How Long Do Ferrets Live (And Why)?

How Long Do Ferrets Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 – 10 years

Ferrets are domesticated members of the Mustelidae family. They live for 5-10 years in captivity but can live up to 18 years in some cases.  

The average lifespan is about 5-10 years; however, ferrets kept indoors and out of reach from predators tend to have a longer life expectancy than those allowed outdoors.  

If a person plans to bring the ferret outside to play, be sure they wear an ID tag with the contact information or their microchip number on it.

One can take care of their ferret well to make it through its life span without experiencing any health problems.

How Long Do Ferrets Live

How Long Do Ferrets Live?

Pet Ferrets5 to 10 years
Wild Ferrets1 to 3 Years

Ferrets are very social animals that live in colonies with other ferrets, but they can still be happy living alone. They enjoy running around and playing games like hide-and-seek with their human family members. 

The average ferret lives for about five to ten years.

As a pet, the ferret’s life span is quite significant compared to other pets, so one must know their limitations before adopting them. 

Although the average long-term lifespan ranges from 5 to 10 years, they can still live much longer if proper care and attention are provided for them. 

In general, however, it’s best not to adopt a ferret that belongs in an elderly age bracket because these animals will be entering the twilight of their lives, and there might not be much time left with them once they leave home.

Humans are not the only animals on earth with pets. Most pet owners know that dogs and cats are popular, but one of the most exotic animals to own as a pet is a ferret.

Ferrets live between 7-10 years on average, but it’s best to look at an individual case due to some exceptions – their life span may shorten by four years if they suffer from adrenal disease or hypothyroidism. 

It is also important for a pet owner to ensure the ferret has good nutrition, plenty of exercises, and love. One can also purchase amazing ferret food from the pet store.

Why Would Ferrets Live For So Long?

The ferret lifespan ranges between 12 to 18 years, but some can live up to 20 years.

Ferrets have a lifespan of six to twelve years, which is relatively short for an animal of their size. However, this period may be shorter due to the stress they experience from being kept as pets or used for research purposes. 

It’s believed that the primary factor in the long lifespan of ferrets is their overall good health and clean living. Ferrets are also very agile and fit, unlike other animals aging 10 times faster because of sedentary lifestyles. All this adds up to a crisp old age for these gentle creatures- relative to other pets at least.

Ferrets live longer than dogs because they wait until they’re full-grown before breeding. Plus, it takes about 3 hours for an entire litter.

The average lifespan of a domesticated ferret varies between 6 and 8 years, but wild ferrets can reach up to 10 years. If the diet is nutritionally adequate, this is quite common in ferrets older than five or six, with neutering increasing their median survival rate around an extra six months.

Ferrets that stay outside in the wild for too long without human contact may succumb to injuries caused by other animals or risks posed by weather conditions. Conversely, ferrets that come into contact with humans have better chances at living longer because they are given proper nutrition and protection from harm, both elements necessary for any animal’s life span to grow.


It doesn’t matter where the ferret comes from, but it is a responsibility for the pet owners to keep the ferret as healthy as possible. These are meat eaters and come from a low carb diet family, and require high protein to stay healthy. 

It is imperative to have the ferret spayed or neutered as they reach sexual maturity between 8 months. When a female ferret goes into heat, it won’t come out till they breed. Also, emotional health is important for the animal, just like the physical. Dental cleanings are also necessary to keep the pet away from dental disease.


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