When you are considering bringing home any new pet, you need to have a complete understanding of the cost, not only the initial costs of adopting the ferret but the reoccurring costs that you will have to pay for the entire 4 to 6 years that your ferret lives with you.
The initial cost of buying a ferret is typically only between $100 and $200, but including other one-time costs like health and accessories, you can expect to spend closer to $700 or more right off the bat. As far as regular costs, you need to consider things like food, treats, toys, health care, and potential accidents.
In this article, we are going to take a look at all of these different costs, so you know what to expect when you bring home your new ferret.
- Buying a Ferret – One Time Costs: $510-$1090 USD
- Recurring Costs of Owning a Ferret: $120-$200 USD/Month
- What Is The Cheapest Ferret to Have?
- How Much Do Ferrets Cost in the UK / Canada / Australia?
- What should I check before buying a ferret?
- Are Ferrets Good Pets?
Buying a Ferret – One Time Costs: $510-$1090 USD
|Ferret||$0- $250 USD|
|Cage||$100 – $200 USD|
|Litter pan||$10 – $15 USD|
|Food dish||$10 USD|
|Water bottle||$10 USD|
|Toys||$30 – $50 USD|
|Health expenses||$200 – $500 USD|
|Total Cost||$510 – $1090 USD|
1. Cost of a Ferret: $100-$250 USD
Most ferrets cost between $100 and $200, but the exact cost depends on a variety of different factors, including their age, breed, and who you purchase the ferret from.
When most people go to buy a ferret, they are wanting to buy a ferret somewhere around 12 weeks old. People usually want kits or younger ferrets because they are easier to train and bond with than adult ferrets. Because of the high demand, baby ferrets are usually more costly to purchase than adult ferrets. However, you will likely have an easier time finding a baby ferret for sale than a fully grown one.
The next thing that majorly affects the price is the breed of the ferret. White Albino Ferrets are typically the least expensive breed and typically cost between $50 and $130. Next are Sable Ferret mixes which usually run for about $130. Finally, Black Sable Ferrets are typically the most expensive breed of ferret and can cost upward of $250.
The final thing that has an effect on price is where you buy the ferret from. Ferrets from a local pet store or pet store chain are almost always going to be cheaper upfront than a ferret from a private breeder. However, when you buy from a private breeder, though you may spend a little more, you will be able to get better information about your ferret’s family history. Ferrets from private breeders also tend to be healthier, which could save you money in the long run.
Is it possible to get a ferret for free?
If you are looking to save some money on getting a pet ferret, one thing you can do is try to get one for free or cheap. There are a couple of things that you can do to try and find a free pet ferret as long as you have a little bit of patience. First, you can consider asking around at your local pet shelters. While ferrets are not given to shelters all that often, if you are patient and let them know you are looking, eventually, one could come around.
You can also look online at places like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for people who currently have a ferret and are looking to give him away. You can also see if any of your friends have ferrets they are looking to have taken off of their hands. By going this route, you may also find that the person is willing to give your a cage, accessories, or even some food along with the ferret.
The downside to adopting a ferret this way is that you do not know much about its health history or previous living conditions. This means that you could run into a lot of expensive health problems down the road if you are not careful. Saving money by adopting a ferret for free may not actually save you money if you run into a lot of health problems.
2. Cage and Carrier: $100-$200 USD
You will also need to buy a cage and a carrier before you bring home your ferret. You might buy these things from the breeder or pet store you get the ferret from, or you could look online. If you are getting one ferret, the cage needs to be at least 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Of course, the bigger the cage you can get, the better, especially if you can get one with multiple levels for your ferret to explore. If you are getting multiple ferrets, you will definitely need a bigger enclosure.
It is possible for you to find a basic ferret cage for as little as $80, but a cage that cheap is likely not good enough, and you may spend a lot of money fixing it up or replacing it down the line. To get a really good ferret cage, you will probably spend between $100 and $200. More expensive ferret cages often come with some accessories already included, so make sure you factor those in when making price comparisons.
