Should I Get a Ferret or a Rabbit?

by Nadine Oraby

When it comes to ferrets and rabbits, there is not much to compare. Both of them have their own cuddly nature and their own unique personalities.

Rabbits are on the fluffier side of the spectrum as compared to ferrets while ferrets are you slim bodies mischievous rodents.

Should I get a ferret or a rabbit? Spayed or neutered rabbits kept indoors with proper care may have a lifespan of 8 to 12 years and will be great for you If you want a pet that will be by your side for a long time. On the other hand, ferrets live up to 5 to 9 years.

So if you do not want to commit to a pet for a very long time then go with ferrets.

The answer to this question lies in what you are looking for in a pet. There is no straight yes or no here.

Rabbits 101 (Video)


Ferrets 101 (Video)


Life With Rabbits (Video)

Life with Ferrets. (Video)

Rabbits like to live with their own kind

Rabbits are very social animals as they depend on each other to survive in the wild.

A solo fluffy rabbit is alert at all times for predators, but in groups, they all share the responsibility.

Rabbits can only talk to rabbits, so it makes them feel safe and secure if there is another buddy around.

Neutering your rabbit is a good call in case you want to keep two rabbits, but it is also a smart move even you have one.

Bonding with the rabbit

Rabbits are very affectionate animals, but this trait may vary from individual to individual.

Most of the rabbits are allergic to being held or picked up, and some rabbits are more aloof than others.

Bonding with your pet rabbit is hard but not impossible.

The best way to interact with your rabbits is not to hold them but sit on the floor at their level.

In the wild they have to face many different kinds of predators and being elevated in the air may be a very traumatic experience for them.

They love to play

Rabbits are rather intelligent creatures and they get bored very quickly, so a busy rabbit is a happy rabbit.

The best toy to get rabbits are tunnels; they absolutely love charging through them.

Interconnected tubes mimic burrows and they feel at home there.

Rabbits are also fascinated by anything light like jingle bells that they can throw.

Egg boxes filled with food also keep them busy as they have to chew through them in order to get to the food.

Treat balls are also another way to keep them entertained as they would have to roll them over to get food. Cardboard tubes filled with food and hay are also a hit with them as they have to work very hard to reach the food.

Bunnies absolutely love to make a mess, so getting them a seed tray or litter box is also a great idea.

One of their natural instincts is digging, and they will go to town digging in the box and sitting on it.

Rabbits actually need more than just carrots

Contrary to popular belief rabbits just do not much on vegetables all day.

For a healthy rabbit, you need to provide it with a balanced diet.

Grass or hay are the most prominent components of their diet. Fresh vegetables are only a small portion of their intake.

The vegetables you can feed your rabbit include romaine lettuce, kale, broccoli, parsley and small pieces of apple, pineapple and carrots.

Pineapple is actually very good for their digestion but that should only be fed once or twice a week.

Rabbits are not cheap pets

Like any other pet, there are many costs associated with keeping rabbits as pets and most of the cost is due to vet bills.

Remember to find a savvy rabbit vet before you buy a rabbit as most of the vets are familiar with cats and dogs but not rabbits.

You can even get your rabbit insured so that your insurance can cover any huge amount of vet bill.

You need to make regular appointments with the vet to get their teeth checked, to get tested for parasites and in order to get them vaccinated.

Be ready to rabbit-proof your house

If you want to give your rabbit free rein to roam around the house and do not have ample space or a cage to keep them, it is better for all parties involved that your house made safe for the rabbit.

Rabbits love to chew and they chew on almost everything including cables and furniture.

You can tape the cables or just keep them out of the reach of the rabbit.

You can protect your furniture by covering it with plastic or wood coverings, making use of chewing deterrent sprays or installing cardboard barriers. Also, make sure that your rabbit has a lot of other alternative safe chewing toys.

Things to know before getting a ferret

What do ferrets eat?

Ferrets are omnivores, but most of their diet is dominantly carnivorous.

They need plenty of fresh water as they are very active animals and they need to stay hydrated at all times.

The best food for them is a high-quality animal protein that is digestible.

They have short digestive tracts and fast metabolism, this means they eat frequently and they eat a lot.

Ferrets are not obsessed with food; they only eat as much as they need so there is no overfeeding problem, unlike other pets.

This makes it easier for you as you can allow ferrets to have access to food at all times and you do not have to follow a feeding schedule.

Ferrets need a diet that is high in fat and protein. These help to provide energy to the ferrets and help them in maintaining their active lifestyle.

Remember not to feed your ferret dog food, as it will fill it up but not provide them with the nutrition it requires.

It is quite common for pet owners to feed their ferrets cat food.

Cat food has at least 20 percent fat and 36 percent protein. You can also feed them frozen chicks and mice.

Be warned that many human foods are very toxic and bad for the health of ferrets.

Things like tobacco, chocolate and caffeine should never be fed to these fuzzy creatures.

They are already super hyper. Milk and onions are also dangerous for them.

Giving your pet ferrets treats is also fine and using them is the only way to train them.

There are many ferrets treats that you can buy at your local pet store as well as online.

Offering the fuzzy critters fruits and vegetables is also fine.

But do remember to do everything in moderation.

Many people are against feeding them vegetables and fruits due to the amounts of sugar they contain.

Sugar is bad for the intestine of the ferrets and can also cause cancer among them.

How to take care of ferrets

Ferrets are very energetic and they require constant attention.

They love to cause mischief and play.

You need to play with a few times a day in order to keep them amused as they are very intelligent and curious they get bored rather quickly.

Providing your ferret with a lot of toys is very important.

They will pick things from your house and turn it into a toy if you do not give them something to play with.

The best toys for these little creatures are durable and small.

They go crazy on toys and chew them much more than a cat does.

Other great toys for ferrets are tunnels, swings, and hammocks.

Watching a ferret play with its little toys is very fun.

Ferrets have domesticated a long time ago and they are not like their wild cousins such as weasels, badgers, and otters.

If they, unfortunately, escape into the outside world they cannot survive for long.

This makes it extremely important to supervise them at all times and confine them to a certain space.

Make a room for them especially and then ferret proof it.

Related questions

Am I supposed to clip the nails of my rabbit? You do have to clip the nails of your bunny as the nails get very long quickly. Remember never to cut the nails so low that the poor fellow begins to bleed. Cutting your rabbits nails once every two months is fine.

How do I hold my rabbit? Hold them in a way that their feet are resting against your body. Support their hindquarters in one of your hands and their upper side on the other hand.

Will yelling at my rabbit help train it? You always have to be very gentle, nice and calm with your fluffy friend. Punishing them or yelling at them will not work. Instead, try to reward their good behavior.

Is it okay to pick the rabbit by its ears? Never pick a rabbit by its ears. This will only damage them.

Photo of author

Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

3 thoughts on “Should I Get a Ferret or a Rabbit?”

  1. You should only get a ferret if you are going to do the deep research because they are one of the hardest animals to take care of, for they are very sensitive. If you just want to have a pet for your own enjoyment that is very easy get a rabbit, because if you will not take the time to know how to take care of them then don’t ruin more ferrets poor lives.


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