Who Makes The Best Pet – A Chinchilla Or Ferret?

Chinchillas and ferrets both have their own descriptions as animals. The very same can be said about them being pets. They are not two pet companions that you can probably have in the same room together. Because you just don’t put them together. It would be like putting oil and water together. They would never mix. Ferrets are predators and hunters. Chinchillas are rodents and prey. They are two totally different types of animals. The very same can be said about each one of them becoming a family pet.

Ferrets and chinchillas have their own ways as animals and living creatures. Therefore, with all of this said, who makes for the best pet? Is it the chinchilla or ferret? What is the answer or answers here? Answers don’t come easy. They will be explored here in truth and in depth for all to get to know. Please read on to learn more. The information presented here will help an individual to make the best pet choice that works for them.

However, before making any decisions on a chinchilla or ferret, it is wise to know a little bit more about each animal in depth first. This is why some facts will be highlighted here on both chinchillas and ferrets equally as animals and pets. The information gathered will be the thing that will help a pet owner, or person interested in both animals, to arrive at the best decision all around for one as his or her final pet choice.

Chinchilla Specific Characteristics

Baby Chinchilla

Baby Chinchilla by Chinchillafactssite.com (CC BY)

The chinchilla is a breed of rodent that is native to Andes Mountains that are located in the northern area of Chile. Ancestors of the original chinchillas were the first rodents of their kind to infest South America.

These little animals are prized for their very soft and wonderful fur. This is why the species was nearly driven to extinction at one point. The demand for their very special fur was so great. Chinchilla fur in the wild was once yellowish-gray in color. However, through selective breeding of them, other colors have since become available. The palette of colors includes silver or yellow-gray, bluish-gray; white, beige and black. It doesn’t matter what the main color is. Their hair tips always do end in black.

The fur of the chinchilla is something that started to become immensely popular in the 1700s. The poor animals were nearly hunted to the point of almost total extinction by the 1900s. Just about this time, many Latin countries started to put a ban on hunting wild chinchillas for their fur.

Information obtained from the chinchilla chronicles website online does state the following about how chinchillas did make their way to the United States. There was a certain American mining engineer named Mathias F. Chapman who did make a request from the Chilean government. This request was for him to bring chinchillas to the United States in 1923. Chapman was able to take eleven chinchillas with him. They were the early ancestors to nearly every pet chinchilla that is now in America.

The physical characteristics of chinchillas do include short forelimbs and long muscular hind legs. They are also related to guinea pigs and porcupines. They are said to resemble rabbits as well. Nonetheless, the exotic rodents have much shorter ears, which are very much rounder than that of rabbits. They also possess dark black eyes and have bushy tails. Chinchillas are also not that big as bunnies. They are about somewhere in between 9 to 15 inches long and their tail can add on an additional three to 5 inches at times. They can weigh in between 1.1 to 1.8 pounds each. Each chinchilla does have four toes on each foot. These four toes have thin claws that are completely surrounded by stiff bristles that do give them a hairy sort of look about them.

What are some good qualities about chinchillas? They have far more than just a beautiful and soft furry coat. They also are very inquisitive animals and do have a boisterous nature. One of the downsides of chinchillas is that they are very high strung and they have short attention spans. They also don’t tolerate hot or humid weather at all.

Ferrets Specific Characteristics

Domesticated Ferret

Domesticated Ferret by Akinss (Morguefile.com)

Ferrets are animals that don’t make good pets for everyone. They can only make great pets for the right owners. They are very affectionate and do bond with those who own them. They are also very playful as pets too. They are also quiet for a big part of the day. For some reason or other, they have managed to earn a bad reputation for themselves, in certain places. Nonetheless, they are every inch, the fascinating animal and pet.

A pet ferret is also called the domesticated ferret. The species is a member of the weasel family and is also descended from the European polecat. There are other members that make up the weasel family besides the ferret. Some of these other family members do include the minks, otters, and the very rare Black-Footed Ferret. Domestic ferrets are an animal that has been domesticated for thousands of years in time. They are not wild animals at all. They were once used as working animals and still are in some places around the world. One of these countries is the United Kingdom. What they do is help to get rid of rodents from barns and to flush rabbits from their dens. This flushing out of rabbits is called ferreting. The ferrets that live in the United States are just beloved house pets.

Ferrets can make wonderful, loyal, affectionate, intelligent, and loving pets. They love to play and do lots of hilarious things that can make people laugh very hard. They have mischievous eyes and very sweet looking face. On the other side, they can also be aggressive when they want to be. They need to live in a safe environment. Ferret pet parents have to protect their house from damage by the extremely active and playful household anmials.

Ferrets can make great pets for some. They aren’t pets for everyone. The very same thing can be said about chinchillas. Therefore, which one makes the best pet overall, is a decision that only a potential pet owner of either of these two animals can decide for themselves.

