Ferret / Mustela putorius furo

Did you know...

Ferrets are born deaf and begin to hear at around 34 days

A newborn ferret is small enough to fit on a teaspoon

Male ferrets are called hobs; female ferrets are jills

A group of ferrets is called a business

Ferrets are domesticated carnivorous mammals of the weasel family, which probably derived from crosses of European and Steppe polecats. They typically have brown, black, white, or mixed fur.

Ferrets were originally domesticated around 2,500 years ago and were used for hunting rabbits, moles and rodents as they still are today.

Generally ferrets are very clean animals. They love to swim and when water is available, bathe daily. Ferrets also groom themselves frequently, just as cats do. Typically, a ferret will groom after eating and before sleeping.

Ferrets spend 14 to 18 hours a day sleeping; each sleep period lasting about six hours. Although ferrets sleep more than most other domesticated animals, they are very enthusiastic when awake and will seek to be released from their cage to get exercise and satisfy their abundant curiosity. They are most active for the period of dusk and dawn.

Ferrets are energetic and interested in their surroundings. Play for ferrets often involves hide and seek games, chase, or some form of predator-prey game with other animals. They also have a strong nesting instinct and will repeatedly carry small objects into their beds making it warm and comfortable.

The gestation period of the ferret is about 42 days and litters usually number 3 to 7, but sometimes more. Young ferrets are known as kits. Females may have two to three litters annually. The young are weaned after 3 to 6 weeks and become independent at three months. Sexual maturity may come at six months.