How Much Do Ferrets Cost?

If you are looking into owning a ferret, there are many things to consider. The most important thing to acknowledge is the cost of purchasing one and the cost of keeping them happy and healthy. But how much should you expect to pay when looking to own a ferret?

The cost of adequately homing a new ferret can have variable prices. Firstly, depending on the type of ferret you get and where you get them. Next, you start looking at the costs of a proper cage to house them. After that, you consider a steady supply of food, bedding, litter, and veterinarian care. Taking all of that into account, you can expect to pay roughly $300 to $500 on the first day you purchase your ferret.

All of that being said, ferrets, like all animals, can be pretty expensive. As you continue to read this article, it will go into more depth about the upfront costs of purchasing a ferret, what is needed to properly keep them, along some other routes you can take that may save you some money.

Average Cost Differences

Although ferrets can make great pets for anyone who has the time needed to care for one, there are a few different ways you get the ferret itself. You may purchase a ferret for as low as $75 or as much as $300. Additional fees for your ferret’s cage, supplies, and medical expenditures, such as descending and having your ferret spayed or neutered, must be factored in.

Pet Stores$100 to $250
AdoptionRoughly $150
Breeder$200 to $300

Pet Stores

Pet stores are likely to be the first thing you think of when you want to get yourself a ferret. Considering these places are the number 1 go too for all pet needs, it makes total sense. However, it is not guaranteed that the pet stores you go to will have ferrets in stock for you to purchase. 

When it comes to purchasing a ferret from a pet store, they will have varying prices for the different types of ferrets most of the time. For instance, the most popular ferret is the Sable, which is also the most common type of ferret.

You can expect the price for one of these guys to be roughly $120 to $130. In contrast, one of the less popular ferrets, like an albino or pure white ferret, costs less, approximately $50 to $75.

Unlike professional breeders, something to note about pet stores is mainly run by employees who like animals. They may not know everything there is to know about ferrets. So there may be a greater chance that one of the ferrets you purchase from a pet store might have some health issues that the owners or the pet store employees know nothing about.

Breeders

Buying your ferrets from a breeder is an excellent option for you. As previously stated, a lot of pet stores rarely take their ferrets for veterinary checkups. So there is a chance that the ferret can have genetic or behavioral issues.

There have even been instances where new ferret owners will not know that their ferret is deaf because the pet store did not know. So, buying through a breeder will guarantee you that the ferret you get will not have any of these issues, and if they do, breeders should tell you before you settle on that ferret.

One downside to buying from a ferret breeder is their scarcity. While there may be tons of dog or cat breeders you can call and purchase from in your state, there may not be any ferret breeders; if you are lucky, there may be one or two that you can visit. 

If there are no breeders in your state, or if the commute is way too far for you, consider going and adopting a ferret instead. Try leaving the pet store purchase as your last resort when trying to get yourself a new pet ferret.

Although purchasing ferrets from a local breeder is the best option, it will be the most expensive one. Depending on the ferret, you can pay anywhere from $100 to $500 for a baby and $100 to $300 for an adult.

Adoption

Adopting a ferret is a terrific method to obtain one, especially if you can locate a local ferret rescue. Ferret rescues will assist you in finding a ferret that fits your lifestyle and personality, whereas purchasing a ferret would not.

© generalroy / Flickr

Another incentive to visit a ferret rescue is that most ferrets have previously been handled by humans, which is a significant advantage over acquiring one. The majority of adoptable ferrets will be at ease with people or will be able to be held without difficulty.

Adoption is a less expensive way of getting yourself a ferret. Ferrets purchased this way will typically cost around $150, which will always be cheaper than buying from a breeder, and it will also come with the same benefits of knowing if there are any health issues with the ferret you are looking to purchase.

Free (Rehoming a Ferret)

Ferrets, however, are sometimes purchased on impulse, leaving them with unclear futures. Many ferrets are given away for free on Facebook, Craigslist, and even Instagram due to these last-minute decisions. While it may appear to be more cost-effective, there is always the possibility of receiving free pets over the Internet.

Another difficulty is not knowing where the ferret comes from, resulting in future genetic health difficulties. If you’re searching for a pet ferret, you’re better off adopting or buying one from a trustworthy breeder.

One exception to this is rehoming a ferret from a family member or a friend. Although the ferret’s health and genetics can still be a risk if friends or family purchased the ferret from a pet store, it is still a better option when getting a ferret for free than it is meeting a stranger you met online.

Most Popular Types of Ferrets & Their Average Cost

Sable$130
Black Sable$75 to $250
White Albino$50 to $130
Champagne$150 to $300
Cinnamon$150 to $400
Chocolate$150 to $300

Ferret Care Supplies & Costs

Considering the cost of purchasing the ferret you want may seem high or low depending on your perspective. However, there are many things you will also need to purchase at the same time. These things will be a one-time purchase like the cage or hammocks, whereas others will be more of an occasional purchase, like bedding or food. 

