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Ferret Lifespan, Increase Guide

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When ferrets first became popular in the United States, they lived about 10 years. This was a great ferret lifespan. They were imported from Europe at that time. But ferrets generally don’t live that long anymore. Many live only 5-7 years at most. This lifespan is considerably shorter than before, mainly due to captive breeding.

Breeders have started breeding ferrets for aesthetic purposes rather than for health, which has led to an overall decrease in their lifespan. Although ferrets are still quite strong, they are not nearly as strong as they used to be.

It does matter where you get your ferret from. Ferrets from pet stores are usually of lower quality than ferrets from a
breeder. That’s why they don’t tend to live as long. It may also have something to do with how early the ferret was spayed or neutered. Breeders usually recommend waiting until the ferret is 1 year old is, while most ferrets in pet stores are spayed as early as 5 weeks spayed. However, there are no studies that support.

You may also want to know what the lifespan of a chinchilla is.

Factors that affect the ferret lifespan

You can help your ferret live longer by making sure they are properly cared for. You can imagine that ferrets that are not properly fed or trained will not live as long as ferrets that do. How you care for your ferret largely determines how long they will live.

Here are a few factors to consider to longer the ferret lifespan.

  1. Food
    Ferrets should be fed food that has been specially formulated. Like dog and cat food, ferret food is not
    all the same. Some are of better quality than others. Ferrets are carnivores, so their food should contain as much meat as possible contain. Check the ingredient list of commercial ferret food to make sure it contains mostly meat.

Cat food used to have to be fed to ferrets, but now there are commercial options available. We do not recommend giving them cat food feed.

You should also make sure your ferret is the right size. If your ferret becomes obese, this can have serious consequences for their health.

  1. Animal Care
    Ferrets are susceptible to many different diseases. It is of crucial to find a veterinarian who knows how to care for ferrets. Many are not specifically trained to treat these animals treat them.

An annual visit to the veterinarian is critical to prevent your ferret from developing an underlying problem. Many diseases do not show symptoms until they are advanced. Often it is best to treat them quickly before they have serious consequences for the lifespan of your ferret. Routine testing is often the only way you can detect these problems.

ferret lifespan
The ferret lifespan used to be longer.

Dental cleanings should also be considered. Like dogs and cats, ferrets can also develop gum disease. This has
implications for their entire health, not just their teeth. Damage to the gums can give bacteria direct access to the
bloodstream, which can affect organs. Many ferrets may develop more infections later in life, so it is important to get periodontal disease under control before anything else starts affecting their immune system.

  1. Mental Stimulation
    Many people know that their ferret needs high-quality food and proper care by the veterinarian. However, many do not think about the emotional and mental needs of their ferret.

Ferrets are curious and intelligent creatures. They benefit greatly from a range of mental stimulation from an early age. Make sure your ferret has many different toys and that there is daily interaction with him. These pets need as much attention as a cat or dog. They are no less maintenance than any other typical pet.

If you can’t spend at least an hour a day interacting with a ferret, you shouldn’t adopt one.

Many ferrets also benefit from having other ferrets around have, so many people adopt them in pairs. However, this can vary from family to family. It is not a good idea to adopt two ferrets adopt if you can only properly care for one.

Do ferrets die easily?

Ferrets are relatively hardy animals. Due to injudicious breeding however, the lifespan of the average ferret has shortened considerably. When ferrets gained popularity in the 1980s, many breeders surfaced cropping up. That’s why the ferret lifespan decreased.

Some bred ferrets to improve the species, while others bred them bred primarily for profit. In some cases,
promoted aesthetic traits over healthy traits. This consequently had a negative impact on the longevity of the

Nowadays, many ferrets can die fairly quickly. Usually these ferrets from pet stores, because their suppliers are focused on making money. Some ferret breeders are a bit like puppy mills, producing as many ferrets as possible, as cheaply possible.

If you want a ferret that will live a long time, we recommend adopting from a high-quality breeder. Breeders who only sell direct are usually more concerned about where their ferrets end up, which should tell you something about how much they care about their pets.

Ferrets from these breeders may be slightly more expensive, but you will often more value for your money. Usually these ferrets are better socialized and have received more veterinary care. Some breeders even use genetic testing to identify certain genetic conditions that ferrets are prone to breed out.

Can a ferret live to be 10 years old?

Ferrets usually live closer to 5 or 7 years, but some record-breakers can live as long as 10 years. The ferret lifespan got lower over time. Over the decades, the average lifespan of ferrets has gotten lower, not higher. This is mainly due to improper breeding, where the focus is more on the aesthetic qualities of the ferret than to the health aspects. Some breeders also operate as
puppy factories in that their primary focus is on producing as many animals as possible, with little regard for the
health of the animals.

While puppy mills are illegal in many places, there are often no regulations on how ferrets should be bred. Therefore, you should do your research, especially if you want your ferret to live a full life.

Do male or female ferrets live longer?

There is no difference between a male and female ferret in terms of lifespan. In captivity, most ferrets are
spayed, although the exact age at which they are spayed.

Longevity should not be an important part of your decision-making process should be when considering which ferret to get. There are a few differences in sex, especially among intake animals. However, these are usually small and largely anecdotal. There is no objective study that shows a significant behavioral difference between these two sexes demonstrates.

Final Thoughts

The average ferret lifespan is between 5 and 7 years. Before the 1980s, domestic ferrets were getting closer to 10 years old. However, most ferrets are now bred in captivity, however, rather than being wild caught. As a result, their lifespan has decreased, especially as breeders focus more on temperament and aesthetic characteristics.

In the wild, all ferrets are bred for health. If a ferret was not healthy, it would not have survived. However, an
unhealthy ferret can live and make a great pet in captivity, especially if they have a good temperament. Over time, these differences in breeding led to a general decline in the lifespan of the domestic ferret.

It also matters where you get your ferret from. Most pet stores sell lower quality animals. We recommend that you
get one from a breeder.