Baby ferrets are small, cute animals that many people enjoy. They can be a great pet to have in your home, and they are always up for playtime! Baby ferrets will grow into adults, but it takes them about 6-10 months to do so.
Read on to find out more about baby ferrets.
So, what do you call a baby ferret? Baby ferrets are called kits!
They are born with white fuzzy fur and later develop their final fur color.
Ferrets can have many different fur colors. According to the American Ferret Organization, there are eight basic ferret colors:
- Black Sable
- Dark-Eyed White
Additionally, there are nine different basic ferret patterns:
You can find out more here: https://www.ferret.org/pdfs/Ferret_Colors_and_Patterns.pdf
An average litter of kits consists of four to six kits but can contain as many as 14.
What do Baby Ferrets Cost?
Ferrets from private breeders are more expensive than ferrets bought from places like Petco.
Their prices range
- Pet Stores like Petco: $80 to $200
- Private Breeders: $150 – up to $600
And even though more expensive, I strongly suggest buying from a private breeder.
They are less likely to have genetic defects and will be socialized better, which reduces the chance of them being aggressive. They had more time to mature and probably will be stronger and bigger.
Both places require you to sign an adoption contract, but private breeders typically offer lifetime support if anything goes wrong or comes up that needs help with your ferret.
Weight When Born
Kits are tiny when they’re born- they weigh only six to fourteen grams and range from two to a little less than three inches long.
Kits are born blind, deaf, and without teeth. Eyes and ears open when they are four to five weeks old.
They grow their baby teeth at around week four. Those are very sharp, and it’s a good idea to keep them away from your skin.
At around week eight to ten, their adult teeth start to come in.
For the first 3-4 weeks, kits rely 100% on their mother’s milk. A jill (ferret mother) has five to nine nipples. If there are more kits than nipples, the jill will nurse the kits in shifts.
Ferret milk is like human breast milk and contains all nutrients needed for baby ferrets, including enzymes that help to digest.
Kits can eat their first “real” food around week five (growing their baby teeth by then).
This first food is usually a mixture of cooked or ground meats. Some soaked kibble and, depending on the breeder, extra additives like vitamins, minerals, etc.
Around week eight to ten, ferrets will have their adult teeth and start eating a regular ferret diet.
Ferrets are obligate carnivores and therefore eat meat. Meat only. No fruits, grains, fillers, and so on!
Young ferrets should be introduced to a variety of different food. Foods they did not experience will be very, very hard to be introduced once they are adults.
Meats Ferrets can and should eat:
- Venison (deer)
- Ground Meat
- Whole Chicken Wings
- Turkey Necks
- Chicken Carcasses
Generally, ferrets require a diet high in protein and fat, low in fiber. 30-40% Protein, 20-30% Fat, ideally less than 3% Fiber
How Often Should Ferrets Eat?
Ferrets have short digestive tracts. It’s important to feed ferrets every three-four hours.
Litter Box Training
Once kits start eating their first “real” food, you should train them to use a litter box. The kits will go to the bathroom near their food and bedding, so you must create an area for them to do this in.
In fact, they learn from their mother to use the litter box.
When is my Baby Ferret Full Grown?
Kits are fully grown by 6 to 10 months. Male ferrets are mature a little later, starting from eight months.
Up until one year of age, ferrets are still considered adolescents.
- Full-grown jill weighs 1.5 to 3 pounds
- Full-grown hob weighs 3 to 6 pounds
Ferrets you adopt from a private or otherwise well-reputable breeder are usually larger than ferrets from a pet store.
How to Tell if your Baby Ferret is Deaf?
There is a condition called Waardenburg Syndrome. This condition is very often found in ferrets with a certain color. It is basically a malformation in their hearing organ.
Prone to deafness are:
- Dark-Eyed White
If you suspect that your ferret is deaf, you can do the following. Produce a loud noise and check if they react in any way.
Make sure to visit your vet!
How to Tell if your Baby Ferret is Blind?
Ferrets don’t have good eyesight to start with. If you suspect that your ferret is blind, produce a bright light and check if they react in any way.
Or you could rearrange its cage or other furniture in your home. If your ferret seems at a loss, this could be a sign for your furball to be blind.
As always, if you suspect something unusual with your ferret – go and see your veterinarian as fast as possible.
Should you Neuter or Fix your Baby Ferret?
Yes. You should.
There are a bunch of health-related questions, especially for female ferrets. Talk to your veterinarian about this topic as soon as possible.
Ferrets bought at places like Petco will be neutered or fixed. You can check easily by looking for two tattooed dots on their right ear.
If the dots are there – your ferret was neutered/fixed. If not – talk to your vet! Well, you should talk to your vet anyways!