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Small pets

Ferrets- smell?

15 replies

trumpisagit · 15/11/2021 19:40

DS is 12 and good with pets and pet care.
We have had hamsters and guinea pigs in the past.
He has talked about possibly getting rats, and has saved up for a large/tall cage.
He has been googling ferrets and ferret care.
How much do they smell?
Are they better pets than rats?

OP posts:
Clymene · 15/11/2021 19:48

Ferrets stink

purplesequins · 15/11/2021 19:55

they absolutely honk!
and are prone to some health issues that can lead to £££ vet costs and heartache.

but are lovely creatures with great characters.

Cookerhood · 15/11/2021 19:56

Ferrets smell awful. Rats are lovely lovely pets but they don't live long enough. The little critters steal your heart & then before you know where you are...

MrsFoxyplease · 15/11/2021 20:03

We have had ferrets in the past.
They are a lot of work. It's really full on and nothing at all like caring for hamsters or guinea pigs.
They are lovely but will take over your life.
They do smell. Strong.
Where is he planning on keeping this cage?

MrsFoxyplease · 15/11/2021 20:07

We had a large outside hutch and a cage in the house we would bring them in in extra cold weather or for a couple of hours in an evening.
They are very good at escaping so beware.

Pumpkinsonparade · 15/11/2021 20:09

Ferrets are more bitey ime.
Rats make great pets..

Burgerqueenbee · 15/11/2021 20:12

If you bathe them and clean their bedding regularly they don't smell too bad, same as a dog really! I had them as a kid, would love some now.

Xiomara22 · 15/11/2021 20:16

If they’re boys get their glands removed , then they smell as much as a rabbit or Guinea pig

fluffedup · 15/11/2021 20:20


Ferrets smell awful. Rats are lovely lovely pets but they don't live long enough. The little critters steal your heart & then before you know where you are...

True. We've got six at the moment, all aged about two years. One has a pituitary tumour, one has a mammary tumour and DD has just told me she noticed that one is a bit floppy, ie might have a pituitary tumour too.

Having pet rats is like taking your feelings and leaving them in the road for the cars to run over.
ScottyDog7 · 15/11/2021 20:23

I'm pretty sure having their anal glands removed is now illegal (in the UK and some other countries).
Bathing removes the oil and smell, but then the little ferret produces even more oil (and smell) to replace it. A rinse in water can help the smell without stripping out too much oil.
I've always found they smell worse if fed a poor diet. Most of their dry food is full of stuff they can't easily digest. Feeding a balanced raw diet is better for their health, teeth (if feeding chunks or larger pieces) and smell. They are not like dogs, they should never be fed fruit or veg.
And litter train them! And clean the tray regularly. Some cat litter is safe, but not all. I used blankets for the rest of the cage, not shavings etc. I simply put the blankets in the washer every 3 or 4 days.

But even with all this, yes they have a certain smell that some find offensive. It never really bothered me.

trumpisagit · 15/11/2021 23:08

He wants to keep them indoors.
I think we will give ferrets the swerve and have another look at rats.
Thanks all.

OP posts:
Kanaloa · 15/11/2021 23:27

Agree rats are absolutely lovely as pets - their only downside is they are short lived. Although, at the risk of sounding cold hearted and horrible, that could possibly be a good thing for a child’s pet? They get the learning experience and enjoyment of a pet without the long term commitment of a rabbit or other longer lived pet.

521Jeanie · 15/11/2021 23:32

The really do stink. I don't think you could keep them indoors and ever have people round. Friends had some; they eventually moved them outside cos the smell was taking over the house but in the end rehomed them. Not a well researched purchase.

Pumpkinsonparade · 16/11/2021 17:18

Dd's bf had 2 ferrets. Absolutely identical.
Except 1 was a biter ...
Was great fun watching the bf having to manage them and guess which was which. Usually got it wrong!!
Served him right. Turned out to be a cheating twat.

LadyoftheWoods · 16/11/2021 17:31

I've had ferrets and they are hands down the best pets I've ever had and I've had dogs, cats, chinchillas, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, a gecko, fish, rabbits! They can smell, although I had two females inside and they barely smelled at all. However, they are a lot of work and not to be entered into lightly. They have to be let out for daily exercise and if you go on holiday it's really difficult to get someone to look after them. I think they're really only suitable as pets for adults or where the adult is up for taking on the bulk of care. I think rats would be perfect for your DD as a step up from guinea pigs.

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