Albino Ferrets are the easiest to stand out anywhere you are. They have all-white fur, which is only possible because of albinism. This means that they are not capable of producing any pigments, which is a genetic trait.
Pure Albino Ferrets always have red eyes. This is because of the lack of pigmentation in the eyes and you can actually see the blood vessels. Many people love the unique look they have between the solid white fur, pink nose, and red eyes.
Because of this they are not rare and can be found fairly easily. In this article, will talk more about those beautiful ferrets and how to care for them.
What do Albino Ferrets Look Like?
All ferrets are distantly related to weasels, minks, otters, skunks, and even badgers. Now you can find 2 types of ferret species, the domestic one, and the wild ferret. There are also various crossbreeding with other related species.
Albino Ferrets have a mutation in the tyrosinase gene. This stops them from being able to produce pigments in their skin, fur, or eyes. In the wild, they are considered a liability and they rarely live long enough to pass down their gene. However, in captivity, they are actually quite popular.
In captivity, Albino Ferrets have no enemies which means they can live long and happy lives. And many breeders have everything they need to keep evolving the albino species. Because of their distinctive look they extremely popular all over the world.
Those ferrets have a color that ranges between white and creamy. You will also notice some Albino Ferrets with yellowish furs. This can happen because of various reasons. This includes getting dirty while playing, simply changing the color as they get older, or because of their natural oils.
They also have pink noses without any colored outlines. When it comes to their eyes they are usually a bloody-red color, which makes them look a bit sinister to many people. But they can also have a more pinkish color. If you see a white ferret with black eyes, they are not the same thing as Albino Ferrets.
Besides their lack of pigmentation Albino Ferrets look pretty much like any other type of domestic ferret.
How long do albino ferrets live?
In the wilderness, ferrets have many natural predators. This means if they are not capable of hiding themselves they are at a very high risk of being hunted down. This why only the ferrets that can blend in with the forest are capable of living longer.
On the other hand, Albino Ferrets are highly visible from longer distances almost anywhere they are. More than that, all ferrets are known to not have the best eyes and they rely heavily on their other senses. This is why the Albino Ferret might not be able to see the danger in time.
Many Albino Ferrets don’t even live long enough to pass down their Albino gene, which is why they are much rarer than in captivity where they are bred on purpose. Today, they are some of the most popular ferrets in the world.
In captivity, they are capable of living as long as any other ferret, which is between 7 to 9 years. Since Albino Ferrets also come with their own fair share of health problems, their life span depends on how healthy they are.
The way you take care of them will also play an important role in how long they are going to live. Just a simple bath can cause a lot more harm than to other ferrets. This is because they are prone to many health issues and their skin can get easily irritated.
If you don’t like a yellowish ferret then getting an Albino Ferrets one might not be the best idea. The yellow coat can often be caused by the natural oils that keep accumulating on the coat. Those oils are extremely important as they help moisturize and nourish both the skin and the coat. This way you should be very careful about bathing your Albino Ferret.
Albino Ferrets Health Issues
Albino Ferrets are known to be a lot more prone to health issues than any other type of ferret. However, it is completely possible to get a 100% healthy Albino Ferret that doesn’t have any of the known health issues related to albinism.
It’s very important to not even attempt to get an Albino Ferret if you don’t think you will have the money for all the necessary vet visits and treatments. You will have to take your ferret to an exotic veterinarian for regular check-ups, skin tests, eye tests, ear tests, etc.
It’s always highly recommended to keep your ferrets in an outside area if you have the possibility. This gives them all the space they need to exercise without becoming destructive. A ferret that lives an active life is also less prone to nipping.
However, when it comes to Albino Ferrets you need to keep in mind that they lack protective skin pigments. This means that they are extremely sensitive to the sun and they should only play in shade. If they spend too much time in the sun they can easily get a sunburn and might even develop skin cancer.
While cancer is a concern for any ferret regardless of their coat, Albino Ferrets are in a lot more danger. If you can’t equip your Albino Ferret’s outdoor play area with shade, then it’s best to always keep them inside away from the window.
Are albino ferrets deaf?
Sadly, Albino Ferrets are also known to inherit a much higher risk of deafness. This can be either congenital or late-onset, meaning they can be born with it or they can develop it as they get older. They can develop deafness because of the absence of pigment in the inner ear canal.
The pigment is extremely important when it comes to the fine hairs of the inner ear canal. This is because the lack of pigmentation can restrict the blood flow to the needed cells. And sadly they easily start dying over time, which causes the inner ear mechanism to form in an abnormal way. Other ferrets will have the inner ear canal larger.
