets.

How To Groom A Ferret?

Every pet needs grooming. Ferrets are actually very clean animals so you don’t have to worry about bathing them. But, what you have to worry about is cutting their nailscleaning their ears and teeth, and going to the vet for a regular checkup. That is something you have to do every couple of weeks and it might seem complicated, but you will get the hang of it pretty quickly. The most important thing you need to know is to use a distraction. You can read all about it in my post about ferret grooming.

Are Ferrets Good Pets For You?

Owning a ferret (or any other pet) isn’t cheap. If you are aware of the expenses, where to buy a ferret, and how to keep him healthy, then there is nothing you have to worry about. If you still aren’t sure whether having ferrets as pets is a good idea for you or not, then I suggest reading my post about the most popular ferret questions. It might help you make a decision about getting a pet ferret.

Should I Get A Ferret?

If you still aren’t sure that ferret is the best choice for you, but you really want one, then I strongly recommend checking out my questionnaire about ferrets as pets. Answer the questions honestly and in the end, you will get an answer to whether it is a good idea for you to own a ferret or not! Good Luck!


Keeping ferrets as pets can be a very thrilling experience thanks to their high energy and craziness. Once they are awake, they will make sure there isn’t a single dull moment in your life. I know that it might sound like having a ferret as a pet is a lot of work, but once you organize yourself, it will be worth it. What is your opinion about keeping a ferret as a pet? Do ferrets make good pets? Share it with us in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter!

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Anja Delic
Anja is a Friendly Ferret owner and a ferret parent who is involved in the ferret world for more than 10 years. She started her Friendly Ferret blog when she got her first ferret Frida 8 years ago. In 2013, Friendly Ferret was recognized as a great source of information and it has become a good ferret brand for education, products, and fun. Since then, Anja was a part in many ferrets shows as a sponsor and as a judge, and she met many great and interesting people who share the same passion as her - ferrets. Anja is always opened for suggestions and advice, so if you have something to ask or say about ferrets, feel free to contact her on Instagram, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter or