Have you asked yourself “What kind of ferret should I get?”
*Scratches head* …
I think you’ve come to the right page 😀
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you’re a first-time ferret owner, I would suggest calling up the ferret society in your state (for Sandgropers that’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?
Ferret Societies or Shelters?
If you’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.
If you’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
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 …..
…. instead of a drawer full of snoring weasels who’re completely exhausted after causing chaos and mayhem around your house all day!
BTW, the photo of CJ looking out from the drawer was taken before his friends woke up in the same drawer 😀 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 I’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 they’re small and sleep a lot, it doesn’t mean they should be locked up in their cage 24/7 because you’re too busy to interact with it.
Don’t even think of getting one if that’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!
35 thoughts on “Choices … “What Kind of Ferret Should I Get?””
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!
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 🙂
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 😀 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 😀
Hope that’s been of some help!
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 🙁
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 😉
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!
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?
You have to be sure that your little dog won’t snap or bite your ferret 🙁
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 🙁 Some big dogs would do the same 🙁
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! 😮
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 🙁
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 😉 – 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 😉
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 ? what kind of stuff should I get it and what kind of food should I get for my ferret ??
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.
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 😀
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 😉
You might also like to watch my husband when he was interviewed for a pet program that was shown 20 years ago 😉
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 🙂
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.
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 🙁
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 🙁
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 🙁 What should I do?!
I think it’s absolutely marvellous that you’re getting a ferret and that your parents are supportive about that! Great news 🙂
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 😀
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 😀
Hope that’s of some help 🙂
All the very best!! I am so pleased for you 😀
I’m thinking of getting a ferret this summer, but I don’t know what type to get. What type would you suggest?
Btw, I have two cats. One of them is blind, and he gets scared easy. I’m afraid that the other will try to attack it. I don’t know what i should do.
Amy, it might be fairer to your blind cat to wait until he passes over to the Rainbow Bridge before you think about getting a ferret, don’t you think?
It seems a bit unfair to your cat if you get a very zany ferret who’ll jump on your blind boy and freak him out!
I’ve never had ferrets with a blind cat or dog, but if you haven’t seen this page of the animals we’ve had with our ferrets it might show you how ferrets react with other pets …
To be honest, it’s really difficult to predict what personality your ferret will have – you have to go and look at the ferrets and try to get one which appears really cuddly.
When I wrote about the different types of ferrets, I’d had some really crazy ferrets and they all seemed to be either silvermitts or black eyed whites; however I have had some really zany ones who were sables and a couple of BEWs that were super sweet and cuddly! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’m sorry I can’t give you a definitive answer but I hope I’ve given you a couple of things to think over!
Hugs to both your cats from my two wolverines 😉
Hey, I’m kinda interested (actually really interested) in getting a ferret. I was just wondering what the best cage is that I could get for he/she if I got one. Also, I here that they smell really bad, so would it be a problem if I kept it in my room? My family doesn’t really like animals so I wanted to keep he/she as far away as possible. Also, my mom won’t play with him during the day and I won’t see him for at least 7 hours everyday. I live in New Jersey but I go to a private school in New York which is like and hour and fifteen minutes away. I also go out for an hour every night as well. I will take him out of his cage when I do hw and I will play with him as much as I can. I started seventh grade a little while ago so I have a bit more hw to do. I want one to be my bestie though cause there are two girls at my school who try and make my life miserable and I want someone/something that can’t be a bully to me. Is a ferret right for me? Thx so much! -marcia
I’m really sorry to hear that you’re having problems at school – is there no one you can speak to about that? A sympathetic teacher perhaps?
About you getting a ferret as a friend … I’m rather worried about your family not being keen on pets ?
I personally love the smell of ferrets! When I used to have 6-7 they all loved sleeping in my chest of drawers and I used to pull open the drawer and stick my face into the group and take a deep breath! You may call me a crazy old ferret lady ?
HOWEVER … ferrets do have a musky odour and if your family have sensitive noses, they might find the smell too horrible even if you keep the ferret in your room ?
Also, from what you tell me about your schedule, it sounds pretty full on so you might find you really don’t have much time available to play with your ferret. You say you’ll take him out of his cage when you do your homework but surely that will take your concentration off your work?
