A ferret wandering in the grass
Ferrets are small mammals of the Mustelidae family (we also call them Mustelids). Check out more facts on your furry little friend.

10 Cute Facts About Ferrets


Image source

The word ‘ferret’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Furittus’, which means little thief. Well, the meaning of ferret is precise because one of the most favorite activities of ferrets is to hide and steal things.

The cute tube-like body of the ferrets has never failed to win the hearts of people around them. Ferrets are not as popular as other pets like dogs and cats, they still have some dedicated fan following.

Many people like to own ferrets but not all are familiar with the responsibilities that come along. So, here is a list of all the ferrets facts that will help you learn a lot about the cute little creature.

Read on and know it all.

1.     Ferrets have been domesticated for a long time now

Image source

It is hard to say when ferrets were domesticated first, but the creatures have a long history. The mention of ferret-like creatures dates back to 450 and 350 B.C.E when the Greek scholars- Aristotle and Aristophanes wrote about them.

Some even say that the ancient Egyptians have domesticated ferrets as pets. However, the absence of their bones in that period leads to a doubt on the claim.

2. Ferrets are good at hunting

Image source

Did you know? The lean body structure and curious nature of ferrets makes it easier for them to chase rabbits and rodents. Earlier in the days, their owners took advantage of such nature and ferrets used to help them by hunting down rabbits, rodents, and other small animals.

So, we can assume that ferrets have always contributed to arranging a meal for their owners, whenever required. Isn’t that cute?

3. Ferrets have some cute dance moves (They can beat you at that!)

 Wild ferrets have a tendency to dance hypnotically to send their prey into a state of trance. Domestic ferrets also perform dance, but they dance when they are excited and not to hypnotize their hunt. They perform cute dance by arching their back, puffing their tails, and moving from one side to another.

When a domestic ferret performs such moves, it usually means that they are in a happy mood. The dance is usually known as weasel war dance. Besides indicating their happy mood, such dance is also an invitation for their owners to come and play with them.

Also, it is always a delight to the eyes to see ferrets dance.

4. Ferrets love to sleep (They are sleepy head)

Image source

Ferrets love to sleep, and they can sleep for around 18 hours a day. They are usually seen active at dusk and dawn but most of them adapt their sleep schedule to match with their owners.

The main reason behind ferrets changing their sleep schedule is that they will be able to pay attention to their owners and grab theirs in return.

5. Ferrets have different fur colors

Image source

Ferrets may have different fur color and markings. The seven most common fur colors include silver, sable, cinnamon, black sable, chocolate, albino, and dark-eyed white. Among all these seven colors, sable is the most common.

The patterns and markings on the fur of ferrets include blazes, pointed pattern, panda, badgers, and Shetlands.

6. Some ferrets also do professional jobs

Image source

Ferrets love to burrow, and they can use this skill to run through the pipes for many professional uses. When it becomes difficult for people to push wire through a rod or a tunnel, the tiny creatures can step in to do the needful.

Did you know? A ferret named Felicia once helped to clean pipes at ‘Fermilab’s Meson laboratory’ in the year 1971. A swab was attached to her collar, which helped in getting rid of the unwanted debris in the pipes.

7. Black-footed ferrets eat prairie dogs

Image source

Black-footed ferrets, also known as American polecats are found in central North America. These are widely known to feast on prairie dogs. Scientists have discovered that the diet of 91 percent of the American polecats (black-footed ferrets) in South Dakota consisted of prairie dogs.

The bad news here is that the main source of their food has much wider problem than being eaten, which is known as The Black Death. Although the plague is not a problem for humans, it may wipe away the entire race of prairies dogs.

This threat causes a genuine issue for the black-footed ferrets, which may perish without the availability of their favorite food. Well, the good news is that researchers have found a vaccine that will keep the tiny creatures healthy. However, the testing of the vaccine is still underway.

Image source

An amazing thing about ferrets is that the creatures have their own popular sport. Ferret racing is very popular in London and it involves competing ferrets by making them race through the drain pipes.

In the ferret racing, a small section of the drain pipe is replaced with the chicken wire. This is done to make it easy for the viewers to know when the ferrets are already half-way through the pipe.

Since ferrets are known to enjoy the company of their fellow friends, they do enjoy the race a lot.

9. Ferrets are smart and friendly creatures

Ferrets are very smart creatures, and they have amazed their owners many times by their ability to solve problems. One of the characteristics of ferrets is that they are very determined and work towards figuring anything out with the required persistence.

They enjoy challenging games and puzzles and it is always recommended providing them with puzzle based games and toys.

Besides their problem solving ability, ferrets are also known to be friendly to other pets like dogs and cats. They like to be playful with cats and dogs and enjoy quality time with their fellow creatures.

10. Every ferret has unique qualities

Each ferret is unique and comes with its own set of qualities. From being independent to the form of communication, they all are different. Each ferret uses different mode of communication. Some will cluck or dock when they are excited, while others will bark.

You may find some ferrets to be more independent, wishing to be left alone while others like to be cuddled more often. All in all, each ferret is an individual with different habits.

Some other fun facts about ferrets:

Are you aware of the fact that a group of ferrets is known as a ‘Business’?

Other cool fact- Male ferrets are called hobs, female ferrets are called jills, and baby ferrets are known as kits.

Ferrets usually suffer from bad eyesight, but they have other smart abilities to compensate for the same. Rather than waiting for their human friend to help them with their eyesight, they use their hearing ability and sense of smell to avoid bumping into anything.

You may feel surprised to know ferrets have a musky odor- however, it is not that strong. To prevent them from throwing off the odor you may give them occasional bath. You must also know too much bath may dry their skin, so make sure you don’t put them under water more often.

A fact about female ferrets is that they may die if they do not get to mate for too long. If they do not get to mate, they run the risk of producing estrogen in excess. The excess estrogen may eventually lead to clotting, anemia, and even death.

Ferrets are also prone to certain medical conditions include blockage in the intestine and adrenal diseases. They also carry health conditions as that of cats and dogs such as rabies, canine distemper, and heartworms.

You must know ferrets do not like to stay alone. So, you must prefer keeping them in the groups. Also, when ferrets are in a group, they sleep all curled up in a ball, which usually makes them indistinguishable from each other.

You must definitely not miss this one- In 2013, Argentineans were tricked into buying fake poodles. Some ferrets were put on steroids, given haircuts and sold to people in Argentina. The owners realized that they have bought drugged ferrets when they took them to the vet.

The final thought

 Ferrets are incredibly amazing. They are smart, clever, friendly, and lovable. From their funny dance moves to sleeping almost all day long, there is nothing about them that you will not fall in love with.

There is no denying the fact that ferrets have been domesticated for a long time now but there are still some countries where owning a ferret is illegal. The names of some countries where ferrets are still illegal include New York City, Hawaii, California, and Washington D.C. Now that you know some of the cutest and fun facts about ferrets, we hope that you might decide to get one for yourself. However, you will have to check if owning a ferret is legal in your region or not.

You May Also Like

How To Care For Pregnant Ferrets

Table of Contents Hide Before pregnancyDuring pregnancyAfter pregnancyWeaning the kitsConclusion Image source Ferrets are small mammals that come…