Raising Two Ferrets: Tips, Tricks, and Best Cages
By Jazmin "Sunny" Murphy
Raising multiple ferrets is a lot of work. You need to know ferret behavior to properly supervise playtime, the best methods for introducing ferrets to one another, and how to choose the best ferret cages for maximum comfort and safety.
Heck, even veteran ferret owners need a little help when they bring a new weasel into the business!
But how do you know that raising multiple ferrets is right for you? Well, you can’t – not until you get to know the ferret you have or the established pair you plan to adopt. There’s quite a lot to think about!
Read on for must-know tips and tricks for raising two ferrets and the top three picks for the best ferret cage for two weasels.
Pros and cons of having more than one ferret
Think you’d love to raise more than one ferret? You very well might, but it’s worth it to consider the drawbacks. Here are some of the most crucial factors to consider when you’re planning to adopt multiple ferrets.
Why you should keep more than one ferret
There are all kinds of reasons why you might want to have more than one ferret. Mainly, you don’t want your ferret to be alone.
Although ferrets are solitary hunters, they enjoy spending time with other weasels, especially cozying up in napping piles. Not every ferret will want to be around another 24/7, but it’s nice to have a friend now and then.
Plus, raising multiple ferrets together may make it easier for you to keep your animals enriched. Weasels love physical play like wrestling and chasing, and you may simply not be as fun to play with as another ferret!
One of the best things about housing a ferret duo is that it’s not much more expensive than raising one on its own. Many ferret owners say that adopting a new weasel into their “business” doesn’t strain the budget too much, specifically for toys and food.
Why more than one ferret could be a bad idea
Nobody likes to talk about it – but sometimes, having more than one ferret simply doesn’t work out. Just like two or more people that don’t get along, some ferrets just won’t see eye to eye, and you can’t force it. Otherwise, you introduce the risk of interactions going very badly, potentially ending in severe injuries.
Some ferret owners have shared horror stories about ferret introductions gone wrong. Far beyond the typical neck-biting and mauling, others have left scuffles with broken limbs.
If your ferrets’ conflicts get this bad, it’s a bad (potentially dangerous) idea to try and keep them housed together. Their relationship may not be a lost cause entirely; however, it’s best to separate them and consult a veterinarian to get to the bottom of the aggression.
You won’t be able to determine whether it’s suitable to adopt or buy another ferret until you get to know the one you have. After all, not all ferrets need a fellow weasel to live with and will be just fine with a human companion.
Spending more time with your fur-baby will help you learn its play habits and social preferences, and let that knowledge guide you on whether you need to bring in a new family member or not.
However, if you’re set on getting two or more weasels, it’s best to start with a bonded pair. This way, you don’t have to worry too much about being blindsided by aggressive interactions.
Introducing ferrets to each other
The first meeting between your ferrets is crucial to their dynamic and will set the tone for how they get along (or not). Of course, this isn’t to say that you can’t resolve any issues that may come up during the initial introduction after the fact. You certainly can. But a lack of proper care and patience during this delicate time can be disastrous for your multi-ferret household.
A proper introduction of two or more ferrets involves prepping the animals, yourself, and the environment where they’ll interact. It may seem like a lot of work for just a few minutes of interaction, but rest assured, a positive multi-ferret home living experience is well worth the effort.
A positive, safe ferret introduction starts with preventative care. After you prepare the meeting space using the tips below, bring your ferrets together with these simple methods:
- Give the new ferret a few days to relax: Before you throw your animals into an introduction, give the newcomer some time to settle into its new home. Moving isn’t easy for anyone! Even animals. Giving your animal the chance to relax and feel comfortable in a new place will ease tensions and increase the likelihood of a positive experience.
- Prepare a neutral place: The golden rule of introducing new pets to each other, ferrets or otherwise, is to avoid doing so inside one or the other’s territory. This means that you don’t want to release one ferret into another’s enclosure or playpen, even if you think they’ll get along. Play things safe and take them to a park or an unfamiliar indoor space with plenty of room, to keep things neutral and calm.
- Don’t get too worried about roughhousing: It may sound unintuitive, but some ferret owners say that you have to let some roughhousing happen in a ferret introduction. Remember, animals work things out differently than us humans. A little bit of rough and tumble helps the animals establish who’s who in the house.
At some point, you might receive some bad advice on how to handle ferret conflicts. For instance, some ferret owners suggest that you stop physical confrontations by scruffing and hissing at your ferret. That’s a bad idea!
