Ferrets are the only domesticated species in the Mustelidae family. It is said that the sailors domesticated ferrets 2500 years ago. Ferrets were grown in homes to hunt rabbits, rodents, and other small animals in those days. Some of the states like New York restrict the importation and domestication of ferrets.
Ferrets as Pets
Ferrets can be charming, long-term pets. With proper care, a ferret can live up to 12 years. Ferrets are social animals; expect them to play and need companions.
They are immensely joyous and playful animals. Ferrets are a purposive species and an expert in resolving surprising things: they love cracking puzzles and challenging games. Though ferrets play amongst themselves and with toys, they always seek your attention.
Ferrets are long and thin, a classic mustelid shape. These animals are ovulatory induced. Ferrets are seen in various colors: chocolate, albino, black sable, sable, dark-eyed white, silver, and cinnamon. They have a tail as long as half their own body’s length (2.8 – 7.5 inches).
Height and Weight
Male ferrets are taller than the females, height ranging 15-16 inches with a weight of 2 – 3 ½ pounds. A non-neutered male grows 4-5 inches taller than the well-neutered males. The average height of the female ferret is 13-14 inches and weighs about ¾ – 2 ½ pounds.
In the wild, ferret likes to be in grassy plains, and they love sleeping enclosed areas. They hunt prairie dogs and take over their home, which is burrowed in the ground.
You must provide a multileveled cage for your ferret. They are social animals, having 2 or more ferrets in the same cage is recommended. Ferrets love to run, jump, play, bite and chew, so they need at least 4 hours a day to play and exercise.
You can notice your pet ferret being active in dawn and dusk. Ferrets love sleeping, so much so that they sleep 14-18 hours a day. Don’t be fooled! They aren’t actually lazy, and you will notice this when they play. Ferrets often demand you to let them out for play, so don’t forget to schedule an hour for playing and an hour for exercise.
Ferret has scent glands close to the anus, which they use to recognize other ferrets. You can easily understand your pet’s language with their tiny reactions. They hiss when they are afraid, squeak softer when they are upset, and if you are lucky enough, they show you their weasel war dance – this is an invitation for playtime.
Are ferrets aggressive?
Ferrets are quite calm and adorable pets, but that doesn’t mean they won’t bite you. Ferrets are very prone to bite anything around them, even you. Biting and chewing are part of their playtimes
Reason for Biting:
- Teething: Like us, baby ferrets will lose their baby teeth to make room for their adult teeth. This process will take approximately 9 nine months. Their gums will be sore during this time, which may cause them to bite you.
- Aggression: When ferrets are in pain or experiencing a disease, they will bite you. Boredom: yes, they may also bite when they’re bored.
- Fear: Avoid frightening them.
- Playing: As mentioned before, biting and chewing is part of their game, so it is normal.
- Eating: While feeding by hand, your ferret may bite you accidentally.
Ferrets and Rabies
It is compulsory to get your ferret vaccinated every year. By law, if you decide to own a pet ferret, you must get them vaccinated. They are capable of transmitting various diseases to humans, especially rabies. Even if it is accidental, immediate medical attention is required when they bite you.
If your ferret bites someone not vaccinated, then the person must be in quarantine for a few days. Also, if your ferret is in society, it must be either isolated or quarantined in the pet hospital.
Ferrets are carnivorous, so avoid feeding them any vegan foods. They usually eat small mammals like rabbits, rodents, possums, prairie dogs, and hedgehogs. Provide 1.7 – 2.4 ounces of meat every day. According to the American Ferret Association, a healthy diet of a ferret should contain 36% of proteins, 20% of fat, and low carbohydrates.
Facts about Ferrets
- A group of ferrets is called a business.
- Baby ferrets are called litter.
- You can smell a mild musky odor from your pet.
- Ferret is derived from the Latin word “furittus” ,” which means little thief. The name defines their common habit of secreting things.
- All newborn ferrets have white fur and acquire their genetic color at 3rd week.
- Ferret racing, a famous sport conducted in London, is a race through drainpipes.
- Australia: illegal in Queensland and northern territory.
- New Zealand: Completely restricts the ferrets.
- United States: complete restrictions are set in California, New York, Wisconsin, Washington, and Oshkosh.
- European union
- United Kingdom