There isn’t much of a difference between a male and a female ferret. It all depends on what you’re looking for in a pet but they have the same maintenance needs. Males tend to be a bit bigger than females but as long as they’re both neutered you won’t notice a difference between the two.
Male ferrets are called “hobs” and female ferrets are named “jills”. But you should also keep in mind that a spayed female is called a “sprite” and a neutered male is known as a “hoblet”. And any ferret under 1 year is named a “kit”.
In this article, we’ll talk about both male and female ferrets and which one you should get as a pet.
Male vs Female Ferrets as Pets. Which Should You Get?
Regardless of whether you want a male or a female ferret, neutering is extremely important. In fact, most breeders won’t even sell you a kit that isn’t already neutered so you wouldn’t lose them and cause chaos in an area where ferrets should not be in. This is why most ferret breeders will take the neutering process upon themselves.
But besides creating havoc by introducing ferrets to a certain area, ferrets should also be neutered for some health reasons. Don’t confuse neutering with de-scenting them as they’re two separate procedures. It’s also recommended to only get a ferret if you have a vet that deals with exotic animals somewhere near you. Ferrets are quite fragile and you’ll need to get to a vet very fast if something happens.
Neutering a male ferret is very important in making sure they’re a lot less aggressive. You won’t have to deal with the nightmare of having a male ferret in heat either. They can be extremely disgusting as they stop grooming themselves and they become very oily and start stinking extremely bad. A male ferret in heat is something that comes out of a nightmare and it’s best to avoid it.
Once a male ferret is neutered, they also start stinking a lot less but they should also be de-scented as well. This is a procedure that gets rid of the glands that make their poop stink very bad as a way to mark their territory. You might notice them getting a bit agitated when the mating season comes but that’s about all you’ll have to deal with.
But when it comes to female neutering, this is also a matter of life and death. If female ferrets don’t mate when they’re in heat, there’s a very serious chance of them developing serious health problems and even die. This is why it’s extremely important to spay your jill or get a vasectomized hob to get her out of heat by inducing a fake pregnancy.
Any exotic vet should be able to provide a “jill jab” if you need one. This is an injection that helps bring the jill out of season safely.
As long as the ferrets are both neutered, you won’t notice any difference between them that has anything to do with the fact that they’re a male or female. The real behavioral differences happen when the ferrets are in heat.
If you can’t decide between a neutered jill (sprite) or hob (hoblet), all you need to keep in mind is that each ferret has its own personality. This means you should not get a female ferret hoping it will groom itself more or get a male ferret hoping it will be more laid back. Both can be equally clean, harmless, or create total havoc when you’re not looking.
While ferrets are typically similar in size, regardless if it’s a female or male, there are some ferret breeds that have much bigger males. Sometimes, the difference between a male and a female ferret is about one kg.
A ferret can weigh anywhere between as little as 1kg to 3.5kgs. The only way you might be able to tell how big your ferret will grow is by looking at the parents. But you should keep in mind that some ferrets end up being very different in size even if they’re from the same litter.
Ferrets are not typically aggressive as long as they’re neutered. The only ones that can be aggressive are the ferrets that have been abused or the ones that have never interacted with humans before. Their teeth can do some real damage so make sure you’re not scaring them and make them bite.
But when it comes to ferrets that have not been neutered, males can be a lot more aggressive than females. Hobs might end up fighting one another to death for a female and won’t even accept living in the same cage with one another. The bright side is that neutering can easily save this problem.
Are they OK with children? How about other pets?
Ferrets are not pets that should be left alone with small children or with other home pets, regardless if they’re males or females. You’ll need to teach them not to bite from a very young age and only let your kids play with them under strict supervision.
You should also keep in mind that ferrets see other pets as predators or as prey. They might get along with dogs and they could play around together. But you should keep them away from cats as ferrets kill cats, especially small kittens.
Should You Get Both a Male and a Female Ferret?
Ferrets should be kept in pairs or groups as they’re very social creatures and you won’t be able to give them all the attention that they need. They are also known to form much stronger bonds with other ferrets than with humans.
You can keep ferrets in pairs of two females, two males, or mixed groups without any problems as long as they’re all neutered. Breeding is highly discouraged as it’s a very violent and disgusting process and taking care of kits is not an easy job. More than that, kits don’t cost much so you can’t expect to make a profit.