Ferret Facts

Ferret life span: 6-8 years (up to 11 years)

Names:
Female: jill, spayed female: sprite
Male: hob, neutered male: gib
Baby ferret: kit

Size:
Male: 15"-16" (without tail)
Female: 13"-14" (without tail)

Weight:
Male: 2-3.5 lbs (neutered),+4 lbs (intact)
Female: 0.75 to 2.5 lbs

Sleep: 18 hours/day, adapt to the owner’s schedule

Pregnancy period: 42 days

Litter size: 8 on average

Kits are weaned at 6-8 weeks

Sexually mature at 5-6 months

Mating season: spring-summer

Female ferrets must be bred or spayed. If not, they can go into prolonged heat and eventually die.

Heart rate: 200-250 beats per minute

Temperature: 37.8°C – 39.4°C, Fahrenheit 100 – 103

Respiration: 33-36/min

Obligate carnivores (=exclusive meat eaters)

Domesticated around 2000 years ago.

The musky ferret smell comes from skin glands, not scent glands.

Ferrets can empty their scent glands, but they don’t spray like a skunk.  And the smell is usually gone after 10 minutes (thank goodness).

Scientific name: Mustela putorius furo  or Mustela furo

Ferrets are from the Mustelidae family (same as the weasel, mink, badger, wolverine, otter, polecat and, obviously, black footed ferret).

North American ferrets are usually spayed/neutered and descented at a young age before being sold.

Ferrets cannot survive on their own, they usually starve within 4 days. Depending on the weather conditions they can die within a day.

 

Fun Ferret Facts

A group of ferrets is called a “business”.

Ferrets can be housetrained (as long as you provide enough litter boxes).

Queen Victoria raised albino ferrets and handed them out as gifts (what a cool lady ;-)).

A newborn kit can fit on a teaspoon (if anyone has a picture, I’d love to post it here).

Some ferrets are such deep sleepers it can take up to 15 minutes to wake them (aka, SND: Sleeping Not Dead), no amount of jostling or picking them up will wake them.

Ferrets can learn tricks. What’s more, they can teach you tricks as well.
Ferrets can squeeze into tiny spaces and underneath doors (which is why ferret proofing is vital).

They love to sleep in the most inconvenient places (inconvenient to you, not to them).

A lot of fuzzies don’t recognize food as ferret food unless they’ve eaten it at a young age.

They love to sleep in awkward positions.

Not so scientific names: fuzzy, fuzzball, fert, carpet shark, speedbump, furball, woozel

The scientific name is derived from the Latin furonem which means thief (how fitting)

There are several different ferret colors and ferret patterns.

Fuzzies are pretty popular in movies (Along Came Polly, Harry Potter).

The fuzzy is currently the third most popular pet after cats and dogs in the US.