Ferret facts: Ferrets are pets like cats and dogs, and they’re fun to own if you’re willed to put in the work, time, money, and patience! They can learn to do tricks. They bond with people. They’re great at play. Some are cuddly, some are wiry, some are spiny. Ferrets come in many colors! They all have different personalities. And here are some facts about them!
- Ferrets were first domesticated from the European polecat in Europe during Roman times. That’s over 2,500 years ago! Sounds like a long time, but they’re still younger than cats and dogs.
2. They are part of the Mustelidae family, along with weasels, otters, minks.
3. White ferrets are not always albinos. It must be entirely white for a ferret to be considered an albino, and its eyes must be red or pink. If you have noticed that your pet has an orange, brownish, or yellow tint to the fur, he or she does not have a double dose of the non-functioning albino gene.
4. The pet ferret has a typical lifespan of 4 to 6 years, with some living for as long as 10 years.
5. Ferrets are not rodents! This question comes up a lot, but in a word, no. Rodentia is an order that contains animals like mice, rats, gerbils, beavers, porcupines, and many more. Ferrets are actually in the family Mustelidae, along with badgers and otters. They are very playful and have a delightful sense of humor. Ferrets are well known for their mischievous behavior.
6. There isn’t any such thing as “Ferret Breeds.” Ferrets come in all different colors, ranging from creamy white to black. Ferrets may come in different colors and sizes, but the truth is they don’t have individual breeds. A ferret is a ferret. They just come in different colors.
7. Ferrets are fastidious animals and intelligent creatures that make good pets for the right person. They have an odor and are pretty demanding if it comes to food quality. You need two of them, and they will poop every 4-5 hours, plus they need about 3 hours of playtime – out of their cage. Do your homework before getting ferrets.
8. They may be enthusiastic lickers and nibblers, but they sleep all day! Their favorite activity is to curl up and snooze. In fact, they spend about 18 or 19 hours a day sleeping.
9. Ferrets can smell bad if they are not cleaned or if they don’t have the best diet. They have a musky smell.
10. Ferrets are carnivores – they need a diet consisting of meat. Ferrets eat several times each day, and they need food especially high in animal protein. The European polecat would eat small animals, like mice, rabbits, birds, including their eggs, frogs, and insects. Pet ferrets can be fed with high-quality cat food.
11. A ferret war dance is a foot-stamping, hip-swaying, or butt-shaking ritual performed by ferrets. The dance serves to announce, advertise and declare ferret territory. And for fun. It also has other benefits such as the practice of staying in shape, especially for younger ferrets not yet considered “mature.”