It’s critical to invest in your pet ferret if you want it to not only survive but thrive in its new environment. Although costs might quickly mount, keep in mind that dogs are expensive in general. Below will be a short list of supplies you will need and the available price for each.

Cages $100 to $300
Litter pans$10 to $40
Ferret litter (per month)$10 to $40
Ferret food (per month)$10 to $50
Food & water dishes$10 to $30
Ferret hammocks$10 to $30 (You can make your own)
Collar or harness$20 to $50
Ferret shampoo (annually)$5 to $10
Nail clippers$5 to $10
Ferret toothbrush and toothpaste (semi-annually)$10 to $20
Ferret toys (semi-annually)$20 to $50
Carriers (to go places)$20 to $60
Vet checkups (annually)$100 to $300
Vaccinations$20 to $150

Cages & Carriers

First off, let us talk about a proper cage and a carrier to travel with your ferret safely. Before you obtain your ferret, it would be wise to acquire a suitable primary living ferret cage.

When buying a ferret cage, make sure it is safe for the ferret, has sufficient room, cannot be escaped from, is devoid of risks, has appropriate ventilation, and is simple to clean. Expect to pay roughly $100 for a cheaper cage. However, there are more expensive cages that provide more room and other amenities that are more expensive.

You will also need a carrier to transfer your ferret to and from the veterinarian’s office. If you have two or more ferrets, you also need to buy a tiny spare cage to confine a ferret with infectious sickness to spread to the rest of the enclosure. Pet carriers are not all that expensive, typically costing around $30.

Food

Due to its short digestive period, which is similar to that of rabbits and guinea pigs, your ferret will want constant food availability. Even though ferrets are tiny, ferret kibble may add up quickly if you have more than one. Ferret kibble will set you around $15-20 per month, with higher-end diets costing more.

© librariansarah / Flickr

Your veterinarian can prescribe a meal that will meet your ferret’s needs, although most kibble will suffice. The average cost of food can vary depending on how many ferrets you own and the ferret itself. On average, one ferret home can expect to pay roughly $100 per year.

Environmental Maintenance 

It is critical to keep your ferret’s cage clean for its health, especially since an untidy enclosure can cause respiratory problems. To keep your ferret’s cage clean, consider purchasing litter box liners, a hand vacuum, and pet-safe wipes.

Cleaning and disinfecting the cage at least once every two weeks is recommended, and dumping the litter pans once a day is wise as well. To maintain the hammocks clean, you should wash them once a month in a dye-free detergent. Keeping up on cleaning your ferret’s cage is usually not that expensive either, costing roughly $50 per year for all of the materials you need to clean your critter’s cage.

Entertainment & Toys

Ferrets become bored quickly and seek out methods to amuse themselves, so it’s critical to purchase toys and other stuff to keep your ferret safe and occupied. They like running in tubes, but even cat toys can suffice. Because ferrets are intelligent and will work hard for a reward, consider getting a couple of tunnels and even a puzzle toy.

© librariansarah / Flickr

We don’t advocate using a runner ball or hamster wheels with your ferret since the curvature of the ball and wheel can harm their spines. Pet toys can be pretty cheap if you know what you are looking for. That said, it is not uncommon for ferrets to tear up their toys relatively quickly, and an average cost for toys can be anywhere between $20 to $50+ depending on the ferret.

Vet Visits & Medical Expenses

When you initially obtain your ferret, it will require a first exam and routine checkups to ensure that everything is healthy and operating correctly. X-rays, immunizations, and blood tests may be used to ensure that your ferret’s needs are satisfied.

Annual checks should cost between $100 and $300, however, they might cost more if a health concern is discovered. Ferrets should be vaccinated against distemper and rabies once a year and given a series of booster doses as kits. They also require treatments like tooth cleaning and parasite prevention, which can rapidly add up.

Ferrets, like dogs and cats, need to be vaccinated every year. If your ferret is still a kitten, vaccination booster doses will be given at eight weeks, 12 weeks, and 20 weeks, followed by yearly booster doses. 

Distemper and rabies are two diseases that can be fatal, and rabies is also contagious to people. Even though a ferret is tiny, it needs medical attention, which includes vaccinations. These shots can vary depending on the vet you take them to, costing roughly $15 to $20 for their yearly injections.

Heartworm parasites affect not just dogs and cats but also ferrets and other small animals. Inquire with your veterinarian about how to administer Ivermectin or Selamectin, the two primary heartworm treatments.

Preventatives come in various forms, including chewable tabs, tablets, and liquids, which your veterinarian can give you at your yearly exam. Getting parasite medication will usually cost you around $10 to $30 yearly.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing a ferret can seem like a daunting and expensive thing to do if you set out to do so. However, this guide will provide all the information you need to gauge how much a ferret will cost roughly. Just keep in mind that ferrets, like all pets, are typically an expensive addition to your family.

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