Where to buy a ferret?


I am interested in getting a ferret as a pet. I have had several in the past and am very familiar with them. I want one that is spayed and de-scented and that I know has been treated well. I live in Kaoshiung but am willing to travel where ever in Taiwan. I have no idea where to start here and really do not want to go to a pet store that mass imports animals and does not take care of them. If anyone has an advise or suggestions it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

No need to buy, dear. There are plenty at the shelters, lots of “exotic” animals there. Can I interest you in an iguana?

And I can assure you, it has been better treated and given more love, attention and medical assistance athan any of the unfortunate pet shop animals.

You can find a ferret in the new pet store next to my apartment on MingHua Road! But, the owners are real “charming” jerks who don’t know how to care for animals. You can also find ferrets being sold at the Liouhe night market, along with the ducks, raccoons, and goats, all of them locked up in their tiny and disgusting cages.

But PLEASE don’t buy ferrets in Taiwan. If you’re a foreigner, especially an American, just wait until you go back home to get another ferret. Aside from the fact that they are heinously expensive to buy here, they are also badly cared for. The pet stores you buy them from hardly deserve your business.

I have two ferrets of my own, both of which I brought from home in the states. I’ve gone through their quarantine process and seen other ferrets go through theirs as well. I can tell you that there is no such thing as a ferret in this country that wasn’t either mass imported or legally imported. Also, all the ferrets that you find in Taiwan are imported by a ferret mill, Marshall Farms, a US company known for distributing ferrets to laboratories, and sometimes known for selling ferrets with poor or questionable health.

If a ferret was sold and imported legally, I’d say it’s likely to have been neutered and de-scented. But I’ve heard rumors from people in the exotic animal import business that ferrets distributed to pet stores further towards the south, especially in Kaohsiung, are often not neutered. They are also much cheaper. And I’d bet they weren’t legally imported.

Also, ferrets aren’t at all well cared for once they get here. Despite their claims, Taiwanese importers and pet stores don’t know anyyyyything about ferrets. You will find in many or most pet stores some sad looking, discolored, under-socialized, and emaciated ferrets. Too often you also find under-aged ferrets.

There is a pet store in Taoyuan that sells ferrets. One time I visited, there was a lost ferret that got picked up in the park and was left under the pet store’s care. The ferret was already in really pathetic shape at that point, having yellowed fur, a chipped tooth, and a thinning tail. After a week of “searching for its owner,” the manager DUG out the ferret’s microchip, and tried to sell it for NT$18,000. After a lot of arguing with him about the moral issue of reselling a lost animal, he “generously” lowered the price to NT$16,000.

I’ve been wanting to get another ferret for a long time, and it is always oh-so-tempting when I see one. But like I said, stores that sell ferrets don’t know jack about their animals and cheat you for a tremendous amount of money. They are just plain immoral, so don’t bother with them. You’re better off adopting or fostering a needy animal from BARK.

I saw a ferret for sale in a pet shop on Wenlin Road, Shilin. It was situated close to the night market entrance. It was de-everythinged I think.

Why would you want the ferret descented?


All ferrets have a number of small scent glands all over their body. These do not produce powerful or offensive odours. At most they have a slightly musky smell. This is even less noticeable in neutered ferrets. However, ferrets do have larger scent-producing anal glands and these can produce a very unpleasant smell if the ferret is very frightened or is attacked. In America ferrets are routinely de-scented by removing the anal glands but this is not an operation British vets are willing to perform. De-scenting is a difficult operation and is rightly regarded as undesirable since it removes the only way in which a stray or working ferret can deter an attack from predators. Since it is only a very occasional occurrence for a ferret to be alarmed enough to make a bad smell (which quickly passes anyway), most ferret owners agree that de-scenting is unnecessary.[/quote]

[quote]There’s debate about whether descenting ferrets is necessary or
useful, and some belief that it’s harmful. It’s bad for a ferret’s
health to descent it before 6 or 7 weeks of age, and it may be
somewhat harmful when done at any age. Many people feel that the
procedure accomplishes no purpose; that is, that neutered ferrets who
aren’t spraying smell the same whether or not they’ve been descented.
Note that, like a skunk, a ferret will use its scent if it’s greatly
distressed or feeling amorous, but ferrets can’t spray their scent as
effectively as a skunk, it doesn’t smell as bad, and it dissipates in
just a few seconds. How often a ferret sprays and how bad it smells
depend on the individual ferret, and different people have different
tolerances for the scent, so if given the option you may want to wait
and see if you think descenting is necessary in your particular case.[/quote]

In the UK, descenting is regarded as mutilation. I had ferrets in the UK, and they weren’t descented, and I can’t understand why anyone would want that?

Question: Why would you keep an animal the smell of which you find offensive?

I don’t know. Ask my wife!

It’s a rhetorical Q. You can’t de-scent babies.

I used to keep ferrets for poaching rabbits as a kid (well an 11 year old kid). Never thought of keeping them as pets and they were never de anything. Now everything seems to be castrated or de-sented or de something. Demented perhaps!

