Ferret life span: 6-8 years (up to 11 years)
Female: jill, spayed female: sprite
Male: hob, neutered male: gib
Baby ferret: kit
Male: 15"-16" (without tail)
Female: 13"-14" (without tail)
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
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.
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.