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Where Can I Buy a Ferret?

ferret lover

Where Can I Buy a Ferret?

Whether you live in the U.S, the U.K., Canada or Australia, there are several alternatives to getting your ferret from your local pet store. Although pet stores are an option, there are other resources to consider when you want to buy a ferret.

Places to Buy a Ferret

Pet Stores

The first place most people think of when asked: “Where Can I Buy a Ferret?” is a pet store.

The biggest and most well-known breeder is Marshall Farm/Marshal Ferret. It is the primary supplier of ferrets to pet stores in the U.S.  It has been reported that Marshall Farm also sells ferrets for research.

Selling ferrets for research aside, a problem with having one breeder supplying the majority of ferrets is that there is not enough diversity in bloodline and genetics. Therefore, medical conditions that are genetically linked are perpetuated in generation after generation. Ferrets from Marshall Farm are neutered or spayed, so there is no possibility of future breeding with a ferret from a different bloodline.

Before becoming more informed about this problem, I got several of my ferrets from pet stores. My first ferret was Silky. Although he was neutered, he was not descented. I loved him dearly, but he left his scent behind everywhere!

Ferret Breeders

There are numerous ferret breeders that sell ferrets. But they are not necessarily in every state or area. You can purchase a ferret directly from a breeder. Some may even allow you to see the parents. However, like other pets, there are “ferret mills” out there.

I got one of my ferrets, Chantile, from a breeder in Iowa. She was not spayed or descented. I had to have both procedures done at a vet. As I found out later, she was younger than the standard minimum of  8 weeks that they should be kept with their mother.  I got my next ferret, Panda, from a different breeder in Iowa. I got to meet her parents and see where the ferrets were kept. She was also not spayed or descented. So, again, I needed to have the vet take care of that. The cost of descenting and spaying or neutering adds hundreds of dollars to the cost of the ferret.

Many times small breeders specialize in certain colors and/or “show quality” ferrets. If you are looking for a show-quality black ferret, for example, a breeder is where you want to go. Many small-scale breeders show their ferrets at ferret shows and they breed their ferrets for certain qualities. Show-quality ferrets sell at a premium, but if that’s what you want, a breeder is the place to get one.

Some breeders in the US specialize in ferrets that have European bloodlines. Diseases such as adrenal disease are much less common in Europe. By incorporating European stock into the breeder’s ferrets, it is hoped that healthier ferrets will result.

Want Ads

Just like with other pets, people sell their ferrets for a number of reasons. Many are impulse buyers or people simply misinformed about what it takes to take care of a ferret. You never know what condition the ferret will be in or what environment he has lived in. Some people will take good care of the ferret until they sell him, but others may not want to take the time to give the ferret the care and attention he needs.

I got 3 ferrets from a family I found out were selling their ferrets and cage as a package deal. They decided they didn’t have time to take care of them. At least they made the right decision to find a better home for them. It was a bit of a drive, and the cage was filthy and required a lot of cleaning, but it was well worth it. I named the 3 Siera, Tacara and Toby. They were wonderful.

Ferret Shelters

Unfortunately, there are many ferrets in shelters.

Ferret shelters are a great place to get a ferret for a number of reasons. First of all, by getting a ferret from a shelter, you are helping out some unfortunate little fuzzy that through no fault of her own is without a home. It’s always nice to know you are helping control the problem of unwanted pets by adopting one that is without a home.

Another good thing about shelters is that the people running the shelter have a lot of experience with ferrets and will be able to answer a prospective ferret parent’s questions. While most pet shops won’t take back a pet once purchased, most shelters will since the purpose of a shelter is to find a good home for the ferret.

If for any reason you are unsure about if a ferret is a good fit for your lifestyle, I would really recommend seeing if there are any shelters in your area. Unfortunately, that’s one of the downsides of shelters. Not every place has them.

ferret lover

Where Can I Adopt a Ferret

Below are some resources for finding a ferret to adopt.

North America

Ferret Shelter Directory

This is an international directory of a rescue organization that rescues ferrets.

Adopt a Pet

North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website. You can search by type of pet and by zip code. The search will bring up ferrets closest to you. You can also sign up to be notified via email when a ferret becomes available in your area.

Ferret Shelter Directory

This is an international directory of a rescue organization that rescues ferrets.


Ferret Rescue & Education Society

The Ferret Rescue & Education Society (FRES) is a non-profit, charitable organization that was started by a group of devoted ferret owners in the Calgary area. The  Society offers ferrets to foster and adopt.

United Kingdom

Ferret Shelter Directory

This is an international directory of a rescue organization that rescues ferrets.


RSCPA is an animal welfare charity with locations throughout the U.K. You can search by type of pet and location. The search for ferrets is under “small furries.” There is an online application you can fill out as well.


