How Long Does a Ferret Live (Ferret Lifespan)

Anyone who is a lover of animals can provide you with the lifespan average of their pet however, the issue gets slightly more complex about ferrets How Long Does a Ferret Live? While not as prevalent in the American family, ferrets can still be wonderful pets as kittens and puppies are. This is particularly relevant for families looking to get the perfect pet that’s not as big as a Labrador and perhaps a little more lively than the Persian. Anyone who is considering adopting a ferret must know how long this jovial pet will remain for the rest of his or her life.

How Long Does a Ferret Live
How Long Does a Ferret Live

How Long Does a Ferret Live?

Unfortunately, these facts are a little more difficult to pin down than for other popular pets. “There are books out there that tell you that ferrets live for ten years, but that’s not happening anymore,” stated L. Vanessa Gruden, executive director of the Ferret Association of Connecticut. According to Gruden that the lifespan of the contemporary American ferret is considerably smaller than the ferret of the 1980s, which was when the species, native to Europe began to gain popularity throughout America. The United States.

When the ferret trend first began to take off across the United States, the only alternative for owners who were interested was to import potential creatures through the Atlantic. “Since [Europe is] where ferrets started, that’s where they tend to live longer,” Gruden explained. Nowadays, breeders from the United States aren’t unusual, although they aren’t the most reliable source for healthy animals.

Vickie McKimmey, office manager of the American Ferret Association, stresses that ferrets have a similar lack of consistency. “[A ferret’s lifespan ranges] from five to nine years,” she stated. “[It’s] a pretty large gap and it’s mainly because the ferrets in pet stores live on a shorter time frame, whereas if you get a ferret from a breeder … you get a longer age range.”

According to McKimmey, the period difference between the lifespan of a ferret bought through a breeder as opposed to one ferret bought at a pet shop could be due to the time at which the ferret was neutered or spayed. “Ferrets at the pet store are sterilized before when they enter the pet store, which means you’re likely to see ferrets being fixed around five weeks old, however, a breeder may suggest that you wait until the ferret has reached one year old. This way, it’s got all its hormones fully developed” she added.

How Long Does a Ferret Live
How Long Does a Ferret Live

Keeping Your Ferret Healthy

Wherever your ferret is from, there’s a variety of ways that pet owners can take to make sure that their ferret is as well content as they can, such as feeding your ferret high-quality, ferret-formulated foods which is rich in protein and maintaining regular veterinary visits, vaccinations, and diagnostic tests (blood as well as urine test, x-rays, etc.) according to the guidelines, Gruden said. Cleaning your teeth is also a must to think about as ferrets grow older, as they may be more susceptible to dental diseases, in addition to other diseases (like lymphoma and adrenal disease) as they age.

Naturally, the health of your emotional well-being is as vital for all animals as physical. The stimulation of the mind is through toys and playtime with other animals and with other animals is essential in keeping your ferret well, Gruden said. This includes supervision of playtime and ample time in their cages (at least four hours each day) According to McKimmey.

Ferret Lifespan

While one ferret was believed to have lived for 14 years, the typical lifespan of ferrets ranges between 5 to 10 years. Ferrets bred rather than bought at a pet shop are more likely to have longer.

Common Ferret Lifespan

Common ferrets live for up to 12 years as pets, but the majority of ferrets have a lifespan of six to eight years. The reddish-pink fur and yellowish-white eyes that are common to the ferret make it stand out in comparison to other animals. The common ferret is larger than the polecat being 51 cm (20 inches) in length. It also has a tail being 13 cm long. It weighs on average 2 pounds.

Black-footed Ferret Lifespan

In the wild, the black-footed ferret lives for three to four years. It is a black-footed ferret is a threatened species that has genetic diversity and diseases which the US Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to tackle. With the assistance of experts and recovery partners, they are implementing new research in genetics to boost populations of wild ferret population and ensure its survival.

While its coat is similar to the typical ferret, however, it sports a distinctive black mask that covers its eyes as well as brownish-black patterns on its tail and paw tips that differentiate it from other species. Males weigh less than females and weigh less than 1 kg. 38-50 centimeters (15-20 inches) is the length of the human body and the tail is 11-15 centimeters.

How Long Does a Ferret Live
How Long Does a Ferret Live

Factors that affect longevity

Many factors can impact the life span of the lifespan of a ferret includes:


Contrary to ferrets who enjoy a high level of health and are well-adjusted with their family, those living in stressful environments or spending the majority of their day time in cages have a higher chance of ending up dying young.


Domestic ferrets also benefit from a balanced diet. For ferrets to live a healthy life they need to consume a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The American Ferret Association recommends feeding cats and dogs wet food with at least 36% protein for ferrets. It can be bought at pet shops.

Underlying Issues

Canine distemper and rabies and Aleutian disease virus all-cause death to ferrets. Aleutian disease is the ferret’s variant of cold. Pancreatic and adrenal issues in ferrets may lower the life expectancy of a pet if they’re not properly managed.

How Long Does a Ferret Live
How Long Does a Ferret Live

How Can I Help My Ferret Live Longer?

