Ferret Gender: Determining Whether Your Pet is a Boy or a Girl

Determining ferret gender is important especially if you want to breed them and if you have several ferrets at home. Newborn kits may be difficult to examine the gender as they are quite fragile to handle and that their sex organ is not yet fully visible. For this matter, we have to wait some period of time to examine their gender. For experts, doing this to newborn kits is easy as they are used to identify ferret’s gender in the nature of their work, but for beginners we need to learn it first properly.

Identifying ferret gender is not as difficult as you think it is. You just need to follow some safety measures so that you and your pet ferret will not be harmed. We know how ferrets tend to struggle when they are constrained and forced.  It is important to handle them first accordingly by resting them flat on their back with a towel or bedding. You can also carry them like a baby, facing against your body as long as their genitals can be easily examined in front of a mirror or you can let someone hold them for you in this manner. Once they are in the best position, you can start examining them and compare the details to the descriptions below. Remember to do this as quickly as possible because it could put some stress on your beloved pet.

ferret gender identification

Photo: limerickdogs |Flickr

Determining Ferret Gender

1. Male ferrets are bigger and heavier compared to female ferrets

Fully grown male ferrets are larger and bulkier compared to a female ferret of the same age. Males have more muscles in their body. They are wider and with a much rounder heads than the females. Females, on the other hand, are slender and with a prettier head. They have pointier nose and thinner bodies.

2. Male ferrets’ penis is located in the middle of their belly and their testicles are beneath their anus.

The penis of the male ferret is easy to spot because and the fur around it which is stained with some dark brown or yellow due to urine residue, licking activities, or just the normal fur coloration. Just looking below beneath their anus are the marble-sized testicles.

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As for the female, their vulva (genital opening) is also located beneath the anus. The appearance of the female organ is like a vertical slit-like opening. This opening changes in appearance when the female ferret is in heat. It would protrude and swell which means she is ready to mate. During non-heat periods, the skin of the vulva would appear flat.

3. It is important to know if the female ferret is in heat and for how long has it been in heat.

If your female ferret is in heat, you will be able to determine it easily by the looks of its genitals (protruding and swelling). When your female ferret is in this situation and has been observed to be in heat for some period of time already, then this means the ferret is staying in heat and must need to find a mate to relieve the condition and release her eggs.

This scenario is dangerous for a pet ferret because they can die from this situation due to estrogen toxicity. This happens when the ovarian follicles of your pet ferret release estrogen while being in heat. Too much of these hormones in your pet could be very toxic.

That is why pet ferrets will do best when they are always in pair. If you are not planning to breed a ferret, you can have their reproductive organs altered so that getting in heat could be reduced.  Ferrets suffering from estrogen toxicity may experience severe infections due to the loss of blood which is very fatal for your pet.

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