Ferrets are adorable and very social creatures. And I find it hard not to love them. But that doesn’t mean they’re suitable for everyone.
I guess if you wanted to, you could always find reasons why NOT to get a ferret. Here are some of the common myths about why you should not get a ferret.
Yes. This one is true. Ferrets have a distinctive smell to them. Ferrets have a pair of anal glands that produce a yellow liquid that has a strong odor. If your ferret is frightened or threatened, it will release this liquid.
However, the truth is that the smell doesn’t bother you as much as you’d think. Ferrets don’t leave a significant odor anywhere outside of their litter boxes (where the problem is most often).
To be on the safe side, go and visit someone that has pet ferrets in their home. You will be able to tell right away if their smell bothers you or if you are one of those that like it.
2-Ferrets are Dirty
Not true! Ferrets groom themselves. They are by no means dirty animals. While they do have messy accidents every once in a while, you’ll find that most ferrets are clean animals that take care of themselves.
You can teach them to use a litterbox to make sure their bathroom habits don’t bother you. You have to take care of the litterbox. Keep it clean – Wash it regularly and use the suitable litter.
3-Ferrets are Dangerous
Most definitely not true! Well, maybe if you are a mouse or a small rabbit … but other than that, ferrets are not dangerous.
4-Ferrets are Angry and Mean Animals
Not at all! Ferrets are exceptionally playful creatures that like to cuddle and be around you. They are cute, and they are fun to have around the house. Most of the time, ferrets act like you are their toy.
Yes, they can get upset or scared if something unusual happens – but that does not mean they are mean or angry animals!
5-Ferrets are expensive
True! Ferrets are expensive. And even more so if you buy them from a reputable breeder. And I would strongly advise you to do so (if possible). Look for breeders that are a member of the American Ferret Association. A ferret from a breeder may cost up to $500,
And if possible at all, try to adopt a ferret from a shelter. There are too many of them living in shelters.
Avoid getting your furry friend from pet stores like Petco. Yes, they are “only” around $200 – but they will have been spayed or neutered at a very young age. The consequences are a potentially shorter lifespan. (source:https://www.petmd.com/ferret/care/evr_ft_how-long-do-ferrets-live)
You need a cage or pen, bowls, bedding, and toys. I would estimate something like $250.
Also, ferrets require a special diet and regular visits to the veterinarian. Which ads up to something like $300-$500 per year.
You want to be prepared if your ferret gets sick. So ad another $10/month that you should save up for that.
6-Ferrets nibble (and bite)
Yes. They nibble and maybe occasionally bite you. But you can teach them not to do it. Do not overreact, do not hit them. Better read our guide on what you should do!
7-Ferrets are not suitable for very young kids
That is true. But it would be true with any smaller pet. It’s never a good idea to get a pet for a very young child. If you have an older child, I would say give it a try with your ferret!
If you can exercise enough supervision, they should be able to play together nicely.
And more concerning the ferret than it is about the child!
8-Ferrets are always on the lookout for food
Yes. True. Ferrets have a very fast metabolism. They will eat anything that they find lying around.
There are many, many videos on YouTube of hilarious and cute ferret attacks on food. Always keep your food and other things off the floor!
You should be careful with that. Ferrets can not eat many human foods. Some of them are dangerous to them. So be sure to check our articles about things that you should never feed your pet ferret!
Your ferret should only eat unique kibble that is ferret-approved and raw meat. No vegetables, no fruits, nuts, no grains, no sugar, … Only meat and ferret kibble.
Some canned cat foods are ok to give to your ferret. But always check the ingredients list!
9-One ferret is not enough
Not only are they a very social creature that needs your attention. They also can feel lonely when you are gone. They like to be with you, and you should try to spend as much time with your pet as possible.
Allow them a minimum of three hours outside their cage – with a minimum of one hour of your time dedicated to them directly. Minimum! Look out for signs if your ferret is depressed.
Ferrets do not want to be alone! If you do not have the time to spend hands-on interaction, I would tell you not to get a ferret!
I hope you found our list helpful. You should check out our blog for more articles about ferrets!