You will also need a ferret carrier to bring your ferret home in and put your ferret in when you need to take him to the vet or travel somewhere. Your ferret will not spend a lot of time in the carrier, so it can be a lot smaller than the cage and therefore a lot less expensive. You should be able to find a good carrier for $20.
3. Accessories: $85-$105 USD
Some accessories, like toys, will accumulate over time. However, you will want to have a couple of different things right off the bat, including a litter pan, bedding, hammocks, a food dish, a water bottle, and a couple of toys.
A litter pan will cost about $10-$15 a pan. You will likely want one for inside the enclosure in addition to a litter pan in any areas that your ferret will have regular access to.
Food dishes and water bottles are also relatively inexpensive. A good food bowl that can lock on the side of your ferret’s cage (to prevent spilling) will only be about $10. You can choose whether you want a water bowl or bottle, but bottles tend to be less messy. If you do decide to get a bottle rather than a bowl, you want to get a high-quality one that will not get blocked up. It will likely be another $10.
You will also need places for your ferret to sleep. You will probably want a small bed and a couple of hammocks. Because hammocks are relatively simple, you will probably find a quality one for about $10. A good ferret bed will be a little bit more expensive and will likely cost you around $25.
Finally, you will want to get your ferrets some toys. You do not have to buy too many right off the bat because you will figure out what your ferret likes and start a collection as you go, but a couple of toys are necessary from the start. In the beginning, you can probably plan to spend anywhere from $30 to $50 on stuffed animals, balls, tunnels, etc.
4. Initial health checkup: $200-$500
There are a couple of one-time health fees that you will have to pay over the first year of your ferret’s life. First, when you bring your ferret home, you will want to take him for his first vet visit rather quickly. The first vet visit is usually more expensive than later routine ones. You should expect to spend a couple of hundred dollars.
You will also need to get your ferret spayed or neutered unless they already come fixed. Getting your ferret spayed or neutered will likely cost between $150 and $300.
Recurring Costs of Owning a Ferret: $120-$200 USD/Month
|Expenses||Monthly Cost||Yearly Cost|
|Food||$30 – $100 USD||$360 – $1200 USD|
|Treats||$20 – 30 USD||$240 – 360 USD|
|Accessories||$20 USD||$240 USD|
|Litter||$2.50 – $4 USD||$30 – $50 USD|
|Health||$8 USD||$100 USD|
|Health Insurance||$35 USD||$420 USD|
|Total Cost||$120 – $200 USD per month||$1390 – $2370 USD per year|
1. Food and Treats: $30-$100 USD/Month
The food that you feed your ferret is really important. By ensuring that you are meeting all of your ferret’s nutritional needs, you will positively impact your ferret’s overall health and life expectancy. This means spending a little bit more to ensure you only feed your ferret high-quality food and treats.
Ferrets are obligate carnivores which means they need to eat lots of protein and do not have digestive systems that can process plant matter. Often cheap foods have too much plant matter and not enough protein, which can cause health problems for your ferrets. Whether you decide to feed your ferret high-quality dry food or a raw meat diet, you can expect to spend between $30 and $100 a month on food.
Finally, you will also want to purchase some treats for your ferret. Treats are both fun and will be really important for training. You can either use things like cooked chicken as treats, or you can buy high-quality ferret treats. Whichever you choose, you likely will not spend more than $20-$30 a month on treats.
2. Accessories: $20/Month
You will spend the most on accessories right off the bat, but along the road, you will want to buy more toys or have to replace hammocks or bowls. You probably only need to budget about $20 a month on accessories.
3. Litter: $2.50-$4 USD/Month
Litter training your ferret right off the bat will save you a lot of time, hassle, mess, and smell down the line. The good news is, litter is also really cheap. You will want to buy high-quality litter because ferrets’ have very sensitive respiratory systems, but that is okay because even high-quality litter will not cost more than $30 to $50 annually.
