Last one reached bump limit. Post your ferrets/otters/badgers/weasels here!
how come we don't call this the long mammal general anymore? ;-;
But I don't have one yet
I just steal images of other people's and have been reading about them for two years
I'm fairly certain experience is the only thing left to learn, but I can't have them in the place I live now. Eventually I'm going to fuck off somewhere, proof that shit, and get me two little flopwops.
Someone on the older thread asked to be my "homosexual ferret partner". Yes I do! .. well I'm a girl but I still do. I hope it's okay anyway :$
So no particular news on my side. Isidore particulary enjoys to play in the bathtub at the moment. He's trying to steal the shower tube, which would be difficult for obvious reasons. Yet he continues to try.
... I must admit I didn't resist the desire to play a little and open the water faucet. He seems to like playing in water, to a certain point. Today he understood I was the culprit of this water madness and was really pissed. Well, and wet.
I love you little rascal. Even with your bad personnality.
We let Sadie freeroam
Now that it's getting colder (this is her first winter) she likes to crawl into bed with my mom and sleep next to her, so my mom wakes up next to her nearly every morning now
I don't know anything about ferrets but I would like to have one. Can't do it now cuz I have dogs that wouldn't like it but maybe one day. They seem like a lot of fun and very sociable. Are they hard to take care of? I wouldn't want it to be caged all the time.
Not in my experience (at least, no more than dogs).
They require bathing once or twice a month with good shampoo, and need to be fed a particular diet. You can't give them table scraps like dogs. They need high quality ferret feed (some cat foods also work), or cooked chicken. I've heard people say uncooked works but my vet said that's a no no.
And they do need to be exercised and entertained, like dogs.
There's also basically guaranteed medical issues, depending on where you get one from.
It's not as simple as I'm making it sound, but basically, if you ferret proof your house (i.e. block off areas they can crawl into that could be dangerous, keep poison out of reach, remove packing peanuts, ensure that your family don't fold or unfold folding chairs so long as the ferret is outside of it's cage, etc), feed it the right diet, keep it entertained and exercise it regularly, and expect potential medical issues, you're good.
Kinda like owning a pug, I guess.
otters in osaka, I had video I was going to make into webms but I can't find them.
most of them are out of focus because they are so speedy but there was also a sea otter who was chill af so I got some all right shots of him.
They really don't NEED to be bathed (unless they get into something nasty.) And they DEFINITELY should NOT be bathed more than once a month maximum, otherwise it will make their skin overproduce oils to compensate from how much is being stripped from their coat. It's not healthy for their skin and coat to bathe them so often.
Question: is it alright to bathe them weekly with just water? I know the experience you're describing (my own scalp becomes oily very quickly if I use shampoo more than two or three times a week, so most days I just wash it very thoroughly with water). At least for me, washing with water does not agitate my skin nor does it cause my hair to feel dry/brittle immediately after.
But I am not a ferret. Which is why I'm asking.
(Please don't yell at me)
It's hard at first, but you get used to the routine. Daily litter change. I change the bedding in their cages once a week. Clean their ears/teeth about once every two weeks (I'm thinking about changing it to weekly though), keep their food and water full (usually this means changing it daily or more), letting them out everyday for, I'd say, at least 3-4 hours. I keep mine out somewhere between 6-8 usually. Clip their nails when they need it. Grooming is easy, maybe a brush during shedding time, most people won't even need to do that though.
Before you get a ferret it is a lot of research. Find out the diet you want to feed them. Plan how you'll ferretproof your room. Make sure you have enough finances. Routine shots aren't horrible, but emergency vet and treatments for diseases they'll get when they get older can get pretty pricey. Find out what sort of cage you can get for them- they need some space even if they're out all day. Make sure you can tell when they're sick, etc. You can own them with dogs too, my ferrets play with our youngest dog, the other ones just ignore them.
I've heard that this is okay, but I don't try it myself. Somedays I would take my ferrets into the shower with me so they can bounce around in the water. They don't really enjoy it as much as I thought they would, but afterwards their coat seemed okay. I don't know if I would do it weekly, but more frequently than with shampoo... I think that'd be fine.
both of em are m*rshalls but neither seem to have any problems (except the bigger one does have insulinoma)
Change vet. cooked meat is not okay. It's not your fault since it's your vet that said that, so change vet. It's not normal for a professional to say things like this.
Also bathing them one or twice a month with shampoo is way too much...
