How Much Are Ferrets? The Cost of Ferret Keeping in 2024

By: Wendy Rose GouldUpdated:

Photo of a ferret peeking their head out of a cage
Carmelka/iStock/Getty Images Plus

How Much Are Ferrets? The Cost of Ferret Keeping in 2024

With their compact size and lively personalities, ferrets are an exciting pet to care for. As with any other new pet you add to your life, though, these cute little creatures come with a set of expenses. Ahead, we’re sharing some general costs so you can budget accordingly for both the initial adoption and ongoing costs throughout your ferret’s life.

Cost of Buying or Adopting a Ferret

You can either purchase a ferret from a breeder, or adopt one from a ferret rescue organization or humane society. The average cost of purchasing a ferret from a breeder can range $100-$400, while adopting one from a rescue generally costs $50-$300, says Dwight Alleyne, DVM, a veterinarian at Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic in Canton, Georgia.

Dr. Alleyne says costs vary depending on where you live, and where you purchase or adopt from, as well as factors such as the ferret’s age (younger ferrets are often more expensive) and type of ferret, since those with specific lineage or desirable traits may cost more.

For example, champagne and chocolate varieties (costing $200-$300) are more expensive than albino, sable and black sable varieties ($100-$200), while cinnamon-colored ferrets are more expensive than all the above ($300-$400).

First-Day Ferret Supplies

Before ferret keepers bring their new ferret home, they should purchase some essential items to keep their pet safe and comfortable, says Teresa Manucy, DVM, a veterinarian in Jacksonville, Florida, and pet health representative for Chewy. These include:

Marshall Ferret Litter Pan
$12.74
Frisco Small Animal Cage
$289.99
FREE 1-3 day shipping

Along with the barebone essentials, you should plan to cover the costs of the following items:

  • Initial vet checkup
  • Vaccinations, including a rabies vaccine and canine distemper vaccine.
  • Spay/neuter costs. Breeders and adoption agencies usually take care of this for you, Dr. Manucy notes, but if not, plan to pay spaying or neutering fees.
  • Ferret licensing. Licensing and permit fees depend on your state and county. Visit the website of your state’s department of agriculture, wildlife or animal services for information on this. Some vet offices might also provide information on local licensing requirements and costs.
  • Ferret-proofing, including items such as pet gates, cord protectors and cabinet locks.
  • Enrichment items like a hammock for lounging (which Dr. Manucy says ferrets love) and some fun (but very durable!) ferret toys for playtime.
Kaytee FerreTrail Flex-E Fun-nels
$20.96
Marshall Pop-N-Play Ferret Ball Pit Toy
$23.30

Average Costs of Bringing Home a New Ferret

Expense
Average cost
Expense

Adoption fee

Average cost

$50-$300

Expense

Breeder fee

Average cost

$100-$400

Expense

Annual licensing fee

Average cost

$0-$30

Expense

Ferret cage

Average cost

$100-$300

Expense

Ferret food

Average cost

$20-$30 (initial purchase)

Expense

Water and food dishes

Average cost

$15-$30

Expense

Initial vet checkup

Average cost

$75-$200

Expense

Ferret vaccinations

Average cost

$50-$100

Expense

Spaying or neutering fees (if applicable)

Average cost

$0-$250

Expense

Ferret toys and accessories

Average cost

$20-$50

Expense

Ferret-proofing

Average cost

$50-$200

Expense

Total cost:

Average cost

$420-$1,590

Ferret Costs Over Time

Ferret lifespans range between 4-12 years, with an average of about 8 years. Ferret keepers should plan to continue caring for their pet throughout their ferret’s life.

Monthly Expenses

“Food will be the most consistent ongoing cost with high-quality ferret food,” Dr. Alleyne says. You’ll also need to renew your ferret’s litter throughout the month, and replace old or damaged toys and cage accessories.

Additional monthly costs include things like flea and tick prevention medications, which are crucial to your ferret’s health. Pet insurance is optional, but can be a good investment and offer peace of mind in the event your ferret experiences health problems.

Yearly Expenses

  • Vet checkups
  • Licensing fees
  • Ferret bedding

Dr. Alleyne says ferrets also require ongoing vet checkups, noting that they should be examined at least once per year. This can cost $75-$200 depending on your vet. Depending on your state and county’s requirements, you may also need to pay an annual licensing fee. Ferret bedding may also need to be replaced once or twice a year.

Unexpected Costs

It’s always a good idea for pet parents to budget for the unexpected. This can include surprise vet visits and emergency ferret care, which may require diagnostic tests; surgical procedures and treatments; and medications. Pet insurance can help ease the shock of costly vet bills, so consider this option if a large expense would set you back.

“It is always important to budget for veterinary care with ferrets,” Dr. Alleyne says. “They can experience unexpected illnesses just like other pets. Also, if you need to travel out of town and can't take your ferret, then pet sitting services may be needed.” Another potential unexpected cost is replacement of damaged items, since ferrets are notorious chewers.

These unexpected expenses are wide-ranging, and the cost ultimately depends on the circumstance. Generally speaking, we recommend budgeting $250-$500 for these surprise expenses. The older your ferret gets, the more likely you are to incur vet costs, since older pets run into more medical issues.

Average Annual Costs of Keeping a Pet Ferret

Expense
Average cost
Expense

Food

Average cost

$240-$360

Expense

Litter

Average cost

$120-$240

Expense

Supplies/toys

Average cost

$120-$240

Expense

Flea and tick medications

Average cost

$120-$240

Expense

Bedding

Average cost

$120-$360

Expense

Annual vet visit

Average cost

$75-$200

Expense

Annual licensing fee

Average cost

$0-$30

Expense

Pet insurance premium

Average cost

$120-$720

Expense

Unexpected costs

Average cost

$250-$500

Expense

Total cost:

Average cost

$1,165-$3,130

Whether you’re adopting a pint-size baby ferret or bringing a mature fuzzball into your home, it’s important to account for all the various expenses you may incur over the course of your pet’s life. Doing so will ensure your ferret can live a happy and healthy life with you!

Expert input provided by Teresa Manucy, DVM, a veterinarian based in Jacksonville, Florida, and pet health representative for Chewy; and Dwight Alleyne, DVM, a veterinarian at Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic in Canton, Georgia, and pet expert for JustAnswer.

Share:

By: Wendy Rose GouldUpdated:

BeSmart