Keeping Ferrets As Pets: What Do You Need To Know?


Can you keep a ferret as a pet?

What are the things you need to know about keeping ferrets?

This post is dedicated to showing you how to keep a ferret as a pet. I will talk about basic things about ferrets from where to keep him, how to feed him to more specific things like why should you take care of the temperature around ferret and how to keep his smell to a minimum. If you are interested in keeping ferrets as pets, this post is a great place to start learning about it.

Can You Keep A Ferret As A Pet?

Yes, you can keep a ferret as a pet and they are actually pretty cool pets. But, they are still considered exotic in some parts of the world which means that you will have to have a special permit to own a ferret or you can’t own it at all. The most famous country where ferrets are illegal is California, but the same situation is in Hawaii, New Zealand, etc. If you are interested in this topic, you can read more about it in my post about where are ferrets legal.  So, before you consider keeping a ferret, make sure it is not illegal in your city or state by looking at the laws.
keeping ferrets as pets

How To Keep Ferrets As Pets?

Keeping ferrets as pets means taking care of them, keeping them healthy and happy. So, what are the things you need to know before getting a ferret? Where you can keep them, what food to give them? Learn more about that right below.

How To Feed Your Ferret?

The most important part of a healthy ferret life is the correct diet. Ferrets, although they are rather small, aren’t connected to any rodent. They are carnivores which means that the best diet you can provide is a meat diet. Ferrets need to eat meat, organs, and bones, all in a specific amount to stay healthy. But, if you don’t have the means, will, or guts to provide them with meat-based nutrition, you can use kibble. There is ferret kibble on the market, but most of them aren’t the best ones for them (regarding the ferret on the package). Cat’s kibble is good for ferrets, but only high-quality grain-free kind.

keeping ferrets as pets - How To Feed Your Ferret

You can recognize a good ferret kibble if you look at the list of ingredients. At least the first three ingredients should be meat because animal protein is the most important part of it. Fruits aren’t completely bad for ferrets, but they do have a lot of sugar which is bad for them. So, look for food with fruits at the bottom of the list. The same story is with vegetables, although vegetables are more harmful than fruits so they have to be at the bottom of the list. Stay away from peas, ferrets can’t digest them, they can develop bladder stones because of them. You can read more about good ferret kibble in my post right here.

How To Train Your Ferret?

Training ferrets is good because it creates a bond between a ferret and the owner. There are two important things you need to teach your ferret so you can socialize with him. You can teach your ferret to use a litter box and to stop biting. That is possible because ferrets are actually very cooperative animals. Teaching your ferret not to bite is a lengthy process, but it is possible and there are a few tricks you can use to make it faster. You can read some of the most common tricks in my stop your ferret from biting guide.

how to keep a ferret litter trained

The same story is with litter training. Ferrets are actually very clean animals and they won’t poop in the middle of the room or where they want. Most of them pick a spot for that and uses it. So, you can use that to train your ferret to do his business in a litter box and not on the floor. To see what you can do to potty train your ferret, read my detailed litter training guide.

How To Keep Ferrets Entertained?

The other side of keeping your ferret healthy is keeping him happy. Ferrets are intelligent so to keep them happy, you have to keep them entertained. If you have two or more ferrets and they love each other, the only thing you have to do is provide them enough space to run around and enough toys to play with. You can play with them too and they will include you in their games without any problems. You can even train your ferrets to do tricks, it is a great way to bond and stimulate their minds. Read more about training ferrets in my post right here.

how to keep ferrets entertained

But, how to keep a single ferret happy is slightly more challenging. Owning one ferret means you have to provide him entertainment because he is alone. So, make sure you have many toys your ferret loves and play with him every day for a couple of hours. Here you can read more about ferret-safe toys so you know what toys you can use to play with. If you don’t provide entertainment for your ferret, he will look for it. That usually means trouble because he will find a drawer to break in, a plant to dig in, etc. You will be surprised how innovative they can be when looking for entertainment. That is why it is extremely important to keep them occupied and safe. So, playing and ferret proofing should be your main tasks when your ferret is awake.