They're not so hard to take care of, but you have to adapt yourself to them. Ferret proofing your house/the room they will be playing in, always make time to care for them, minimum 3 hours of the cage a day, PERIOD. Change the litter, manage food, it take 10 minutes per day, tops. When you're used to them, to your new routine and to look after the items they could get and destroy/eat and get sick, you're good.
Yes, you can let them swim/play in plain water (no shampoo) anytime and it won't harm their skin or strip the oil from it. Some ferrets really like playing in water so if you want to try this, go ahead. It's just the shampoo that can cause a problem.
Cooked meat is ok and won't harm them (just no cooked bones.) But raw is better and ideal.
Though I do think that many vets say raw meat is a no-no just because it's been a common thing to worry about (since humans eating raw meat is not so good.) It's misguided but I see a lot of vets saying things like that, or recommending pleb brands of food because these brands sponsor them, etc.
Sadly many vets are not the best for getting nutritional info from.
you say parasites and disease like you don't know that ferrets have a very very very low chance of that considering they fully digest meals in 4 hours
also, someone in previous thread asked me to post more of these two playing in the decor, so here you go!!
Aw shoot. We can still be friends.
To me, they're easy as pie. I've had a lot of ferrets (8 at once for a while). Basically, this:
>get critter/ferret nation cage or bigger
>train them to use the litter box and keep it clean
>feed them raw chicken parts and rodents of possible, not cooked
>feed them high quality, high protein cat food (most ferret kibbles are bullshit)
>let them run around out of the cage for at least 3 hours a day, preferably longer until they're pooped out
>you can bathe them once a month MAX. I bathe mine average twice a year
>keep nails trimmed and ears cleaned
>get them booster shots for distemper rabies
I say "optional" because most vets don't have the ferret-specific vaccine that Marshalls uses. Most vets have the canine vaccine, which gives your ferret about 50/50 chance of being protected, but there's also a chance the vaccine will make them sick or kill them.
I wish Wolverines could be tamed better...
Pretty sure that's why he said "wish" and "better".
It's no secret that wolverines are fucking crazy.
Yep. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody owned them as a pet regardless though.
They can be pretty social though, can't they? Family members recognizing each other and getting along well after not seeing each other in a few years and so on? Not that this makes them pets but I think the "FERAL BERZERK MAMMAL" stamp they've gotten is a bit unfair?
Oh please, don't overeact and put things that I didn't say in my mouth. Alright, cooked meat will not kill them, yay. As fruits or cereal, it will not do any harm at first sight. But it does in the long run. A bit of cooked meat is of no importance as a treat. But everyday as their normal meal? No. I stand by that.
And I'm not a meat freak btw. I give mine versele laga complete kibble. But there is a very large difference between feeding very good kibble (not the best dish, but still okay) and feeding them bad kibble, fruits on a daily basis, and yes, cooked meat.
I've got two now. Pip (female) and Edgar (pic). Sometimes I think of rehoming them. I used to love owning rats, but they die so quick. Got ferrets for the longer lifespan, and have lost 4 this year who were all 1 year or younger. It's kind of eating at me.
There's nothing wrong with cooked meat. Why do you think it's bad for them.
By the way, kibble contains cooked meat. How would good kibble then be better than cooked meat? Considering even good kibble has some amount of filler in it?
Cooked meat is bad for them on a regular basis if that is all you're feeding them. Polecats did not cook their meat in the wild. Not only does it alter the nuritional value, but cooking meat may also make it harder for them to digest it iirc.
I just adopted a kit and her papers say she has had 1 distemper shot and needs 2 more. I called every vet within 3 cities, and any exotic vet that will actually see ferrets is completely out of the distemper vaccine. Will my little wiggle worm be okay without the shots? I've heard such terrible things about distemper, but I literally cannot find a single vet that carries the vaccine.
I'm guessing they gave a lot recently due to people getting/giving them for christmas and they should resupply fairly soon. Don't worry about it too much and just check in with vets to see if they get them back.
So long as she's not going to come into contact with infected animals (and i assume shes an inside pet) she will be fine.
Of course they don't cook meat in the wild.
But cooking generally makes things easier to digest, not harder. That said, it also can lessen the nutrition that can be received from it. So it's not as good for these animals as raw.
But it still isn't bad for them. The meat in kibble is cooked. Considering this...
Raw meat diet > cooked meat diet > high quality kibble diet > low quality kibble diet
At the very least, high quality kibble should be considered of equal value/quality to cooked meat diet, not above. That doesn't make any sense.
