Ferret Ownership Statistics in The US and UK [2024]

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A pet ferret

Ferrets have become increasingly popular as pets in recent years, captivating the hearts of pet lovers in both the US and UK with their playful and curious nature. However, before you decide to bring a ferret into your home, you ought to be aware of the ownership statistics and trends. Based on my research, I have gathered the latest data on ferret ownership in the United States and the United Kingdom, and I've also explored the growing popularity of these adorable creatures.

Ferret Ownership Statistics in the US

According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of US households owning ferrets has been steadily rising over the past decade. In fact, it is estimated that there are currently around 8 million ferrets being kept as pets across the country.

According to a recent statistic from Forbes, there are around 6.7 million households in the US who own ferrets, as well as other small animals like hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and mice.

According to Vet Street, many ferret owners in the United States give up their pets to shelters every year for various reasons. These reasons can range from children losing interest or moving away for higher education, to the fact that ferrets are considered the most expensive small pets to take care of, or simply because the owners don't have enough time or commitment to dedicate to their furry friends.

In the US, ferrets are often considered as part of the family by their owners. With their loving and friendly nature, they have become beloved companions in many households across the country. Moreover, many ferret owners in the US enjoy the interactive playtime and cuddles that these adorable furry friends offer.

Ferret Ownership Laws in the US

In the United States, owning a ferret is legal in most states. However, there are a couple of exceptions. In California and Hawaii, for example, there are some restrictions on ferret ownership. It's a bummer because ferrets are actually the third most popular pets in the US. But unfortunately, a few states don't see them as domestic animals, so they're not allowed as pets in certain municipalities. In some places in the US, you even need to get a permit if you want to own a ferret. 

Even in states where ferret ownership is legal, individual municipalities can have their own rules. In New York State, for example, ferrets are totally cool, but in New York City, they're a no-go. So, if you're thinking about getting a ferret in the US, make sure you know the laws and regulations in your specific state or city before you bring one home.

Ferret Ownership Statistics in the UK

Lately, there's been a major surge in the number of people owning ferrets across the UK. According to SAGA UK, there are over 500,000 ferrets being kept as pets in the UK. Interestingly, ferrets aren't just becoming popular as pets, they've got a long history of being used as working animals in the UK too. 

They are amazing hunters and are experts at keeping rodent populations in check. Many people in rural areas still put their ferrets to work for this very purpose. It's a pretty unique aspect of owning a ferret and it's a big draw for those living in the countryside.

According to SAGA, UK farmers are super motivated to control the rabbit population because those bunnies have a serious appetite for grass. In addition, they love munching on young wheat, barley, and sugar beet too. Consequently, UK farmers are turning to ferrets for help. Ferrets have become an essential part of the farmer's plan to keep the rabbit population in check.

Ferret Ownership Laws in the UK

In contrast to the United States, owning a ferret is legal throughout the entire United Kingdom. However, there are specific regulations regarding microchipping and vaccinations that you must follow, as a prospective ferret owner. These guidelines are in place to ensure the well-being and legality of your pet ferrets. So, if you're thinking of getting a ferret in the UK, make sure you're up to date with these rules!
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