You posted in the right place so don't worry.
Let me answer these one at a time... if you need any clarification don't hesitate to ask!!
1. I am young enough to not have to worry about what to do with the ferret when I go to college, unless the ferret is particularily hardy. It's that far off.
If you have the knowledge, time & devotion for the well being of a ferret age is not an issue... BUT I will forwarn you PATIENCE is required with ferrets. They are VERY quick learners and very smart but they are also persistant & sometimes even very stubborn. An avererage life span of a ferret is between 7-10 years sometimes even 5 depending on quality of life. I have also heard of them living to be as old as 14 which I am not sure is that common. If I may ask... how old are you? And, would you be the primary caregiver of the ferret.
2. I'm [fairly] sure it's not a financial issue with my parents. I have proved I have enough money to get it on my own.
That is great! what about the on going & continuing cost?? Food, Toys, Treats, vet bills, etc??
3.The ferret would not [probably] be a threat to any of my other pets. The possible exception is my hedgehog Thoryn, but I willing to bet just about nothing can penetrate than impervious little iron tank of an insectivore...I have 3 cats and one dog. The dog is a 1 1/2 year old Beagle who is [supposedly] a trained rabbit dog [although I severely doubt it. The breeder we got her from was clearly in it for profit, not the animals. All her beagles were in poor health, and Kira has yet to demonstrate any hunting instinct at all. In fact, she's frightened of our 3 cats].
I will have to agree with you there... a ferret is not a wild animal. It has been domesticated for several years & could probably not even survive in the wild any longer. While it is natural instinct for a ferret to go after rodents (mice, hamsters, rats, etc) odds are they are playing with them more so than trying to kill it... Ferrets play rather rough therfore death is almost always an end result with rodents. As for dogs & cats... I have heard MANY MANY people have ferrets in addition to dogs & cats... they become BEST FRIENDS believe it or not!!
It would be best though if feasable to get 2 ferrets so it has a play mate though.
4. My parents seem to be suffering from the classic 'lackofknowledgia' syndrome . They think [for some incomprehendable reason] that a ferret would try to kill our other pets [silly, isn't it?], are very aggressive, are wild animals, have extrememly frequent health problems [they say that there's this one disease that ferrets tend to get almost always. I think they're confused about what females get if they go into heat and aren't bred], and have a horrible, horrible stench. This can probably be linked back to one time, when we visited a couple who were selling a pair of ferrets via the newspaper. I could tell they didn't clean their litter pan often enough, and one of them was determined to slay those little wriggling things attached to my mum's sandals...
Some of this I mentioned above as far as your other animals... ferrets aggressive?? No they just play rough. It is like having a two year old child around 24/7. As I said above ferrets are most deffinately NOT wild... just hyper. As for health problems... I am affraid to say that for the most part that is true. As ferrets get older they do tend to have health problems. The most common is adrenal disease (which there is surgery for), insulinoma, anemia & sometimes even diabetes. But vet bills can get rather costly as they get older & you have to take that into consideration BEFORE you get a ferrets. The thing you are talking about with the females is true. If you don't breed your female in her first heat she most likely will die... which is EXACTLY why it is actually best to have her spayed immediately! The smell of a ferret is a natural musky scent which is deffinately undesireable to many people. You can have a ferret descented which certainly helps & regular cleaning of the litter is a must also. To me I really don't notice the smell & many other ferret owners say the same thing, but some people are just more sensitive to the musky smell. (which I believe is stronger in a male generally than a female if they are not neutered/descented) As for you mum's sandles... I'm sure they were most deffinately trying to play! Especially if they were leather or there was any rubber... for some reasons ferrets are more attracted to these types of materials more so than other which actually can be a health hazard to them.
5. I'm about to be fairly arrogant, but...I think I have proven my responsibility! I have had 3 mice, countless gerbils, 4+ fancy rats, 3 hamsters, and I currently have a hedgehog. All of the aforementioned who have passed away died of natural causes. Now, I know a ferret isn't the same as a hamster/gerbil/rat/whatever, but I'm looking at this from a willingness to care for perspective, not a cost/hous a day I'll need to spend with it/whatever angle.
6. I am quite knowledgable about ferrets. I have read several books, countless internet FAQs and articles, and talked with several of my friends who own ferrets. I know more than the average Jane.
I think that is shows great responsability to do that much research before you obtain any pet!! Hats off to you!!
It is great that you have successfully owned as many pets as you have! I ferret would most certainly bring joy into your life if you are willing to commit yourself to it for the life of the ferret!
7. I have enough time to spend 1-2 hours daily with it.
You MUST understand that ferrets require a LOT of attention! How will your ferret/s be living? in a cage? in your room? A ferret really needs planty of time to run freely several hours a day. I honestly feely that only 1-2 hours a day isn't enough free time... but that is just my opinion. They need a very roomy cage with lots of blankies, hammocks & tunnels to play in. And if you are only going to be able to play with it for 1-2 hours a day then you really may want to consider getting at least 2 ferrets so they don't get bored in between your attention times.
I hope I was able to help at least a little! If there is anything else you'd like to know just ask!
(psst... let us know what the outcome is!)