Are Ferrets Weasels?
Are Ferrets Weasels?
Ferrets may look like weasels, but ferrets are not weasels. They
were first domesticated from the European Polecat (about 4000 years ago in Rome) and part of the mustelid family.
Mustelids include weasels, ferrets, minks, otters, badgers, wolverines, and the European polecats. While ferrets are often referred to as “weasels,” they are not part of the weasel genus. However, they both belong to the same family, and like weasels, ferrets are long creatures with short legs and pointed snouts, carnivores (meat-eating animals) with lean bodies and short tails. While they have similar physical characteristics to weasels, ferrets are larger than the average weasel.
Learn more about ferrets!
A common ferret nickname is “cat snake” because they’re so long with short legs! They come in several different colors (white, black, chocolate, cinnamon, and albino ferrets), but ferret color does not affect their personality traits. They have a 7-10 years lifespan and are pretty social creatures that enjoy cuddling with humans and other ferrets. Ferrets love to run around and play games like hide-and-seek!
Ferrets mark their territory using scent glands located on their bodies. Each ferret has its unique smell that’s created by these special glands found in the anal sacs and feet.
They’re carnivores, so ferrets must eat meat-based food every day. Ferret owners typically buy ferret kibble at a pet store and ferret treats made from ingredients such as chicken or rabbit meat. In addition, many ferret owners (including me) feed mice, raw meat, and chicken hearts because ferrets love those, and it’s healthy.
However, ferrets have been known to become easy prey for larger carnivores because they only stand about 2 feet tall (including the tail). For this reason, ferrets are often kept indoors. If allowed to play outside, be sure there is a protective fence around your yard with ferret-proof latches on the gates.
Ferrets are social animals and prefer to live with another ferret. But, don’t worry, they still love playing with their owner and have more energy than their human anyway.
Are ferrets good pets?
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