Should You Get
Another Ferret?

Should you get another ferret?

If you're already a ferret carer then the question "Should I get another ferret' has most likely crossed your mind at some point or another. Indeed, we ferret lovers adore the idea of having a business of vibrant, bouncing fuzzbutts as companions. We like to think that the more ferrets we have the merrier our lives will be. However, before you go on to adopt or buy another ferret, there definitely are a few things you need to consider. Weighing up the positives and negatives of adding another ferret to your family is a sign of a responsible animal carer. It might also save you a lot of trouble and stress in the future. So before you get caught up in the emotions and excitement of getting a new ferret review the points in this article. 

1. Do You Have The Finances To Support Another Ferret?

There is a big misconception out there that ferrets are cheap pets. This is not the case at all. Keeping a ferret happy and healthy will require more money than most people expect (which is why a lot of ferrets end up in shelters). People often look at how much a ferret costs to acquire without looking into how much it costs to keep a ferret happy and healthy long term. 

When thinking about how much more another ferret is going to cost you, you need to take into equation several things:

  • The cost of purchasing a new ferret - This is generally a one-time fee which can range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars depending on where you are getting the ferret from. For example, if you get your ferret from a ferret shelter they may cost up to a few hundred dollars but they usually come vet checked, desexed, vaccinated, behavior assessed and have been properly handled and some even come toilet trained. So when you adopt a ferret from a shelter you certainly get a lot more value than what you would get purchasing a ferret from a pet shop. 
  • Additional costs for food, toys, and bedding, caging and more - when you get another ferret you need to double the amount of food you purchase (and make sure you are feeding the best quality food you can afford). Having another ferret might mean that you will need to upgrade the cage you have as all ferrets need an adequate amount of space to live in comfortably. You will also have to make sure you have plenty of bedding and blankets for them to curl up in together or separately (if they feel the need to have their own space). And off course, getting another ferret means that you have more poo to clean up, so you will need to double the amount of toilet litter you use which is an additional cost of getting another ferret. 
  • Veterinary costs - we always recommend owners have a backup savings account for their ferret's veterinary costs. A ferret has a right to proper veterinary care and you have a responsibility to provide it. All ferrets will need to see a veterinary practitioner many times throughout their lives for a variety of reasons. There are three main categories that you need savings for, in order to provide adequate veterinary care for your ferrets:
  1. Regular Veterinary Checkups and Common Procedures - younger ferrets will need to see a Vet for a regular checkup once a year, while middle aged and older ferrets will need to see a Vet for regular checkups twice a year. Also, please keep in mind that you want to make sure you are seeing a vet that specializes in ferrets. Regular vets often do not know much about ferrets which can lead to mistakes and cost you more in money and stress. A ferret specialist will often cost more, which is important to budget for. You will need to get your ferrets desexed and neutered (especially females, as they can die if they are not desexed). Your ferrets will also need regular vaccinations. So when you get another ferret you need to double the amount of savings you have in order to cater to all these additional Vet costs. 
  2. Emergency Visits - It is fairly common for ferrets to injure themselves or suffer from one of the many diseases they are prone to which can mean a sudden need to visit your emergency vet. Emergency Vet visits can cost thousands of dollars. So make sure you have a build up of savings especially dedicated to these types of visits. 
  3. Ongoing Disease and Sickness Medical Costs - For a variety of reasons, ferrets are prone to cancers and other debilitating and often prolonged illnesses and diseases. If you have a ferret, it's very likely that it will suffer from one of the many diseases these animals are prone to. A ferret can suffer from prolonged illness for months and sometimes years which often means that you will need to be able to afford medications for that amount of time. In some cases, ferrets will also require surgeries to help manage their disease. If you are thinking of getting another ferret you will need to consider if you would be able to afford these costs if most or all your ferrets fell sick at the same time (which is more common than you might think). 

2. Are You REALLY Ready For The Additional Responsibility?

Getting another ferret is going to require a lot more of your time and attention. Whether it is cleaning and changing cages, providing additional mental and physical stimulation for your ferrets or spending time bonding with the new ferret, more of your time will need to dedicated to making sure your ferrets are happy and healthy.

Also, it is important to include ongoing study time in order to continue to research and learn about your ferrets. Just because you have ferrets doesn't mean you know everything. In fact, a lot of very experienced ferret owners are the first to admit that they continue to learn about ferrets as there is always something new to learn in order to make them happier and healthier. Why? Because you are dealing with living and breathing animals that have complex needs in order to stay fulfilled, happy and healthy. Anyone that takes an animal into their care is responsible for ensuring its wellbeing.

Unfortunately most people spend more time researching their next phone then they do researching and learning about living and breathing animals, that they have taken into their care. It should be the other way around. Society needs to start to value the living over material, non-living things a lot more. 

Please take this into consideration before adding another animal to your family. The research and learning never stops. 

  • To continue your education on ferrets we recommend joining the Membership. Below is a video that introduces you to what the membership is and how it will benefit you and help you continue your education.

3. Do Your Current Ferrets Want Another Ferret To Join Them?

A huge aspect that isn't really spoken about when considering adding a new ferret to the family is whether or not your current ferrets would actually want to have a new member added to their group. 

For far too long, us humans have only considered what WE have wanted, without taking a look at the animals perspective and 'listening' to the animals wants and needs. 

Just like with us humans, ferrets have their own individual personalities and requirements. Us humans don't get along with all other humans because there are personality clashes. The same goes for ferrets. Some ferrets will not get along with other ferrets because they will have very different personalities.

Then there are those ferrets that don't enjoy being social with other ferrets at all! It's a big myth that all ferrets are social. Not all ferrets are social. Some will want to spend their lives without any other ferrets around. 

Far too often I see people stressing their ferrets out by trying to force the animals to get along with each other or being distraught that after months of trying (and stress to the ferrets) they are unable to get their new ferret to get along with others and end up having to purchase seperate cages and keep ferrets separately.

This happens a lot!

In order to avoid this situation it would be best to take your current ferret/s to a ferret shelter and asses its behaviour to see if it will get along with others. If it does, then allow the ferret to pick out a buddy that it most gets along with. Your current ferrets will be the ones that spend the most time with the new addition to the family. So allow them to choose a buddy they most like. This solution could potentially save everyone a lot of stress. 

As you can probably tell from this article, adding another ferret to your family isn't as simple as making a quick, emotionally charged decision. There is a lot to consider for when you add a new member to your family. I hope all this information saves you lots of time and stress. If you have gotten value out of this then we would appreciate you sharing this article so other ferret owners might benefit from it too.

Would you like to continue your ferret education so that you're on top of new scientific and medical research plus insights from experts to make your
ferrets happier and healthier?

Stephanie Allison is the Founder of and Editor-In-Chief of Dook Dook Ferret Magazine. She set up 10 years ago and works closely with veterinary practitioners, researchers and ferret experts to help owners keep their ferrets happy and healthy.