• Lifespan for a Chinchilla is 15 to 21 years
  • Lifespan for a Ferret is 6 to 8 years
  • Chinchilla Historical Origins: Andes of Bolivia, Peru, and Chile
  • Ferret Historical Origins: unknown – Aristotle mentioned them in 350BC
  • Genus: Chinchilla is in the rodent family and a Ferret is in the weasel family


Should My Pet Be A Chinchilla or Ferret


Chinchillas (“Chins”) are the cutest pets ever, but they don’t necessarily like to play or keep company with their owners, and they don’t necessarily enjoy being handled. Therefore, if you want a more interactive pet, you want a Ferret. Chinchilla or Ferret – that is the question! The exotic rodent is a cute, fluffy squirrel looking animal and a Ferret is a long bodied little weasel looking type.

Chinchillas need a dust bath once a day and they require a very clean environment and a cage to be happy. They like to chew or gnaw, so they must be restricted, especially if pet owners don’t want their woodwork ruined. Ferrets are interactive pets which do not like to be caged and they are escape artists, who are always running around looking to explore.

Pet-Proofing for Chinchillas and Ferrets


Pet proof your home for Ferret pets, because they are very dexterous and with their long bodies, they can squeeze into small spaces. They are smart enough to open cabinet doors, drawers, etc. If anything is made from rubber, foam, or sponge, they love chewing on these materials, even though it is harmful to their gastrointestinal system and which will probably require surgery to remove. Ferret proofing a home is a requirement for the rest of the pet’s life. Keep screened windows closed, because if the window is open, Ferrets, cleverly will chew through the screen.

They must be under constant surveillance when running loose. These animals love baskets full of laundry and they can hide under clothing that are being put into a washer or dryer. They also like to play and hide under couch cushions. Keep your plants away from Ferrets because they like to dig down into the dirt and taste plants that are more than likely, toxic and poisonous to them.


Pet proof your home with Chinchillas when you let them out to play. Exotic pet experts suggest that you keep them in one room, that is nearly bare and only contains their favorite toys. They are very temperature sensitive. Chinchillas dislike heat and humidity. Living in very humid and hot environments will make them sick or give them a heatstroke. Chinchillas also love chewing on any and everything, even electrical cords. They are curious critters who get to know their environment by biting and chewing it.

Also, it is important that rodent pets chew, not by habit, but because it is what they must do as part of their nature. They explore their environment by biting and chewing your books, hanging threads, and furniture. Chinchillas are agile like cats, they too love to jump and climb. Also, they love water, so keep the commode lid closed.



• Brush their coats regularly, especially when they shed. Any hair that lands in their cage is an opportunity for them to eat it. Ferrets will not tolerate staying still long enough, so be quick.
• Ferrets easily develop waxy ears therefore keep them clean regularly to prevent infections.
• Brush their teeth at least once a week as a preventative measure, since these creatures like biting and chewing.


  • Regular dust baths, several times a week, will keep a Chin maintenance-free. Their luxurious, soft hair doesn’t need trimming. But, if they happen to get food in their hair, gently remove it out.
  • Some chinchillas develop malocclusion and/or overgrown teeth problems at some point in their lives. Provide regular oral exams for them.
  • A majority of chins never develop ear problems, even though their ears are long and big.
  • Chinchillas have tiny nails on their paws, but Chins don’t need them trimmed.

Chinchilla and Ferret Characterizations

Chinchillas will eventually warm up to the owners, after lots of treats. Since they are naturally nocturnal, they enjoy being more active at night or early dawn. Bribe them with lots of treats, first feeding them through their cage, then patiently graduate to placing treats around you. Chinchillas will not automatically climb all over an owner’s body because these cute and cuddly animals are not trusting humans.

Ferrets are very lively and affectionate, plus they develop a real bond to their owners. Ferrets are far more friendly and cuddly than cats or dogs. They can even be trained to wear a collar for short strolls down the street, plus they are so social, that they will like your family and friends also.

