If you’ve done all of the necessary research and know that you’ll be able to provide a ferret with the care that they require, it’s time to find a ferret for sale that you can bring home.
Where exactly are you supposed to buy these ferrets from, though?
Everyone knows that common pet stores sell ferrets, but these are actually some of the worst places to buy ferrets from!
If you’re looking for a ferret for sale, this is essential reading as you may just save the lives of one or several ferrets through your purchasing decisions.
Where Can You Buy Ferrets?
A factor that makes the ferret purchasing process more difficult are the numerous places that you can get a ferret from. There are 5 main places that sell ferrets:
Ferret/animal shelters, online classified ads, reputable ferret breeders, pet stores, and backyard ferret breeders.
While all of these sources may seem the same to you, they’re actually very different, and you should actively avoid a few of them at all costs.
So, out of these places selling ferrets, which ones should you get a ferret from, and which ones should never get your support?
Anyone that’s looking for a ferret to bring home and care for should turn to a local ferret or animal shelter first and foremost. This is the best place to “buy” a ferret from.
Most, if not all shelter owners truly care about each and every ferret that comes through their doors.
First of all, ferret shelters are extremely personal, with the owners and volunteers of the shelters taking the time to assess each ferret’s personality and properly socializing them.
Not only that, but ferret shelters will have veterinarians analyze each ferret to see if it has any health problems that an owner would need to know about.
They then make sure that a ferret is desexed and cured of any easily-curable ailments.
Another benefit is that ferret shelter workers are extremely knowledgeable about ferrets, so they’ll be able to answer any questions you may have about proper ferret care.
The main goal of shelters is to find a great home for each and every ferret. They truly care about the well-being of each ferret that they adopt out.
- Cost: Adoption fees typically run from $50 to $100, but can be lower or higher.
- Benefits: Ferrets are checked by a veterinarian, desexed, vaccinated, socialized, and properly cared for.
- Downsides: Ferret rescues aren’t extremely common.
Local Online Classifieds
A reason why ferret shelters is so great is because you’re giving a ferret a new loving home. Local classified ads are another place to find these ferrets in need of a good home.
Through websites such as Facebook, Craigslist, and any other marketplace/classified ads website, you may be able to find owners looking to rehome their ferrets.
This is typically done because they realized they can’t care for ferrets properly, changes in their lives prevent them from having ferrets, or they just don’t want them anymore.
Whatever the case, this is a great way to find ferrets for sale. In fact, a lot of the time they’re free!
Unfortunately, a good amount of ferrets sold this way are in some way neglected and may have health problems. As they aren’t checked out by a vet, you won’t know if your new ferret is healthy or not.
So, if you get a rehome ferret, be prepared to take it to the vet for a thorough checkup!
- Cost: Typically free, but may have a small rehoming fee.
- Benefits: Ferrets frequently come from loving homes, essential supplies are usually included, and you’re giving ferrets a second chance.
- Downsides: Not very common, and ferrets can have undiagnosed health problems.
Reputable Ferret Breeders
If you tried to adopt a ferret from the above two sources but had no luck, you may to buy a ferret. Out of the sources with ferrets strictly for sale (not rescued), reputable ferret breeders are your best choice.
Ferrets are susceptible to several different health problems if their genetics aren’t accounted for. Fortunately, good ferret breeders put lots of effort into tracing and recording the genetic histories of their ferrets.
These breeders truly understand how to breed and care for ferrets, so they’ll use the best practices to produce genetically healthy ferrets.
Once the ferrets are born, these breeders will properly socialize them, house them, and care for them until the day that they’re sold.
Many of these breeders will also analyze each potential buyer to make sure that their ferrets are going to good homes.
There aren’t many reputable, private ferret breeders, with some states simply not having any! However, if you can find one, they’re the best place to purchase a ferret.
Here’s a list of all reputable ferret breeders in the US.
- Cost: $75 to $200 typically, with more desirable ferrets costing upwards of $300.
- Benefits: Ferrets are genetically-healthy and are properly cared for from birth until purchase. They’re also socialized and checked out by a vet.
- Downsides: Brings more ferrets into the world.
Pet stores are by far the most common place with ferrets for sale that potential ferret owners turn to. However, these are often the worst places to go!
Ferrets sold in pet shops almost always come from very large, commercial ferret breeding farms. There are several breeders, so ask the store which breeder they work with.
