Ferret adoption is increasingly common. It is much cheaper to adopt a ferret than to buy one. It is also less risky as most ferret adoption organizations are excellent resources for information. So if you think you’re ready to bring home a fuzzy, here’s what to do.
- Read everything you can. If you don’t already have a ferret (or have had one inthe past), you will be surprised at how much there is to know about them. Even if you think you know all about them, read some more. There are many books and websites that offer a lot of information. Really consider what you read and how to put the information into practice in your real life. A ferret is a commitment; make sure you can handle it.
- Budget your money. Any new member of the family costs money. Can you afford to take in a ferret? An adopted ferret will cost about $75. On average a cage costs about $200, depending of course on the size, the materials and whether it is new or used.
One cost that really is not optional for ferrets is spaying/neutering. Spaying costs between $75 and $300, depending on the veterinary practice and whether the ferret is also descented. Neutering costs between $50 and $250, again depending on the practice and whether the ferret is also descented.
Those are the one-time expenses.
You must now evaluate the recurring expenses: Most experts estimate that one ferret’s food will cost around $200 per year, or $16.66 per month. Naturally, if you have two or more ferrets, you must double that amount by two. You will also need to have regular vaccinations, which could cost up to $100 per year. Your community may also require a permit, the fees for which vary.
Add up all those costs and compare it to your income and other expenses. Can you afford a fuzzy?
- Designate a space in your home for a ferret. It will need a cage that is at least 2 ft. by 3 ft., so you will need a space to contain it. In addition, you will need a designated space for your ferret to run around freely as it was not meant to live solely in a cage. Many people designate a spare bedroom for their fuzzies.
- Ferret proof your home. Just as an unsupervised human baby can get into anything, so can a ferret. Ferrets love to squeeze into any nooks and crannies they can find, as well as squeeze through pipes, under doors, etc. Block up those openings.
Ferret-proofing also includes putting away knickknacks and other items that could be damaged. This includes clothes, food, books, wires, silverware, keys, etc. If you want to keep it in its current condition, get it out of your ferret’s way. A good way to be sure you’re prepared is to crawl through the area on all fours. If you can reach it, so can your ferret.
- Buy your supplies. If you’ve definitely decide to adopt a ferret, it’s time to get a cage and some ferret food. You can generally find these at most pet shops or online. You will also need bedding material (old T-shirts, towels and blankets work well); untippable bowls for food and water and little ferret-friendly toys (like golf balls, tubing etc.). Many people already have something they can use for these items.
- Find a ferret adoption organization. Your favorite search engine will likely steer you to at least one such agency near you. Your local pet store may also have a bulletin board with notices for ferrets needing adoption. It is generally better to adopt through an agency or rescue organization: They can vouch for the ferret’s history and provide information concerning its care. A private adoption is risky because you have no way to verify what the seller tells you.
- Complete the adoption process. A reputable ferret adoption organization will require you to complete an application. The application is designed for you to show that you would be a good ferret owner. It is also intended to emphasize the responsibility involved in ferret care. The agency may require an interview and for your home to be inspected. Some agencies will even visit your home after the adoption has taken place to ensure the relationship is progressing well.
- Choose your ferret. Once you are approved, the agency will let you choose your new pet. A good agency will try to match you with the best pet for your needs and experience (i.e., a calmer, older ferret for a first-time owner, a social animal for an owner who already owns one).
- Bring home baby. The ferret you choose should already have been vaccinated and examined by a vet. So after signing the paperwork, you will be ready to bring home a new member of the family.