Ferret insurance

The playful ferret is a popular pet so find out how to arrange ferret insurance to cover vet bills for illness and injury.

Key points

  • Veterinary costs for your ferret can run to hundreds of pounds
  • You can buy insurance to help meet the cost of vet bills
  • A healthy pet ferret could live for eight-to-12 years

Ferrets make intelligent, entertaining and affectionate family pets.

Sometimes they're also stinky, demonic little kleptomaniacs - but that's just all part of their unique, ferrety charm.

Ferrets are somewhere between a cat and a dog in terms of the daily care they need.

Long walks aren't necessary, but they need a bit more human interaction than your average feline, plus daily feeding and litter-tray scooping.

When it comes to owning a ferret, pet insurance may not be the first thing that springs to mind.

But ferret insurance can help to cover costly veterinary bills, giving you peace of mind when it comes to keeping them healthy.

Where can I buy insurance for my ferret?

Many insurers only cover cats and dogs and don't offer policies for more unusual pets.Wallet

There are some specialist providers that will insure your ferrets, though, and Gocompare.com's partner ExoticDirect[1] can give you a quick quote.

When you click the 'Get Quotes' button to enter Gocompare.com's pet insurance comparison service, you'll immediately see an option asking whether you're looking to cover a pet other than a cat or dog.

If you're looking to insure a ferret, follow that link through to the ExoticDirect site, click on the appropriate image, answer a few quick questions, input your basic personal details and you'll be presented with your quote.

You can insure up to three ferrets on a single policy. If you have more than three, simply cover your weasels with more than one policy.

You can pay for your ferret insurance with a single payment, or spread the cost over 10 months at 0% APR.

What does ferret insurance cover?

Ferret insurance with ExoticDirect covers you for the cost of veterinary treatment, potentially saving you the worry of a large and unexpected bill for a poorly polecat.

Vet bills can run to hundreds of pounds, so insuring your pet ferrets is a wise move

Although ferrets are pretty robust, common complaints include various tumours and cancers, such as insulinoma and adrenal disease.

Ferrets can also be quite accident prone. Broken bones, sprains and bite wounds can result from fighting or falls.

Treatment for these ailments often involves surgery, so vet bills can run to hundreds of pounds.

That's one of the reasons why insuring your ferrets could prove to be a wise move.

Why have a pet ferret?

Ferrets fit in well with working people's lives because they sleep for up to 20 hours a day. Just be aware that they'll cram prodigious amounts of weasely mischief into those four hours of consciousness.

A group of ferrets is called a business and they'll keep you entertained for hours with their play-fighting and games.

When they're happy, ferrets hop around joyously, making clucking noises, pouncing on each other and tussling.

How do I keep my ferrets healthy?

Ferrets are hardy little beasts, but a few basics will keep them in fine fettle. Well-cared for ferrets can live eight-to-12 years.

You should have your ferrets vaccinated annually for canine distemper and let the vet give them a once over at the same time.

Life_critical_illness_Pig_teaserCheck your ferret's eyes, ears and teeth once a week and cut nails about once a month.

A bath with specialist ferret shampoo every three months or so (whether they need it or not) will help identify any skin or coat problems.

To keep your ferrets happy and healthy you should have them neutered, even if you don't keep males and females together.

Unneutered males, known as hobs, can become smelly, aggressive and generally bad company.

Female ferrets, or jills, can actually die from a build-up of hormones or an infection if they're not spayed.

You can have your ferrets microchipped, just as you would a cat or dog. Ferrets are escape artists, so it's sensible to get this done.

What else does my ferret need?

Feed your ferrets fresh, raw meat, or specialist ferret kibble and make sure they always have clean water.

Other than this, your ferrets' main requirements are toys and entertainment.

Let them loose on tunnels, boxes, paper bags, bowls of water, balls, and cat toys and you're guaranteed as much fun as them.

They are also very sociable animals, so the best toy you can give your ferret is another ferret to bounce around with.

Ferrets do also need a bit of training. They're easy to both litter train and nip train, but they're rebellious and strong-willed by nature, so you'll need to reinforce good behaviour with treats regularly.

The best place to pick up a ferret or four is your local animal shelter or RSPCA

Where can I get a ferret?

The best place to pick up a ferret or four is your local animal shelter or RSPCA rescue centre.

They're often inundated with strays and if you get one from here your new weasel will probably be neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and health-checked.

Contact the British Ferret Club for a list of rescues near you.

Ferret myth-busting

Ferrets bite

Young ferrets that haven't had much contact with people can be very nippy, but they're intelligent and quickly learn that human skin is more fragile than ferret hide.

Ferrets smell

A bit, but you can minimise this by getting them neutered and keeping them clean.

Ferrets can 'skunk' when they're alarmed, which involves releasing a vile smell from their rear end to deter predators.

If you're wondering how bad this odour is, let's just say it's best not to alarm your ferrets.

Ferrets are rodents

No, ferrets eat rodents. Ferrets actually belong to a group of carnivorous mammals called mustelids that includes weasels, wolverines and badgers.

Ferrets steal

Yes they do. Socks, keys, food and the TV remote are all fair game.

They tend to stash it all in the same place each time, though, so once they've fallen asleep you can easily recover the contents of your handbag.

Ferrets run up trouser legs

This is a contentious issue among the ferreting community, with some saying it's true, others that it's balderdash.

Play it safe and tuck your jeans into your socks.

By Derri Dunn