4. Regular Health Expenses: $100 USD/Year
In addition to the first vet visit and desexing surgery, your ferret will need routine vet visits which will include routine vaccinations. For a regular vet visit, you can expect the visit itself to cost around $60 plus around $40-$50 for vaccines and tests that might need to get done. Regular vaccines your ferret might need are things like distemper and rabies.
You should also keep in mind that as your ferret gets older, the pet visits will likely get more expensive. They will start to need more tests and may need to be put on medications for various diseases such as adrenal disease or digestive problems.
While the hope is that your ferret does not have any major health crisis, you should budget for at least one. Generally, you should budget a couple of thousand dollars for emergency vet visits or surgeries. Many experts actually recommend opening a separate bank account where you can save up for vet bills and other costs.
6. Health Insurance: $35 USD/Month
If you are concerned about the cost of emergency vet visits or expensive medications as your ferret gets older, you can consider buying health insurance for your ferret. Depending on the insurance you get, it can help with things like vet visits, emergency surgeries, dental care, etc. You should be able to get a plan for as low as $35 a month.
What Is The Cheapest Ferret to Have?
The cheapest breed is the White Albino Ferret. You will likely be able to find a White Albino Ferret for sale for as low as $50, especially if they are a little older. However, there is no way to guarantee the later expenses that you may run into, such as health problems. Additionally, all ferrets cost relatively the same when it comes to things like food and accessories.
How Much Do Ferrets Cost in the UK / Canada / Australia?
In the UK, ferrets are typically sold for as low as £10 ($14 USD) to as much as £100 ($140 USD) or more for the most sought-after breeders. Jills (or female ferrets) are also usually more expensive than hobs (male) ferrets. The total cost is also influenced by things like breed and age.
In Canada, the original price of buying a ferret usually ranges from $65 CAD ($52 USD) to $250 CAD ($200 USD). You can also expect to pay another $150-$350 CAD right off the bat for things like supplies and vaccinations.
In Australia, the cost of buying a ferret already desexed is usually around AU$100 ($74 USD). There are also often discounts for buying a pair of ferrets. Furthermore, ferrets in Australia usually come with some health needs already taken care of, like vaccinations and worming.
What should I check before buying a ferret?
Before you bring home your new ferret, there is a couple of things that you should consider. First, you want to make sure that it is legal for you to own a ferret in your state. Every state has its own laws and licensing requirements, but in both California and Hawaii owning a ferret is considered completely illegal. In other states, you should still look at the laws because there may be some special requirements.
You should also ask your local pet stores or breeders about the origin and parents of the ferret. While pet stores may not be able to give you as much information as a breeder, you should still ask. The parents of the ferrets and the environment that your ferrets spent their early life in can majorly affect your ferrets’ overall health for the rest of their lives.
Finally, you need to make sure that you have the resources to take care of your ferrets. Of course, you need to have the monetary resources necessary to take care of your ferret, but you also need to have enough time and space. You need to be home for at least four hours a day where you can supervise and play with your ferrets outside of their enclosure.
Additionally, you need the time to ferret-proof your home before you bring home your new pet. You also need the space to store the enclosure, food, treats, toys, etc.
Are Ferrets Good Pets?
Yes, for most owners ferrets are great pets. First of all, they are relatively low-maintenance pets. Besides being fed regularly and playing with them every day, ferrets are fairly self-sufficient, especially once you get them to be litter-trained. Because of their relatively simple needs, they are great pets for homebodies and busybodies alike. Nevertheless, if you are going to be gone a lot, you should get multiple ferrets, or else your ferret might get lonely and depressed.
Ferrets are also a lot of fun. They are very inquisitive and intelligent creatures which makes them a lot of fun to watch and play with. However, you should be careful because if they are left unsupervised, ferrets can be known to be mischievous and get into trouble.
Ferrets are also very friendly creatures. They are great at getting along with each other, family members, children, and even other household pets such as cats or dogs (as long as you introduce them safely and correctly.) Though ferrets should never be left along with small critters like rodents, frogs, or birds because they are natural hunters.
Resources and further reading:
- Ferret care and husbandry, Heather Bixler and Christine Ellis,