Ferret Care

Pet Lodge USA - Ferrets

Please seek adoption through an animal shelter or rescue group.


  • are nocturnal, sleeping in the daytime and active at night (tend to be active at dawn and at dusk)
  • usually, over time, adapt their active and sleeping times to coincide with that of their owners
  • are obligate carnivores
  • are very playful
  • are easily litter-trained
  • in recent years have become popular pets
  • are legal in most states, but you should check with your state before acquiring
  • are very much different from traditional pets
  • have sebaceous glands, used to mark territory
  • have anal scent glands which can spray just like a skunk's
  • secrete oil, which has a natural musky odor
  • must be spayed or neutered to prevent them from adding to the number of unwanted and homeless ferrets
  • require periodic veterinary check-ups, and veterinary care when needed
  • are very entertaining to watch
  • are highly curious
  • get along with other ferrets
  • must be vaccinated for rabies and distemper
  • may bite when startled, not properly handled, or otherwise excited
  • have sharp teeth
  • tend to eat fairly often
  • have a variety of nicknames like "furballs" and "fuzzies"
  • are very quiet and don't make much noise
  • can live 5-10 years, sometimes a bit longer
  • introduced properly, will get along with dogs and cats
  • can be taught tricks like 'fetch', 'rolling over', and 'playing dead'
  • have relatively poor eyesight
  • rely on keen sense of smell and hearing
  • are not territorial
  • come from the same family as polecats, weasels, wolverines, otters, badgers, mink, and black-footed ferrets
  • do not claw or chew on furniture

Male ferrets are generally 15-16 inches in length and weigh from 2 to 3 1/2 lbs. (if neutered). 4 or more lbs. if not neutered.

Males are called "hobs". In North America, neutered males are sometimes called "gibs".

Female ferrets are generally 13-14 inches long and 3/4 lb. to 2 1/2 lbs.

Females are called "jills". In North America, spayed females are sometimes called "sprites".

Baby ferrets are called "kits".

A group of ferrets is called a "business of ferrets".

Children should never be with ferrets unsupervised as they could be bitten and seriously injured!


A good ferret diet contains a minimum of 34 percent of animal meat protein and 22 percent fat.

Use a ceramic bowl for food instead of a plastic one. You want a bowl that is chew-resistant and difficult to overturn.

Position the food bowl in an area that is far away from your ferret's "bathroom" part of the cage.

During the week spot check and clean your ferret's food bowl as needed. Remove droppings and bedding from it.

For the first 3 years use ferret food or a premium kitten food.

Food and water should be fresh and available always. Rinse water container daily before change of water.

Go light on snacks!

Once a week wash the food bowl with soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and then dry completely at the same time you do your weekly cleaning of your ferret's cage.

Avoid feeding your ferret vegetables because they are hard to digest and could cause your ferret to choke or have gastrointestinal blockages.


Always make the area you are playing in "ferret-proof", because they are known to jump, climb, and chew. Don't let them ingest things that may require surgical removal later!

Train your ferret to come to you by responding to a squeaky toy. If you try to catch him, he may think you're playing and make it more difficult!


Keep within the temperature range of 55-70 degrees F.

Have the cage in an air-conditioned room, if necessary, to keep within the temperature range specified above.

If a ferret is in temperatures over 90 degrees F., it can be fatal!

Make sure the cage is roomy!

Have the bars in the cage less than 1 1/2 inches from each other.

Look for a cage that is specifically designed for a ferret.

Use a clip-on water bottle.

Provide a hammock or a soft piled up towel for bedding.

Change bedding frequently (once a week at a minimum!) to keep odors down.

Do not use cedar and/or pine shavings! They are hazardous to the health of your ferret!

Put a litter box at one or two corners in the cage.

Make sure the domain is escape-proof!