Ferrets as Pets

Tiny Little bundles of Love

Coats of Many Colors

Ferrets come in many colors and each one has an individual personality.

While ferrets are not for everyone, they can make great pets for the right owner. They are affectionate and bond
to their owners, and there are few pets as playful as ferrets (yet they are quiet for a large portion of the day).
They seem to have garnered a negative image in some places, which is largely undeserved.

Quick facts about Ferrets:
  • Live 6-8 years on average (sometimes up to 11 or 12)

  • Ferrets are carnivorous, meaning they only eat meat, just like a cat or dog.

  • Females are called jills, and males are hobs. Baby ferrets are called kits. In North America, spayed females are sometimes called sprites and neutered males called gibs. A group of ferrets is a "business of ferrets."

  • Males tend to be larger than females in length and weight. Females are 13-14 inches long and weigh anywhere from 0.75 to 2.5 lbs, whereas males are on average 15-16 inches long and weigh 2-3.5 lbs if neutered and are even larger (4 or more lbs) if not neutered.

  • Most ferrets obtained in North America are spayed or neutered and descented at a very young age before being sold.

  • Ferrets sleep a large part of the day, commonly around 18 hours. They naturally tend to be active at dawn and dusk, but usually adapt their sleeping and active times to the fit the schedules of their owners.

  • Ferrets are very playful, and are very entertaining to watch.

  • Ferrets have relatively poor eyesight but a keen sense of smell and hearing.

  • The name ferret is derived from the latin furonem, which means thief. Ferret owners can attest that is a well deserved name, as they will happily steal anything they can get their paws on and hide it in their house.

  • Ferrets come from the same family (Mustelidae) as badgers, wolverines, otters, mink, weasels, black footed ferrets and polecats.

  • The distant ancestry of the domestic ferret is somewhat of a mystery, although they are very closely related to the European polecat.

  • The scientific name for ferrets is a somewhat controversial area - Mustela putorius furo is traditionally used, although recent scientific evidence has suggested they should have a name of their own, Mustela furo.

  • Ferret owners have a variety of fun nicknames for ferrets: ferts, fuzzies, carpet sharks, furballs, and more! I call my ferrets squishies, because they are kinda squishy!