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Ferret Age Differences And Introductions

What’s the best way to match up ferrets for play?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: September 1, 2011, 5. a.m. EDT

Q: I’ve owned ferrets since 2005, starting with kits and then eventually taking in re-homed ferrets. I’ve brought in ferrets older, ferrets younger, you name it. But this spring, with my youngest ferret at least 3 to 4 years old, I adopted a store-bought kit, and I’m still dealing with the occasional tussle between my “leader of the pack” and the baby ferret. As the baby ferret gets bigger, fights happen less frequently. What are the concerns with age differences when introducing a younger or older ferret to an established ferret or group? How do you deal with the issues that arise?

A: In my own experience (and this would be great data to collect) ferrets of a similar life experience get along better than ferrets that come from different backgrounds. Usually young ferrets get along better with young to middle-aged ferrets, as they can be too active for an older ferret.

An older ferret can have a more challenging time adjusting to a new ferret as it probably appreciates the status quo. If the introduction is too much for the older ferret, I would play with the younger ferret for a while to tire it out before allowing interactions with an older ferret.

In general, try to match ferret play styles and activity levels, or at least have two younger ferrets so the older ferret gets a break.

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