Same thing happened when I got my first ferrets. My regular vet was out of the vaccine at the time I needed it. Luckily I did find a vet that carried it and took them there.
You can request that they order some though, and call you when it arrives.
And as >>2023985 said, as long as she's kept inside and doesn't come in contact with other animals, she should be fine in the meantime. Not an ideal situation but don't panic about it.
dont forget to mention that cooked bones will most likely kill a ferret. idk about the nutritional value of cooked meat but never 4get ferrets can't have any kind of cooked bone
These guys are just so damn cute. Lately I've honestly been considering moving just so I can be in an area where I can see and maybe interact with some of these guys. None of the zoos in my area have them.
Maybe I should move to Indonesia.
My ferret fucking LOVED packing peanuts, and they used to ship everything in that shit. It never failed, I'd be super careful and think I cleaned them all up, and that little shit would come running around with a packing peanut in his mouth and try to hide it under my couch...
This isn't my business, belongs to 'ninjagoth' on holistic ferret forums. But look how cute
Can I keep a ferret in a small room? Of course I'll take him out to play to the bigger living room and bathroom, but when I'm not there it will have to be in my approx. 3 by 2,5 meter room since I live in a shared student house.
These things are really cute and if they didn't smell so foul I could see them as a valid pet.
They really smell bad, the persons house I walked into that had them was just funk nasty.
Perhaps this matters on how you take care of them, but I have a fucked up nose and if I can smell them they must smell really really bad.
It ABSOLUTELY depends on their care. Kept in small cages, bedding never washed, litter box not cleaned 2x daily - any of these can cause strong smells. Healthy ferrets fed appropriate diets smell similar to a cat. Males (especially unaltered) have a bit of a musk but I was ALL of my ferrets bedding weekly so it never builds up enough to smell it.
This. They are small so they don't need a ton of space to be kept. A small room to you is much bigger to them!
Definitely depends on how you take care of them. Well-taken care of ferrets should not smell nasty. They do have a bit of a musk but it should be relatively mild.
Ferrets that are fed a good diet, kept in a clean environment--litter boxes scooped once or twice a day depending on how many boxes and how many ferrets you have; all bedding and blankets should be washed once a week, are spayed/neutered... really don't smell bad. If you pick the animal up and sniff them directly you'll be able to smell a musk but it shouldn't be strong and it shouldn't smell "bad."
how ferocious are these pets? They look exotic and look like they'd bite a lot. My uncle has or had ferrets, but nobody was allowed to take them out of the cage. I was always too afraid to touch them
Absolutely! The gentle giant is my lab/dane mix, have had him since he was 6 months, he's 7 now
It depends on many things. Age, whether or not they are altered, where they come from, etc etc.
Mostly upbringing. Try looking up a ferret rescue in your area, they'll usually let you play with a few and you can see how they are. Some are nippy (like my little black nosed one), some never nip (pic related) and many are in between. They usually only bite to entice you to play, but they do have the ability to break bones.
They're very friendly and usually not bitey.
When they are kits they are nippy (just like puppies) but you just handle them a lot and train them out of it.
As adults, if they're used to being handled and trained to have bite inhibition, they don't really bite. They do sometimes nip during play but it's not a hard chomp, just playful nipping. Some ferrets do it more than others.
The only other times my ferrets "bite" me are when they do grooming behaviors--lick lick lick chomp (still not a hard chomp, it's gentle and not painful at all.)
That said, they do have a pretty powerful bite if they really want to hurt something/defend themselves
One of my ferrets will nip when I handfeed him oil. He'll lick all of it up and then nip me. It doesn't hurt, probably less than a puppy even. I don't see this as a problem either; I've just made it clear to everybody if they want to handfeed the ferrets oil then can only give it to the other one, and I give oil to the nippy one.
My other one only nips during play, and even then it's only if you're moving your hand/feet in front of him like a toy, or you push him on his back or something. He's even lightly put his teeth on my hand and tried to drag me to his toy stash.
None of my ferrets have ever broken skin, but I know they have the ability to break bone. If biting is a concern for you, you can always watch other handle the ferrets. Normalyl they only nip when they're kits, and maybe occassionally as adults. You can always train them not to, but ferret training can be harder than with a dog.
Considering ferrets as my next pets.
What's the vet cost of these kiddos? I've had pet rats and they're pretty expensive with all the respiratory infections they get. Are ferrets prone to any specific maladies?
