Do Ferrets Make Good Pets?

I’m really glad you’re asking yourself ‘Do ferrets make good pets?’. It’s a good question. Actually, it’s a vital question if you and your future pet want to have a happy life together.

Too many people see a cute kit at the petstore and bring it home without giving it a seconds thought. Now I’m not saying those people and their fuzzbutts aren’t happy. But when it comes to becoming responsible for an animal (any kind of animal), I strongly feel you should use your head, not just your heart. If I didn’t, I’d probably be one of those people with 80 cats and 30 dogs, not being able to provide them a happy, healthy life.

Hmm, I better get off my soapbox, I’m here to inform you after all, not to lecture ;-)

So, do ferrets make good pets or not? There really is no wrong or right answer to that question.

Ferrets just aren’t for everyone. I can’t think of anyone amongst my friends and family who would make a good ferret-human combo. Most of the reasons they wouldn’t consider getting a ferret come from misinformation and prejudices.

Do ferrets make good pets for me? Absolutely! And here are 10 reasons why I think ferrets are good pets:

Playful

Ferrets are extremely playful. They are like puppies or kittens who never grow up. Although they sleep a lot, daily playtime is a must. And watching 2 or more fuzzies play together is more entertaining than the latest Hollywood blockbuster. You’ll love the weasel war dance.

Curious

It’s amazing what a ferret can get himself into, just to please his curiosity. Which is exactly why ferret-proofing your house is so important.

Friendly and affectionate

Noooooo?!? Ferrets are friendly? Really? Don’t they bite? Are you sure? That’s a little preview of the reaction you’ll be getting when you tell a non-ferret owner that you own ferrets. Sure, some of them are monsters ;-)…and even my 2 fuzzbutts bite every now and then...but once you know how to handle them, they want to be picked up, crawl close to you for a cuddle and give you little licks when you least expect it.

Smarty pants

Don’t be fooled by their sometimes dumb and innocent looks. Those fuzzbutts are SMART. Ok, maybe not always when you want them to be smart…like during housetraining…but I swear I can see their little brains work overtime when they want something. I even suspect them to collaborate with my dog to get something. Yep, I’ve seen them use Tassie as a stepping ladder.

And I haven’t even mentioned their persistence. I once watched Stitch for 15 minutes, trying to jump up on a radiator from the ground. He actually made it up there. Which gave me another ferret-proofing problem…

Oh, and they’re extremely good at training…their owners. Without them realizing it at first…been there, done that.

Quiet as a mouse

Ferrets don’t make a lot of noise. Except when they’re in trouble. Fair enough, ferrets always get themselves in trouble. I’m talking about big, painful, frightening trouble. But even that shouldn’t bother your neighbors. The noises I hear my ferrets make the most are snoring (really adorable), choking (not so adorable, but you get used to it as it only happens while they're eating) and a sort of clucking sound when they’re happy know as dooking.

Size matters

In some cases, size does matter. And fuzzies are small enough to fit in just about any small apartment. Their size also makes them easy to handle, take to the vet,…They do need a cage though. But if you give them enough ‘free range’ time every day, you really don’t need a huge one with 5 stories.

Housetrained

A lot of people don’t know this, but you can housetrain a ferret. Not as easily and reliable as most cats and dogs. But with a few tricks up your sleeve, housetraining a ferret shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge. Do ferrets make good pets for clean freaks? Weeeeellllllll...the little bandits will certainly keep them  busy...

Personalities

Every fuzzy has his own distinct personality. Some are extremely affectionate while others treat you like part of the furniture. Some are adventurous, others prefer to play ‘speedbump’ in the middle of your living room. Some are jumpers, others are climbers. Some bite, others lick (and then bite…yes Nibbler, I’m talking to you). Anyhoo, it’s fun figuring out how completely different 2 fuzzies can be.

Ferret exercise

Do ferrets make good pets for complete couch potatoes? Not really. Your fuzzies crave human interaction and play. They do need quite a bit of exercise to stay healthy. Good news is, you don’t have to take them for a daily walk (unless you feel up to the challenge of walking at the amazing speed of 5 feet an hour). You can let them romp around a ferret proofed room for a couple of hours a day and they’ll happily crawl back into their cage when they’re worn out (if you’re lucky, otherwise you can start another search party). 

Fuzzy factor

And last but not least, they have a high fuzzy factor. What’s a fuzzy factor you ask? Well, it determines how long you can stay mad at your pet after it; dug up all the plants in your house, rearranged the contents of your kitchen cabinets, pooped an inch away from the litter box, tried to add a few piercings in your ear/nose/lip/eyebrow/…, dug up the litter box, went to sleep in an unknown hidy hole making you look frantically all over the place for 2 hours, hid your favorite socks in a treasure spot you have yet to discover, threw your brand new cellphone on the floor after skidding across the table,..I could go on, but the point is, a ferrets fuzzy factor is a definite 10 out of 10.  The longest I’ve been able to stay mad at my 2 fuzzies is 10 seconds (hey, they started a weasel war dance, can’t stay mad at them when they’re bouncing all over the place ;-))

Now you can decide for yourself; do ferrets make good pets for me. When in doubt, don't get a ferret as a pet just yet. Instead visit a local shelter or ferret organisation and get a hands on feel of those fuzzbutts.