Should i Get a Chinchilla or a Ferret?

Keeping a chinchilla or a ferret is totally a personal choice. Both pets are adorable. However, they do have some differences.

So, should you get a Chinchilla or a Ferret? There are stark differences between the two animals. Chinchilla is popular as a pet animal but it requires extra special care. On the other hand, a Ferret has a territorial nature and also requires special care.

If you are interested to read on more about the two animals, you should definitely keep reading…

General Comparison


The ferret is a playful creature that belongs to the family of weasel.

This cute pet has a carnivorous diet and lives a long life ranging from 8 to 10 years.

While this creature has been found to be mischievous, it is also quite lively.

If treated right, it forms a great bond of companionship with the owner.

It is recommended to keep the ferret alone with the interaction of humans only or to keep it in same-gender groups.

The sleep cycle is nocturnal and the ferret is mostly active during times of dawn and dusk.


The chinchilla is a small animal that belongs to the family of rodent.

Opposed to the ferret, this animal has an herbivore diet.

With a highly athletic and quiet nature, this animal can live up to 15 to 20 years.

Thus, chinchillas are best for pet lovers who can commit for a long time.

Similar to the ferret, it is recommended to keep the chinchilla in the same gender pair.

The sleep cycle for a chinchilla is the same as the ferret. Both of these pets have a crepuscular sleep cycle.

Looking at the above differences between the two furry animals, you might get an idea of how the two pets behave with humans.

However, the main thing is to give them proper care and good nourishment.

The details are given in the following sections.



Female ferrets also are known by the name of ‘Jills’.

Since they are induced ovulators, they continue to remain sexually active until they mate with a partner.

This can prove to be a dangerous activity for the ferret if this happens incessantly.

This can also lead to severe problems such as alopecia or hair loss.

The most dangerous problem is estrogen associated anemia.

This is a deficiency in red blood cells and it can lead to death as well. So take your ferret to the vet and discuss the option of neutering.


The ferret can become a target of canine distemper.

As a result, you need to take your ferret for annual checkups.

Ask the vet to check the ferret’s general health and give it a vaccination against canine distemper.


The tiny animals are quite mischievous and they can escape when they get a chance.

This could lead them to be captured and turned into animal shelters or being let go in the wild.

Thus, you need to find a way to track them whenever they go missing.

An easy solution is to have the ferret microchipped.

This is not a dangerous procedure. Simply take your animal to the vet and get advice on this.


While all ferrets will groom themselves, they do require some help.

Hairballs may develop whenever the creature sheds in the season of spring and autumn.

These hairballs can be dangerous because they can cause vomiting, blockage in the intestines or loss of appetite.

For this problem, you don’t need to go to the vet. Just comb the fur weekly and you can take care of this problem.

In case, the situation does aggravate, a quick trip to the vet will make matters easy. The vet can recommend a suitable treatment for this problem.

Ear care

Ferrets can have excess wax accumulate in their ears.

It is advised to clean the ears every once a month.

However, do not use a cotton bud as it can cause more damage than cleanliness.

Ask your vet for the best ear cleaner to be used.

In case you are uncertain how to clean the ears, ask your vet to show you the proper way.

Ferrets have sensitive ears and this matter has to be dealt with patience.



The chinchillas belong to the family of rodents and all of them have a special feature.

Their teeth continue to grow constantly.

Thus, it is important to look after them and provide them with suitable items to gnaw on.

These items could include hay, wooden toys or even mineral stones.

An item that is quite beneficial for Chinchillas is the cuttlebone. Not only is this item the best thing to gnaw on, but it is also a great source of calcium.

Fur slip

Chinchillas have a calm and peaceful nature.

They require gentle handling.

If the animal becomes frightened it might become a target of ‘fur slip’.

This happens when a large patch of fur gets removed, unveiling the clear skin below.

The fur does not grow quickly and will take several months. So do not frighten the pet and handle it with care.


Just like ferrets, the chinchillas are groomers on their own.

They like to keep their fur clean and enjoy the frequent dust baths.

These baths help them clean their fur and groom themselves.

It is important that you keep a bath filled with special chinchilla dust in the cage.

Leave it there and the chinchillas will soon come to play in the dust to clean themselves.

It will also help the tiny pets to maintain the shininess of the coat fur.

While this seems important, another thing to keep in mind is that the bath should not be kept in the cage for longer periods of time.

The chinchillas might use it as a toilet and this will only aggravate matters for you.

It is recommended to keep the dust bath in the cage for a time of 5 to 10 minutes.


Chinchillas do not sweat or rather, they cannot sweat.

This means these furry animals are susceptible to overheating.

While this is true, you need to take care of this as it is an important issue for the chinchillas.

They cannot survive heat strokes especially at temperatures greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Maintain a cool indoor temperature between the range of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can spot a heated chinchilla by bulging veins in the ears. Lethargy and warm feet are also good indicators.

In case, the chinchilla is warm, use cuts of granite. It will help keep your pet cool.

However, do not hesitate to go to the vet if the pet does not cool down after some time.

Vitamins & Supplements

When you purchase a chinchilla and bring it home to a new environment, it can become stressed and get indigestion.

In order to prevent this, ask your vet for probiotics that will help the chinchilla calm down and get healthy digestion.


Be it a ferret or a chinchilla, keeping a pet is not an easy task.

As you can see from the above information, there are differences between the two animals.

While both are lovely creatures, they have different personalities and characteristics.

So we don’t prefer any single pet over another. It is all up to the pet owners.

They can see which animal best suits them and their house environment.

Keep a ferret if you want an active pet. Go with a chinchilla if you’re looking for a peaceful and calm pet.

Related Questions

What food does a Chinchilla like to eat? A chinchilla is an herbivore. It will eat grass hay, chinchilla pets, fruits, and vegetables. A chinchilla will also enjoy treats of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. But remember to feed them these treats in moderation as these are sugary and they could fatten up the pet. The favorite food includes dried rose hips, hibiscus and dandelion leaves.

What food does a ferret-like to eat? A ferret is a carnivore and will like to eat raw meat. Kitten food can be used as a substitute for the ferret. This meal is rich in protein and ferrets will enjoy it a lot. While eggs and meat make up for a good meal, human snacks such as potato chips and marshmallows do not. The fruits and vegetables are also not suitable as ferrets find these items hard to digest.

Can ferrets kill you? While ferrets do have a hunting instinct, they will not kill you. However, there are some animals such as reptiles which should not be kept with ferrets.

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