Where To Buy Ferrets In California: Stores, Breeders, Shelters, And More

Ferrets make lively, playful pets, but they can be tricky to find for sale in California due to strict breeding and importation laws. If you have your heart set on bringing one of these adorable fuzzballs home, this guide will walk you through all the options for legally purchasing a ferret in California.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Some of the best places to find ferrets for sale in California include permitted breeders, out-of-state shelters willing to arrange ferret adoption, and traveling ferret sales events.

Work with a Permitted Breeder in California

Only around a dozen breeders have state permits

When looking to buy a ferret in California, it is important to work with a permitted breeder. This ensures that the breeder meets the necessary requirements and regulations set by the state. However, it is worth noting that there are only around a dozen breeders in California who have obtained these permits.

This limited number is due to the strict regulations in place to maintain the well-being of the animals.

Expect long waitlists at many breeders

If you decide to purchase a ferret from a permitted breeder, it is important to be prepared for potentially long waitlists. As the demand for ferrets in California is high, many breeders have waitlists due to the limited number of available ferrets.

This is especially true for popular breeds or specific coat colors. Don’t be discouraged though, as the waitlist allows breeders to carefully plan and ensure the best possible homes for their ferrets.

Purchase directly from the breeder or a pet store they supply

When dealing with permitted breeders, you can either purchase the ferret directly from the breeder or from a pet store that they supply. Some breeders have arrangements with pet stores where they provide the stores with their ferrets for sale.

This can be a convenient option for those who prefer to see the ferret in person before making a purchase. However, purchasing directly from the breeder gives you a chance to learn more about the ferret’s lineage, temperament, and health history.

It’s important to do thorough research and choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their ferrets. Make sure to visit the breeder’s facility, ask questions, and request any necessary documentation regarding the ferret’s health and lineage.

Additionally, consider adopting from animal shelters or rescue organizations, as they may have ferrets available for adoption. These organizations often provide veterinary care and ensure the ferrets are well-socialized before adoption.

Adopt from an Out-of-State Shelter or Rescue

If you’re looking to bring a furry friend into your home, adopting a ferret from an out-of-state shelter or rescue can be a fantastic option. Many shelters in states like Washington have ferrets available for adoption and are more than happy to find them loving homes in California.

By adopting from an out-of-state shelter, you not only give a deserving ferret a second chance at a happy life, but you also expand your options beyond what’s available locally.

Shelters in states like Washington will adopt out

Shelters in states like Washington often have a surplus of ferrets looking for forever homes. These shelters work tirelessly to rescue, rehabilitate, and find loving families for these adorable creatures.

By adopting from one of these shelters, you’re not only giving a ferret a loving home, but you’re also supporting the important work that these shelters do.

Adoption fees are often lower than buying from a breeder

When considering where to buy a ferret, it’s important to think about the financial aspect as well. Adoption fees from shelters are often much lower than the cost of purchasing a ferret from a breeder.

Not only will you be saving money, but you’ll also be giving a deserving ferret a chance at a better life.

Shelter staff can arrange transportation to California

One of the concerns of adopting from an out-of-state shelter may be the logistics of getting your new ferret home. Fortunately, shelter staff are often more than willing to help with transportation arrangements.

They can provide guidance on the best way to transport your new pet and may even be able to arrange transportation to California for you. This takes away the stress and uncertainty of figuring out the logistics on your own.

Find a Travelling Ferret Sales Event

If you’re looking to buy a ferret in California, one option you may consider is attending a traveling ferret sales event. These events are organized by reputable out-of-state breeders who bring their ferrets to California for sale.

They are a great opportunity to find a variety of ferret breeds and colors in one place.

Reputable out-of-state breeders organize pop-up sales

These traveling ferret sales events are typically organized by reputable breeders who are known for their expertise and high-quality ferrets. They take the time to carefully select and breed their ferrets, ensuring that they are healthy and well-socialized.

By attending one of these events, you can be confident that you are purchasing a ferret from a knowledgeable and responsible breeder.

