My daughter was rather responsible about animals but wasn't allowed to have pets. They were her dependents. I insisted that when she was to be gone to visit her dad or anywhere else overnight that she ask me to take care of her critter dependents while she was gone. I would have anyhow but I thought she needed to learn something about having a living creature dependent upon you for everything. It worked out well with her. Still, I wouldn't let her keep snakes nor would I have bought or allowed her to buy a ferret. She did keep an alligator lizard in a fish tank. It was confined and didn't stench. The main problem was it had to have live food. Yuck!
I think a cat bowl for a ferret might work out. They do like small spaces I think.