Posted: October 31, 2008, 11 a.m. EDT
Q: I've wanted a ferret for years. I've done my research but am wondering if it would be better to get two. Would it make a lot of difference financially and would they get along? I was thinking of getting one to start with and then getting another later on, but that depends on how ferrets respond to new housemates. Also, I was leaning toward getting a male simply because they're bigger. Are there any advantages either way? I know with rats females are more lively and males tend to smell more.
A: The more the merrier is my philosophy! In the wild, ferret relatives are not generally social, but pet ferrets do very well with company and often play together, which encourages natural ferret behaviors. Financially, the only difference would be preparing for veterinary costs for two instead of one, but even that is manageable. I recommend getting two ferrets at the same time so that they move into their new home together and get used to each other quickly and easily.
The option of male or female is really up to you and the availability, especially if you get the ferrets from a shelter. Many ferrets come from the same large-scale breeder and are very similar in size due to the early spay and neuter, so you probably won’t notice a size difference. I have not found a huge difference in personalities between males and females, as their personality tends to be individually determined rather than by gender. You could also get one of each!