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Ferrets in Japan

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  • Ferrets in Japan

    Does anyone know anything about ferrets in Japan? Are they legal? Are they subject to quaratine? Are ferret vets/food/ect. hard to find? Is it hard to find a landlord to allow them or can you just pass them off as cage animals?

  • #2
    Re: Ferrets in Japan

    I saw a guy walking his ferret in Inokashira Park yesterday (I kid you not, it had a little collar and leash), so I guess they must be allowed. Check out the pets section in Metropolis.


    • #3
      Re: Ferrets in Japan

      Dear Amma san,

      I can answer all of your questions, and much more, since I have a great ferret here in Tokyo.

      Where to buy. I do not know about quarantine, but why not buy a ferret in Japan? Most pet shops, whether individual outlets, or big chains like Kojima, sell ferrets. This Kojima should not be confused with the electrical retailer which has the same name. DO NOT buy a ferret from Metropolis as flintax suggests, nor any other individual you do not know, as there is a high risk that you may get ripped off, or physically hurt by an uncastrated ferret (see below).

      Cost of ferrets. Ferrets cost anywhere between \20,000-60,000, depending on the breed of ferret, and what injections it has already had, and also what operations it has already had. You should check all of these VERY carefully. The difficulty is, that the shop where you buy the ferret will probably NOT have all the certificates about breed, injections etc in the shop. You do not need to get suspicious about this. In my case, these were all sent to me a few weeks AFTER I bought the ferret, from the Japan Ferret Society (eKokusai Ferret Kyokaif in Japanese, but it is not international, just applies to Japan), 1-3-3 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-0035 Tel/Fax 03-3718-3430. By the way, when you buy the ferret, try to push for an all inclusive epackagef which not only includes the ferret, but also the cage, toilet, toilet sand and food for a few months, nail clippers, toys etc. You might get a good deal!

      The biggest cost, if the ferret has not had an operation to castrate it and take away its esmellyf parts, is \100,000. Normally, this is done by the breeder (in the US or New Zealand or wherever) probably for less than one-tenth of the price which a vet will charge you in Japan, but if the breeder has not done this, and you buy a ferret which has not been castrated etc., you will be in for BIG trouble, as ferrets are very horny (no kidding !), and if your un-castrated ferret gets excited during the eseasonf, it will simply attack you one day and bite your fingers off, or whatever part of the skin of your body is available at the time – thatfs what I mean when I say do not buy a ferret from some bloke advertising in Metropolis.

      After you buy your ferret I recommend you go to a vet IMMEDIATELY. To answer one of your questions, most vets in Japan will be happy to check, and look after your ferret. The vet can then check whether the ferret has been properly castrated. There have been cases (very few though) of ferrets supposedly being castrated by the breeder when they were born, but the operation was not esuccessfulf.

      Types of ferrets. These include New Zealand ferrets, Star ferrets, Marshall ferrets, or eNormalf ferrets. Marshall ferrets, like mine, are the top breed of ferrets, and can be identified by a tattoo on their right ear done by Marshall in the US, and they also have a Certificate of Breed from the Marshall Company.

      The erunningf costs of ferrets I would estimate as follows; First, there are once-a year injections for distemper, which costs \9,000 (per year), and secondly also for protection against mosquitoes in the summer, which costs about \3,500, but this depends on how many months you choose to give the medicine for. Thirdly, ferrets eat Premium Ferret Diet made by Marshall (imported from the US) – donft even think about anything else cheaper like rabbit food – they will eat it, but the ferret will not live nearly as long as the 10 years which they normally live as they will not get enough minerals etc which only Marshallfs food will provide. This costs \1,400 per pack. My ferret gets through one pack per month, so you are looking at around \16,800 per year. Fourthly, other things like ferret shampoo (yes, you must give them a bath once a week or so) plus toilet sand, plus ferret treats like ferretvite (this is about the same as sweets for children) will come to about \20,000 per year. Oh, and donft forget if your ferret suddenly gets sick and throws up all over its cage (I say eitsf as ferrets are asexual – they are not male or female) then injections from the vet will come to \5,000 or so each time (say twice a year). Finally, when you go on holiday, many vets operate a epet hotelf where your ferret can stay for around \3,000 per day, so you are looking at \45,000 for every two week trip you may make back to your home country.

      There is a specialist ferret shop and park called Tama-Itachi, which is in Times Park (1-15-1 Tamagawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-0094 Tel 5491-1089). The ferret shop is open between 11.00-19.00, costs \500 to get in, but you will get that money back if you spend over \3,000 in the shop). It is close to Futako Tamagawa station on the Tokyu Denentoshi line, down from Shibuya. They have many kinds of ferrets for sale and ferret items (cages, food, accessories etc). The staff are also quite helpful (assuming you speak Japanese) and will tell you how to look after ferrets etc.

      As far as keeping a ferret in your home is concerned, forget about the landlord. Even if you sign a eno petf contact, how will the landlord ever know, unless you invite him in to your place ? The point about ferrets is that they make absolutely no noise at all, unlike dogs. Ferrets do not smell at all if you wash them once in a while and clean their cage every day. Also, unlike cats, even if you let them out into the room, they will never scratch the wall or furniture, although my ferret likes to scratch its toilet a lot, which is its sign that it wants to get out of its cage and play with me or go for a walk, but it all depends on the ferret and how you bring it up (rather like children). In fact they are very easy to look after and train, and I think just as clever as cats and dogs..

      Hope this helps.


      • #4
        Re: Ferrets in Japan

        I already have two ferrets, thats why I wanted to know about quaratines. By the way, Ferrets are NOT asexual. Males have broader heads and larger bodies, females are smaller. Males are more common though. I'm in the US now but might be visiting family in Japan for a while. Thanks for the info though. Its good to know about how much it will cost and that they arn't that rare.


        • #5
          Re: Ferrets in Japan

          Sorry Amma, you are right. Ferrets, like most animals, are born as male or female, with different physical characteristics, including different organs for reproductive purposes. But technically speaking after ferrets (or any other pets for that matter) get neutered (castrated) donft they lose their gender status solely on the basis of the absence of reproductive organs, and become a eneuterf? Or do you get a eneutered malef and a eneutered femalef as they still retain their other physical characteristics? Perhaps easexualf was not the right word since it implies being born without gender status. I can see that my ferret was born as a male and has the physical characteristics of a male ferret, but I had always thought that technically speaking it had no gender or sex as, like the vast majority of domestic ferrets, it probably lived only the first few days of its life with reproductive organs. Anyone?

          Regarding quarantine of ferrets, the best thing is to contact the Japan (International) Ferret Society, and I see that their office also doubles up as Marshall Ferretfs branch office in Japan for importing ferrets into Japan from the US. They must have a direct route without going through any major quarantine as the Marshall ferret I bought was born in the US, and was still only a month old on purchase here in Tokyo.