We don’t have many requirements for pets. It has to be funny, it has to be friendly, and it has to be acceptable to our owners.
Ferrets and chinchillas certainly meet most of these criteria, but if you only had to choose one of them for adoption, which one should you choose?
While everyone’s situation is different, there are a few things you should consider before bringing one of these animals home. We will look at these considerations in more detail here.
at a glance
- Average length (adult): 9–15 inches
- Average weight (adult): 1-2 pounds
- Age: 10–20 years
- Exercise: 1-2 hours a day
- Maintenance requirement: Minimal
- Family friendly: Not good with small children
- Other pet friendly: No
- Trainability: Slow learner, limited training capacity
Average length (adult): 12–16 inches
Average weight (adult): 5–4 pounds
Age: 5-10 years old
Exercise: 2–4 hours a day
Care requirement: Moderate
Family friendly: Not good with small children
Other pet friendly: Can be trained to get along with cats and dogs
Trainability: Can be easily trained, although they are often shy or scared at first
Chinchillas are undeniably adorable, and their irresistible faces have gotten more than one owner in trouble over the years. The problem is that being adorable isn’t enough to make great pets, and these little animals offer a challenge that many owners aren’t prepared for.
However, if you know what you’re getting into, chinchillas can make a great addition to your household.
Chinchillas are social creatures, but that just means they enjoy the company of other chinchillas, not necessarily you and your family.
These animals are not great for homes with small children. They are delicate, and small children can easily injure or injure them accidentally. That can make the chinchilla attack, and the bite can be very bad.
Also, it’s hard to have just one chinchilla. If you are going to own one of these animals, you should prepare yourself to own several.
One other thing that many people don’t realize about these rodents until it’s too late is the fact that they are nocturnal. They may not come out and play when you want them to, and they may wake up late at night, wandering around in their habitat, not caring at all that you are trying to sleep.
Chinchillas are low maintenance pets. The hardest thing to do is to organize their habitat for the first time, but once the task is done, cleaning and maintaining them becomes simple and easy.
They also don’t stink, and they produce hard, pellet-like droppings, so there should never be a catastrophic mess to clean up in their cage.
However, they can be picky about things like diet and temperature, so you should do your research first to make sure you’re taking care of them properly. In addition, their teeth never stop growing, so they have to constantly gnaw at objects to wear them out.
Given that chinchillas are fat and squishy, you’d be forgiven for assuming that they don’t need much exercise. The reality, however, is that they have a relatively high need for exercise.
They should be removed from their cages and allowed to roam for 1 or 2 hours each night. You should also make sure they have plenty of toys and things to climb on in their cage, so they can exercise on their own time.
Chinchillas are perfect for anyone who wants a cuddly pet but doesn’t want the hassle of owning a cat or dog. They are fun and low-maintenance, but not good for households with young children.
Also, while many chinchillas can be socialized to enjoy affection from humans, some are never happy to be touched. If you want something that will give you a lot of love on demand, there are better options out there.
Easy and low maintenance to own
Can be very friendly
No smell or mess
Picky about diet and temperature
Not good with children
Overview of Ferret
Ferrets make unusual pets. They can be affectionate like a dog, as nervous as a cat, and mischievous like an unguarded child. However, they are not for everyone, which may be one reason why they never catch as many cats and dogs.
Personality / Character
While it may take a ferret a little time to warm up, once they get comfortable with their environment, they become quite social creatures. They can be just as eager to demand affection as any dog or cat, and they love to snuggle next to you on the couch during the Netflix marathon.
Like chinchillas, ferrets are not good pets for households with small children. If mishandled, they can deliver a fierce bite that would make anyone think twice about trying to touch them again.
Ferrets are actually quite easy to train, and they can be taught to use a litter box, just like cats. However, they generally require more supervision than cats and dogs, and they should never be allowed to roam around the house without someone noticing them.
They can be taught to get along well with cats and dogs, provided they are socialized early. You shouldn’t keep them around rats, birds, or other small animals, as they’ll be more likely to treat them as dinner than friends.
Civets are notorious for suffering from injuries, which are caused by their inquisitive nature and ability to fit into even the tightest of spaces. This is why you should always keep an eye on them when they are out of their cage, and many owners put a bell on their collar so they can track their movements.
They also like to chew and eat just about anything you can imagine, so you have to be careful to make sure they don’t chew on something that will kill them.
Their cages require regular cleaning but are not very demanding. Cleaning up after their litter is also simple, especially if you train them to use a litter box.
These animals are very susceptible to heat stroke, so it is very important to keep them in a well-ventilated area and not to let them roam outside.
Ferrets require little exercise, and it is recommended that you let them roam outside their cage for 2–4 hours per day. They also need lots of toys to keep their minds active, so be prepared to spend money on cat toys, balls with bells in them, and the like.
Ferrets are not your typical pet, and as such, they are best suited for anyone who wants an animal that is not as common as a dog or cat but has many of the same characteristics. They are funny, cuddly, and curious, and they are a lot of fun to watch and play with.
However, if you have small children at home, you will have to choose a different pet. Weasels need time to warm up, and if they are mistreated in any way (even by accident), they may lash out violently.
Full of love and adorable
Can be taught using the sandbox
Easy to train
Prone to injury
Can attack if mishandled
Check The Legality Of Owning One Of These Animals Before Buying One
Chinchillas and ferrets are not legal everywhere, so it makes sense to check local laws before you try to adopt them. In most cases, they are legal to own but not to breed, and they should be corrected, as they can become an invasive species if they escape and start reproducing.
Which Race is Right for You?
If you want an unusual pet that is still cute and cuddly, ferrets and chinchillas are for you. These animals are fun to look at and approach, and no one can deny that they are adorable to look at.
Having them isn’t a walk in the park, however, and you shouldn’t get them if you have small children in your home.
In the end, chinchillas are a better choice for anyone who wants a pet they can watch more than interact with, as ferrets require less one-on-one attention. Ferrets are a better choice for those who love cats and dogs.
Both ferrets and chinchillas can be fun to have around, but they are different enough that it should be clear to you up front which is better for your particular situation. Regardless of which one you choose, the important thing is to take care of it properly.
Featured Image Credit: Top – agdas666, Pixabay; Down – katya-guseva0, Pixabay