Ah I’m getting old ! How the world is changing I just can’t keep up anymore :2cents:

well i got one here, almost 2 years ago, from an importer called wild life Asia, he even told me that if i ever leave the country he can help me get the ferret to wherever i want to go… the ferret was already de-everything… i dont really socialize him with other ferrets too much, since i only know 1 person that has one and for us to meet is very hard due to schedules… but i do socialize him with my dog…

They should just advertise as “buy one get one free, all d’s and c’s completed”

This cute white one is all that you could ever dream for, no balls, no smell, no teeth, no attitude. He will however lick ice cream, never bit you anyone or anything, and make all your friends go awwww when they come around. We can even de-voice him if required as we often do that with those annoying beagles, but he only makes cute little noises so no need, but if you do need him de-vocalised don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Anyway, in my experience of keeping ferrets (same reason as fenlander), just treat 'em gentle-like and they don’t stink. I actually never really minded their smell, but there again, the idea of keeping one in the house would never have occurred to me! I mean, I LIKE my mother! :loco:
Personable wee bastards, though, sometimes. I like ferrets.

Hello everyone,

Thanks for the great replies. Ink I will have to message you. I would like to know more about importing a ferret and the quarantine process. The problem is that my family lives in Ca where ferrets are illegal so it would be hard to one get the ferret and then I don’t know if I could fly it out from California. But I would like to know the cost of bringing one over as I agree with you about the conditions of ferrets here.

As for de-scenting I always thought it was necessary but see that I need to do some more research. Thanks for the information. oh and ferrets are GREAT pets they play and cuddle and are just great. And you get used to the smell.

[quote=“sandman”]Anyway, in my experience of keeping ferrets (same reason as fenlander), just treat 'em gentle-like and they don’t stink. I actually never really minded their smell, but there again, the idea of keeping one in the house would never have occurred to me! I mean, I like my mother! :loco:
Personable wee bastards, though, sometimes. I like ferrets.[/quote]

Yah I agree with you but then I am turning very cynical now I turned over 40 ha! I’m becoming a mumbling old man already!

Yes I hope Taiwanese realize that ferrets can bite hard but that’s part of the challenge of having a ferret ie treat them gentle and you don’t get bitten. Trouble is by neutralizing everything an animal has to fight back with, creates dis-respect on part of the owner (not all obviously). We can treat him just how we want now cause he cant cry out or bite.

I used to have a polecat in England, and they can really bite hard! I was very very careful the way I handled him. I had respect for that animal through fear knowing that if I handled him in the wrong with or got complacent I would know about it. We kept ferrets in the workshop and the smell wasn’t bad (well hmm maybe a little)!

When i say i kept a polecat bare in mind this is 31 years ago so if it is illegal to keep them now then I wouldn’t do that but it wasn’t then! A long time ago “video killed the radio star was number one” !!!

A teacher at another branch of our school is leaving the island and is looking for a home for her ferret. :fume:

anyways…my fuming aside…does anyone want a ferret? will find out more details…I don’t think it’s older than a couple of years.Female.

Yes, I know someone who wants a ferret! And she’s dead set against buying one. Please email me at Natasha@BARK-Taiwan.org


Hi there. My ferret is 6 months old, white with a sprinkle of dark silver over her back, has black eyes, has been spayed and has enough character to fill a household. She urgently needs a home as I am returning to South Africa very soon, and we all know that they still don’t qualify as 4-legged snakes, exotic rats, or anything else that would allow them to be imported to South Africa. If you would like to see a photo of her, I will gladly email one to you. She doesn’t bite, just don’t go dangling ‘“vintage”-after-rugby-game-socks’ in front of her unless you really want her to go jungle on your “vintage” feet. She stashes socks (the smellier and fluffier the better) for snacks, and trust me - snack and digest she will! She loves travelling in her carry-bag, and enjoys eating cereal and ice cream with you. I have had to run to save pineapple cakes (snatched and stashed whole), cheese, the cat’s chicken jerky (taken from right under his nose while she looks into his eyes!), shaved ice, cheese crackers; the list goes on and on. Oh yeah - unguarded McDonalds burger patties are easy prey and quickly and mercilessly disposed of, and then hopefully followed by some unguarded or unsuspecting cola. (Last 2 are really unhealthy for her, hence all the running mentioned.) She is very inquisitive and playful, and not temperamental OR mental at all.
I love her incredibly much and would love nothing more than to take her with me, but I can’t. :cry: If you know that you can give her all the love and attention she needs and hopefully more, please contact me at katsenekal@hotmail.com . Then we can arrange a time for you to meet her. Her name is Crystal. If the meeting goes well, we can take it from there.
PS: She grew up with a dachshund, so wrestling dogs is her hobby.

Aww you must love her. Its incredibly sad to have to give up a much loved pet. But as you said, as long as it goes to the right person who will cherish her as much as you do.

Sounds like quite a pet.

p.s. I couldnt give up a pet, Id not return to S.A. before I had to do that. But I do hope you find the perfect new owner.

Post some pics here. And let us know any happy news.

Thank you. It sounds like you really understand.
A good home for her is all I want, yes.