Author Topic: Ferrets vs Rats?  (Read 23496 times)

Offline Dela

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Ferrets vs Rats?
« on: May 26, 2008, 04:11:26 AM »
Ok, so I have rats currently, and was wondering if anyone that owned both could give me some information about the differences between the two, personality wise etc? My boys (rats)are all very very loving and playful.  Just wondered about ferrets as I've been craving some for the longest time.
-Del
Roscoe, Skrat
Izzy, Tizzy
Khas'an and Donny
Kuper, Rizzo, and Aidan

Offline Dazydaizee

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Re: Ferrets vs Rats?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2008, 09:49:27 PM »
If I had to choose at this point, I think I'd prefer my rats, though if you'd asked me last year, I'd probably have said my ferrets. Reason being my ferrets used to share my bedroom with me and so, naturally we were very close. Because I had no other alternative, my rats spent too much time in their cage, considering the ferrets would kill the rats easily.

Ferrets are hilarious, and always ready to go, but mine have calmed down quite a bit as they got older. They are, in my opinion, easy to maintain given you spend the time litter training them and let them out of the cage most of the day. Mine have never been caged much, and I prefer them being set up in a room rather than a cage. They do sleep a lot and tend to come out once you're ready for them, though mine tend to tire after a half hour or so and go back to sleeping.

Once you've ferret proofed, they typically do pretty well. Mine don't really get into anything anymore, because I've learned my lesson. In my experience my rats are much more inclined to get into trouble after I'm SURE I did everything to prevent it. Also my rats chew electrical cords, my ferrets do not. My ferrets don't stash their food in their litter box, so cleaning can be a little easier.

Ferrets do have a musky smell and are prone to serious medical issues that can often lead to surgery which is expensive. In my experience, both rats and ferrets are virtually fearless and that can be dangerous. I've had a rat climb a barrier into the ferret room and almost get killed, and I've had a ferret try to rough play with a dog and not interpret the growling or baring teeth as a threat.

I think both can be destructive, mischievous, and messy, but both make great pets. In my experience, my rats do better with other pets than the ferrets. My rats can roam free with the rabbit and the guinea pig without a problem, and typically don't pester the dog. The ferrets have been more isolated for this reason, which is why I've been leaning a little more towards the rats as the better fit for my household.

That being said, I would miss having ferrets if in the future I decide not to have any more. I think it depends on your situation and how much direct interaction time you would have for either species. And just keep in mind that keeping both can be a little bothersome, since you need to make enough time for each considering they can't have free range time or time with you together.. it would need to be separate.

Offline Paniz

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Re: Ferrets vs Rats?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 01:42:02 AM »
I would like to resurrect this thread simply because I too am curious as to the differences in rats and ferrets...

Offline ZeppelinLadyLove

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Re: Ferrets vs Rats?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 02:09:06 AM »
I would like to resurrect this thread simply because I too am curious as to the differences in rats and ferrets...

I just started owning ferrets so im still getting used the differences but honestly I love them both.

The only difference I feel is having to get larger things for ferrets :BlueDumboSmile:

They both need lots of playtime and both are litter trained. The ferret food is more expensive, but technically its kitten food. Theyre both fun and loving :heart:
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Owned by 9 rats, 2 dogs, and 2 ferrets<3

Offline TCsmom

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Re: Ferrets vs Rats?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 03:43:26 PM »
I have both and although I adore my ferrets and could not dream of being without. My rats are my favorites.I dont think I will ever be without at least 2 rattie babies....  My big problem with both species is that they do not live long enough..

Offline PotHBP

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Re: Ferrets vs Rats?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 11:14:40 AM »
Which species has the most expensive vet bills?
I've been eyeing ferrets for a few years and might wait a few more years to get them.
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Offline TCsmom

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Re: Ferrets vs Rats?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2011, 06:16:58 PM »
Both can be expensive when it comes to the vet.  Ferrets have to have regular examines and vaccinations, and rats need regular visits to catch any problems before they become serious. Small animals hide illness well and serious issues can be deadly before you even realize they are sick... But the joy they bring is priceless..

Offline PotHBP

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Re: Ferrets vs Rats?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2011, 08:46:35 PM »
oh, it's just that I was under the impression that ferrets were more expensive when it came to the vet bills.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 08:48:43 PM by PotHBP »
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Offline TCsmom

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Re: Ferrets vs Rats?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2011, 11:40:38 PM »
Well they can be but both can be expensive. I have spent $500 + on a rat with a respiratory problems.. So it depends on the individual animal and the vet...

Offline PotHBP

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Re: Ferrets vs Rats?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2011, 10:23:47 AM »
I know how expensive rat vet bills can be, though... I just don't know about ferrets.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 10:27:20 AM by PotHBP »
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Offline PinkiePie

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Re: Ferrets vs Rats?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2011, 03:12:34 PM »
My roomate just got a ferret. Having both rats and ferrets is very stressful for the whole household. I have heard her say that ferrets are more expensive for vet costs, but I don't know about that.

I love this ferret though. His name is Merlin and he reminds me a lot of my cat when she was young. He is 6 months old and so fully of energy! He bounces around, attacks balls of yarn when I crochet, everything. He's lovely. In some ways he's easier to freerange than rats and in some ways he's harder. It is easier to keep an eye on him because he's bigger, and he can't get into as many things. However, it's hard to keep him confined to a space. With my rats, I free range them a lot on couches and coffee tables. He can't be confined in such a way. If you get a ferret I suggest child fences or something.

In my experience, rats are a lot harder to littertrain than ferrets. I've been trying with mine for 5 months. I got them to poop 50 to 60% of the time in their litter box on an average day, and 80% on a good day. Pee is a wildcard and will get anywhere. Merlin, on the other hand, is 100% litter trained after 4 days. Even outside the cage, Merlin picks a corner and goes there. Also, when he has to go he will get antsy if he is on a coffee table/in your arms/somewhere he knows he shouldn't go, and he will ask to get down onto the floor. I still have one of my rats pee and occasionally poop on me on a pretty regular basis.

Their cages need to be cleaned OFTEN. Ferrets eat a carniverous diet and so their solid waste is a lot more like, say, human waste than rat waste. It's a lot messier and also SMELLS a lot more. She got the ferret on Sunday with a clean cage. She hasn't cleaned the cage yet, not even once. I am probably going to have a fit if she doesn't do it tonight because unlike rats, whose cage smells somewhat if you do not clean for an extended period, his cage is UNBEARABLE even after 4 days. It's getting to the point where I am going to sleep on the couch tonight rather than be in there (I really am fighting the urge to clean his cage for her. I don't want him to suffer but I don't want to be the sole person responsible for someone else's pet).