Ferret Shelter Directory

This is an international directory of a rescue organization that rescues ferrets.

Victorian Ferret Society

Victorian Ferret Society is an Australian incorporated society. The society is involved with rescuing ferrets, among other tasks.

The above list is just a few of the places to look if you want to add a ferret to your family. If you want to adopt a ferret that needs a good home and a lot of love, you can check shelters and ferret organizations in your area, as well.

Should You Buy a Ferret?

Be sure to educate yourself and your family on what a ferret needs to be healthy and happy. Seriously consider if you are willing to dedicate the time and resources to providing a ferret a good home. Check out some of the articles here, such as Are Ferrets Good Pets? and Ferret Care Tips.

Before you decide where to find your ferret, consider your options and also consider how you can help a ferret have a better life.

Do you know of another organization where you can adopt a ferret? Leave the info and I’ll check it out!

Your comments are welcome.

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18 thoughts on “Where Can I Buy a Ferret?

  1. Interesting. And sounds like looking for a ferret at a shelter would be a nice way to go. I believe that’s how my late Aunt Kris came across her ferret, Amos. What a pair those two were! She LOVED Amos. They brought each other a lot of joy. Good memories.

    Keep up the great work with your site!

    Best wishes,


    1. Thanks, Kevin. There are so many ferrets in shelters that need a loving home. I hope that more people will become aware of this. Many people think of shelters and rescue organizations of just for cats and dogs.

  2. Since you’ve bought ferrets in a variety of ways, I trust in your knowledge. Thank you for the information.

    1. You are quite welcome, Melissa.

  3. Interesting post! I had never really considered the fact that a large ferret farm could have some issues with small gene streams… good to know!
    Thanks for listing the Canadian link! Nice to know there are organizations for ferret lovers in my home country too.
    And, I LOVE your ferret names!! 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comment, Marlaine. Unfortunately the ferrets in the U.S. do have a more limited gene pool than ferrets in other areas.

  4. Ferrets. Cute little devils. Thanks for the enlightening post. Always loved those little things. But with two Huskies in the house, that would just not work…

    1. Hi Brent. It might! Read my article: “Do Ferrets Get Along with Dogs? Do Dogs Get Along with Ferrets?”

  5. Hi Sandra,

    It’s amazing how ferrets have become favorite pets nowadays! I have a question; how much for visiting the vet?

    1. Thanks for visiting, Tasleem! As with cats, dogs and other pets, Vets charge all different rates for visits, checkups and procedures. It is important to find a vet that has treated ferrets. Some vets classify ferrets under the “exotic” category and may charge a bit more, just as some Vets charge more for senior pet exams. If your ferret is descented and spayed/neutered and is not sick or injured, you should only need an annual check up and a distemper vaccine. In my experience, that has been less than $100 per year.

  6. well I always loved quality black ferrets, do you recommend any trust-worhty breeder for that?

    1. Black ferrets, like many black animals, appeal to some people but turn off others. I am happy to hear you are one of the black ferret fans! I’m sorry to say that I do not personally recommend any specific breeders. However, you can contact the American Ferret Association (or a ferret organization in your area if not in the U.S.). The AFA actually puts on ferret shows and has standards for each color category. I am sure they have info on specific breeders.

  7. Such a great post I am thinking of getting a ferret, can you recommend any pet stores that sell white ferrets?

    1. Thanks, Fatima
      There are 2 different types of ferrets that are white– dark-eyed whites and albinos. I do not recommend pet stores. Pet stores generally get a mix of colors and you would need to check with them to see what colors they have at the time. I suggest you first check shelters or ferret rescue groups in your area. If they don’t have a white ferret currently, you may ask them to contact you when they get one. There are so many ferrets in need of a good home. There are also many advertised in the Want Ads. Or, you could look into ferret breeders that specialize in white ferrets.

  8. I live in north western Canada and would like to get a baby ferret and not from a pet store as I have heard the pet store babies do not live as long to such healthy lives as the ones direct from breeders. I used to live in England and had ferrets there so I want to be as sure as possible that I get a well bred healthy one to be a life long companion. I am near Dawson Creek 5 hours north of Prince George in BC. Can you help me find one please.

    1. Hi Julie,
      Thanks for your question regarding where to buy a ferret in Canada. I suggest you contact a ferret breeder in Canada, such as or reach out to a ferret rescue. I have not had experience with these breeders, so I cannot recommend any specific breeder. Good luck finding your perfect little fur baby!

  9. If I’m traveling overseas with my ferret, what sort of procedures do I need to go through in order to bring her with me? Will I need to make sure the country I’m traveling to allows ferrets as well?

    1. Hi Amber. Thanks for your question. You will definitely need to make sure ferrets are legal where you plan to travel. I recommend you read Holiday with Pet Ferret for more info.

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