Why people choose ferrets as pets

Cuteness, sociability and easy to care for is why people choose ferrets as pets

Cuteness, sociability and easy to care for is why people choose ferrets as pets

Ferrets are not rodents, although that seems to be the common perception. They are no more likely to bite a human than a dog or cat and have been domesticated for 5,000 years.

Ferrets are cousins – the domesticated side of the family – of weasels and otters. They do not live in the wild. A ferret tends to have a personality that is somewhere between that of a dog and a cat. Some are cuddly while others are independent. They are very fun-loving, like to play and are determined. Ferret supplies, food and cages are easily purchased at pet supply stores.

So why do people choose ferrets as pets? For many reasons, it turns out.

In case you ever need to know, ferrets are classified along with skunks, weasels, ermine, mink, martens, otters, badges, black footed ferret and wolverine in the Mustelidae family. They do not have the muscle that their feral relatives have, but they do share some of their characteristics, including scent glands. 

Breeding female ferrets are referred to as Jills and a spayed female is called a Sprite. Males who breed are Hobs and neutered males are called Gibs. Their kids are referred to as Kits.

Those who own ferrets learn quite quickly that a ferret is not to be caged like a hamster or gerbil and does not do well in a cage for extended periods of time. If ferrets are caged, they get bored because they like to be on the move.


Ferrets are very resourceful and sometimes too smart for their own good. They like to investigate and figure things out.  They like to play, are curious and are very social, with other ferrets and humans. If they are not allowed to explore and romp, their entire personality can change, and not for the better.  When caged for too long, a ferret will become destructive inside the cage because he wants your attention, and he wants out. One way that he will get your attention, if necessary, is by biting you. 

Ferrets also tend to get hyperactive when left alone and caged for too long. If they think they?re being ignored, they withdraw and some even get sick as a result. However, if you have to leave the house for long periods of time, the ferret should be caged then for his own safety but get him out and play as soon as you get home. Fortunately, ferrets sleep a lot, as many as 15 to 20 hours a day!

Ferrets are small, which is good if you live in a small space. They are also quiet, although they will be vocal at times but will only get loud if they are injured or frightened.

A ferret will live an average of five to seven years but some live until they are 10 years old so it is not a short term commitment if you decide to get one for a pet.

If you really aren?t into spending at some time with a pet, then a ferret isn?t for you. because they like and require companionship, interaction and are receptive to expressions of love. 

Ideally, a ferret should have at least four hours a day during which he is free and can play and interact with you. 

Ferret owners will readily assure you that a ferret is a good pet, but if you get one and don?t invest your time, attention and heart into this furry creature you are going to have an unhappy animal.

Ferrets are capable of bonding very closely with their owners. However, if you find that owning a ferret is not a good fit for you, find a good family that will nurture and love the animal.