Too many ferret owners have tried the scruffing technique, only to find that it makes things much worse. You’ll not only antagonize your ferret and trigger fear-based aggressive behavior (which the hissing will indeed worsen), but you’ll also increase the risk of getting injured, as the animal’s likely to lash out and scratch or bite you.
Some ferret owners have even gone so far as to suggest that you shake your animal when it misbehaves! This shouldn’t have to be said, but please never shake your ferret. You’ll only traumatize and potentially injure it.
What to consider when housing two or more ferrets
The most significant risk of housing more than one ferret is that your animals will get into spats now and then. There are numerous ways to handle this both proactively and reactively.
One of the most common pieces of advice you might hear as a new or experienced ferret owner is that salmon oil is a good distraction for stopping aggressive encounters. It works by redirecting your ferret’s attention, helping you deescalate the situation and giving the weasels a moment to pause.
Still, you must understand that this isn’t the end-all-be-all solution to preventing conflict between ferrets. In other words, you can’t turn to salmon oil for every fight.
Instead, reserve this for moments when you need to act proactively by diverting their attention during rising tension, when you start to notice signs of friction. Waiting to use until after the conflict has begun or passed risks the ferret believing it’s being rewarded for dangerous behavior.
Introducing ferrets through a barrier
You can never be too cautious when it comes to setting up safeguards for your ferrets’ safety. In addition to the introduction tips provided earlier, you might also want to give them plenty of time to sniff at each other through neighboring cages.
For instance, you might have a temporary cage setup where the two (or more) ferrets sleep separately, but close enough to smell each other’s scents. Heck, they may even be able to make contact through the enclosure’s wires.
Some have even suggested getting a sheet of plexiglass for the animals to see each other without having to interact physically. However, this may only be best in open play areas due to space and ventilation issues.
Plus, one of the main drawbacks of using plexiglass is that the ferrets can’t touch through the barrier, unlike wire ferret cages. This could slightly diminish the value of this acclimation technique.
Depending on your individual ferrets’ personalities, this might only last for a few days or can continue as long as several weeks. In either case, make sure to give your weasels plenty of time outside the cage together.
In an open space, there’s less pressure for the animals to interact in close quarters, so they can take a moment alone when they need to, preventing unnecessary aggression.
Aside from these issues, there are a few more logistical factors you’ll need to consider before your ferrets cozy up in a cage together.
Size of the cage
The most basic but critical aspect to note when buying a ferret cage is the dimensions.
Experts say that the ideal enclosure for an individual ferret should measure about 60 x 60 x 45 cm (roughly 24” x 24” x 18”), as this is plenty of room for a litter box, bedding, food bowl, water bottle, and some physical activity.
That said, it may be best to find a cage that is about double the size of that so your animals can spend time together safely without having their personal space invaded too much.
Plus, with the extra space, you’ll have more room to work with when compartmentalizing your enclosure. Dedicate certain parts of the cage to physical activity and enrichment with toys and others to rest, where you can put hammocks and cushions for sleeping.
Ferret owners don’t always end up with cages this size. In fact, some have even said that they’ve kept up to five individuals in one double Ferret Nation (DFN) cage! This could get pretty cramped, but those who keep so many in one enclosure do so because the animals spend most of their active time free-roaming.
This isn’t to say that a cramped enclosure is justified as long as your animals can play. Rather, you may be able to compromise for a smaller size if your weasels will get lots of time outside the cage every day.
How well do the ferrets know each other?
Some of the biggest aggression problems come about due to ferrets being unfamiliar with each other. This can be significantly worsened when one ferret has a past of abuse and trauma. It may not be able to respond to complex social interactions (with your or other ferrets) in a reasonable manner, increasing the risk of escalating situations to physical altercations.
At the same time, ferrets that know each other well might not get along perfectly either. Around 12 weeks of age, you might start seeing mounting and other dominant behaviors, which can cause some conflict.
Still, your best bet at minimizing disagreements is to get an established pair of ferrets. This could mean adopting a pair or trio that came from the same household or buying a pair of siblings from a litter.
(If you do prefer to buy from a breeder, make sure you’re working with a reputable individual or family. Breeding is the source of many behavioral and medical issues across many kinds of pets, including ferrets. You can be proactive in maintaining your fur-babies’ safety by ensuring you buy from breeders who produce evenly tempered, healthy domestic ferrets.)
