Ferrets are fury little mammals that are like a stretched out version of a cross between a rabbit and a rat. They are highly playful and curious domesticated animals that provide great companionship for anyone. Many people do however believe that ferrets are rodents like rats and mice, but contrary to this, they are actually in the Mustelid family along with weasels, stoats and martens.
The exact origin and date of domestication of the ferret is unknown, however remains of these cute little animals have been dated back as far as 1500BC, so they are quite a mature species. Ferrets, despite their cute appearance and cheeky nature, were in fact used originally for hunting or also know as ferreting. The ferret was usually used by hunters to chase rabbits and small rodents out of their burrows, however this is now illegal in many countries, but still practiced in the United Kingdom and Australia because this method is still more successful than many of the technologies developed for the same purpose.
Ferrets are more commonly kept as pets, because of their curious and energetic playful nature, they are very similar to kittens that never grow up, which is why they are preferred by many animal lovers. The slight drawback of the ferret is that they tend to nip when they are young, intending it only in a playful manner, but it can get annoying for an owner who does not fully understand their nature. This habit can be eliminated with correct training, and generally dissipates on its own with age. Ferrets have quite a long lifespan, of around 6 to 10 years, but in some cases can live into their teens.
The diet of a ferret its a lot like that of a cat, but they tend to need more protein and fat than in typical cat food. They can be fed dried cat food, but be sure to check that the top 3 ingredients are meat based, as the ferretâ€™s metabolism cannot properly digest proteins from grains. There is a wide variety of ferret food in pet stores around American and the United Kingdom.
Sleep and Play
Ferrets spend the vast majority of their time sleeping, usually 14-18 hours in fact, so they require a comfortable place to sleep that is also quiet and away from other pets that may disturb them. They do sleep a lot, but when they are awake they have extreme energy, so should be provided with lots of toys and activities, like running wheels, climbing towers, balls, and even fellow ferrets to play with. This will keep both the ferret and the owner entertained.
All these factors and more make the ferret an ideal pet to add to any family. They are sociable, non-aggressive, playful, cute, cheap, clean and extremely lovable. So why not add a ferret to your family tree and reap the reward of unconditional love and affection.