All About Pet Mink

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It never fails, every time we share a photo of Pandora or one of the others we get comments like “Minks look so cuddly!” or  “I’d love to have a pet mink!”. And while a mink’s cuteness may be tempting, they aren’t as cuddly as they seem.

A photo of an albino pet mink sitting on an air vent

Can a mink be a pet?

Technically mink can be pets, but a better question is “would a mink be a good pet?” The answer to that question is “minks would make very bad pets for most people.”

Is having a pet mink like having a ferret?

No, having a pet mink is not like having a pet ferret. Mink were not bred as pets like ferrets have been and, despite looking very similar and being related, owning and caring for a mink is quite different than a ferret. 

What is the difference between a pet mink and a ferret?

Water Requirements

A major difference between pet mink and ferrets is their need for water. Mink are semi-aquatic and because of that, a pet mink must have to have access to a swimming area at all times.

Ferrets on the other hand are land dwelling animals and, because you don’t need a large pool of water for them, are easier to house as a pet.

A photo of an albino pet mink swimming in a pool of water


Another difference between mink and ferrets is size. Mink are bigger than ferrets, ranging from 2-6 pounds. Meanwhile, ferrets usually max out at 4 pounds. 


While both mink and ferrets have been domesticated, only one has been domesticated to be a pet. 

There are many different kinds of domestication. Domesticated mink were bred to have pretty coat colors and to grow large quickly in order to be skinned for coats. Mink have never been bred for temperament. 

Domesticated ferrets, however, have been bred specifically over thousands of years to be companions to humans. Being your friend is in a ferret’s genes!

Social Requirements

One more big difference between keeping mink and ferrets as pets are social needs.

Mink are usually solitary in the wild and will harm cage mates,  while ferrets are social animals.

Because of their differences in size, the fact that they are solitary, and their need for water, they are much more difficult to tame down and care for properly. 

What is having a pet mink like?

Our mink friends were born on a fur farm and weren’t handled as pets, and therefore they are mostly hands off animals. Does that make them “bad pets”? Well, for most people, yes. If you go into caring for a mink with knowledge that you will be bitten and are prepared for all of the challenges though, a mink can be a rewarding animal to work with. They are very silly animals and love to play with toys, swim in their pool, and despite being solitary in the wild, do bond with their caretakers(that bond may involve no touching or limited touching though, and even the sweetest mink will only allow handling on their terms). 

A photo of a pet mink inside a tube

Do pet mink smell?

Yes, pet mink smell significantly worse than ferrets. 

How do you care for a pet mink?

If you are thinking about owning a mink, please check out our pet mink care guide or message us your questions, as we are happy to help you prepare or decide!

Do you really want a pet mink?

Pet Mink vs Ferret Infographic by Nessie O'Neil

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