Frequently Asked Questions

About Ferrets

For anyone who has not had the opportunity to spend much time around a ferret or those

who are considering adopting or buying a new ferret, there may be many questions.

Below are some frequently asked questions about ferrets.

How Much Do Ferrets Cost?

The cost of ferret can vary widely, and will mainly depend on what area you live in and where you purchase or adopt your ferret from. If you adopt a ferret from a rescue or humane society you can expect to spend less than if you purchase one from a pet store or directly from a breeder. Generally, you can expect to spend anywhere between $50 and $300 on a ferret. This cost may or may not include basic vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and other vetting.

What Do Ferrets Eat?

Ferrets should eat a diet that is high in fat and high in animal protein. In the wild, ferrets are obligate carnivores meaning they only eat the skin, meat, and bones of rabbits, prairie dogs, and other small animals. While some owners elect to feed their ferrets a raw or cooked meat diet, a high quality ferret or kitten food will provide enough protein and fat to keep your ferret healthy without having to worry about germs associated with a raw meat diet. Learn more about our suggestions for best ferret food.

Why Do Ferrets Bite?

Young ferrets, like many other young animals, nip and bite as a way to express emotions. Ferrets have much thicker skin than other animals, and playful bites between ferrets are not as painful as when a ferret bites their owner or other human, as our skin is not as tough.

Most of the time, ferrets do not bite maliciously, but this unpleasant habit should be trained out of young ferrets as soon as possible. Ferrets that were not socialized correctly as kits may bite out of fear or mistrust of humans.

How Long Does A Ferret Live?

With proper vetting, ferrets can live between five and nine years. To help prolong your ferret’s life span, it is important to take your ferret to the vet at least once a year to ensure that your furry friend is healthy and happy.

Do Ferrets Smell?

Ferrets often get a terrible reputation for smelling awful, but as any ferret owner knows, this reputation is not well earned. Ferrets have a unique scent like any other animal, but owners quickly get used to this scent. Ferrets have anal scent glands that contribute partially to their skunky smell, but the sweat glands on their skin play a larger role in their smell.

Ferrets that have not been spayed or neutered tend to smell more strongly than ferrets that are fixed, so fixing them will certainly help to reduce odors.

You can also bathe your ferret, but it is important not to overly bathe them as this can cause them to overproduce oils on their skin and cause them to smell worse. Only use shampoo specifically formulated for ferrets and do not give them a bath more than once a month, and some ferret owners suggest that a bath no more than twice year is more appropriate.

Can A Ferret Be Litter Box Trained?

Ferrets are incredibly smart animals, so they can be easily persuaded to use the litter box. While ferrets are not as reliable at litter box training as cats, if properly trained, they can regularly use the litter box both in and outside of their cage. For more information, see our article on how to litter box train your ferret.

Where Do Ferrets Sleep?

As a throw back to their wild ancestors, pet ferrets like to sleep in dark, hidden places that they are safe from other animals. Many ferrets like to sleep under blankets, in drawers, under couches, and of course, in hammocks.

How Much Do Ferrets Sleep?

A ferret spends much of its time deep in sleep. In fact, the average ferret sleeps between sixteen and twenty hours per day. That means that the four to eight hours they are up is full of mischief and playing.

Are Ferrets Dangerous?

Ferrets are no more dangerous than any other small animal. Due to their big personality, many people assume that ferrets are much larger than they are in reality. However, ferrets only weigh between 1.5 pounds and 4.5 pounds, depending on sex, so they are really not capable of inflicting any real damage. Be mindful of their sharp claws and teeth when they are feeling playful or scared.

What Is A Male Ferret Called?

A neutered male ferret is known as a gib, whereas an intact male is known as a hob.

What Is A Female Ferret Called?

A fixed female ferret is known as a sprite, while a intact female is known as a jill.

What Is A Baby Ferret Called?

Under a year of a age, a baby ferret is also commonly referred to as a kit.

What Is A Group Of Ferrets Called?

Since the middle ages, a group of ferrets have been known as a “busyness” or a “business”. This name is very fitting for anyone has owned more than one ferret at a time, because any time you leave the room, it is not uncommon to see your furry friends following behind, trying to get into your business!

Are Ferrets Rodents?

Many times people assume that ferrets are in the rodent family; however, this assumption is incorrect. Ferrets are part of the weasel family and are closely related to weasels, minks, skunks, badgers, and otters.

Do Ferrets Get Along With Other Animals?

Ferrets are incredibly playful, social animals, and get along well with other ferrets. Indeed, ferrets love the company of others, and many seasoned ferret owners suggest having two to three ferrets at a time to ensure ferrets always have a friend they are accustomed to.

Ferrets also get along well with cats and dogs. However, it is important to be mindful of large animals that have a high prey drive in order to ensure that they see don’t accidentally see a ferret as a snack instead of as a playmate.

It is also important to note here that ferrets should NEVER be allowed to play with rabbits, rats, mice, etc! These animals are ferrets’ natural prey, and it’s quite possible the smaller animals will not survive the friendship!

Ferrets tend to play very roughly. They have thick skin and can take a beating from their fellow ferrets, all in the name of fun. However, other animals do not withstand ferrets’ boisterous games so well, and a friendly rumble may not have the best outcome for smaller animals.

If you plan to integrate your ferrets with dogs and cats, be aware of their relative sizes and monitor their interactions until you are comfortable that all your pets are safe in the presence of each other!!!

What Are Common Ferret Colors?

Ferrets come in eight different colors: albino, black, black sable, champagne, chocolate, cinnamon, dark-eyed white, and sable. Within these colors there can be a variety of different color combinations.

The most common ferret coloring is the sable, which is indicated by a light undercoat and very dark brown guard hairs. Sables often have the well known dark mask. The least common coloring is cinnamon, which is characterized by golden red guard hairs and a white to cream undercoat.


Ferrets are awesome pets, and hopefully these frequently asked questions about ferrets will help you to understand more about these hilarious, affectionate, furry animals. As with any pet, it is important to remember that adopting or buying a ferret should be a commitment for the lifetime of your furry friend.

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