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Determining A Kit Ferret's Age

Baby teeth can help to determine a kit ferret’s age.

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, MS
Posted: May 1, 2008, 5 a.m. EST

Q: I need help telling the age of my ferret. My husband and I got a kit a few days ago. The pet store said that he was between 14 and 16 weeks old, I believe he is younger. I researched on the Internet. The kits I saw that are around our kit’s size are 9 weeks old. He was one of the bigger kits in the litter, so I have a hard time believing that he is as old as they say. Any answers you can give me would be a great deal of help.
 
A: This is a difficult question. The size of a ferret kit can depend on many factors, including age, nutritional status and genetics (some ferrets are just bigger than others). As you know, not all adult ferrets are created equal!

Because size and weight can’t be used as a guide, how else can we age kits? One way is dentition. Kits, like other mammals, have two set of teeth, “baby” teeth and “adult” teeth. In most kits, the permanent teeth erupt at 50 to 74 days of age. So, if your kit is 9 weeks old (63 days), you might still see some baby teeth and you may see the permanent teeth growing in. But since this can happen in some kits as early as 50 days, not seeing baby teeth does not mean your kit is 14 weeks old. To complicate matters, rarely some kits do not lose their baby teeth and need to have them removed by a veterinarian.

In general, though, if there are baby teeth present, your kit is probably not 14 to 16 weeks of age.

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