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Q: What is the average ferret lifespan– how long do they live?
A: A ferrets typical lifespan is actually two-fold:
Together with the very early altering practices of the major breeding farms in this country virtually all ferrets bred here suffer from a number of illnesses (like adrenal illness) that shortens their lifespan …
Cancers are completely normal in ferrets in this country. Ferrets in countries that do not have breeding farms and do no practice early modifying tend to live longer, healthier, lives.
Very rarely do you hear of a ferret in the US living over 10-13 years. A lucky owner can get one, with good care, up to the age of 10 years old. That’s because our pets came originally from fur farms, not from hunting stock.
While ferrets are considered the third hottest pet in America, with the popularity of bad diet and lack of exercise, they are second class citizens next to dogs and cats. And yet, ferrets, when compared to cats, are true carnivores who suffer serious ill effects from inappropriate diet and care.
I have had 12 ferrets to date. Three are still along for the ride with me. Of the 11 12 that have passed about the youngest was 2 years of age, the oldest has recently been 7-8 years old, and also I’ve lost a few at ages in the middle of that (4-6 years of age).
In the U.S.: about 6 to 8 years, with 7 to 8 years being the norm.
UK, European and also Australian ferrets: normally a 15-year life span, thanks to these ferrets having superior genetics.
Why The Different Lifespans?
How Can My Ferret Live Longer?
The book “ferret for dummies” happens to be a great place to start reading up on ferret ownership and lifespan.
I have had 20 ferrets to date. Please don’t make the mistake of getting ferrets before researching, just because you’ve had other pets it won’t prepare you for ferrets, TRUST me. 15 years of pet keeping certainly didn’t prepare me for my ferrets!
Very rarely do you hear of a ferret in the US living over 10-13 years. Together with the very early altering practices of the major breeding farms in this country virtually all ferrets bred here suffer from a number of illnesses (like adrenal illness) that shortens their lifespan …
I have two that are over nine years old. My first ferret died at age five, but only a result of a serious infection that wasn’t common. I live in the US, and yet only one of my ferrets actually have been Marshall’s.
I find the best way for ferrets to live longer is to feed a premium diet (Innova Evo, By Nature for kittens, and usual silver plus “duck soup” weekly), give them loads of exercise (free roam), and get vet care whenever it’s needed. All of mine are in peak condition and have never ever had problems with insulinoma or even adrenal.
They are typically great pets but takes a lot of work, much more than a dog or cat. Be certain that you know what you’re getting into. After that factor in the cost of brand new playthings, food, litter, vaccinations, and illness/emergency veterinarian visits for the next 7-9 years.
A lot of people say keeping a ferret alone will shorten its lifespan. The book “ferret for dummies” happens to be a great place to start reading up on ferret ownership and lifespan.
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