Unfortunately, these pet stores get most of their ferret information from those breeders, and the breeders often give misleading information to make themselves look better.
These commercial breeders do breed ferrets that make great pets in the sense that they tend to be very docile and friendly, but their genetics are often neglected.
Unlike ferret breeders that put a lot of effort into breeding genetically-healthy ferrets, commercial breeders’ ferrets commonly develop diseases, drastically shortening their lifespan.
Not only that, but pet stores don’t offer great conditions for their ferrets. They’re often kept in cramped cages and don’t get the daily interaction that they need.
- Cost: $75 to $100 typically, but smaller stores may charge around $150.
- Benefits: Very accessible ferrets, and some smaller stores do have healthy, cared-for ferrets.
- Downsides: Ferrets are often unhealthy and not properly cared for. Further supports large commercial breeders.
“Backyard” Ferret Breeders
This is, by far, the worst place to purchase ferrets from. If you see one of these breeders with ferrets for sale, turn the other way.
Backyard breeders are 100% profit-motivated and simply don’t understand good breeding practices. They don’t care about genetics or good ferret husbandry.
When you buy from a backyard ferret breeder, you’re almost certainly buying a ferret that will come down with a disease, isn’t vaccinated or fixed, and isn’t properly socialized.
While these ferrets may be cheaper, such breeding practices should never be supported.
- Cost: $75 to $200 typically, but prices can vary greately.
- Benefits: None!
- Downsides: Ferrets are genetically unhealthy, not cared for properly, not socialized, and not treated like a living animal.
Identifying A Good Ferret Breeder
If you’re looking to buy a ferret from a breeder either because no shelters have ferrets or because you want a 100% genetically healthy ferret, you may be wondering how to tell apart the good and the bad.
Remember, you should only buy a ferret from a reputable breeder, not a backyard breeder.
At a quick glance, reputable and backyard breeders may look fairly similar. However, there are a few ways you can tell them apart:
- Backyard breeders can’t show genetic histories, while reputable breeders happily will.
- Backyard breeders won’t let you see the ferrets’ living conditions, while reputable breeders make conditions well-known.
- Backyard breeders sell their ferrets for cheap in local marketplaces, while reputable breeders operate more legitimately with websites, Facebook, referrals, etc.
- Backyard breeders don’t care where their ferrets are going, while reputable breeders work to make sure they’re selling their ferrets to a good home.
Questions To Ask A Ferret Breeder
We’ve come up with 8 questions that you should ask a potential breeder before purchasing a ferret from them.
Based off of their answers to these questions, you should be able to identify whether you’re doing business with a good or bad ferret breeder.
- May I see your ferrets’ living conditions?
- Do you have references for previous buyers?
- Can you provide me with your ferrets’ genetic histories?
- Do you provide birth certificates with details about the parents?
- What food do you feed to the ferrets as kits and adults?
- Am I allowed to interact with the kit in person first?
- Do you keep sick/nursing ferrets separate?
- Will you be able to answer any other questions I may have about ferret care?
Analyzing A Ferret’s Health
Another way to tell a good breeder from a bad breeder is through the physical appearance of a ferret and their living conditions.
Ferrets that come from good breeders should have all of these traits and then some:
- Clean cages, food bowls, litter boxes, water bottles, etc.
- Calm ferrets that don’t become nervous/aggressive when handled
- Soft and clean fur without fleas
- Clean ears
- Hard, well-kept nails
- Clear eyes
How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Ferret?
Before you purchase a ferret, it’s important to note that the cost of a ferret isn’t just made up of a ferret itself. Instead, it’s made up of the ferrets and all of its essential supplies.
While you may be able to buy a ferret for $100, you also need to house it, feed it, and care for it in several other ways — all costing you money.
Make sure that you have the financial needs to keep a ferret. You need to avoid purchasing a ferret and then getting rid of it at all costs.
For a detailed cost breakdown of ferret ownership, click here. We’ve broken down every possible cost so that nothing surprises you!
In short, though:
- Ferrets cost around $100 to $200
- All of a ferret’s one-time supplies cost around $200
- Yearly, a ferret’s recurring costs can be anywhere from $100 to $300+
Ferrets aren’t just pets that you can purchase and neglect — they need as much, if not more care than cats, dogs, and other popular pets.
So, if you’re looking for a ferret for sale, make sure that you’re buying it from a good source, and that you’re bringing it into a home that’s prepared for it.