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Home > Birds > What Is the Ideal Temperature for Ferrets? Facts & Care Tips

What Is the Ideal Temperature for Ferrets? Facts & Care Tips

close up ferret side view

Ferrets are quite sensitive to heat and cold, so you need to take care of your pet’s comfort when it comes to temperature. A ferret is a small predator that has a compact body with dense fur. Its fur functions as an insulating layer, keeping it warm in the winter but also preventing it from overheating on a hot summer day. However, since you are its owner and are responsible for its well-being, you must pay attention to the ideal temperature for your pet’s habitat which for ferrets is between 60°F and 80°F. There are a few simple things that you can do to ensure that your pet is kept at optimum conditions all year round while also reducing the risk of overheating or hypothermia.

In this guide, we discuss the importance of temperature for ferrets and how to ensure that they are comfortable and thriving in your home.

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Normal Ferret Temperature

Ferrets are prone to heat stress and cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. Therefore, the ideal temperature for a ferret is between 60°F and 80°F. Temperatures above 85°F can be deadly for these small mammals, as they are unable to sweat and dehydrate quickly due to their small size.

ferret inside its playpen
Image Credit: Couperfield, Shutterstock

Normal Temperature for Ferrets in Summer

If you live in a hot area and the outside temperatures rise above 80°F, it’s best to keep your ferret inside the house. However, even if its cage is well-ventilated, it can be difficult to keep it at the ideal temperature. To prevent the cage from getting too hot, you need to find a place with no direct sunlight and good air circulation. A basement, which usually has a constant cool temperature, is ideal in the summer.

If you absolutely have to take your ferret outside, avoid doing so when the sun’s rays are strongest. In addition to heatstroke, ferrets can also get sunburn.

Normal Temperature for Ferrets in Winter

Ferrets can also suffer from the cold: Generally, a temperature below 45°F is considered too cold for these small mammals. At this temperature, their body cannot properly regulate its internal temperature, which can lead to health problems. Ferrets are also susceptible to frostbite, so it’s important to protect them from the cold as much as possible. If you must take yours outside in cold weather, make sure it’s bundled up in a warm blanket.

In winter, you can also place a hot water bottle inside the cage to keep your ferret warm on the coldest nights. However, make sure it does not touch the ferret’s skin. If the cage is kept in a garage or other unheated outdoor building, ensure that it is in a warm place, away from drafts. In addition, when you regularly take your ferret out of its cage to play and stretch, make sure the environment is neither too cold nor too hot.

a curious ferret crawls through a hole
Image Credit: Best dog photo, Shutterstock

Why Can’t Ferrets Tolerate Heat?

Ferrets don’t sweat like humans, nor do they pant like dogs. Therefore, ferrets are sensitive to extreme heat, as they do not dissipate heat as efficiently as other mammals. They can also become dehydrated quickly when the temperature exceeds 90°F.

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How to Maintain the Ideal Temperature for Ferrets Year-Round

To ensure that your ferret is healthy and does not suffer during temperature swings, it is important to consider several factors.

1. Age

Baby ferrets are particularly sensitive to temperature changes, so you need to make sure their environment is kept at a constant, comfortable temperature. Older ferrets are less sensitive to temperature fluctuations, but you should still make sure they keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

ferret lies on the wooden floor
Image Credit: Ermolaeva Olga 84, Shutterstock

2. Housing

The type of construction of your ferret’s cage is also important when it comes to temperature. A sudden drop or spike in temperature can cause stress and discomfort. Ensure that the cage is well-ventilated during summer to prevent overheating and well-insulated during winter to keep your ferret warm.


3. Location of the cage

Finally, the location of your ferret’s cage is essential to keep your pet at the ideal temperature. Even if the cage is correctly ventilated and insulated, the ambient temperature of the room can fluctuate. Therefore, you need to always pay attention to the temperature in the room where the cage is placed.

ferret in hammock in cage
Image Credit: Barbos2514, Pixabay

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Fan vs. Air Conditioning

A fan is useful for circulating air in the room where you keep your ferret, as long as it’s not blowing directly into the cage. In addition, place it in an area where the ferret does not have access to it, to prevent your pet from slipping a fragile paw into the blades. However, a fan will not be enough to keep your small pet cool on extremely hot days when the humidity exceeds 70%.

Therefore, purchasing a small air conditioner may be necessary for heat waves. Although this unit is generally not that energy efficient, it will work well to keep your ferret cool and comfortable during extremely hot days. Remember that the ferret can’t tolerate temperatures above 85°F and can even die from overheating, so do not skimp on this important purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of heatstroke in ferrets?

Heatstroke in ferrets is a life-threatening emergency. If you see your ferret seizuring or breathing rapidly with its mouth open and with mucus around the mouth and nose, a bright red nose, dark-red foot pads, and a high rectal temperature (a ferret’s normal temperature is between 100°F and 104°F), you need to cool it as quickly as possible.

To do this, wrap its paws with towels soaked in cold water, and stand near a fan. Contact your veterinarian so they can examine your ferret and administer the appropriate treatment if necessary.

blazed ferret
Image Credit: Stephanie’screativeImages, Shutterstock

Where is the best place to keep a ferret?

Due to their fairly strong smell, ferrets often live outdoors, but they can also be kept indoors. Either way, make sure they have a cage that’s big enough to exercise and play in and that’s kept between 60°F and 80°F at all times.

How long do ferrets live?

Healthy ferrets can live up to 10 years in captivity.

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Conclusion

Ferrets are sensitive to temperature changes and require special care regarding their habitat. The ideal temperature range for these small mammals is between 60°F and 80°F and should never exceed 85°F. If you want to keep your ferret warm in the winter and cool in the summer, you need to pay attention to the cage construction, the bedding used, and the location of the cage. In addition, you should also ensure that the cage is well-ventilated in the summer and insulated from drafts in the winter.


Featured Image Credit: Steve Tsang, Unsplash

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