Ferrets may be small creatures, but they can be demanding of your time, affection, and money. One of the most common questions that people in the market for a ferret ask is: How much does a ferret cost?
We've calculated that the initial cost of ferret ownership is between $395 and $875, while the yearly cost of ownership after that is between $105 and $325. However, you should expect to pay a decent amount of money throughout your ferret's life.
Ferret Cost Breakdown
There are many different aspects of ferret ownership that cost money besides the initial payment for your ferret itself. Housing, accessories, food, litter, and medical care must all be taken into account when calculating the cost.
Below is a a detailed breakdown of the price ranges of essential ferret gear and services.
The "Initial Cost" column is how much you should expect to spend in the first year of ownership, including the initial purchasing of essential supplies. The "Yearly Cost" column is how much you should expect to pay each following year.
To get more detailed about each section, either click the name of the product or service or simply scroll down below the chart.
Product / Service
$100 - $200
$100 - $200
$10 - $15
$15 - $25
$15 - $30
$15 - $50
$50 - $75
$50 - $75
$30 - $50
$30 - $50
$15 - $40
$15 - $40
$10 - $20
$0 - $100
$0 - $100
$0 - $50
$0 - $50
$395 - $875
$105 - $325
Cost Of Purchasing The Ferret Itself
The ferret alone is only a small portion of the overall price of a ferret, but is still considerable. There is no universal price for ferrets, so it will vary greatly depending on both your location and the source that you're getting the ferret from.
There are a few places that you can purchase a ferret from.
The first of those places would be a pet shop. You'll commonly see ferrets sold at a store such as Petco or PetSmart for around $100-$150. While it's very easy to get a ferret here, it's generally not the best idea as these ferrets are born in ferret mills.
These mills are not great places, and can turn out ferrets with health problems that will end up costing a lot over the course of their lives. Therefore, if you want to be a conscious animal lover, it's best if you get your ferret from other sources.
Private ferret breeders are a great source of healthy, cared-for ferrets. These ferrets can be available anywhere from $50 to $200, but they're generally very healthy.
If you're looking to buy a ferret, supporting a private breeder is a great way to get one, and you'll know that they were born into and treated with love.
Local shelters are an excellent place to adopt a ferret from. Unfortunately, ferrets don't show up frequently to many shelters, so you'll need to keep a vigilant eye out. However, it's usually well worth the effort to seek a shelter ferret out.
Most shelters are non-profit, genuinely care about the animals, and are generally cheaper to adopt from. This is a great way to give a ferret a second chance at life.
Another way that you can get a ferret is through local listings. Owners that want to get rid of their ferrets for whatever reason may list them on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
A lot of the time, these ferrets are simply free to a good home, but they're also quite rare. If you do opt to go this route, make sure that the ferret you're getting has been fixed, is up to date on their medications, and doesn't have glaring health problems.
Ferret Cage & Accessories Costs
A ferret's environment is very important to have perfected before you bring them home. Even if you give your ferret hours of free-roam playtime during the day, they still need a safe and comfortable place to sleep or stay while you're away.
Fortunately, there aren't too many things that your ferret needs to have an excellent environment, and most things are a one-time purchase.
When it comes to your ferret's cage, you definitely don't want to cheap out. This cage will offer them a comfortable and secure place to stay when your ferret isn't out and running around your house.
You shouldn't choose the cheapest or first cage that you find, as they could have some potentially harmful flaws. Our post discussing the best ferret cages goes in-depth about the environmental needs of a ferret and lists out the best cages on the market.
For a good ferret cage, expect to pay no less than $100 unless you purchase a clean one second-hand. Top of the line cages will run you closer to $200, but they are generally larger and more well-built.
Fortunately, you should never have to replace your ferret's cage, so this is a one-time investment that's well worth it.
Ferrets can easily be litter trained, so supplying them with a litter pan is a great way to keep the bathroom situation clean and simplified. Ferrets prefer to go to the bathroom in a corner, as it makes them feel safer since they have no sides exposed.
Fortunately, litter pan manufacturers are aware of this, so there are many pans that fit perfectly into the corner of your ferret's cage.
