Is a Ferret a Good Pet For Children?

For years there have been rumors of ferrets attacking babies and as such the question of whether ferrets make good pets for families with children must be asked. The most important distinction to make is this – ferrets can make good pets for families with children, but ferrets do not make a good pet for children as the primary caretakers. Why is this? Ferrets need more than the minimal investment of one’s time – including attention, supervision, and training otherwise it is entirely likely problems will arise – your ferret may become ill or injured if allowed to run around your home eating everything and anything (and sneaking into forgotten spaces,) if not cleaned regularly your ferret’s cage make become very odorous, and if not properly trained ferrets can fall into patterns of poor behavior.

When it comes to children handling ferrets, just like with any other pet, adult supervision is key. Children will not inherently know when it is okay to handle a ferret and when its not, nor will they know the best way to hold a ferret so he or she feels safe and comfortable. These are skills that you the parent must teach.

Children may also not be fully prepared for your ferret’s personality. Many ferrets move quickly, jump around, and play roughly. This can frighten very young children. Likewise, many ferrets do not like being around children as they can act in unexpected way and make loud noises.

So are the stories of ferrets attacking babies true? Its hard to say as most stories are hard to confirm. What we do know is that every year many children are seriously injured by dogs and cats – yet no one questions the safety of these animals as household pets. The message here is that when responsible parenting meets responsible pet ownership – most accidents can be avoided entirely.

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