Ferrets are extremely curious and I can imagine your ferret roaming around your room, scratching at the door (if you have carpet in your bedroom, the ferret could very well scratch a hole in it! You might hear strange noises so you’ll stop your homework to see what your ferret is getting up to. I would hate your grades to fall because of that!
I always think it’s better to have 2 ferrets, rather than one, because they can entertain themselves when their owners are out, but that would mean twice the expense.
I did get an email from a lady a while ago who told me that her son got a ferret and she wasn’t happy about that, but she found the ferret so adorable that she started interacting with it and she spent more time with it than her son did! How nice would that be if your mother also fell in love with your ferret but obviously we can’t count on that happening!!
To be honest, I think that you should wait until you’re older and have more free time before considering a ferret as a pet.
Here are a couple of links to articles I came across which I think you should read …
The second link talks about the cost of having a ferret but I don’t know how old the article is. Might be 5 years old and the costs have risen. I know vet charges have gone through the roof since I first got a ferret in 1994 ?
I hope those articles will be helpful to you and please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. Am always happy to help ?
With very best wishes
I am not sure if I should get a female or male ferret. I would like to get 2 because whenever I am out they can keep each other company so they don’t get bored or sad. So would 2 females be better or 2 males? Or can you keep 1 male and 1 female? Thanks
As long as both ferrets have been sterilised, then getting a boy and a girl (like a brother & sister) is fine, so are two girls or two boys! Having two is a really good idea because, like you said, they won’t get bored if you’re not around; however please make sure you can afford to pay any vet bills for two should they get sick!
So if you make sure you can afford two, then you’ll have double the laughs and love! I think that would be a fabulous idea ?
Hello, Nona I wrote a comment a while ago, saying that I was 11 and thinking about getting a ferret. Its Happening!, Next week we are going to Petco to adopt our new familey members.Summer Just started, so when we first get the carpet sharks, me And my Mom will be able to play and bond with them, However I am worried about when summer is over :(. I will have to go back to school, and i have a feeling i am going to be the only one caring for them on a reguler basis, eventuly my mom will get bored and go back to her online freinds, Not meaning to talk bad about my mom, she is a wonderful woman.But, do you think the two ferrets will keep each other company, enough for the six and a half hours I am gone? PLEASE RESPOND!!!
Sorry for the grammer errors
No problems ❤️
I’m so glad for you, Ferret Lover, and I’m sure your mom will be totally captured by their crazy antics and fall madly in love with them!!
Yes, having two ferrets is great and they will definitely keep each company when you go back to school, so please don’t worry.
Just make sure you have ferret proofed the area you let them out in, and also make sure you have a ferret vet on hand in case you need one.
Welcome to the world of ferret owners ?
Also I am getting my ferret from Petco is that a good idea and what should I look out for if I get my ferret from Petco?
Hi my name is Amy and my mom is letting me get a ferret and she is totally on board!!But I have two cats so will that be a problem?My mom might home school me and my brother so I will be at home all day to take care of my ferret but even if I have to go to school my mom said she will take care of it.I am getting my ferret from Petco is that a good idea and if I do what should I look out for?Also should I get more than one ferret?
I’m sorry but I live in Australia so am not familiar with Petco. However I do know there are many ferrets in shelters so it might be nicer to go there and give a ferret a home!
You could then speak to the shelter owner and ask her about giving you the ferret which suits your family life. Just a thought! ?
Hi again Amy!
How fantastic that your mom is allowing you to have a ferret! That really is the best news I’ve heard in a long while ?
I don’t think your cats will be a problem – just make sure that you introduce the ferret to them and make sure they don’t try to swipe at it with their paws!
Have you seen my page showing the chaos in my house over the years with cats, dog and ferrets?
And you can see a TV segment that shows how all the animals get along in our house! It was taken in 1996 so a long time ago ?
I think 2 ferrets is the ideal number but you have to make sure you have enough money for vet bills if you get two! Make sure you find out what vaccinations your ferret needs in your state/city and make sure your pet gets them, and make sure the vaccinations are updated regularly.
I mentioned in my first answer to your question that I don’t know anything about Petco and thought you might consider getting your ferret from a shelter close by (if there is one!). I think it will cost less and you can speak to the shelter owner to find out the personalities of the ferrets there. Far better for a first time ferret owner to get a nice, happy but not too crazy ferret or two!