A pan that has high walls and can easily be secured to the corner of the cage is optimal. This litter pan does those things very well, and most ferrets should have no problem using it.
This is a one-time purchase product, meaning that for a cost of $10-$15 you can supply your ferret with a litter pan that more than meets their needs.
Food & Water Bowls
Your ferret will, of course, need a bowl for their food and a bowl or bottle for their water. Ferrets need to constantly be eating and drinking, so it's important that you get them bowls that are large enough to hold a decent supply of food and water.
Additionally, because ferrets are rambunctious, the bowls should be able to be secured onto the sides of their cage to prevent spills. If you opt to go for a water bottle, make sure that it doesn't get jammed up as some lower-quality bottles do.
This is an excellent lock-on bowl, and this is a quality water bottle. Both of these products are a one-time purchase, so costs are low, but they do require maintenance. Make sure that you're keeping the bowls and bottles clean and free of debris -- you don't want your ferret to get sick.
Bed / Hammock
Ferrets sleep 14-18 hours per day, so their bed is a very important aspect of their cage. There are two different kinds of beds that you can get, which are either a hammock or a standard bed. Personally, I prefer to have both, as my ferrets would switch up where they like to sleep.
Hammocks are relatively simple contraptions, and the beds are arguably more simple. In fact, ferrets are more than content with a soft towel to sleep on, so a bed isn't even necessary. You should provide a hammock, though.
Washing these beds every once in a while is key to making them last and keeping them comfortable and clean.
High-quality beds tend to not cost more than $25.
Leash & Harness
This is an optional accessory that many ferret owners go without, but many also choose to go for. A harness and leash is a great to safely and securely take your ferret on an outdoor adventure.
If you live in a good area for your ferret to walk around, this can be a great way to add enrichment to their life and expose them to new experiences. With most leash and harness combos running only about $10, it's generally quite worth the investment to see the excitement your ferret exhibits.
One of the most popular ferret harnesses is this one by Ware Manufacturing. Most ferrets are unable to escape from it, but it's comfortable and has a fun design. If you're going outdoors with your ferret, make sure that the straps are secure and fit snug, but not too tight.
A carrier is a great way to keep your ferret safe and secure when taking them outside of your home. They are helpful during car rides so that your ferret doesn't crawl freely around the car.
They're also very handy while taking your ferret to the vet, as it can help to keep your ferret comfortable and less stressed in the strange environment. You won't be using a carrier much, but for a small cost of only $15, it's a great investment to make and comes in handy.
This carrier is one of the most popular ones available, and it gives your ferret more than enough space to move around comfortably. Carriers are a one-time purchase, and they usually last a very long time since you'll be using it minimally.
Toys are an essential part of a ferret's accessories, as they're a great way to keep these energetic animals entertained. There are so many different kinds of toys that ferrets absolutely love.
Perhaps the most common ferret toys are simply stuffed animals. Ferrets love to chew on, toss around, and hide stuffed animals, getting endless hours of entertainment out of them. There's also balls with bells in them and even tunnels.
You can mix and match any assortment of toys and spend as little or as much as you want to, as ferrets will love virtually anything that you get them. They'll even play with your socks if you leave them sitting around.
The main idea is to provide your ferret with several sources of entertainment so that they don't get bored.
Don't expect to spend too much money in this category.
Ferret Consumables Costs
Your money spent on consumables for your ferret isn't going to be substantial, but it will be consistent. There are a few things that your ferret will need in order to live a happy and healthy life.
With these, you can save money by buying cheaper variants, but higher prices are usually affiliated with higher quality.
Your ferret's food is extremely important, and it's essential that you feed them one that's high-quality. Ferrets have specific nutritional needs, so you need to make sure that your ferret's food is supplying them with the nutrients that they need to live.
While the food seem expensive, a larger bag such as this Wysong food lasts a single ferret for quite a while. Combining that food with a high-protein and low fiber food like ORIJEN dry cat food helps to diversify their diet and make sure that they're getting a nutritionally-complete diet.