When attending a traveling ferret sales event, you can expect to find a wide selection of ferrets to choose from. Breeders often bring different breeds and colors, allowing you to find the perfect ferret that matches your preferences.

Events typically happen a few times per year

These traveling ferret sales events typically happen a few times per year. While the exact dates and locations may vary, you can usually find information about upcoming events on the breeders’ websites or social media pages.

It’s a good idea to follow these breeders and stay updated with their announcements to ensure you don’t miss out on any upcoming sales events.

Attending a traveling ferret sales event can be a fun experience. You’ll have the opportunity to meet other ferret enthusiasts, learn more about ferret care, and even participate in educational workshops or demonstrations.

It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the world of ferrets and expand your knowledge about these fascinating animals.

Vendors must meet CDFA requirements

It’s important to note that vendors who participate in traveling ferret sales events must meet the requirements set by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). These requirements are in place to ensure the health and safety of the ferrets being sold.

Before attending a traveling ferret sales event, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the CDFA requirements. This will help you ensure that the breeders and vendors at the event are in compliance with the necessary regulations.

You can find detailed information about the CDFA requirements on their official website, www.cdfa.ca.gov.

By attending a traveling ferret sales event, you have the opportunity to find a ferret that will bring joy and companionship to your life. It’s a unique and exciting way to purchase a ferret and connect with fellow ferret lovers.

So keep an eye out for upcoming events and get ready to find your perfect furry friend!

Consider Ferret-Friendly Alternatives

When it comes to choosing a pet, ferrets may not be the best fit for everyone. If you’re looking for a similar pet with unique qualities, consider other small animals like rats, guinea pigs, or rabbits. These furry friends can provide companionship and entertainment just like ferrets do.

Rats, in particular, are known for their intelligence and social nature, making them great pets for those seeking a small and interactive companion. Guinea pigs and rabbits, on the other hand, are known for their docile and gentle nature, making them perfect for families or individuals looking for a more laid-back pet.

Rats, guinea pigs, rabbits all make good pets

Rats, guinea pigs, and rabbits can all make wonderful pets for those who are not able to commit to the unique care requirements of a ferret. Rats are highly intelligent and can be easily trained, making them great for teaching tricks or even doing simple tasks.

Guinea pigs, with their cute squeaks and gentle nature, are perfect for children or individuals who enjoy a more relaxed pet. Rabbits, with their adorable floppy ears and playful personalities, can also bring a lot of joy and happiness to their owners.

Rescues often have many to choose from

If you’re considering getting a ferret but want to explore other options, consider adopting from a rescue organization. Many rescues have a variety of small animals available for adoption, including ferrets, rats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

By adopting from a rescue, not only will you be providing a loving home for a pet in need, but you will also have the opportunity to learn more about the animal’s personality and specific needs. Rescues often have knowledgeable staff who can guide you through the adoption process and provide valuable advice on how to care for your new furry friend.

Avoid unpermitted ferret sellers in California

It’s important to note that ferrets are not legal pets in all states, including California. However, there are some unpermitted sellers who may try to sell ferrets illegally in the state. It’s crucial to avoid purchasing ferrets from these sellers as it not only supports illegal activity but also puts the welfare of the animals at risk.

Instead, consider adopting from a reputable rescue organization or finding a licensed breeder who follows all legal requirements. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife website provides a list of permitted ferret breeders in the state, ensuring that you are purchasing a ferret from a trusted source.

Remember, when it comes to choosing a pet, it’s important to consider all your options and find the best fit for your lifestyle and preferences. Whether you decide on a ferret, rat, guinea pig, or rabbit, each of these small animals can bring joy and companionship into your life.


While the search may be tough, it’s still possible to legally buy ferrets within California or adopt from out-of-state. Partnering with reputable breeders, shelters and rescues is key to finding your perfect ferret companion. With patience and persistence, you can successfully navigate the process of bringing one of these playful mustelids home.

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