How To Tell How Old A Ferret Is?

Ferrets are small and adorable creatures that are popular among pet lovers. However, it’s quite tricky to tell how old a ferret is.

Ferrets develop their body faster. A five-month-old ferret can look the same as a five-year-old ferret. So the confusion is obvious.

Many experts determine a ferret’s age through their physical characteristics. As a ferret gets older, you can notice changes in their physical fitness, appetite, and behavior. Many check their teeth’s condition to understand their aging which is the most prominent evidence.

A Ferret’s Life Cycle

The life cycle of a ferret is truly amazing. At birth, ferret kits are blind and deaf, relying solely on their mother for care. They are born very small like two inches long and have very little hair on their pink bodies. About two weeks of age their tiny eyes begin to open.

In the mid-kit stage, which usually spans from five to eight weeks, kits become wholly independent. They are more playful and engage in spirited rough-and-tumble play.

Ferrets become fully adult at the age of 5 to 6 months. At this point, they can also prepare to breed. The midlife of a ferret is around 2 to 3 years. When they are up to 4 to 6 years old, they are considered elderly and require special care.

How To Tell How Old A Ferret Is?

How To Tell How Old A Ferret Is

So you’ve got yourself a fuzzy little ferret, but you’re not exactly sure how old they are? Figuring out the age of your ferret can be a bit tricky, especially if you don’t have any record of their birthdate. But there are a few key indicators you can look for to get a rough estimate.

1. Dental Testing

First off, take a good look at their teeth. Just like us humans, ferrets’ teeth go through different stages as they age. Young ferrets under 1 year will have small, white, and sharp teeth. As they get older, their teeth will start to yellow and may become a bit worn down.

Look at their two long upper canine teeth. If your ferret has lost any teeth or has significant wear on their teeth, they are most likely on the older side. You can compare it with other young ferret’s teeth when you are sure about their age.

2. Physical Changes

Another way to estimate a ferret’s age is by observing their physical features. Young ferrets are smaller and lighter compared to their older counterparts. They undergo significant growth during the first few months of life.

Ferrets typically reach their full size at around 5-6 months of age. At this point, they are considered adults. Therefore, if you have a ferret that’s notably smaller, it’s likely to be younger, while a larger ferret is more likely to be older.

Additionally, you can assess their weight. Young ferrets are usually lighter, while adult ferrets have a more stable and consistent weight.

Like aged people, older ferrets may have thin hair on their bodies. They have lost fur and become more sensitive. At this stage, ferrets may suffer from various health diseases like dental problems, arthritis, hearing problems, heart disease, insulinoma, or blindness.

3. Physical Fitness

Take note of their energy levels. Young ferrets are typically more active, playful, and curious. They have boundless energy and often engage in hyperactive play and exploration. This youthful exuberance is a hallmark of their early stages of development.

As ferrets age, they tend to become less hyperactive and more relaxed. They may still play and explore but with less intensity and frequency. Adult ferrets sleep far more and play for a shorter period of time. They settle into their own unique routines and habits.

More senior ferrets tend to sleep all the time. They become less active, spend more time resting, and display a decreased interest in play. This can be due to age-related factors, such as decreased mobility or health issues.

4. Coat Change

To add to the complexity, when ferrets undergo their regular shedding periods. Typically, it occurs twice a year during autumn and spring. Their coat texture and color can undergo transformations. This natural shedding process can result in changes to both the feel and appearance of their fur.

Furthermore, as ferrets age, you may notice an increase in the presence of white guard hairs, particularly on their hind ends. This can give the impression of their overall fur appearing lighter as they mature. These changes in coat texture and color contribute to the intriguing evolution of a ferret’s appearance over time.

How To Care Older Ferrets?

Certainly, as your ferret enters its senior years, it’s important to make accommodations to ensure their comfort and well-being.

If your ferret is arthritic or has mobility issues, consider making changes to their cage to prevent injury. Remove larger ledges and provide gentle inclines to make it easier for them to move around.

As your ferret gets aged, it may have dental issues or lost teeth. You should consider a softer diet. You can create a soft texture by mixing their dry food with water or another pet-safe diluent. Avoid making it too soupy, as it may be unappealing to your pet.

Moreover, older ferrets are more sensitive to temperature changes. Ensure they are kept in a comfortable environment. During colder weather, provide extra blankets and warmth to keep them cozy. Avoid exposing them to excessively cold conditions. In warmer weather, use air conditioning or fans to maintain a comfortable temperature.

You should schedule regular veterinary check-ups for your aging ferret. These appointments are essential for monitoring their health and addressing any age-related issues promptly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long ferrets can live?

A ferret’s usual lifespan is around 6 to 10 years. However, mostly they live about 6-7 years.

At what age do ferrets calm down?

Ferrets typically begin to calm down and become less active around two to three years of age. However, this can vary from ferret to ferret, as each individual may have a different temperament and personality.


Of course, these are just rough guidelines to measure the age of Ferret, and it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian for a more accurate estimate.

But with a little observation and some detective work, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how old your ferret is in no time!