If you want to pursue that option, please let me know your city and I can try and find a nearby shelter for you. I have heard so many depressing stories from my ferret friends who help out at shelters about how many ferrets are surrendered by people these days because they’re scared they might get the virus from their ferret (which is silly as the ferret doesn’t go out anywhere and could only catch the virus from their owner!!!) ?
If you get a young ferret from Petco, you won’t know what kind of personality it will show and believe me, some ferrets can be really nuts!! Good fun if you know how to handle a cray cray ferret but a big challenge to a new ferret owner ?
Hope that’s been of some help to you and a big HIGH 5 to you – your mama is one wonderful lady ?
Thank you that helped alot!
My sister and I want a ferret, and our mom is fine with that. Though I want a girl and same with my sister but I don’t know what to do when it’s mating season if we get one/two. Our parents don’t want babies so I’m not sure. And I don’t really want a boy because I feel like they’d be more aggressive than girls.
My sister and I want a ferret, or two so that there is one for both of us. Our parents are fine with us getting them but I want a girl and my sister doesn’t mind which gender we get. We’re not sure what to do when it’s mating season because our mom doesn’t want baby ferrets and we don’t want to breed them because we’d feel bad. And I feel like a male would be more aggressive. And I just want a ferret I can hold and cuddle with. I live near Petco and was thinking we’d get one from there because we don’t know where else we’d get some and we live in NH and don’t know any other pets stores here that have ferrets.
Please don’t worry about ferrets mating if you get a boy and a girl as all kits sold in pet stores are sterilised before they get there. Poor little things are much too young to be sterilised – usually at 6 weeks old – whereas in Europe & Australia they’re usually sterilised at 6 months old!
And boys are not more aggressive than girls – it all depends on the ferret’s personality ?? I’ve had really smoochy, cuddly boys and had some girls which were very stand-offish so it really is the luck of the drawer.
As I mentioned in your other post on the “Choices” page, ferret kits are all sterilised when they are sold in pet stores so don’t worry about getting babies if you have a boy and a girl.
Rather than getting your ferrets from a pet store, have you thought about getting a pair from a ferret shelter? You could speak to the owner and she could perhaps find a pair of gentle ferrets for you to take home?
There are a few shelters in NH, like this …
While looking for ferret shelters, I found this pet shop in Littleton and I think they might have ferrets for sale. You’d have to ask if they’ve been sterilised as if they got the kits from a breeder, then they might not be fixed yet!
Hope that’s been of some help ?
We are getting ferrets to go ferreting for rabbits should I get a male or female?
I’m getting ferrets soon for ferreting should I get a male or female?
It all depends on the personality of the ferret. You can get girls who are happy to chase rabbits and, being smaller, seem to manage the burrows and tunnels quite happily. Or you could get a boy who likes going down tunnels but being larger, there is always a worry that he might get stuck!
Another worry is if the ferret manages to eat whatevfood is down there then it will go to sleep in the burrow and you’ll have to dig it out.
Check out this website as they seem to have lots of advice for would-be ferreters …
It seems like Simon Whitehead is the ferret expert there so I would suggest you contact him and ask him for advice. But first read all the articles they have about ferrets and ferreting so that you don’t ask him a question which is explained on the site ?
Or … even better … here is an Aussie ferreting group so hopefully you’ll be able to ask them pertinent questions and get replies via Facebook!
Ah yes – there is a problem that if the authorities are putting out poison to kill the rabbits, it will be so dangerous for a ferret to catch one and kill it as it might get killed by the poison in the rabbit. Ugh! Like if people don’t put down rat poison which is safe for other animals and birds. That’s another thing you must be aware of!
I’ve only been on a ferreting expedition once and that was enough! My husband and kids went with the group to put Scully, our BEW ferret, down into a burrow. There were no rabbits anywhere but she got comfy and fell asleep for AGES!! I was waiting for them at the WAFFS campsite and got so worried when I saw the other members coming back with their ferrets and there was no sign of Scully or my humans! ?♀️
Did you read about the ordeal at all?
I hope you’ll be able to find the answers you want from the experts!
Good luck and happy hunting ?