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