Editor’s Recommendations

  1. Chinchilla Facts – livescience.com
  2. Feeding and Caring for Your Pet Ferret – cvm.msu.edu

Fun Ferret Accessories

A ferret is a popular pet. These animals love to limb on things and can be fun to watch. In addition to having a cage for the ferret to live in a person this animal has to have toys and accessorized to play with. The cage is another important thing that is needed to care for it.

Cage Hammock

This hammock will allow the ferret to snuggle in and feel cozy. It is easily attached to the cage with just a couple of snap on clips. The pet can relax in the hammock or take a nice nap in it.

Ferret in Hammock

Ferret in Hammock by Selbe 3 (CC BY-NC)

Ball Pit

This toy is both fun and interactive for the ferret. The ball pit contains plastic balls that are enclosed within a vinyl pit. The clever animal can play with the balls. When a ball is hit, they pop up making this toy even more fun for the pet. The ferret can even dig in the ball pit and try to make their way to the bottom through all of the balls. The globes are colorful to keep their attention and the pit has different holes that they can climb in and out of. This ball pit is made out of fabric and can be used both in and outside of the cage.

Ferret in the Ball Pit

Buddy in the Ball Pit by Selbe 3 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ferret Sweatshirt

To keep the critter warm there are sweatshirts made especially for pet ferrets. This accessory is made out of cotton material and can be hand washed. They come in many different colors. The shirts even have a hood attached to them.

Turtle Tunnel

This toy can fit into the cage. The toy is a plush turtle with openings at all four of the legs and the mouth for the ferret to climb in and out of. The item is soft and will provide hours of entertainment.
These are just some of the accessories available for pet ferrets. Thehey will keep the pet entertained and happy for a long time.

The Black-Footed Ferret: A Beautiful Animal that Should Not be Owned

The black-footed ferret is an intriguing creature for exotic animal lovers. This is the only ferret native to North America. It just happens to be illegal to own this animal as a pet because it is an endangered species. This creature is also called an American polecat. So, if you see anyone walking down the street with a black-footed ferret he is likely breaking the laws of the United States.

Why is it Illegal to Own a Black-Footed Ferrets as a Pet?

Black-footed Ferret

Black-footed Ferret by USFWS Mountain-Prairie (CC BY)

The adorable looking black-footed ferret has been on the Endangered Species list of the United States since 1973. Moreover, there are some distinct differences between the black-footed ferret and its domestic relatives that illustrate why it is not an animal that a person should consider having as a pet even if it were legal which it is not!

A black-footed ferret is a wild animal which means that unlike a domestic ferret, its natural instinct is to hunt, kill and eat smaller animals. Another important difference between a domestic ferret and a black-footed variation is the daily routine. The domesticated American polecat will generally adapt to their owner’s schedule while a black-footed ferret is most active in late evenings and early dawn to mid-morning which could result in it becoming a ‘holy’ terror in a neighborhood.

A homeowner with a black-footed ferret which is allowed to ‘roam’ in the backyard during its active hours could expand its search for food to the properties of other people in the neighbourhood with surprising consequences such as small animals suddenly turning up ‘missing’.

Moreover, because there are so few black-footed ferrets in the United States as illustrated by it being an endangered species, any individual that owns one is preventing it from creating offspring and increasing the population.

The black-footed ferret is an attractive, intriguing animal that a person should not own if they want to stay on the ‘good’ side of the U.S. government and the people in their community.

Black-footed Ferret

Black-footed Ferret by USFWS Mountain-Prairie (CC BY)

How To Keep Your Ferret Healthy

Cute Ferret by Tambako The Jaguar

Cute Ferret by Tambako The Jaguar (CC BY-ND)

If you already have a ferret or plan on getting one, it is very important to understand their health needs. Their well-being depends on your care and patience. Ferrets are unlike any other animal when it comes to their health (good resource). They need special supervision. Cats and dogs can roam around the house. With ferrets you need to keep your eyes on them because their systems are built differently and need special attention. Ferrets do not display their symptoms when a health issue first arises. They normally don’t show signs of disease until after the problem has progressed. This makes it very important that you keep your eye on them.

The Human Flu

Ferrets have the ability to transmit the human flu. So if either you or your ferret has the flu you need to take the proper precautions not to spread. Do not breathe on your ferret and make sure to always wash your hand before and after interaction.

The Unique Issue

If you get your favorite companion while it is still young it is very common for it to have a prolapsed rectum. This usually occurs when the ferret has been fed hard food. This problem usually fixes itself. You can apply a medication to help sooth your ferret. If the rectum does not recede on its own or looks infected you need to take your pet to the vet immediately.

Revitalize Their Body Fluids

When ferrets get sick they can get worse very quickly. If you believe your ferret has become dehydrated put some electrolyte solution in their water, this will help keep their body fluids up. When a ferret is sick it is very important to provide them with the right nutrients or additional health problems will occur. You can also feed them through a syringe. Sometimes they will refuse to eat, but you have to make sure they are getting enough nutrients.

