If you think dogs are the most playful animals, then you should seriously consider getting a ferret. While the thought of owning one excites many people, they don’t want another large pet in the home. So, how big do ferrets get?
However big ferrets are, you should understand that they’re not those animals that you can lock in a small enclosure. They’re very playful, and they will need somewhere to exercise their full mobility.
In this article, I will explain how big your ferret can potentially get and how long it will take a ferret to grow to its biggest size.
How Big Do Ferrets Get?
Ferrets are sexually dimorphic creatures; the males become significantly larger than females at maturity.
Also, there will be a size difference between neutered ferrets and unneutered ones. When ferrets reach adulthood, they will stop increasing in size.
A fully mature male ferret (Hob) can get to 6 pounds in weight, although this can be influenced by neutering. Neutered males generally grow bigger, weighing between 4 to 6 pounds, while unneutered males only weigh around 2 to 4 pounds.
Female ferrets (Jills) are usually smaller than males at maturity. A female ferret weighs between 1 and 2.5 pounds, and we assumed that you’ve neutered your female ferret already.
You shouldn’t keep unneutered female ferrets as they could die if go into heat without breeding.
How Long Do Ferrets Get?
Judging from the information from the previous section, you can easily tell that male ferrets will also grow longer than female ferrets; and that’s the truth.
Without measuring the tail, male ferrets (Hobs) grow up to 15 inches on average. Their tails grow to around half their body length, bringing the average total length of a ferret (with the tail) to around 22 inches.
However, Jills grow much shorter, averaging 13.5 inches total body length, tail included. If you did some quick math, you’ll notice that their tails can be anywhere from 3 to 8 inches long, depending on the length of their body, of course.
How Fast Do Ferrets Grow?
While most people will only be interested in their potential size, knowing how quick it takes to get to that size is also important.
At birth, ferrets weigh only 8 to 12 grams and are only 2 to 2.5 inches long. This time, there won’t be any notable differences between male and female ferrets either in height, weight, or length.
One week later, their weight will triple to around 30 grams. Their length won’t triple, however, as they will maintain an average length of 2.5 to 3.5 inches. There won’t be any significant differences between a Hob and a Jill at this point too.
By two weeks of age, ferrets will double their one-week size, averaging 60 to 70 grams in weight. They also start to grow significantly longer, with some reaching lengths of 5 inches. However, the average will be around 4 inches.
When ferrets clock three weeks, you start to notice a significant change in the size and length of female ferrets compared to the male ones.
By week 3, a Jill only measures 75 to 95 grams, while a Hob will measure 100g on average. Their lengths remain similar, but male ferrets will be slightly longer than females. In the third week, males can grow up to 8 inches while a female’s maximum height stays at 7.
When ferrets clock the fourth week, Jills will start to record some wins over Hobs. The average length of Jills at this age is 8 to 12 inches, while Hobs only grow to 10 inches. Hobs will be heavier, however, recording up to 200g, as opposed to Jills’ 150g.
Over the 5th and 6th weeks, male ferrets continue to record weight gains, with Hobs weighing around 230-250g while Jills only manage 180-200g. Jills continue to lead in length with averages of 12-12.5″, as opposed to Hobs 10-12″.
Around 6 to 8 weeks of age, Hobs will record average weights of 400-500g, while Jill’s record around 300-500g. Hobs start to take the lead in the length category; as they grow up to 14 inches, as opposed to Jills’ 13”.
By the time a ferret gets to full sexual maturity at four months of age, males will weigh as much as 2000g, while females can weigh as much as 900. We’ve already discussed the potential lengths of ferrets of this age group in the previous section.
Note that the lengths mentioned in this section are lengths of ferrets measured without their tails.
How Old Do Ferrets Get?
While ferrets stop growing at only four months, they can live for as long as seven years. A ferret will likely only live for six years, so you might want to treat seven years as an unlikely outlier.
However, ferrets can start breeding from 4 months of age. If you don’t want your ferrets to reproduce, you should spay them before this age to prevent problems.
Females that don’t breed during heat might die, while males tend to go violent.
When Do Ferrets Stop Growing?
Ferrets grow pretty quickly, and they reach adulthood only four months after birth. When they reach adulthood, they don’t only become sexually mature, but they also stop growing.
Females might reach their maximum size earlier than males, but the difference won’t be more than a couple of days.
However, the total lifespan of a ferret can be as long as eight years, although six years is closer to the average. Consider yourself lucky if you still have your ferret around after six years.
Ferrets are interesting animals, both in nature and in their natural growth pattern. If you have a ferret, you should expect it to reach full maturity in four months.
Also, male ferrets can grow to become 2000g, while females will usually max out around 900g.
If you neuter your ferrets early enough, you should enjoy their playful nature and quick growth; without going through problems.