Dietary Needs

Chinchillas are vegetarians and in the wild, they eat roots, grass, plants, fruits, etc. As a domesticated animal, their diet must be:

  • low on fats
  • rich in fiber
  • low in sugar
  • low in protein
  • rich in vitamins and minerals


The Chinchillas’ digestive tract is very sensitive, thus their nutritional needs are vital. There are enriched Chinchilla pellet type food products that fit their dietary requirements precisely. They love treats that can consist of raisin or sunflower seeds, but never feed them together, and in quantities of 2 to 3 raisins or 4 to 5 sunflower seeds.

Ferrets are natural carnivores. To remain healthy, they must have meat in their daily diet. An enriched diet for a ferret must contain the following:

  • high in foods that help to boost their energy level
  • high in protein
  • low in fiber
  • lots of clean water


A Ferret’s digestive system is very slow. They don’t need any snacks, because they are probably still digesting a previously fed meal. It is a good idea for a pet owner to discuss the best foods for a Ferret pet with pet store managers and veterinarians.


Both a chinchilla and a ferret would make a great pet, but potential pet owners need to do their research to find out their likes and dislikes to keep them happy and healthy. In summary, both animal companions need a multi-storied cage with lots of toys. However, a chinchilla could just as easily stay in their cage and play, while ferrets would love to leave their enclosure and play with their owners all day.

Ferret Pet

Photo: Originalpozer/Flickr

So, you’ve finally decided to become a pet owner. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to make a decision on what type of animal you want as your next companion. When choosing a pet, one thing you must also keep in mind is that no matter what animal you choose, you need to recognize that you are entering into a lifetime commitment with that pet.

You could have just gone with the usual cat or dog but you chose to go a bit more exotic, didn’t you? Ever since you met your friend’s pet ferret, you fell in love with these quirky little acrobatic thieves!

Things To Consider When Choosing A Ferret As A Pet

Before you dive in head first, there are a few things you need to take into consideration prior to accepting ownership of a ferret. Things that can affect their lifespan like:

  • Are there any other pets in your household?
  • Do you have young children or teenagers?
  • Do you travel or are you more of a homebody?
  • And most importantly: how many years should you expect to share your home with this exquisitely hilarious companion?

How Long Does A Ferret Live?

Depending on several factors, your ferret could be part of your family for the next five to nine, possibly even twelve years! Things like genetics, the food you feed them, and, if needed, prompt medical care will help your ferret live a much longer and better life. They are usually healthy little creatures but can fall prey to cancer, canine distemper, rabies, even dehydration, colds and the flu, so make sure to bring your ferret in for regular checkups at the vet! It’s also a proven fact that spaying a female ferret at about six months of age will help extend, even save, her life.

The Secret Ingredient To Keeping Your Ferret For A Long Time

What your funny little ferret responds to is not just how well you care for them; pretty much all animals love being pet, pampered and played with. The secret to helping your ferret live a long and happy life? It’s so simple and it’s what helps all of us live longer! Just love them and they will thrive!

Two ferrets

Photo: Originalpozer

Have you ever considered having a ferret for a pet? You’re not alone; the ferret is fast growing in popularity as a pet in the United States. Some statistics even put ferrets as the third most popular pet in America, behind dogs and cats.

The Ferret Nature

Ferrets are highly intelligent and social animals. Contrary to popular belief, they are not rodents, but members of the family Mustelid, which also contains such animals as otters, minks, weasels, and polecats. Ferrets go through periods of extreme activity and extreme inactivity, so be prepared for both.

Fun Facts

  • Ferrets can sleep from 15 to 20 hours a day.
  • When ferrets are awake, they love to interact with their owner(s) and potentially with other ferrets, though some animals may prefer to be the lone pet of the household.
  • A ferret will need to come out of its cage to play and explore for at least a few hours every day. Each time you let your ferret out, you will need to make sure your residence is “ferret proofed”. Make sure that electrical cords are out of the way and that your pet companion doesn’t have access to anything that could present a choking hazard. Keep them out of the houseplants they will be attracted to because they love to dig, and since the mischievous creatures like to steal shiny objects, make certain they’re in no position to steal your keys!
  • Ferrets are quite funny and charming. They can be taught to fetch like a dog, and they have their own happy dance that they do when let out of their cage, or when approached by their favorite people!
  • Part of what makes ferrets good pets is that they can be caged and are quiet animals. They can also be trained to use a little box.

