What is a Ferret?
The ferret is a very particular animal, it is neither a rodent nor a cat, it is a carnivorous mammal of the species of the mustelids like the weasel, the ermine or the mink. It is a bit like the black-footed ferret’s cousin, but the black-footed ferret stays in the wild, in the wild, while the ferret cannot live alone. He has specific needs and a lifestyle of his own! The ferret is often classified in the category of NAC (New Pets) or even rodents 👿 but it is a Domestic Carnivore just like the dog and the cat.
A ferret is a small hairy beast with 4 legs, 2 ears, 2 eyes, a tail and mustaches. Its weight, just like its coat can vary from one specimen to another: adult, the ferret can weigh from 500 gr to 2 kg, knowing that the males are always of bigger size than the females who rarely exceed the kilo .
The ferret has a life expectancy of ten years, depending on its living conditions (food and respect for natural light in particular).
There are many varieties of ferrets, the 2 most important being the Black-footed and the Albino. Albinos are white or even yellowish with red eyes, due to the lack of pigmentation. The polecats have a color, which can be: sable (most common), sand, black, champagne, chocolate, white (with black eyes unlike an albino).
Ferrets can also have long hair, so they will be angora or semi-angora. Depending on the season and like any animal, ferrets’ coats change: in the spring, they lose their hair, they moult, and in the fall, they put on their winter coats, with thicker, more numerous hairs. His fur is then the most beautiful in November :-).
Ferret, a wild animal?
No, the Ferret is not a wild animal, it does not know how to live alone in nature. The domestication of ferrets by humans began as early as the 5th century BC, notably for his instinct to hunt rodents (rats and mice) but also as a laboratory animal.
It was from the 1970s and 1980s that ferrets were really appreciated as pets. Today, there are a million ferrets distributed in our French homes.
Ferrets are strict carnivores, they do not digest food of plant origin (cereals: wheat, rice, barley, corn / fruits and vegetables), so they should eat only products of animal origin: fresh meat (poultry preferably), barf (mixture of different meats and offal), prey (frozen chicks or mice). Although the kibbles are more practical, they are not necessarily suitable for ferrets and can cause serious health problems (see this article), frozen chicks are the most economical and practical alternative while respecting their health.
Is the ferret biting?
If he is well educated, the ferret does not bite, he nibbles to play. As a young dog is taught not to bite, ferret education is very important: a firm NO when the bite is too strong and a reward system is better than all punishments :-).
Ferrets can live well with and play with children, always under the supervision of an adult, like any other animal.