How Long Do Ferrets Live?

How Long Do Ferrets Live?

Ferrets have an average lifespan between five and 10 years, with seven being advanced old age and 10 being unusually long-lived. Some ferrets may live 12 years. This information is based upon the lifespans of captive ferrets; ferrets are domestic animals, and they cannot survive for long in the wild.

Ferrets age rapidly, becoming sexually mature before they are a year old and showing signs of chronic illness related to aging as early as 3 1/2 years old. Adrenal disease affects up to a quarter of all ferrets older than four, leading to lifespan-shortening illness if left untreated. Other factors that can shorten a ferret's life include improper diet, neutering too early or not neutering at all, and lack of vaccinations to protect against common infectious diseases such as flu.