Yearly/maintenance vet care isn't very expensive. It's pretty cheap for me, about $60 or so per year per ferret for annual shots and a checkup.
However, ferrets are prone to some pretty serious health conditions when they're older, and those can be kinda expensive to treat.
That, and you'll want to have some money set aside for emergencies because ferrets are troublemakers. They can easily get hurt swallowing something they aren't meant to, for instance. In which case it can require surgery to remove the blockage and that can obviously get pricey.
These are the major things that may affect ferrets later in life. Look up about what treatments are generally done for these things, and then you can call local vets to ask about what kind of prices they'd charge for this to get a better idea of what you might be looking at paying in the future.
why is my cat so ugly
My roommate has a ferret. I've just seen his room where it roams in most, though it also sometimes comes out to the living/dining/kitchen room. His room is pungent af. There was feces lining the wall, in the cage, on the floor, and in a litter box. The ferret likes to get inside furniture and behind the kitchen counter and appliances. There is probably poo there too and the common room smell just a few notches less horrible than his room. I've been eating nothing but fast food for a month because i am so grossed out and put on some considerable weight. The smell is starting to get into my room. I should probably confront him.
You should. That isn't healthy for anybody. The ferrets, the roommates, and yourself. He needs to board up those areas he can't reach (if he's not willing to clean them or if they pose a threat to the ferrets) and clean his room. I bet the cage is a disaster.
My girlfriend got a ferret from a local breeder last year, but gave him back after 2 weeks because she was going through some serious anxiety and depression. Couldn't even bring the ferret back herself and had her mom do it instead.
She thinks she's ready to try again because she really wants a ferret but they are the only breeder near her that we can find. She doesn't want to go back and try to ask that breeder thinking they will be mad at her.
I wish I knew how to help her.
Go fuck yourself. Someone who can't take care of their own person is by no means fit to care for another being. I only wish people were as hard on bad parents as /an/ is towards pet owners.
they are beautiful please tell them that every day
also check my sad little thin pup i rescued, look at his nose freckles...
People with anxiety can be perfectly fit pet owners.
At least she was mature enough to realize she wasn't ready last time, and wait until she felt she was.
I have a moderate/severe anxiety disorder and it has never interfered with my ability to care for my animals. They are well taken care of, fed good food, vetted, exercised mentally and physically, loved and kept warm and safe. If I can do this, why can't she?
>I wish I knew how to help her.
man you need to help the ferret she gets, not her
Yeah, I have horrible anxiety, I take care of multiple animals. But if you let your anxiety get you to the point where you'd rather give up an animal than care for it, you aren't fit to take care of fucking animals.
>why can't she?
Because she's already demonstrated that she can't. We're talking about a conscious, living being here. Letting someone who can't take care of themselves enough to care for an animal they literally just got is not someone who should be trusted with the happiness of a poor little ferret.
I do, don't worry.
He looks like a little sweetheart. How old is he? And props to you for rescuing him.
Prospective ferret owner here. I've been reading a lot but I want to know as much as I can so I can decide if this is the pet for me.
Are they strict carnivores like cats or more omnivores like dogs? Would a kibble be appropriate? The internet is very divided on this, with some people saying that grain free cat food is fine, some people saying they should only eat raw prey.
Can I have just one ferret, or do I have to have multiple? I've had rats and they can literally die of loneliness if they don't have a cagemate.
I'm gonna order some books about ferrets too.
Ferrets are obligate carnivores (meat is essential to their survival). High-quality grain-free cat kibble is fine for ferrets, but a balanced raw diet is what is best for their health. Raw is a lot of time and effort. I personally feed my ferrets a mixed diet, because one of my ferrets won't eat enough if I feed him a raw diet, and they won't eat bones so I powder up eggshells. There should be plenty of ferret food charts online. I'd suggest comparing a few of them.
One ferret is fine if you're a NEET. Otherwise I'd get another one. Ferrets tend to do best in pairs (or more).
And even if you're a NEET I'd recommend getting 2 ferrets because they love the company of other ferrets, snuggling and playing with each other. It's very cute and honesty 2 ferrets aren't really more difficult to care for than 1. So unless you're really set on having one ferret, get more than one.
Anyone know of good ferret breeders in Florida? I want two boys.
I saw this cutie at the pet store btw. Look at that belly!
All the fucking cooked versus raw meat shit going on...
