How Much Does a Ferret Cost?
According to everythingferret.com, a ferret is a “member of the weasel family and a descendant of the European Polecat. Some other members of the weasel family are minks, otters, and the endangered Black-Footed Ferret.” While ferrets are working animals in some countries, employed in ridding barms of pesky rodents, in the United States they are most often just lovable pets. Ferrets do require a lot of exercise and free play and can be quite a bit more expensive harder to take care of than a domestic cat. Most claim, however, that they are much more fun and active.
How much does a ferret cost?
- The cost to actually purchase a ferret for a pet is between $100-$200 depending on the type of ferret you buy. There are many things that are a must-have for ferret owners in addition to this.
- Private home breeders tend to be a pinch more, and they can cost upwards of $300 to $400.
- A local pet store such as PetCo will often have ferrets for sale. Here, they can cost $99 to $150.
- Overall, plan on budgeting at least $600 to $1,000 for the first year. After that first year, supplies, food and litter should cost around $15 to $30 per month. Don’t forget to set aside a few hundred dollars to help with emergency vet bills if they pop up.
- You ferret is going to need a cage in which it can stay when you are not home. Ferret should be allowed at least three hours of play time outside the cage a day. This cage also needs to be at least 2x3x2. A cage of these requirements will cost between $60-$150.
- Ferrets need specific food to maintain their health, and the best place to purchase this is at a pet store such as Petco. The yearly cost for ferret food will average between $50 and $60.
What are the extra costs?
- Because ferrets are very playful animals, they enjoy playing with toys. Ferret-specific toys can be purchased at toy stores and will usually cost around $10.
- If you are going to travel with your ferret, you will need a travel cage. This will cost approximately $15-$30.
- Some ferret owners use a leash and harness to give their ferret the exercise it needs. If this is the case, plan on spending about $10-$15.
- Both male and female ferrets do need to be spayed and neutered. Some ferrets are also descented. This is sometimes already done when purchasing your ferret. If not, it will cost the owner between $75 and $250.
- Ferrets also need routine veterinary checkups for things such as teeth cleaning, heart work medication, vaccinations, etc. The average yearly cost for routine veterinary visits is $90. The first checkup should be around $70 to $100. Plan on budgeting at least $50 for annual shots.
Ferret supplies to consider:
- A cage ($100 to $200)
- Bedding for the cage ($20 per bag)
- Food ($10 to $30 per month)
- Food Dish ($2 to $10)
- Grooming supplies that include trimmers, brush and shampoo ($10 to $20)
- Litter ($5 to $15 per month)
- Litter box ($10 to $25)
- Toys ($5 to $25)
- Treats ($1 to $6)
- Water bottle that attaches to the cage ($10)
- Leash and harness ($5 to $15)
- Carrier ($25 to $50)
Tips to know:
- On average, a ferret is going to live anywhere from 6 to 12 years. Males are generally going to be larger than a female. A male can grow up to 16 inches, while a female can only grow up to around 14 inches.
- Just like a cat, a ferret can sleep up to 18 hours a day. If the ferret is new to the household, it can eventually learn to adapt to it’s owners schedule.
- While these ferrets have a poor sense of sight, they have phenomenal sense and smell.
- Because of their skin glands, a ferret will emit a rather unique, musky odor. Many think that bathing can get rid of this smell, but it won’t work. One of the most common ways to get rid of this odor is simply by removing the ferret’s scent glands.
- If the ferret has been home-raised, there’s no need to descent them.
- Common diseases that ferrets can encounter include adrenal disease, insulinoma, aleutian disease and the flu.
- To learn more in depth about the ferrets and how to take care of them, Ferrets for Dummies is a fantastic read.
How can I save money?
- One way to save money on a ferret is to get it from a previous owner or an animal shelter. These ferrets will usually have current vaccinations and already be spayed or neutered.
- Purchasing used ferret equipment, such as the cage and feeding bowls, can also cut down on the costs. eBay is a great website to check for used equipment.
- Since bedding will have to be replaced every few weeks, consider using older t-shirts instead of the bedding you purchase in the store.
- Check with your local state and city. Some cities have banned this type of animal and won’t allow it. Ensure that this animal is allowed within your area before making a purchase.