How To Keep A Ferret From Smelling?

Ferrets are smelly creatures, although most ferret owners like their special musky odor. There are a few tricks you can do to minimize their body smell and the most important one is to keep them healthy. If you use a proper diet, your ferret will stay happy, healthy, and odor-free. Also, make sure you desex your ferret so you can minimize the smell ferrets produce when in heat. As you can imagine, the smell is much stronger when a ferret is in heat. Read more about ferrets and their natural scent in my post about do ferrets smell.

how to keep a ferret from smelling

Another thing you have to consider is how to keep ferret cage from smelling because most of the smell you notice comes from the cage, not the ferret. You can do that simply by cleaning the cage and replacing the bedding at least once a week. This is something you can read in my post about how to keep ferret smell down too.  Also, you have to clean the litter at least once a day to prevent the smell of feces spread. Don’t forget to buy a good quality litter that contains the smell and keeps your ferrets safe. Read more about litter types in my post about picking the litter.

How To Keep Ferrets Clean?

As I have already mentioned, ferrets are very clean animals, meaning they love to groom themselves, just like cats. So, if you want to keep your ferrets clean, you can, but that means to keep an eye on their toenails, ears, and overall state. You don’t have to bathe ferrets because they do it. If you bathe a ferret too often, you can damage their skin and worsen the smell. Read more about bathing ferrets and when to do it in my post about ferrets and a bath.

How To Keep Ferrets Clean

Grooming ferrets means taking care of their toenails, ears, and teeth. Those are tasks you have to do to keep your ferret clean and you can do them every two weeks to once a month, depending on the task. There are a few tips and tricks when it comes to grooming ferrets and if you want to know some, read my post about grooming ferrets. Grooming ferrets keep them in great shape, but it is useful for another reason. Your ferret will get used to handling, which will make him better at the vet’s checkup and he will become a well-mannered ferret.

What Do You Keep Ferrets In?

You have two options to keep ferrets in. Those are keeping ferrets indoors and keeping ferrets outside. Both options are OK. If you are interested in keeping ferrets outside, then make sure you provide them a good shelter, a separated area with food, water, toys, and places to sleep. You have to build them a hutch so they don’t run away and you can easily place everything they need inside the hutch. During winter, make sure they have enough bedding to stay warm and during summer, make sure to provide them a chance to cool off with water. Also, make sure the hutch is not in the direct sunlight, but in a deep shade to lower the summer temperatures.

do you keep ferrets in a cage

Keeping ferrets indoors means keeping them in the cage for a part of the day and let them out the rest of the day. You don’t have to ask yourself do you keep ferrets in a cage, you have to ask yourself how to pick one. It is important to get a good ferret cage, the one that is big enough for ferrets and has everything one ferret needs – food, water, bedding, and toys. You can read more about picking the right one in my post about the best ferret cages. Once a ferret is out of the cage, you have to monitor him. Ferrets love exploring and that is what they do 99% of their time. That means they will try to enter the couch, the kitchen or living room cabinets, and other drawers. You have to prevent them from doing that because they can get hurt. The best way to stop any accidents is to ferret proof your home. You can learn more about ferret proofing in my post here.

How To Keep Ferrets Cool In Summer?

Ferrets are very sensible when it comes to high temperatures. They do well during summer and that is why you have to provide them a good cooling system, no matter if they are inside or outside. The best temperature for ferrets is around 70°F which is around 21°C. Everything above that is warm, even hot for them. If you aren’t careful your ferret can have a heat stroke, which can even lead to severe situations like death. That is why it is important to control the temperature and to remove the ferret enclosure from the direct sun. You can read more about heatstroke and how to help your ferret in my post about heatstroke in ferrets.

how to keep ferrets cool in summer


Keeping ferrets as pets is interesting and challenging but they are worth it. You will have to keep them supervised at all times because they love to cause trouble. Providing them with proper nutrition and keeping them entertained keeps them happy and healthy. What is your experience on how to keep a ferret? Do you have some useful tips worth sharing with other ferret owners? Share them below this post in the comment section!

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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