Are Ferrets Hypoallergenic? My Experience Owning Ferrets

Updated on August 14, 2019
AlisonRuth profile image

I searched far and wide for a hypoallergenic pet, and a ferret is pretty close to being ideal so long as I take some extra cleaning steps.

Rascal going for a ride.
Rascal going for a ride.

My Mission for a Hypoallergenic Pet

When I got married thirteen years ago, I married a man that is allergic to dust, every tree on the planet, and anything with fur.

I decided to go on a mission to see if I could find an animal that would be good for apartment living. I love animals, and so does he. We both wanted to find a small animal that he would do well with. I came up with a ferret.

Prior to meeting my husband, I dated someone who had ferrets. They are not as good as a dog, but they were fun and cute to watch run around. When they tired out, they would climb on your lap and fall asleep. So this is why I came up with learning more about ferrets.

What I found was encouraging. Ferrets don't have fur—they have hair like us. The information stated they are hypoallergenic. Yeah! We could have a fuzzy or two. I took this information to my husband. He thought it was worth a shot.

Our First Two Ferrets

Great success! My husband had no problems with them.

So off we went to the pet store and got the cage, bedding, feeding dishes, litter pan, litter, and food. We went home to set it all up before getting the fuzz balls to bring home. Then we went back to the pet store and got our two little ferrets.

There are a variety of colors and markings for ferrets. There are panda-marked ferrets, sables with very dark brown fur, chocolate . . . well you get the idea. We ended up with a panda and a sable. My husband did fine with these ferrets for about five years.

Of course, I was the only one to clean the cage and bathe them so the ferrets wouldn't be too much in his face. He also was always sure to wash his hands after handling them. I cleaned the cage weekly top to bottom and also cleaned the litter each day.

When these little guys passed onto greener pastures, we didn't get another ferret for a few years.

Our Third and Fourth Ferrets

Mixed reviews—my husband had problems with one but not the other.

When we had our son we wanted him to have a pet. So when he was about three we got him a gray and white ferret. Well, it was awful for my husband and he landed in the hospital that night with an asthma attack.

Needless to say, the next day the ferret went back to the store and Petco was fantastic about taking him back and giving us a full refund. They felt awful about my husband's trip to the ER.

I think there is a difference between the color of the ferret's hair. The ferret with the lighter hair was softer. The darker ferret's hair was coarse. I have a feeling the softer hair is what did my husband in. But who really knows for sure?

About five years ago we decided to try the ferret thing again. This time we got a sable ferret—little Rascal. My husband does have some sensitivity to Rascal but it is manageable.

Cleaning Tips

Here's what I do to keep my husband ok with her. With this, we can all enjoy having a pet in the home.

  • I clean the cage with bleach twice a week. It sounds like a lot, but it only takes about twenty minutes to do. I also change the bedding at this time.
  • I don't use bleach on her food and water dishes, just soap and water for those.
  • Once a month, I break the cage down and wash it with soap and water to get all the fur and dust off it. This again sounds like a bit, but it only takes about thirty minutes.

The ferret cages on the market are easy to break down and clean. You can get them used, or of course in the pet stores. Also, you can construct your own. I have friends that just did a wood frame with chicken wire.

I like the store cages because they are easier to clean where they are plastic, and the ferrets are less likely to get cut on them. They climb the cages, and the chicken wire is thin, which cuts the pads on the ferret's feet.

My husband doesn't handle her a lot. When he does, he makes a point not to touch his face. Once done with handling Rascal, he washes his hands. By taking these steps, he does do fine with her, and it is nice for our son to have a pet to care for.

So Are Ferrets Hypoallergenic?

Again my husband does well with the darker ferrets. I do have friends with allergies, and they have no problem with their ferrets as long as they keep the cage clean and wash up after handling them. I guess with lots of things in life it depends on the individual.

Tips for Saving Money Owning a Ferret

Here are some cost-saving tips if you decide a ferret might fit with your lifestyle.

  • Ferrets can eat a high-grade kitten or cat food. It is cheaper then ferret food and healthy for them. I get Newman's own cat food.
  • They do sell bedding for ferrets. We did get a couple of the ferret hammocks. Ferrets like to sleep up high. When one is in the wash, we have a backup.
  • For her bedding, we just use old sheets, blankets, sweatshirts, and t-shirts. If there are buttons, I cut those off so Rascal doesn't chew and swallow them.
  • We did purchase a litter pan. You do want a ferret litter pan. Ferrets do their business in corners. They have litter pans with three high sides and one low. The low so they can get in easily and the high so the business doesn't spill out.
  • As for the litter, again they make ferret litter, but it's expensive. I get the $1.99 kitty litter and Rascal does just fine with it.
  • The feed and water dishes need to be attached to the cage, or the ferret will just knock them over. They are not really big money.

I hope these tips help. Enjoy your ferrets! They are crazy fun little pets to have around.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2013 Alison


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      18 months ago

      I’d be careful using bleach, ferrets are sensitive and can develop respiratory issues. God forbid there was enough residue to cause a fatal accident. Warm water with vinegar and little lemon juice works just fine. Best food source for ferrets is a raw diet, if dry kibble is all that’s available it needs to be high in protein/fat. Puppy pads in the corners of the room for when they’re free roaming, you can cut them to size to fit in the corners of the cage or yesterday’s news pellets work well too.

    • naturalbirdslove profile image

      Isaac Ince 

      23 months ago from USA

      I thing the main reason is that their protein presents in the ferret's saliva. Feed your ferret rich protein based brand ferret food is a complete ferret food of Hypoallergenic diet. Cleaning floors and furniture, 75% reduce the allergies. website. guidance and information aware you.

    • profile image


      4 years ago


      Ferrets breathe in the dust and if gets into their lungs, it'll clump up and slowly kill them. And make it hard form them to breathe.

    • AlisonRuth profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      I do use clay litter which I have for the past 13 years & we lost our first ferret @ the old age of ten. Our current ferret is 5 years & no problems. I have also never had an issue with their order. I do keep cage super clean. Thanks for your point well taken & for others reading they'll have that in mind. Thanks for reading

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'd be careful about using kitty litter a lot of kitty litter is made of clay and produces dust which can be very bad for the ferrets respiratory system unless your using pelleted cat litter which is recycled paper that doesn't produce dust just be careful I have five ferrets and was using clay litter until I read risks about it and switched to pelleted litter they seem a lot healthier and happier now and it really hides there odor well.

    • AlisonRuth profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      True I use Paul Newman's own cat food and have never had a problem. You do need to use a higher grade cat food which is still a bit less money then the ferret foods on the market. Thanks for your point well taken. Happy Thanksgiving and Christmas ..

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      be careful sometimes kat food is too high in sugar for ferrets, also the fish in some can make ferrets produce more odor


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)