Pet Care Advice:

Ferret Neutering

Reasons to Neuter Your Ferret:

Female ferrets that have not been neutered are known as 'Jills,' males are known as 'Hobs.' Ferrets may be neutered for a variety of reasons depending upon personal circumstances:

  • To decrease their strong smell
  • To prevent unwanted or accidental pregnancy
  • For health reasons:
    • Jills will not come out of season unless they are mated with a male ferret.
    • If not mated, she will eventually die from problems with her blood cells and immune system due to her fluctuating hormones.
    • It is VERY important that this is addressed as soon as possible.


Prevention is Better Than Cure

Prevention is far better than any cure and there are a number of ways to achieve this:

  • Mate Jills whenever they are in season with a male which has not been neutered.
    • This will result in many baby ferrets which can be difficult to find homes for.

  • Mate Jills with a vasectomised male (a 'hobble') to bring them out of season.
    • As long as the male has been vasectomised successfully, the Jill will not get pregnant.
    • If you have several ferrets this is likely to be the most cost-effective method.

  • Give the Jill a hormone injection before she comes into season.
    (Sometimes called a 'Jill Jab')
    • Once the hormone bottle is opened it must be disposed of within 12 hours.
    • This can be expensive as you will have to pay the price for a full bottle even if you only need a small amount as we cannot use it elsewhere (e.g. 0.4ml from a 10ml bottle).

  • Surgically sterilise the Jill by removing her ovaries ('spaying').
    • Once done there is no chance of pregnancy or problems with seasons.
    • However, Jills are then at risk of developing a problem with their adrenal glands.
    • Indoor ferrets are particulalry at risk of this condition.
    • Outdoor ferrets are much less likely to suffer from this condition, but it is still possible.

  • Place a hormone implant into the Jill once every 4 years.
    • This is the safest option as it only involves a brief anaesthetic and prevents the risk of adrenal disease later on.