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Yearly Cost Of Owning A Ferret

Keeping any pet costs money, so what are the estimated annual costs for a ferret’s food, litter, toys, bedding and medical care?

L. Vanessa Gruden
Posted: October 14, 2014, 5:15 p.m. EDT

ferrets on floor with toys
© Courtesy L. Vanessa Gruden
After some initial one-time costs, ferret owners will still spend money on food, toys, bedding and other items for their ferrets every year.

Q: My little brother and I are interested in owning ferrets; two at that. We are planning on covering the costs on our own, but I'm curious on how much the yearly cost is for just one ferret alone. What is your estimate?
 
A: Great question! It’s smart to think about ongoing expenditures before you get any pet.
 
Whether you get one or two ferrets, you will need a cage or pen, bedding, bowls and toys. Cages cost anywhere from $100 to $250. Secure carriers can be found for about $20. Good stainless-steel bowls are $15 to $20. Hammocks and sleep sacks are $10 to $20 each. Toys can be elaborate or as simple as a plastic grocery bag. In total, initial supplies will be $175 to $350.
 
Ferrets don’t eat huge amounts, but with ferret food, you get what you pay for. Budget roughly $10 to $15 monthly for quality kibble. Using litter adds an extra $5 to $10 monthly.
 
Let’s assume you plan to purchase ferrets that are already spayed/neutered. The purchase will be a one-time cost. Nearly all pet stores sell ferrets altered, and most shelters won’t adopt out unaltered animals. Should you purchase a ferret from a private breeder, you will need to add one-time costs of $150 to $300 for neutering or spay surgery (females are more expensive).
 
Ferrets need rabies and a canine distemper vaccination every year. Vet costs vary widely, but expect to pay $150 to $200 per ferret.
 
Save up $5 to $10 every month in case of an emergency or for health needs as your ferret ages. A little piggy bank of savings will ensure that you can afford medical treatment.
 
So, excluding all those one-time expenses, here’s an estimate of annual costs for one vs. two ferrets:

   One Ferret  Two Ferrets
 Food  $120 to $240  $180 to $360
 Litter       $60 to $120    $60 to 120
 Vet Visit/Vaccinations  $150 to $200  $300 to $400
 Piggy Bank/Savings       $60 to $120  $120 to $240
 Replacement Bedding and Toys    $30 to $60     $30 to $60
 Total Per Year (estimated)  $420 to $740  $690 to $1,180
 

Wow, it adds up, doesn’t it? Now, in next month’s Q & A, I’d like to suggest ways to save while still giving your pet ferret great care. 

Like this article? Please share it, and check out:
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See all ferret health Q&As 

Posted: October 14, 2014, 5:15 p.m. EDT


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Yearly Cost Of Owning A Ferret

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Reader Comments
A good alternative for litter is wood pellets. They are used commonly in wood pellet stoves. Got that time from a ferret rescue here. Stuff only costs about $5 for a 20 lbs bag and works well as "Ferret Litter" you see in the pet stores is hugely expensive. These pellets do not contain the oils that cause problems in wood shavings that are sold at pet stores that can be harmful.
Matthew, Kansas City, MO
Posted: 11/15/2014 7:42:00 PM
Your estimate of the amount to save is very low. $20 or more a month is even low. Around here an emergency vet visit is $100 just to walk into the animal hospital. Vet expenses climb a lot as a ferret gets older. You also need a vet that specializes in ferrets.
Dennis, Wadsworth, OH
Posted: 10/31/2014 2:27:11 PM
We don't even think about the cost! We are down to 7 ferrets. Our vet loves us as we do what we can for each of them. Right now we have 2 baldies and 1 with lymphoma ( around his eyes). They have more toys than my kid did! They live in a 5 ferret nation cage system. They are raw meat eaters so we are constantly buying meat. They usually eat better than us! Then of course are their harnesses, leashes and little outfits. We even bought a travel trailer just for them to take them on our vactations. Cost? Priceless!
Laura, Belleville, IL
Posted: 10/21/2014 11:27:17 AM
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