Housing same- and opposite-sex ferrets together
You’ve probably heard this one million times, so it’s best to just get it out of the way right now: Get your ferrets spayed or neutered. It’s the best thing you can do for your sanity and their safety.
As cute as it would be to have a bunch of hobs and jills running around, it’ll get expensive caring for those kits and their parents, not to mention unhealthy and crowded.
Most people immediately understand the risks of keeping ferrets of the opposite sexes in the same cage together. Yet, this doesn’t necessarily mean that keeping two males or two females in one enclosure is a better idea.
Aside from the obvious risk of accidentally ending up with a bunch of ferret babies, males and females can inflict severe damage on one another.
One of the most common types of dangerous encounters that you might experience when introducing opposite-sex ferrets to one another is a male scruffing females. Sometimes, boys will engage in sexually dominant behavior by mounting the females and grabbing them by the neck, occasionally even drawing blood. Interactions like this require immediate separation and starting over from square one with a fresh introduction.
(But don’t get the wrong idea! Ferret females are just as likely to kick male ferrets’ butts. Either way, your number one priority should be to keep your ferrets safe. That said, it’s best to always have a second cage on hand or a way to divide the enclosure. That way, they can sleep comfortably and out of each other’s personal space.)
Apart from these warnings, you don’t really have to worry too much about same-sex pairs, according to most ferret owners. Some say that females tend to be more dominant than males, so of course, you’ll always need to keep an eye out for behavioral issues.
Plus, when your two or more ferrets are bonded – perhaps as siblings or unrelated housemates – you should be able to avoid dangerous encounters.
3 best ferret cages for two weasels
Choosing a cage for a single ferret is pretty easy. And there are more options than just the Critter Nation or Ferret Nation Cage!
Finding the best ferret cage for 2 ferrets is twice as hard! Here are some of the best options available to streamline your shopping duties.
This two-story ferret cage is ideal for keeping two weasels comfy in the same enclosure. It’s a massive enclosure, measuring at 29.5L” x 31.5W” x 63.4H”, so it’s one of the best options on the market for a main cage for two ferrets – possibly even three small weasels!
The wire bars are strong and durable, with 7L” x 0.5H” spacing to prevent any escape attempts, but just wide enough for your weasels to climb.
It’s challenging to equip a cage for multiple ferrets, even if the enclosure’s only for temporary use. Luckily, this Ferplast cage comes with all the essential cage features, including:
- 2 adjustable play tubes
- 2 ramps
- 3 adjustable platforms
- Litter pan (you’ll need to buy one more!)
- Food dish
Keeping up with ferret messes is a pretty big task, especially when you have more than one. So Ferplast set out to make your life a little easier with a six-inch deep litter pan, super easy cage access with three doors, and optional wheel castors for added convenience when you need to move the cage around.
This cage is an excellent housing option for ferret owners providing a roomy living space for their weasels or an enclosed enrichment space for occasional use.
What Ferret Owners are Saying
Generally, ferret owners consider this to be a high-quality cage. With over 670 votes, it’s earned a 4.2 out of 5, with the highest subcategory ratings earned for its value for the money, sturdiness, and how easy it is to clean.
Its weakest point seems to be the assembly since that earned the lowest score from past customers.
Additionally, some parts of the design aren’t great for some ferrets. Some ferret owners worry about the tubes, particularly since there isn’t much for their little feet to grip on, leading to slipping and sliding.
- It’s extremely spacious
- Comes with essential accessories, including feeding and play equipment
- Deep leak-proof litter pan and three doors support easy cleaning
- Assembly can be pretty challenging
This just might be one of the most heavy-duty multi-level ferret cages you’ll ever come across, thanks to the incredible strength of the powder-coated alloy steel wire construction.
Aside from the ferret-proof security, you can rest assured that your ferrets will be safe inside as well, as each of the panel corners are rounded off to prevent injuries.
Every inch of the wire cage and platforms are anti-rust as well. This helps ensure a long lifespan for each cage component thanks to protection from any water, urine, or other liquids your weasels may accumulate on the wire bars.
The four-level 17.3”L x 25.6”W x 36.2”H enclosure offers ample space for more than one ferret, though it’s not quite big enough to use as a primary living area.