Common ferrets are highly sought-after as pets as well as in research into veterinary medicine. They can be playful, tame, and curious in the presence of a captive. Despite their ability to adapt the common ferrets have been domesticated and rely on humans to survive. They usually die if they are kept on their own.

Study the Breeder and Ferret History

Genetics plays a significant part in ferret longevity. To ensure that your ferret’s lifespan is not compromised examine its source. Don’t purchase the ferret unless the seller can provide information about its relatives and allow you to look over the ferret before you purchase it. Keep in mind that a ferret’s personality could be altered in the initial three months of its life while it’s at the breeding facility. Do not purchase a ferret from a breeder that has more than three litters per year. There is no way to monitor every ferret and the chance of getting a feral ferret is far too high.


Maintaining the ferret healthy and content requires lots of space to run and play. Be sure to keep it in a safe, secure, and safe environment, free of dangerous objects like poisonous plants or electrical wires. Be sure that the area is dry, warm, and properly aired without drafts.


Ferrets are carnivores who are obligate species Their diets are mostly meat-based. It is normal to see their prey on and eat whole animals which includes everything from bones and raw meat to digested plant matter.

High-quality ferret-formulated food with a high protein content is crucial to the overall health of your ferret. Ferret food is high in protein and lipids which come from fresh meaty sources. Feed your ferret various healthy and healthy ferret food items available in pet stores near you to keep them healthy and active. healthy.

Mental Stimulation

The well-being of the mind is equally essential as physical well-being for all animals. Maintaining your ferret healthy requires stimulation for the mind including toys, human interaction as well as the interaction between other species. Be sure that your ferret has plenty of supervision playing time and plenty of time away from their cages for at most four hours a day.

Health Checkups

Yes, ferrets must receive a specific ferret vaccine each year. The appointment for veterinary visits, vaccinations as well as diagnostic tests (blood or urine test as well as scans) must be kept with the latest information as recommended by your vet. As your ferrets get older, they are more susceptible to dental issues and lymphoma, and adrenal disease. Cleaning their teeth regularly and conducting regular health check-ups are crucial to their longevity.


To keep your female ferret healthy, spay her. Females who are not spayed have high estrogen levels that cause anemia and eventually death. Boys do not have this problem however, you must have them neutered.

How Long Does a Ferret Live
How Long Does a Ferret Live

Do Ferrets Die Easily?

Ferrets are fairly tough animals. But, unsuitable breeding has reduced the lifespan of the typical ferret dramatically. When ferrets became popular during the 80s several breeders from the US appeared.

Certain breeders bred ferrets to improve the species however, others breed them solely to make money. In some instances, certain attractive traits were favored over healthy ones. Thus, this negatively affected the lifespan of ferrets.

Nowadays, many ferrets can die quite quickly. The majority of ferrets purchased are taken from pet stores since their owners are focused on making profits. Certain ferret breeders act similar to puppy mills, creating the most ferrets possible and as cheaply as they can.

If you’re looking to get a ferret that will last for a long time, we suggest you adopt from a reputable breeder. Breeders that only sell directly are generally more concerned with the place their ferrets go and that should be a sign of how much they value their animals.

Ferrets may be more expensive when you compare to these breeders, however, you usually have the most value for money. Most ferrets are more socialized and receive greater vet attention. Some breeders also utilize genetic testing to find out specific genetic diseases to which ferrets can be susceptible.

Can a Ferret Live for 10 Years?

Ferrets are typically around five or seven years, however, some record-breaking animals could live to 10 years.

Through the years in the past, the lifespan of the average ferret has diminished and not increased. This is because of breeding practices that are more focused on the aesthetic characteristics that are inherent to the ferret over their health concerns. Breeders can also function as puppy mills, in that they are focused on breeding the most animals possible without regard to the health of the animals.

While puppy mills are banned in many areas, however, there are usually no guidelines on how ferrets are to be kept.

Thus, you should conduct your research, particularly in case you want your ferret to live to its full time.

How Long Does a Ferret Live
How Long Does a Ferret Live

Do Male or Female Ferrets Live Longer?

There is no distinction between a male or a female ferret in terms of their lifespan. In captivity, the majority of ferrets have been sterilized however, the precise age at which they are sterilized varies.

The length of life should not be the primary factor in the decision-making process when you are deciding on which ferret you want to buy. There are some sex differences, specifically between intake animals. But, they are usually minor and mostly non-sensical. No research demonstrates a significant behavior distinction between the two genders.

Final Thoughts

The typical ferret lives between 5 and 7 years old. Before the 1980s, ferrets in the wild were close to 10-years-old. Today, they are bred in captivity, and not wild-caught. The result is that their lifespan has begun to decrease, in part because breeders are more focused on temperament and appearance.

Wild, ferrets are “bred” for health. If a ferret was unhealthy and healthy, it would not have made it to the end of the road. But, a sick ferret could live and be an excellent pet in captivity particularly if it can handle stress. In time, these differences in breeds have resulted in an overall reduction in ferret’s lifespan in the domestic environment.

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