Guessing a ferret’s age is more challenging than you think. Ferrets are small animals. They grow really fast and after five months, they develop into their full size. You can’t predict the age of ferrets from their size. A five-month-old ferret could have the same weight as a six-year-old ferret. So, how exactly can you tell how old a ferret is?
Here’s the short answer:
You can tell how old a ferret is from some physical characteristics. As your pet ages, you’ll notice some changes in its bodily features and physical fitness. Also, your pet would undergo dental changes as he grows older. Ferrets live between 6-10 years so ferrets that have attained the age of six years are old and could have health issues.
But how exactly can you use physical characteristics to predict the age of a ferret? Keep reading and find out what every ferret owner wants to know in this article.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Bananas?“
How To Tell How Old A Ferret Is?
Knowing your pet’s age is important. For instance, the type of diet suitable for a pet largely depends on its age. Now, let us consider some of the ways to tell how old a ferret is:
When ferrets are newly born, they have thin hair. You can also tell when ferrets are younger than three weeks because they can’t see. Those that are physically and sexually mature are definitely above three months. That Ferrets suffer from baldness on their head, tail, or shoulders, as a result of alopecia are usually above the age of four.
You can also tell how old a ferret is from its energy and level of enthusiasm. Ferrets between three to five years are considered to be in their middle age. Usually, young ferrets and middle-aged ones are boisterous, active, and agile. However, the older ones between the age of six to ten are lethargic and would rather sleep most of the time. They make good cuddle buddies.
Experts and veterinarians predict the age of ferrets by examining the teeth. Those who are lesser than one year have new white teeth. But as they get to 18 to 30 months old, the tips of their incisors will begin to yellow. When your pet is about three to four years, the yellowing becomes more apparent and extends to the tip of the incisors.
You can tell how old a ferret is from the type of health conditions your pet has. Adrenal and heart diseases are more peculiar to ferrets in their middle age(three to five years old). Animals between these ages also have weak joints in their hind limb. This could be caused by insulinoma or neoplasia. You should notice that pets within this age range find it difficult to climb.
Further Reading: “Can Ferrets Eat Lettuce?“
How Old Is My Ferret In Human Years?
Have you ever wondered why most of our pets don’t live as long as humans? That’s because their life expectancy is lesser than that of human beings. Most pets, including ferrets, have their life expectancy times lesser than that of human beings. But how can you calculate how old your pet is in the human age?
There is no specific formula to convert your pet’s age to human age. However, based on the observations of veterinaries, this age converter provides some guidelines. According to the age converter, ferrets that are six months old are 18 years old in human age. With the data provided, at 12 months, your pet should be 22 years old. And at ten years, it is 110 years old. Apparently, the calculation is not based on some arithmetic sequence. So, if you want to predict your pet’s age in human years, see the age converter above.
Further Reading: “Can You Bath A Ferret?“
How Old Do Ferrets Get?
According to the US FDA, the average age life span of Ferrets is eight years. Consider yourself lucky if your pet lives as long as ten years. One way to help your pet live longer is through healthy nutrition. Also, if your pet is lucky and hardly falls sick, he might live as long as fifteen years.
Further Reading: “13 Different Types Of Ferrets“
In What Age do Ferrets Calm Down?
Let me guess: You are wondering how old a ferret has to be before losing its energy. Here is what you need to know: Ferrets are playful pets. They are small but strong and boisterous, especially when they are in their middle-age. Usually, baby pets are fragile, dependent, blind, and deaf till four to five weeks [Ferrets eyesight is general is something you must understand, please further read my article going in detail about that topic]. When ferrets are four months old, they reach full maturity. And maturity has some perks. They become independent, and their bones are strong.
Therefore, they begin to climb furniture. So, it is essential to keep an eye on your pet so he won’t jump from a dangerous height. And if you have up to two male pets, they might wrestle. They are more destructive and would chew anything made of fabric or plastic such as furniture, clothes, toys, etc. All these happen with pets between 12 months to four years.
However, between six to ten years, their bone structure weakens. They also become lethargic. The old ones prefer to hibernate and get some sleep. Basically, at that age, your ferret will calm down.
As we saw, ferrets are very energetic at their mid-life and I recommend you go and read my article regarding ferrets noise and what exactly each noise they make means. As a ferret owner, it will help you understand their needs better.
Further Reading: “Do Ferrets Like Snow?“
Ferret Age Stages
Infancy 0- 5 weeks
After a kit is born, it is usually blind and deaf. So, it is also dependent on the mother and feeds on breast milk. They start teething at three weeks old and gain their sight between four to five weeks. When kits are seven weeks, they are old enough for weaning.
Weaning 6 weeks-8 weeks
At this stage, the ferret becomes more independent and almost attains adulthood. The animal can be fed ferret food. By the seventh week, the kit begins to grow permanent teeth. Kits don’t fully mature into adults until they are 12 weeks old.
Adulthood 4 months- 3 years
When a ferret becomes four months old, it becomes an adult. Usually, at the adulthood stage, your pet is fully grown and has strong bones. The average weight of a healthy hob is between 2.3 to 2.6 pounds, while a jill should weigh between 1.3 to 1.6 pounds. Ferrets attain sexual maturity and begin to reproduce at this stage.
Further Reading: “Do Ferrets Make Noise?“
Middle age 3-5 years
Ferrets are in their middle age between age three to five. They are still active and enjoy relative physical fitness. They are considered to be old but not very old.
Elderly 6-10 years
When a ferret is six years and above, it is very old and considered to be elderly. At this age, ferrets lose physical fitness, muscle tone, and they also become lethargic. They have sparse hair and may suffer from health conditions such as alopecia, insulinoma, and heart diseases.
Further Reading: “How To Tell If A Ferret Is Scared?“
By now, you should be able to tell how old a ferret is with the information provided above. As a ferret owner, this information is important to you because you’d realize you don’t have forever to spend with your pet. So, enjoy every moment you have with your ferret. Also, you’d understand your pet better and know whether certain health conditions are usual for his age.
So, it all boils down to this: ferrets have a shorter lifespan than human beings. And just like us, they get weaker as they get older. Thus, when your pet gets as old as five years, he’d prefer to sleep and relax. This is totally normal. Spend some quality time with your elder pet. They are good to cuddle partners.