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Where can I get ferrets

Where Can I Get Ferrets? 10 Places to Find Ferrets for Sale or Adoption

Ferrets make wonderfully playful and affectionate pets, known for their energetic and mischievous personalities. If you’re looking to add one of these unique mustelids to your home, you may be wondering: where can I get a ferret? Luckily there are many options for finding ferrets available both for purchase and for adoption. This guide will cover the pros and cons of 10 popular places to acquire pet ferrets.

Pet Stores

Major chain pet stores like Petco and PetSmart often carry ferrets for sale. The advantage of purchasing from a store is convenience – you can simply walk in and buy your fuzzy friend and the supplies you need all at once.

can I get ferrets

The disadvantage is that pet stores typically source ferrets from mass-breeding facilities (similar to puppy mills), where the emphasis is more on profit than animal welfare. Store ferrets also tend to be desexed and descended at a very young age, which can raise health concerns. Still, with extra care and patience, a store-bought ferret can make a delightful pet.

Local Breeders

Finding a small-scale local ferret breeder is ideal for many owners. Local breeders are passionate about ferrets and focus on health, temperament, and socialization when breeding. Buying from a breeder allows you to see the conditions the kits were raised. Breeders also provide support as the new owner transitions the ferret home. The challenge is tracking down breeding operations in your area, but connecting with ferret rescue groups and veterinary offices can help provide referrals.

Animal Shelters

More and more animal shelters and humane societies are taking in surrendered ferrets and adopting them out to new families. The advantage of adopting a shelter ferret is that you are providing a home to a furry friend in need. Shelters can give insight into a ferret’s health and personality to help make a good match. The disadvantage is shelters rarely have baby kits available and background info is sometimes limited. Still, shelter adoption fees are nominal and help fund the rescue operations.

Ferret Rescues and Rehoming Groups

Ferret-specific rescues and rehoming networks focus on finding new forever homes for ferrets given up by their past owners. They have extensive experience with the needs of ferrets and work diligently to pair ferrets with compatible owners. Rescue groups often cover initial vet care as well. Applying to adopt through a ferret rescue ensures your home meets the particular needs of ferrets as companion pets. As with shelters though, baby kits are almost never available through rescues.

Friends and Family

If you have ferret-owning friends or family members nearby, you may want to inquire if they happen to have any kits or young ferrets available from recent litters. Sometimes ferret jills have larger litters than intended, and owners struggle to find qualified homes for all the babies. Other times, an accidental litter occurs before the ferret mom can be spayed. In these cases, acquiring a kit from someone you personally know and trust can be an excellent opportunity.

Online Listings

Sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Nextdoor frequently have ferrets listed by owners who can no longer care for them, as well as the occasional breeder. The benefits of these online sources are convenience and usually very reasonable prices. The downside is the unpredictability; online sellers vary dramatically in terms of ferret care knowledge and ethics. Visit in person and thoroughly vet any online seller or rehomer before purchasing or adopting a ferret.

Private Ferret Breeders

Specialized, private ferret breeding operations tend to be extremely dedicated to breeding healthy, well-socialized ferrets. The breeders are experts who focus on improving temperament, body confirmation, and offering guarantees. Litter sizes also tend to be small. The tradeoff is higher price tags starting around $200. Do your research to find respected breeders – again, ferret shelters and vets can provide references. Be prepared to get on waitlists too, as demand from informed buyers is high.

Ferret Farms

Where can I get pet ferrets

A very small number of commercial ferret farms operate in rural areas of some states, producing multiple litters annually. Farms have the advantage of often having a selection of kits available year-round. However, they also tend to practice captive breeding on a larger scale, with very limited handling of kits before 8 weeks old. Temperament and health issues also run higher from farm-produced ferrets. Proceed cautiously if considering getting a ferret from a breeding farm operation.

Ferret Shows and Competitions

If interested in a competition-quality ferret, attending American Ferret Association-sanctioned ferret shows allows you to meet expert breeders and purchase award-winning bloodlines. Show breeders focus intensely on breeding standards, appearance traits, and judging criteria when planning litters. The high caliber comes at a premium though, as show-quality kits range from $250 to over $800. It’s also wise to research bloodlines since some ferry genetics tend toward medical issues.

Finding your perfect ferret friend takes a bit of effort, but is well worthwhile! The options above all have their own sets of pros and cons for getting your own fur-child. Take time to research sources carefully, ask lots of questions, and seek referrals from local ferret owners. Most important is ensuring wherever you acquire your fuzzy companion from, that they have been handled frequently, properly nursed, vetted, and raised in a clean and caring environment. Prioritize a healthy, happy, and well-socialized personality when bringing home your ferret! Patience and dedication tend to be rewarded with years of delightful ferret friendship.


Can I get a ferret at a pet store? Yes, 

major pet store chains like Petco and PetSmart often sell ferrets. However, store ferrets tend to come from large-scale breeders where animal welfare isn’t always a top priority.

What’s the best age to get a new ferret? 

Ideally, getting a ferret between 8-12 weeks allows bonding while young, but older shelter ferrets can adjust well too with extra handling.

Is it better to buy a ferret or adopt one? 

There are good arguments for both buying from a breeder and adopting from a shelter/rescue. Adopting saves a needy ferret, buying from a quality breeder often provides healthier, better-socialized kits.

How can I find local ferret breeders? 

Contact national ferret associations, local ferret rescues, veterinary offices, or ferret clubs for referrals to breeders in your area.

What should I look for when visiting a breeder?

Visit breeding facilities in person at least once firsthand to ensure clean housing, healthy-looking ferrets, and proper care standards. Reputable breeders ask new owners screening questions as well to match ferrets and should offer health guarantees.

Are pet store ferrets less healthy? 

Sometimes; pet stores source from giant breeders where oversight on breeding stock health is less rigorous. Stressful transporting also takes a toll. That said, with extra care and vetting, store ferrets often still make lovely pets.

How do I adopt a rescue ferret?

Find a local ferret shelter or rescue by searching online directories like Petfinder. Prepare a ferret-savvy home in advance, as rescues want to ensure a good forever home match. Submit an adoption form and be patient during the review process. Adoption fees range from $75-$150 on average to cover rescue operating costs.

What do ferrets cost? 

From pet stores, $100-$250 typically. Breeder prices average $200-$400+. Adoption fees are much less, often under $150. Higher initial outlay often means healthier ferrets long-term though.

Where should I NOT get a ferret from?

Avoid online exotic animal distributors with no verifiable breeding info or poor health guarantees. Also, use extreme caution with free online rehoming ads—too often these ferrets come from abused or neglected situations.

Are ferret farms ethical sourcing options? 

Rarely. Though farms offer convenient access to baby kits year-round, their captive breeding practices remain controversial regarding animal welfare standards, veterinary care, and handling. It’s generally best to avoid purchasing ferrets from farms.


Finding the perfect ferret to welcome into your home takes time and diligence, but the effort pays dividends through years of fun and companionship. Weigh all available options in your local area, from pet stores to breeders to rescues and rehoming networks. Conduct thorough research and in-person visits for the most reputable sources that emphasize health, socialization, and ethically humane practices. While an initial upfront investment is required both in terms of money and effort, once you commit to welcoming a ferret, you gain the opportunity for a playful, loving fur child and friend. With smart preparation, the right home setup, and consistent care, your new beloved ferret will settle in to bring you endless decades of joyful memories together.

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