High quality kibble is mad from raw...
I feed my ferrets orijen... Made from raw & cooked.
Nature's variety and EVO are also high qual.. CONTAIN RAW.
Sometimes I want to give up my current, shitty life and just go near the sea, live in a boat, and study sea otters. I like them so much. No one would pay attention to anything I did if I didn't have a degree though, so I guess that is really already destroyed.
This is Freyja and Slippery Pete. They're best friends.
>mfw living in NYC and can't have a ferret
I adore these threads. Had three ferrets growing up-- wish I could get a pair. Maybe one day!
And hey, does anyone know what happened to the Russian ferret dude? I haven't seen him post in a while which makes me sad. :-(
I saw the cutest little furret at pet supermarket today. He nibbled at my fingers and flipped over and let me rub his belly. So soft.
I already have a doge and three rats, but I hope I can have a pair of ferrets one day. They're so charming.
Some of them. Like the other dude said, depends on the ferret. I have 3. One of them is super chill and will seek you out to cuddle with you. One other one wants to play but never cuddle. They're generally friendly, maybe not always cuddly though.
>aren't as domesticated as ferrets
No, weasels aren't at all domesticated. Ferrets are domesticated animals.
As for obtaining them, I'm not sure. It'd probably depend on your local laws.
I think this is partly true. A well-cared for ferret is less smelly than a well-cared for a dog.
I've never experienced it, but I've heard some horror stories about ferret owners. The lady who runs the ferret shelter near here says she's had people bring in ferrets in cat carriers covered in piss and shit. I can only imagine how that smells in a house...
I'm sick of shitty pet owners, but I'm really sick of shitty ferret owners. Whenever I say I have ferrets people give me a disgusted look and talk about how they knew somebody who had ferrets and the whole house smelled.
Could I get a rough list of what ferrets can eat.
I like sharing my food with pets, and have been thinking about getting a pair of ferrets as companions now that I have a place of my own.
Meat (raw and cooked, but if it's cooked do not feed any cooked bones. Raw bones are ok.) Raw or cooked eggs. Animal oils.
Basically anything that's animal protein based. No milk though, because ferrets are lactose intolerant (and if you give them "lactose free" milk, which is just regular milk with the enzyme lactase added, they can digest the sugars in it, but sugars are not good to feed to ferrets so this is a no as well.) A TINY bit of cheese as a rare thing won't hurt them, as cheese doesn't contain much lactose to begin with, but too much of it can still upset their tummies just like milk.
High quality ferret or cat/kitten kibble is fine (again, should be meat-based.)
Avoid feeding them fruits, vegetables, and grains, as well as sugars. Don't feed them any meats that had spices added as it might upset their tummies.
They have sensitive digestive systems and are obligate carnivores, so there's really not a huge variety of things they can eat.
Note: about sugars, there are rare occasions/exceptions in which it's ok to give them sugar or KMR (kitten milk replacer--contains milk with lactase added, see above) but this is when they are sick and need the boost of extra energy. Ferrets that have insulinoma (which can cause seizures) or other blood sugar problems may need to have corn syrup rubbed on their gums to spike their blood sugar back up to normal, but this is emergency care. Sugar is normally bad because it stresses their systems (having too much can even CAUSE insulinoma and other problems.)
I love Ferrets. Theyre evil geniuses that like to steal things haha
I have 3 dad, daughter n jr. Thats dad in the video before his first heat cycle when he wasnt a little bastard ahah
They smell but I don't find it a bad smell. For example, dogs smell too (we call it the "doggy smell") but it's not necessarily a bad smell. As long as you clean their litter and wash their bedding often you'll be fine. Try to read about ferrets and bathing because there's a ton of mixed information about there (some people only do it when they're dirty).
Here ya go
Just like dogs have a smell, ferrets have a musky smell. It's not a bad smell per say, and if they're taken care of properly, it's not really that strong either.
Feeding them a good quality diet, scooping their litter boxes frequently (1-2 times daily depending on how many ferrets and how many litter boxes you have,) and washing all their blankets and other bedding weekly will keep the smell to a minimum.
As for baths, they don't really need it (unless they get into something nasty) and giving baths too often can cause their skin to overcompensate from the oils being stripped from their skin, so they produce more (and thus smell more.) As a general rule, they shouldn't be bathed more than once a month maximum. But again, they don't really need it and so it's not necessary, and won't really do much if anything to reduce the ferret smell. They can swim/play in plain water with no shampoo as often as you/they want, though.
