If you have one ferret maybe the idea of having two crossed your mind. People who have ferrets know that these tiny animals are very social creatures and like to hang out, either with human friends or with other ferrets.
Before you make a decision and bring another furry bundle of joy to your home it would be a good idea to consider all pros and cons of having two or more ferrets.
The best source of information are people who have more ferrets, so I decided to talk with some of my friends and share their experience with you.
Pros of two or more ferrets vs one
- As ferrets are very social animals, a company of another ferret would be highly appreciated. Ok, they like to hang out with you, most probably they see you as one giant ferret but from my friends experience the ferrets make tighter bonds with another ferret then with a human.
- If your pet has a company of another ferret it will not rely on you only when it comes to play. That will give you some space and free time .
- Also, ferrets need a lot of love and attention and if you are not able to provide that for them for multiple reasons such as work or frequent business trips then it is better to have more then one ferret
- If you have two or more ferrets there is less possibility that your pet keeps destroying your shoes, purse, or other possessions as it will be occupied with its new friend, playing together.
- There are some studies that showed that ferrets that have a company of another ferret are much happier and live longer ( note that they usually suffer very bad when they lose their cagemate and some of them get sick or even die sometime after their cagemate passed away )
- Two or more ferrets can amuse you much more than just one. When you have time to play with them you will discover double enjoyment
Cons of two or more ferrets vs one
- First of all you will have to buy more food and other basic supply. It should not affect your finance too much but still you should consider this
- Another thing regarding your wallet – when one ferret gets sick, it can easily infect others ferrets so that can double your vet costs. If you notice that one of your ferrets is acting strangely,maybe the best thing to do is to isolate it in order to prevent others from getting sick.
- Also ferrets are prone to some type of cancers as they are getting old, so having two or more ferrets who need treatments can also be devastating for your finance.
- As you assume you will have to clean more, simply because you have more litter boxes, beddings, maybe two cages but in order to minimize the smell you will need to put extra effort and keep everything very clean
How to introduce your new pet to the old one
After you have considered all pros and cons and you have decided to buy another ferret next question is how to introduce your new pet to the old one.
When buying another ferret you should be aware of the fact that every ferret has its own character. Some ferrets are extremely active, others like to sleep more, some are aggressive and others are joyful.
So it does not mean that if you buy another ferret, that this one would be a perfect friend to one you already have at your home, it might ends by buying third, maybe fourth ferret. This happened to one of my friends, he only wanted two but end up with four animals but as a result he has a perfect ferret balance in the house! The cost of it is totally different story ….
Ferrets are very territorial so you need to introduce new ferret very gradually.
Before you bring another ferret to your house make sure your vet examined it. It is very important to get only 100% healthy ferret in order to avoid your pet at home getting some illness or infection. Also it is essential that you buy neutered ferret or to perform that procedure before bringing it to your home.
The good idea is to put the new cage in some other room, separate from other ferret’s cage
You need to give time to new ones to explore the new space and the best way to do is to let the new ferret out of the cage while the other pet is locked. This step should last for a week or two and you should move the cage of the old pet to another room while the new one is exploring, they should not see each other in this time stage.
After this period of total separation, your new pet is ready for the next step You can switch the bedding every two days from one cage to another but do not move all other items ( toys, bowl with water,etc )
This will allow each of your pets to feel and to get used to the scent of another ferret. But if you switch other items except bedding, that can make the cage totally foreign to them and they can feel frightened and become aggressive.
After the new ferret spent two or three weeks in a new home, it is ready to meet its new friend.
Pick up some neutral location, do not introduce them near their cages as these animals are very territorial and do not do that on the carpet as it might happen that one of them urinate during its first meeting.
The best way to do is to hold each ferret in your hands and let me sniff each other. If they try to come even closer to each other, they are interested in physical contact.
This is great but if they are trying to escape one from another or they even start to hiss it is better to separate them, put them back in their cages and try everything again tomorrow.
If they are interested in physical contact then let them meet each other, do not hold them.
They might start wrestle or chase each other .Their way of play might seem little agressive to humans but it is totally normal .
If their play become to aggressive, you can buy Ferrotone oil-based product.
Ferrotone is a supplement that can be used is a regular ferret diet as it is a great source of fatty acids and vitamins but you can also use it if you think your furry pets are biting each other, so you can just some small amount on their necks. As this product has a great taste to them, they might start licking each other instead of biting
Of course if their game become rather violent or you notice that one of them is pretty scared you should separate them.
If everything goes well and they seem to get along, that first introduction play should not last more then 30 min. Return them to their cages and do not think to place them in one cage yet as they need more time to get used to each other.
In the next few days you can let them play together for 30 min once or twice a day. After a week playing together you can place their cages closer. This will help them to get used to more to each other’s smell.
You should pay special attention to your pets while they are in their cages. In case they are cuddling and you notice that bond between them is forming they are ready to move from separate cages to one bigger cage.
If you have more then two ferrets you should consider ferrets hutch instead of big cage as they will have plenty of room for play.
In the end my friends who have ferrets pet advise you to be patient as sometimes two ferrets totally adapt to each other in a week or two but it might happen that the adaptation period lasts for 6 months, you cannot know that in advance.