Contrary to popular belief, there is only one breed of domestic ferret. Although these adorable and mischievous animals are part of the weasel family, they all belong to the same species, Mustela furo, which comes in a variety of distinct colors. The different colors and patterns of domestic ferrets are defined by the American Ferret Association (AFA)1. The AFA identifies eight different colors, ranging from albino and sable to chocolate and cinnamon, which are considered breed standards for ferrets.
One of the prettiest ferret colors is champagne, which is a dilute version of the chocolate color. These beautiful ferrets have a light tan coat with hairs that have tips of chocolate brown fur.
That said, champagne ferrets have more to offer than just their gorgeous appearance!
|Weight:||Up to 4 lbs.|
|Similar Breeds||Polecats, stoats, and ermines (all part of the weasel family)|
|Suitable for:||Single and family with children older than 5 years old|
|Temperament:||Curious, friendly, playful, mischievous|
Champagne ferrets are incredibly good-looking. Their creamy fur accented by deep burgundy eyes and cute pink noses sets them apart in the ferret world. But it’s not just their looks that win hearts. Indeed, champagne ferrets share the same playful, spirited, and loving nature as other varieties, which makes them highly sought after.
Champagne Ferret Characteristics
How Much Do These Ferrets Cost?
Champagne ferrets are not as common as some other color variations, such as chocolate or sable. Their unique coat color makes them a bit of a novelty among ferret enthusiasts, and as a result, they can be expensive, with an average price ranging from $100 to $300, depending on the breeder and your location.
You can also adopt a ferret from a shelter, which may lower the initial cost. However, if you choose to rescue one from a shelter, it is imperative to first quarantine them from your other pets at home. Animals from rescue facilities can carry parasites or other illnesses that could be transmitted to other ferrets, cats, or dogs.
It’s also recommended to acquire as much information as possible about the ferret’s history, such as why they were given up to the shelter, to make the transition to your home as easy as possible.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Champagne Ferret
Champagne ferrets generally exhibit similar temperaments and intelligence levels as other ferret colorations. They have a mischievous streak and enjoy exploring their surroundings, which can sometimes get them into trouble! These smart critters can also be trained to do simple tricks, like sitting on command and even using a litter box.
Do These Ferrets Make Good Pets?👪
Champagne ferrets can make terrific pets for individuals or families willing to provide them with proper care, attention, socialization, and mental stimulation. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns potential owners that ferrets can sometimes carry germs and diseases that can be transmitted to humans. These animals are also not recommended in homes with children under 5 years old due to the risk of bite injuries.
Does This Ferret Get Along With Other Pets?
Yes, champagne ferrets (like any other variety) typically get along well with other pets if introduced and socialized properly. That said, their playful and sometimes rambunctious behavior might not always be appreciated by all other animals. For example, ferrets can sometimes be too intense for cats, as they have higher energy levels. Therefore, a cat may try to bite or snap at a ferret if they become too pushy. This is why you need to monitor their interactions, at least initially, to make sure all your pets are safe.
Things to Know When Owning a Champagne Ferret
Food & Diet Requirements 🥩
Like all other varieties, champagne ferrets are strict carnivores, so they need food high in protein and low in carbohydrates, which can easily be found in pellets formulated specifically for ferrets. In addition, given their high metabolism, ferrets need to eat around eight to 10 mini-meals per day.
Habitat & Enclosure Requirements 🏠
Champagne ferrets need a secure enclosure with plenty of toys and hiding places. You should also ferret-proof your home to avoid accidents and ensure that your clever pet can’t escape easily!
Exercise & Sleeping Needs 🛌
Ferrets are energetic little creatures. They love to curl up and sleep in a dark, warm place for a nap, but the rest of the time, they need to stretch their legs, run, play, and jump in safe places. Unless you want your ferret to become overweight and depressed, don’t leave them alone in their cage all day.
Training a ferret is different from teaching a dog to sit and give paw. Even so, they can be taught simple tricks, like using a litter box. It is particularly important to socialize your ferret well, as they tend to be nippy around new people and animals.
Regular grooming with the occasional bath (every week or so) is necessary to keep that silky fur smelling good. It’s also important to trim your ferret’s sharp claws regularly, which your vet can teach you how to do safely. Be aware that ferrets should never be declawed.
Lifespan and Health Conditions 🏥
According to the AFA, adrenal disease is one of the most common diseases seen in pet ferrets. The disease is most often caused by a tumor in one or both adrenal glands and is usually seen in ferrets over the age of 3.
Ferrets are also susceptible to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which is why they need to eat several small meals per day. They are also prone to heatstroke and can carry parasites that can be transmitted to humans.
Most ferrets sold in pet stores in the U.S. generally come from two large breeding facilities and therefore, are extremely inbred. Unfortunately, inbreeding increases the risk of developing certain diseases, including tumors.
Male vs. Female
Male or female champagne ferrets differ mainly in their size, with males being significantly larger than females. Also, unneutered males give off a strong musky odor and tend to be more aggressive.
3 Little-Known Facts About Champagne Ferrets
1. Ferrets May Not Be Legal in Your Area
There is one important thing that you need to know before adopting or purchasing a ferret in the United States, regardless of color: Ferrets are banned in certain states, such as California and Hawaii. Therefore, it’s extremely important to check with your local laws before moving forward with your adoption process.
2. Ferret Means “Little Thief”
The term “ferret” is derived from the Latin word, “furittus,” which means “little thief.” This is likely due to the ferret’s habit of hoarding small objects.
3. Ferrets Have Been Around for Thousands of Years
Ferrets have been domesticated for approximately 2,500 years and have been historically used for hunting rabbits and rodents. Due to their lean bodies and curious nature, ferrets are natural hunters, and their ability to get down holes makes them great at chasing rodents and rabbits out of burrows.
Champagne ferrets are not much different from their darker counterparts. They can be more difficult to find due to their relative rarity, but ultimately, ferrets of all colors can make wonderful pets, as long as you provide them with all the love, attention, and care that they need to thrive.