THE FERRET - physical appearance, behavior and photos!

Ferret: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The ferret or mustela putorius furo is a mammal that is considered to have...

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The ferret or mustela putorius furo is a mammal that is believed to have been domesticated at least 2,500 years ago. We know, for example, that the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus sent ferrets to the Balearic Islands to fight against an invasion of rabbits in the year 6 BC. J-C.

Later, the ferret was used to hunt rabbits that slithered smoothly into their burrows. In some countries like Australia, this practice is still used to fight against the large invasions of rabbits that the country suffers from time to time.

Finally, the ferret has become a fantastic pet because it is very lively and extremely curious. It's an incredible animal that will surprise anyone who wants to adopt one.


  • Asia
  • Europe

Physical appearance

There is a wide variety of ferrets that are visually different in size, color and build. They can also be distinguished by the abundance of their fur.

You should know that the size of the animal can vary depending on the sex of the ferret. A female ferret is usually 30% smaller than a male. It is considered an adult from 9 or 10 months, at which time we can already identify its size according to the following different categories:

  • Wiped or small - they weigh between 400 and 500 grams.
  • Standard or Medium - They usually weigh between 500 grams and 1 kilogram.
  • Bull or large - They weigh up to 2.5 kilos.

The ferret can display an infinite number of colors and there are no two identical ferrets in the world. Among the colors of the ferret, there are hues such as white, champagne, black, chocolate, cinnamon or tricolor. In addition, there are also very specific patterns such as Standard, Siamese, Marbled, Uniform, Gloves, Flare, Bib, Spike or Panda.

The coat abundance will be different in winter and summer. Basically, we find differences in the hairs according to their size, for example, we will find in the Wiped variety a short and extremely soft hair, called velvet. The Standard has Angora hair, the longest a ferret can have. Finally, the Bull has short hair and a pleasant touch.


They are very sociable animals that generally accept other members of their species and even cats without any problem.They like to play and sleep together to keep warm and the ferret hates loneliness and will feel very lucky to have another family member to spend time with.

It's also not a problem to have a ferret alone, although we must be aware of giving him games, love and attention every day.

Although many myths surround ferret aggressive behavior, the truth is that for over 15 years breeders have been selecting the most docile and calm specimens to breed. This means that most ferrets for adoption are not aggressive. Nevertheless, if we decide that the ferret will be the ideal pet for our children, we should monitor the behavior of the children and the animal for a while.

The child can't regard the ferret as a plush toy and he can't squeeze and tease him whenever he wants. They are small, sensitive animals that, when faced with physical threat, act by writhing or scratching forcefully.

They are intelligent and curious animals that are restless all day and have a lot of energy. They compensate for this with the 14 or 18 hours of sleep they get each day.


The ferret needs a different diet than the pets we are used to. It is a small carnivorous mammal with high protein requirements. For this reason, its food base will be meat and we will only be able to offer it fish occasionally. We will never offer him cat food.

We will find a variety of specific foods on the market and the ferret is a much more common pet than we think. In general, the foods are made from extruded chicken, a treatment that aids digestion. High grain content is not recommended.

As with dogs and cats, there are also specific foods for each stage of their life. The junior food, for example, contains more fat or calcium, while the adult food is more of a maintenance and strengthening food.

Finally we will talk about rewards, which are very important to improve our relationship with the ferret and make him understand the actions he is doing correctly. Treats should not be abused, but we can offer them a certain amount per day, for example when they urinate on the correct site. Everything should turn out in a very positive way that will contribute to the well-being of our new pet.

We will be careful if hamsters or rabbits live in the house because they can become prey for the ferret. We will also never give him raisins, sugar, chocolate, butter or peanuts.

Precautions to take

If you are considering adopting a ferret, you must be extremely careful when taking it out of its cage, as it can easily creep into cabinets and other areas of the house.

Remember that they don't know that it is dangerous to bite electrical wires, play with a folding chair, etc. Their curiosity is such that they could hurt themselves if you don't take the optimal safety measures for them.

How to take care of a ferret?

As we mentioned, the ferret is a very curious pet that will need us to make some small adaptations in our home before adopting it. We will watch for small places where he can get trapped, we will always close the trash cans and we will monitor any electrical device within his reach.

If you wonder about the daily life and activity of the ferret, you will have asked yourself the following question: "Should the ferret be locked up or can it roam free in our house? It is better that he is in his cage when we are not at home, in this way we can avoid that an accident occurs during our absence.On the other hand, it is very important that the ferret moves freely in the home while we offer her love and attention.

His skin produces a layer of fat that insulates and protects him, which is why it is not advisable to bathe him more than once every two weeks, because then he would start producing a greater segregation of his glands, which would increase his body odor.We must use specific products for the animal and, in case we cannot find them, shampoo for kittens.

Ferret He alth

Just like a dog, cat or rabbit, you need to take your ferret to the vet regularly. From an early age, he will have to be vaccinated against distemper and rabies, for example. Vaccination is very important because it helps prevent these diseases.

It is also important to think about castration, a support practice that allows us to improve their state of he alth, reduce their possible aggressiveness and the appearance of diseases derived from zeal such as anemia.

They have a few scent glands next to their anus which they use to mark their territory, but they can also secrete them when excited or in a state of panic. The absence of these glands makes him more likely to suffer from rectal prolapse and even other ailments.Anyway, you should know that removing them does not make the possible smell disappear, it will only be possible to castrate them.

Below is a list of the most common diseases in ferrets:

  • Adrenal disease: This is an overgrowth of the adrenal glands. It can be identified by hair loss, increased aggression and, in the case of females, growth of the vulva. For these cases, the veterinarian must make a diagnosis and will probably remove the affected glands.
  • Insulinoma: or pancreatic cancer. It is difficult to identify because it is a disease that makes the animal lethargic, drooling or foaming at the mouth as well as attacks in more serious cases.
  • Viral diseases: they can suffer from apizootic catarrhal enteritis (an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the intestine) which presents with strong green diarrhea.It can be treated. We also encounter Aleutian disease which mainly affects the immune system and is very difficult to detect.


  • In France and Portugal, the use of ferrets for hunting is prohibited. The same goes for Spain, except in the event that there is an invasion of rabbits in certain specific regions.
  • In Chile we find a SAG regulation that controls the possession and reproduction of this mammal.
  • The United States does not restrict ferret ownership except in California, Hawaii, and cities such as New York, Washington DC, Beaumont, and Bloomington.
  • In Mexico, a marketing license is required if one wants to raise ferrets and is approved by the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources.
  • In Australia, a license is required to keep any ferret, except in Queensland and the Northern Territory where it is prohibited.
  • The sale, distribution or breeding of ferrets is prohibited in New Zealand.
  • In Portugal it is allowed to adopt ferrets as pets.

Ferret Pictures

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