24 Ferret Facts

24 Ferret Facts

Here are 24 pieces of information that will aid you in understanding who and what ferrets are. To properly care for your pet ferret you need to know these facts.


1….share genetics with weasels, otters, badgers, skunks and minks. They are not rodents.

be thought of as somewhere between cats and dogs but smaller.

playful like puppies – except they never grow out of it.

be trained to do anything a dog can do. They can be litter box trained like a cat.

people oriented rather than person oriented. They are able to bond with a number of humans over the course of their lifetimes although its can take up to a year to complete the bonding process..

cross species social. They enjoy being with other ferrets, humans, dogs and cats. Ferrets do not do well with mice, birds or other small animals.

primarily indoor pets. They should be in a harness and on a leash if outside.

not carriers of rabies. There is no record of a human ever contracting rabies from a ferret.

not noisy creatures. They chitter when excited.

10….smell like ferrets. A neutered ferret does not have an offensive smell. Regular cleaning of his cage and bedding will help keep smells under control.

relatively poor eyesight compensated for by acute senses of smell and hearing.

expectancy is 6-8 years although they can live up to twice that length of time.

13. Baby ferrets are called kits, females are jills and males are hobs.

14. Males tend to be about 16 inches long and weigh nearly 3 pounds. Females grow to around 12 inches and weigh in at one and a half pounds or so.

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to sleep 15-20 hours per day. They are crepuscular, i.e. most active just before dawn and just after dusk.

very energetic and love to play.

good pets and are people-friendly.

18….require more attention than cats. They are more likely to “have an accident” and miss their litter box than cats.

not a good pet for families with small children under the age of six.

extremely inquisitive and will attempt to explore everything in their environment. Ferret-proofing a room for them to run around in is a must.

chew things. The danger is they may swallow small pieces and experience intestinal blockage – an emergency visit to the veterinarian.

illegal in Hawaii and California. Many municipalities have made ownership of ferrets a crime. Their illegality stems from misinformation. First, many consider ferrets to be wild animals like raccoon or skunk. History shows that ferrets have been domesticated for over two millennia. Second, domesticated ferrets offer no rabies threat. If a ferret contracts rabies (rare due to almost universal vaccination against it), it tends to die before it is capable of passing it on to others. As of this date, records indicate that no human has contracted rabies from a ferret in the United States. Third, the danger of escaped or abandoned ferrets forming feral communities is minimal. Most domesticated ferrets are neutered. Their ability to survive in the wild is almost zero. An escaped ferret will be dead within 72 hours of release into the wild. There is no evidence of even one feral ferret community in the U.S.

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to spend a significant amount of time outside their cages in a supervised environment.

to make regular visits to the veterinarian for shots and annual checkups.