How to feed your ferret with a syringe:

  • Use 35 cc (volume)
  • Get the tip of the syringe in the corner of the ferrets mouth
  • Slowly release the food, be careful not to choke your pet
  • If your ferret does not want to eat on its own you will need to feed them 25-35 cc every 3 to 4 hours a day.

The Beloved Fur Balls

My Ferret by Scott Oves

My Ferret by Scott Oves (CC BY)

Unlike cats, ferrets don’t have the ability to cough up their own fur balls. If your small pet is having a hard time passing them on their own then you will need to give laxative on a weekly basis to help with the accumulation in their system.

Signs they is an accumulation in their system:

  • Pencil thin poop
  • Not pooping at all
  • Not eating at all

This can be life threatening so do not hesitate to take your ferret to the vet.

Ferrets Can Get Adrenal Disease Too?

The answer to that questions is yes. Within 3 to 4 years of like your ferret can obtain insulinoma or adrenal disease. For this your pet needs to be routinely tested annually with a blood glucose test and an adrenal panel.

Important health facts:

  • Rectal temp: 100-104
  • Respiration: 180-250 bpm
  • Heart rate: 33-36 per min
  • Urine Ph: 6.5-7.5

Make sure you are ready for the responsibility to take care of a ferret pet because. They constantly need to be supervised. The better you take care of them the less trips to vet you will have. Ferrets are sensitive animals and need to be treated with love and care.

Facts about Ferret as Pet

Ferret Facts

Can I help you cook? by Originalpozer (CC BY-NC-SA)

If you already have a pet ferret, or you are considering getting one, you may want to know as much about these fascinating animals as possible. This article offers you some fun and interesting ferret facts.

1. Ferrets and Hunting

Although ferrets are relatively uncommon as pets and are considered to be “exotic”, in fact they have been domesticated for around 2000 years. Hunters would keep ferrets in cages or pouches as they traveled around to assist them in catching rabbits. When the hunter found a rabbit hole, he would let the ferret go inside and then wait for the rabbit to emerge so that he could shoot it. This practice is still carried out today, but now it is a sport rather than for food purposes.

2. Ferrets As Pets

Ferrets are now becoming popular as pets because they are very clever, sociable and easy to train. Like a cat, a ferret can learn to use a litter tray or litter box, and they are fun to watch and interact with.

3. Ferrets As Workers

It is a fascinating fact that ferrets have been used for various working purposes other than hunting vermin. One of their uses is to run wires, and high profile organizations such as Boeing and even the British Royal Family have required their services from time to time.

4. Ferrets And Sleeping

It is a fact that ferrets love to sleep and spend the majority of their day napping. When the sun goes down, they wake up and start to become active.

5. Ferret Lifespan

A ferret can live for anything between 5 and 10 years if allowed to live out its natural lifespan. They have a longer lifespan compare to rabbits.

6. Ferrets And Smell

Like skunks, ferrets are able to release an unpleasant odor if disturbed or panicked. Luckily, this smell is not as strong as that of a skunk.

How To Care For Baby Ferrets

Until a baby ferret is around 6 weeks old the pet is completely dependent on it’s mother. At that time your job as a baby ferret owner is to take very good care of them so that the female can care for her baby. The mom will feed, clean, and care for her kit until it is weaned. Once the newborn has been weaned it will require your care.

After Weaning

Once a kit is weaned it becomes dependent on it’s owner for food and water. Water can be provided via a water bowl, or bottle. A ferret is more likely to drink from a bowl. Check the water container often to be sure it is full and clean. Ferrets tend to spill and dirty their water at least once a day.

Ferrets are meat eating animals. Once they are weaned, baby ferrets require a food that is high in animal fats. Cat food is not an adequate nutrition for small ferrets. It lacks things that ferrets require. Purchase Purposely designed packaging from the pet store or online to ensure that your baby ferret is getting all the nutrition it needs.

Selecting a Cage For Your Baby Ferret

When selecting a cage for your kit remember that they grow fast. Make sure it is at least three feet long. Look carefully at the sides of the cage. If there is any chance that your ferret could squeeze their head through the sides of the enclosure then do not get this house. Serious injury or escape could occur. You will need bedding, food and water dishes, and a litter pan to start with.

Litter Training

Ferrets tend to “go” in the corner of their cages. Your baby ferret will need a little litter pan. Place either ferret litter or non-clumping cat litter in the tray, and place the pan in the corner of the cage. If the ferret does not get the litter concept at first and “goes” elsewhere in the cage you can teach it by placing the droppings in the litter. The ferret will get the point.

Attention and Bonding

Ferrets are intelligent animals. They need love, attention, and stimulation. Ferret owners can develop bonds with their companions the same way cat and dog owners do. Ferrets love to play. Be sure to offer your baby ferret suitable toys.

Bathing Your Pet

Bathing is not really necessary unless your baby ferret has fleas. These insects can make your pet anemic. If you see even one flea on your baby ferret, give it a bath using a flea killing shampoo. Flea anemia is very common in baby ferrets who are not treated with a spray. This health condition can be fatal.