Where should I get my ferret?
Many pet stores today sell ferrets. As with any pet purchased from a pet store, there can be problems you are not told about with your fuzzy in order to make a sale. We should point out this is not always the case. While there is certainly nothing wrong with purchasing a ferret from a local pet store, we feel that doing a little research first will reward you with the fuzzy that is right for you. Look into local breeders of ferrets. Many of these ferret breeders will have interaction with their kits from day one, which can lead to a better socialized ferret for you. Also, you can contact local ferret groups or forums to see what breeders in your area are reputable.
Look into getting a ferret from a local shelter. Shelter ferrets are usually a little older than kits from a pet store or breeder, but the adoption cost (around $50-$100) which is cheaper than the purchase of a kit (around $150). A shelter worker will know the full details of each ferret's personality, and shelter ferrets are more likely to be litter-box trained and nip-trained. As we said earlier, there are so many ferrets out there that need good homes, and adopting a lonely shelter animal can be much more rewarding than training a baby ferret.
Do I want a Kit (Baby) or an Adult/Juvenile Ferret?
Purchasing a Kit has both it’s rewards and training problems. Kits, along with being adorable will provide any ferret owner with a few challenges. The two most important challenges would be litter training and nip training. Like any young pet, you will have to spend time training. Make sure you provide support and show patience, as these times can be challenging. Purchasing an Adult or Juvenile ferret should help to avoid the latter, however this is not always the case. Be sure to spend some additional time with any candidate(s) prior to bringing them home, because bad habits can be hard to break. Also, keep in mind that ferrets generally live between 5-10 years, by purchasing an older ferret, be sure to know their age to further help you determine which fuzzy is right for you.
Do I want a male or female ferret?
In regards to a ferrets sex, there are generally little to no differences between the two in regards to your ferrets personality. Usually ferrets are neutered prior to being placed, however it never hurts to ask, as non-neutered males can be more aggressive. What ferret, whether male or female really comes down to size. Males tend to be about twice the size of female ferrets. Females typically weigh in between 1-1.5-lbs. , so expect your male to weigh in between 2-3lbs. !
Is there anything else I should look for?
When purchasing a new ferret check for clear eyes, a healthy coat, strong whiskers and teeth, and an alert and inquisitive nature. If you are looking at Kits, it may be some more time before their true personalities form (approx. 8-10 weeks), however if you find yourself snuggling up to them easily, most likely you will have a laid back ferret. The same can be said should you pick up a wiggle-worm, which will most likely become a joyful terror when they mature.
Matthew Humphries - http://www.ferret.com