Ferret Needs

When bringing home a ferret, you will want to know how to set up a healthful and enjoyable environment for them. Here are some essential things that should be on your shopping list:

  • A food dish and a water bottle or bowl for your pet’s habitat. Since ferrets like to push their cage’s contents around and rearrange them, a bottle is probably the better option.
  • Litter pan that is safe for ferrets. Clumping litter can irritate a ferret’s eyes and cause respiratory problems. Instead, litter products made of paper or plant fibers should be used.
    You will also want to pick up some bedding items such sleep sacks, blankets, and hammocks.
  • Plenty of stimulating toys, like balls to chase and tunnels to hide out in.


Just like with any other pet, you will need to do some research and preparation before adopting a ferret, to make sure it’s a pet that fits into your way of living and you have all supplies needed to care for it. If you decide that a ferret is the right pet for you, you will no doubt be endlessly enchanted by the smart, playful, and loving newcomer to your household.


Photo: Jose Luis Ruiz

When a person has a pet ferret they have a responsibility to take care of it. There are some things a pet parent needs to keep in mind during feed time. Ferrets have unique needs and it is important that they are properly fed and cared for.

A ferret is considered to be an obligate carnivore meaning that it is able to digest food very quickly. Ferrets cannot get all the nutrients they need from a plant diet so a person has to make sure they get enough animal protein as well as fat. Ferrets also need plenty of fresh water. Due to their ability to digest this food they have to be fed every three to four hours.

The ferret diet must consist of the following things:

  • meals high in calories (energy)
  • nutrition high in protein
  • substances low in fiber

There is a variety of products on the market to feed the ferrets.

Formulated Ferret Food

These packs can be found in many pet shops. There are different ingredients in these foods. Some of them are made with fish that are not ideal for ferrets. There are other brands of foods that have the nutritional needs of the ferret in mind. Be sure to do some research on the substances before purchasing. Some ferrets may develop a taste for a specific brand so it is important to buy the same type consistently.

Pelleted Diets

These are dry pellets that contain all of the nutrients that a ferret needs. Dry food stays fresh for a longer period of time and will help keep the ferret’s teeth healthy.


While snacks should be limited it is okay for the ferret to have a treat now and then. Some suggestions for snacks include cooked eggs, small bits of cooked meat, and meat based ferret treats.

Feeding a ferret is a big responsibility. These foods and treats will help the pet get the nutrients that it needs and will keep it healthy.


Photo: Originalpozer/Flickr

Owning a ferret can be very inspiring. These medium-sized animals have a lot more upkeep than more common pets like a cat or dog. Belonging to the weasel family, they have been domesticated for over two thousand years. They are energetic and curious, and are quite the handful. However, if you are ready for a loving little companion, here are some of the basics you will need to know on how to take care of your ferret.

The Basic Equipment

Ferrets needs a special residence inside your home. Giving them a cage with a hammock, a dark cubbie and some bedding will make them comfortable. You can use old towels for bedding; this will make it easy to clean as well. Don’t forget the litter box!

Ceramic dishes are best for food. You also should consider getting a hanging water bottle as well. Don’t be surprised if you find your ferret lounging in the water bowl like it’s relaxing at a spa.

It is always recommended to have a pet carrier when transporting you companion. You should also purchase a H harness and a leash so you can take your ferret on a walk.


Ferrets can be quite picky eaters. There are many different types and brands of ferret food. You should buy small quantities at first so you can find the one that best suits personal taste, as well as keeping it fresh. Two things to keep in mind however, being part of the weasel family makes your little ferret a carnivore. They need animal proteins to stay healthy. They also have a very high metabolism and will want food regularly.

It is worth mentioning, however highly obvious, you should have clean, fresh water available at all times!


Ferrets are self-cleaning pets, much like a cat. Bathing should be a rare event, once a month or so. You will need to take them to vet for regular check ups however. Ferrets can get heartworm, so make sure you treat them to keep them health.

Ferrets are amazing pets, as long as you understand their temperament and playful nature. Once you have a place for them set up in your home, you can train them and love them. They will eagerly become part of your family.