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Ferret Life Span And Comparison To Pet Rats

How long do rats and ferrets live, and which is the better pet?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: November 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EST

Q: How long do ferrets live, and are they a better pet than a rat?

A: The average life span of a ferret is six to eight years, while a rat usually lives two to three years, so a ferret can live about twice as long as a rat.

Your second question is a little more subjective. I had pet ferrets first, but I also have pet rats. I think your own ability to prepare for either should be the deciding factor.

Overall, rats are smaller, require less expensive food, and generally require less veterinary care. Both ferrets and rats are fun to play with and train.

See all Ferret FAQ questions and answers>>

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Ferret Life Span And Comparison To Pet Rats

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Reader Comments
I own 3 rats and they are great. Ferrets are very playful and cute too, but are pretty expensive. Honestly, if you can take really good care of you rat he/she can live to be older than 3 years although 4 years is quite rare. They usually live much less (2 years old) because of improper care. Getting your female rat spayed will also help make her live longer because she will be much less likely to get tumors. Whatever pet you get, make sure you do your research!
Maddi, HB, CA
Posted: 4/13/2010 8:16:17 PM
I thought they could live up to 20 years. I actually met a ferrett that was about nineteen years and I must admit he looked it.
aggie, cambridge, OH
Posted: 2/18/2010 7:41:50 PM
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