Other things that help to reduce the smell:
-Clean their ears about every week or two. I clean my ferrets' ears every two weeks.
-Avoid foods that contain a lot of fish. Fish and fish oil is good for them, but you can just give them other animal proteins instead because they are just as good. Salmon oil is a common treat/supplement that is healthy for them and keeps their skin and coats nice--I use emu oil as an alternative to this and it works great (although it's a bit more expensive than fish oil.)
-They have baking soda based sprays that you can buy and spray on their bedding between washes. You can even spray the animals themselves with this, but don't overdo it.
Poultry meats are the best. Duck, quail, pheasant, or any poultry organ meats like gizzards are great for ferrets.
No, it's not harsh, it's correct. If anyone "softens" that statement up any more to baby you through this shit, it'd be pointless. You came here to have people agree with you and pat you on the back. But you're fucking wrong and that girl isn't a fit to be a pet owner. Matter of fact, she's unfit to be a respectable member of society, and so are you. The only reason she can pull bullshit like that is because of enablers like you.
Unrelated, but I noticed my sable ferret got lighter this winter and my other ferret looks more yellow-ish. I looked around and saw that the yellow color could be because of the oils in his skin. It's not something I should be worried about, right /an/? I've been feeding him less raw, maybe I need to give him more.
their coats can change pretty wildly between sheds. My white ferrets tail is completely yellow, some are just that color. He used to be a dark sable as a juvenile but now he's almost all white.
Hey /an/ I have two ferrets and one of them seems to gain weight more "evenly" than the other. They were both slightly underweight (nothing too bad) when I adopted them from the shelter. Now that they've bulked up I noticedmy younger ferret is fine, but my older ferret mostly gained weight in his midsection (around his stomach). He eats and plays normally and is healthy other than some tartar build up. He shows no signs of being sick. I plan to ask the vet about it next visit but is it anything to worry about before then? It feels pretty soft without any lumps except his spleen, which feels the same as when I got him. The vet said that was normal, as ferrets get larger spleens when they're older and you can feel it or something. It's not an issue (yet).
Why do ferrets need level cages? They're ground dwellers, so wouldn't it make sense to get a cage or enclosure with more running room?
Or are the leveled cages just to save room in your place?
Ferrets do not like to eat/sleep/go to the bathroom in the same area. Having bowls/litterbox/bedding helps seperate these areas. I suppose if you got a really long cage and seperated these somehow it might work, but multiple level cages are easier.
Hey catsnake owners, I am thinking about acquiring one, perhaps two catsnakes, but I have, as of now, zero knowledge about them, so instead of picking one up right now I wanna do research first and figure out whether or not a ferret is teh right choice for me. Where can I find reputable forums, websites or other resources on ferret ownership and care? Especially stuff I should know before coming up to a breeder so I won't sound like a redneck who wants a pet for novelty. I would also like to know what kinds of questions I should be asking breeders before getting one.
Look for Ferrets for Dummies. Holistic Ferrets is the name of a pretty good online forum as well. Other than that I used resources from my local ferret shelter and some people with ferrets on youtube. I don't know what sort of questions you would ask breeders because I adopted from a shelter. Make sure it has clean ears and eyes, it's space/cage is clean, and check its teeth as well.
This is going to be an odd question.
I keep rats, which are awesome pets, but sadly have very short lifespans. After having my heart broken yet again I've been looking for animals that are like rats (temperament and behaviour-wise) but live longer. I keep getting ferrets as an answer.
I know fuck all about ferrets though. Of course the care is different, but are they actually like rats in personality?
Keep in mind ferrets have what some people consider short lifespans as well (7-9 years). I've never had rats but I've had friends that had them. Rats seem to be more cuddly than ferrets, unless you get that lucky one that will cuddle before you wear him out. Ferrets also seems more 'curious' and/or atheltic. In other words, ferrets will try to get into everything they aren't supposed to, and tend to be agile enough to reach anything 3 feet or so off the floor.
Okay, you know the difference between an old fat male rat and a young hyper female rat?
Multiply that times ten and you get some idea.
Also, allowing two ferrets to interact outside of a cage results in something like the looney toons tasmanian devil
Literally every ferret owner I know in person either used to have rats, or also have rats. Its kind of funny how everyone, including myself, say they love rats but have a hard time with the short lifespan thing, so we all move on to ferrets. Even though they're not much like ratties.