You might end up with an Albino Ferret that could be deaf in one or both ears. Sometimes they might get born hard of hearing and they get deaf when they get older. It’s very important to get your Albino Ferret only from a professional ferret breeder as the health issues are completely unpredictable.
However, there are various studies that show that as many as 10% of those beautiful ferrets may be deaf in both ears. It’s believed to be because of the mutation in the TYR gene. This also means that while 90% of Albino Ferrets may not be deaf, the possibilities are still incredibly high.
Are albino ferrets blind?
While ferrets are known to not have the sharpest vision, the ones with the albinism gene can be more prone to eye issues than other ferrets. Some Albinos might be born with these health issues and can immediately tell at the breeder. However, they might also develop visual impairment as they get older.
Another eye problem you should be aware of between Albino Ferrets is that they can be born cross-eyed. This will cause them to have trouble with visual proceedings. In this case, you will notice that they will depend more on their other senses to navigate and feed.
In the last years, researchers have also identified a genetic defect that can interfere with the normal binocular vision of an Albino Ferret. This leads to creating a narrow range of visual perception.
You should also keep in mind that the lack of pigment in the eye contributes a lot to light sensitivity. This means they will be uncomfortable around bright lights both outdoors and indoors. You should make an effort and keep the lights a comfy dimness for your Albino Ferret.
Grooming Ferret Coats – Brushing and Bathing
Ferrets are known for a lot of things but patience not one of them. Brushing your ferret can be considered a competitive sport. They sleep a lot, and the time they spend awake they prefer to use it for playing and other activities.
Regular brushing is important to maintain the coat in a good condition. You might not need to brush them more than once a week. If they are shedding, you should brush them up to 2 or 3 times a week. This is very important in minimizing the amount of hair they ingest while self-cleaning.
Ferrets are often compared to cats because of how clean they are. This also means you can expect to have to deal with hairballs. You can get a hairball preventative from your vet and offer it to your ferret regularly, especially during the shading season.
Hairball preventatives can be found in malt-flavored gel in a tube. You won’t have any trouble feeding this to your ferret as they always see it as a treat. The brushing process should be done with a short-bristled brush that is designed for cats or kittens.
You will have to get used to very short brushing sessions and give them as many brakes as they need until you finish brushing their whole coat.
When it comes to bathing your ferret you should always keep in mind that it should be done only in extreme cases. If you don’t like how your ferret smells giving them a bath will actually worsen the smell. This is because the smell is caused by the skin oils his body and fur needs to remain healthy.
If you give them a bath, their body thinks they need to produce more oils and your ferret will end up stinking a lot worse in the next few days after the bath. But when it does come the time for a proper bath, make it look like playtime. This includes having lots of waterproof toys.
There are many shampoos made specifically for ferrets but if you need a substitute you can use a kitten shampoo. You can bathe your ferret in the bathtub or the sink, depending on where you and your ferret feel more comfortable. And remember to use a rubber mat to provide secure footing.
Wet the entire coat and gently massage the shampoo in avoiding the eyes and the ears. If you accidentally get shampoo in their face rinse with lots of clean water and go to the vet if it causes any irritations. You might need to refill the sink with clean water a few times to ensure all the shampoo is out.
And for drying, you can simply lay some towels in the bathtub and let the ferret burrow and dry itself.
Albino Ferrets have no special dietary needs. You can feed them exactly what you feed your other ferrets unless your vet recommends something else because of their health. It’s always important to talk with your vet every time you want to change your ferret’s food, especially if they have any health problems.
You can feed Albino Ferrets small chunks of chicken, beef, turkey, raw bones they can chew, etc. This will help maintain a healthy life and perfect teeth. Avoid giving them any foods that contain sweeteners as that can harm their teeth very badly over time.
Albino Ferrets, like any other ferret, are not capable of digesting fruits and vegetables, which will cause a lot of health issues and intestinal blockages. And the same goes for fish, despite the fact that it’s also meat. More than that, feeding your ferret fish will make them stink a lot worse.
Finding an Albino Ferret – Breeders and Prices
As mentioned before, Albino Ferrets are widely popular in the ferret pet trade. The key to bringing home a healthy Albino Ferret is to choose to work with a good breeder. If the breeder avoids showing you where the ferrets live and don’t have any health information on the parents you should avoid them.
Surprisingly, these beautiful creatures are also some of the cheapest ferrets on the market. You can find one for as little as $50 and it rarely surpasses the price tag of $150. It all depends on how healthy the Albino Ferret is and what breeder you chose to work with.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are Albino ferrets rare?
Albino Ferrets are only rare in the wilderness. In captivity, Albino Ferrets are very popular and can be found very easily.
How much is an albino ferret worth?
Albino Ferrets are the cheapest ferrets on the market at a price that ranges from $50 to $150.