So, suppose you’re worried about your ferrets feeling cramped since it’s not exactly twice the standard minimum dimensions for ferret enclosures. In that case, it may be best to use this as a temporary holding area instead, for use during the main cage’s cleaning. It’s certainly a good investment for the price!
Whether you use it as the primary or secondary enclosure, it’s got all the bells and whistles for easy maintenance: two oversized front openings on the top and bottom levels and removable plastic waste trays.
This ZENY cage is just what you need to give your ferrets a secure place to rest and play without breaking the bank!
What Ferret Owners are Saying
Ferret owners love this cage in general. Out of 1,311 ratings worldwide, this cage has earned a 4.2 out of 5, attesting to its high quality.
(Note: People use this cage for more than just ferrets, sometimes housing guinea pigs, bunnies, and even chinchillas in it. So, this score doesn’t only represent the cage’s suitability for ferrets.)
The cage traits that pet owners appreciate the most include its sturdiness, value for the price, and how easy it is to clean and assemble.
Still, the problem that customers note most frequently is the bar spacing, which is about 1” between wires. Some might think this is a bit too wide for comfort, and it’s not great for laying down bedding, since the platforms are wired, too.
- Powder-coated alloy steel is very durable and chew-proof
- Removable trays and two doors on top and bottom level for easy maintenance
- Comes with an aluminum feeding bowl
- 1” wire spacing may be too wide
This is a beautiful luxury cage for two to three ferret roommates. It’s got a unique design that allows you to fit it comfortably into a corner, so you don’t have to take up too much floor space when you assemble the enclosure.
Despite its massive size (it weighs 55 lbs!), measuring at 39”L x 27”W x 63”H, you can easily move this ferret mansion around, thanks to the casters.
You can cruise around the house whenever you want to redecorate or relocate the cage outside for a nice, deep clean.
Plus, the easy-to-clean design will help make your life easier, too. You can wipe or spray down the plastic ramps with little to no hassle, and pull out the bottom drawer and grille for a convenient maintenance routine.
(And don’t worry, it’s not so easily removed that your ferret can pull out the litter pan. The cage comes with a bottom pan safety lock, so you’ll never have to worry about that sneaky weasel messing with this part of the cage.)
In terms of the cage’s construction, this cage boasts a comfy yet secure, escape-proof design. It’s got ⅞” wire spacing: not too wide, not too narrow. It’s good enough to lay down old T-shirts or blankets down with additional bedding but not so wide that the weasel can slip through.
Now, cages this big can be intimidating to clean. After all, that’s a lot of space to maintain, but you can’t fit inside to clean it all, right? Luckily, this enclosure’s equipped with two extra-large doors on the upper and lower levels. You can reach in and scrub with ease without straining yourself.
This four-level corner enclosure is an excellent choice for raising two ferrets. Your weasels will surely love this immense living space for sleeping and light play overnight or while you’re away.
What Ferret Owners are Saying
Most people (about 70 percent) who use this cage think it’s pretty great. That’s not as impressive as the public feedback received by the other cages on this list, but it’s still pretty good.
Overall, this cage earned a 3.8 out of 5. Customers mostly appreciate that it’s easy to assemble, sturdy, and easy to clean. But that doesn’t mean this cage is flawless.
Some buyers said that the pieces don’t line up as they should. For example, one person said that the bottom grill doesn’t fit properly and the platforms are too close together, making the interior a bit cramped. Lots of people complained of the cage being damaged on arrival, so keep an eye out for that, too.
- Fits neatly into a corner, helping to save floor space
- More than spacious enough at 39” x 27” x 63” with four platforms and ramps
- Easy to manage and clean
- Some say that the platforms are too close together, so it might not be comfortable for a ferret to stand upright on each level
Keep your ferrets comfy in their enclosure
Should you own more than one ferret? Well, that’s up to you to decide. While it can certainly be fun to have a whole business of weasels, not every ferret wants to live with a companion. Some are just fine living on their own. You’ll have to get to know your fur-baby to make the right decision.
Raising two ferrets can be so rewarding once you decide you want another. But it can be exhausting, too. So, it doesn’t hurt to get a bit of guidance now and then.
When you’re ready to add another ferret to your business, refer back to this guide for must-know tips on how to keep them safe and happy. Plus, you can rest assured that your weasels are comfy living together, too, when you choose one of the top three cages for ferret duos.
A high-quality enclosure leads to a high-quality life. Give your ferret the best of the best for a fulfilling life together.