Of course, multiple ferrets will increase the amount of food that you'll need to buy, but it still isn't major. Just make sure that you're constantly supplying your ferret with food, as they need to eat consistently throughout the day.
Note that combining multiple foods is recommended to help prevent imprinting with younger ferrets. This prevents them from preferring one specific type of food, which could make it a nightmare if you ever try and switch them to a new food.
$50 per year is the standard food costs that a typical owner will incur.
Ferrets poop. A lot. It's because of this that you'll find yourself going through a healthy amount of ferret litter. You may be tempted to invest in a cheaper ferret litter, then, but you absolutely shouldn't.
Lower-quality, dusty ferret litter can cause quite a few problems that are better off being avoided. A quality clay-free litter like any highlighted in this guide is a safe and healthy choice for your ferret. High-quality litter will only cost you about $30-$40 annually.
You can also go a much cheaper yet still safe route and use wood stove pellets. These are very effective, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective if you have multiple ferrets.
To provide a healthy environment, scoop your ferret's litter at least once a day, but preferably twice. As stated, ferrets use the bathroom quite a bit, so waste can pile up fast. It's not worth bringing down the quality of your ferret's environment to save a bit of litter.
Giving your ferret a treat or two every day is a great way to both reward them for good behavior and keep their diet interesting and diverse. There are many different kinds of ferret treats, with a wide variety of different price points.
So, it's up to you regarding what treats to get your ferret. Just make sure that the treats aren't just empty calories and have a large focus on protein content.
There are many treats available, but many of them are very unhealthy and should be avoided. Ferretone is a ferret owner favorite and does wonders for a ferret's skin and coat.
Salmon oil also makes for a great alternative and yields very similar results. Both of these treats will last for a very long time, so yearly expenses are quite low.
These treats are quality and last a very long time, costing maybe $10 a year.
Ferrets may be small creatures, but they do require a bit of grooming to keep them healthy.
Of course, the nail clippers and brush only need to be purchased once, and the shampoo could potentially last the entire duration of your ferret's life.
It may be slightly annoying to groom your ferret, but it's an essential step in ensuring their health. The supplies are also not very expensive, so you'll really only be spending your time while grooming, not money.
These purchases are mostly one-time purchases, costing around $20-$30.
Ferret Medical Care Costs
No matter what animal you own, medical bills will make up part of the cost of ownership. Now, the numbers given for ferret medical care prices may be entirely accurate for you or may be way off.
A lot of the medical cost you'll incur is up to random illness and problems that your ferret may run into. However, it's better to be safe than sorry, as you don't want to be unprepared if a problem does arise.
Routine Vet Visits
Even if your ferret appears to be in perfect health, it's always a good idea to take them for routine vet visits. The prices that vets charge varies greatly, but standard checkups once a year with vaccinations shouldn't run more than $50 to $100 in most cases.
It's also a good idea to form a relationship with a vet, as it will make care down the line easier and potentially cheaper.
Additional Medical Needs
Random health issues arise in every living thing, and ferrets are no exception. Ferrets can be susceptible to illness or disease that can seemingly come out of nowhere. If you're not financially prepared for these issues, this may bring about difficult times for you.
Therefore, set aside about $100 for your ferret's emergency fund. Random medical problems tend to arise later in your ferret's life rather than earlier, so don't let your guard down if your ferret has a string of good health.
Are Ferrets Cheap Pets To Own?
All things considered, ferrets are very average pets to own in terms of finances. There are a lot of initial costs associated with owning a ferret, but the yearly costs are not very difficult to deal with.
The biggest determining factor in the cost of your ferret is how well their good health persists. If your ferret is very healthy, then you may expect to only spend around $200 per year. Unhealthy ferrets can have medical bills that raise the yearly cost to $500 or more.
However, there are no costs that exist that aren't part of standard pet ownership. Ferrets have specific needs that need to be met, so it's important that you determine that you're able to meet those needs before owning a ferret.
I can personally assure you, though, that ferrets are well worth their cost. They're extremely interesting creatures that are full of life and love and keep every day full of entertainment.
A couple hundred dollars a year to pay for such an amazing creature is basically nothing.