Fun Ferret Facts For Kidsred kangaroo

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
A few interesting ferret facts are sure to make to think differently about these cute animals.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.7 Min

Ferrets are the smelly, yet cute-looking little animals that have been domesticated for 2,500 years. Ferrets are descendants of the European polecats. Some ferrets can be domesticated, and many people choose these ferrets as house pets due to their similar nature to dogs and cats. Although ferrets are quite lazy and might even sleep for 10-16 hours every day, they always need to have a minimum of four hours to run around and engage in their active playtime.

If one wants to buy a ferret, an investment of $50 to a maximum of $250 or $300 is what you must be prepared for. The best thing about buying a ferret as a pet is that it can be litter trained. This happens by creating a habit that can be rewarded with positive reinforcement for the ferrets. Placing them physically in the litter box cage and treating them later is also a simple way that they can be trained. As ferrets seem to stink a lot, bathing them needs to be done with utmost care too. Using a gentle shampoo on all the body except the head, rubbing a little, and then gently washing off the shampoo from the body followed by drying the body with a smooth cloth is a simple way to bathe the ferrets. You should never ignore washing the head with shampoo followed by tapping and wiping the head with a damp cloth. Bathing the ferret will help in reducing the stinky smell for a while.

Check out the red kangaroo or the quoll for more information about wildlife and different habitats.

Ferret Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a ferret?

Ferret animal belongs to the weasel family, a descendant of the European polecat.

What class of animal does a ferret belong to?

The Mustela putorius furo, ferrets are included in the mammalian class of animals.

How many ferrets are there in the world?

Ferrets are considered to be common pets, so an accurate total number of ferrets currently living is difficult to obtain.

Where do ferrets live?

The ferrets are quite active when awake and need a lot of space for themselves. They mainly love to live on different types of grass plains like parks, forests, farms, meadows, barns, and villages as well. Pet ferrets can stay in a cage when domesticated.

What is a ferret's habitat?

Ferrets can live in higher temperatures in all locations as well all over the world. This species' habitat is focused around the locations of North America, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

Who do ferrets live with?

Ferrets are quite social animals, unlike their descendant polecats. Pet ferrets can stay as a pair or with a small group of ferrets as well as alone with the pet owner. In the wild, ferrets live with small groups of their kind.

How long does a ferret live?

A ferret's lifespan can be anywhere between 5-10 years. Pet ferrets can live for as long as 12 years with proper care and diet.

How do they reproduce?

The male and female ferrets are supposed to follow the mating season which lasts from the month of March to April. Ferrets being mammals, the female ferret cares for the baby during the gestation period of 35-42 days. After this, the females give birth to three to seven babies.

What is their conservation status?

Domesticated ferrets do not have a conservation status as they are commonly kept as pets. However, interestingly, the International Union for Conservation for Nature or IUCN Red List classifies the related black-footed ferrets as an Endangered species.

Ferret Fun Facts

What do ferrets look like?

Ferrets have a similar appearance to that of a weasel or a mink.

Black-footed ferrets that run in the wild are usually plain in color with a white forehead and black feet. Although for the domesticated pet ferret, colors are observed to be of different shades ranging from black, different spectrums of browns as well as a rare reddish shade of ferret. Some say they look a little like a zucchini due to their slender, long body shape. Be it a pet ferret or a black-footed ferret, with a little and long size and shape, their tails are usually half the size of their whole bodies. As well as domesticated ferrets and black-footed ferrets, European polecats are another type of ferret who are related to domesticated ferrets. European polecats are often dark brown in color.

How cute are they?

Although they might stink a lot, on a scale of one to five of cuteness, ferrets can surely be rated as five due to their size and cute, triangular nose. A ferret's ability to enter almost any place can be both annoying as well as cute at times.

How do they communicate?

Ferret noises are referred to as dooking. A ferret can communicate with the different kinds of sounds that it creates. A ferret's body language adds a part of non-verbal communication which can also match the level of other pets like dogs and cats.

How big is a ferret?

A ferret is usually the size of a zucchini which may be as big as 15-20 in (38.1-50.8 cm) in size. They can grow up to 26 in (66 cm) long including the long tails that are usually half of their size. Ferrets are about four times bigger than a house mice.

How fast can a ferret run?

Although ferrets are quite active in nature and end up finding different ways to enter almost every place, they choose not to run. Of course, they can run very fast. In cases of danger, they might also run around 10-15 mph (16.1-24.1 kph).

How much does a ferret weigh?

Considering their slender and long body, a ferret's weight can be counted anywhere between 1.5-4.4lb (0.7-2 kg)

What are their male and female names of the species?

Black-footed ferrets, or any ferret species, are called differently based on their gender. For instance; male ferrets are called hobs and females are called jills.

What would you call a baby ferret?

Baby ferrets as way too tiny and can fit in a teaspoon if one considers measuring the domesticated ones. These are born in a capacity of three to seven clusters and the baby ferrets are called kits.

What do they eat?

A ferret's diet is usually anything meaty that they can get their paws on. Being the descendants of polecats and belonging to the weasel family, a ferret's diet focuses majorly on rodents, rabbits,  prairie dogs, possums, and hedgehogs.

Are they aggressive?

Black-footed ferrets, as well as pets, prefer gentle behavior and are usually quite friendly unless they are handled roughly. That is when they might grow aggressive leading them to bite especially when handled by human kids as domesticated or pet ferrets do not like being handled by them. The other thing that might get them aggressive is not being given free space for their active sprees.

Would they make a good pet?

Black-footed ferrets are usually considered wild ferrets. Even though the ferret smell is quite strong and musky due to their body's ability to stink quite often, the domesticated kind of ferret is called the best kind to be a house pet. This is mainly because ferrets as pets are equal to that of a cat or a dog as pets. They are playful, loving towards their owners and are always ready for social interactions, and love all the attention that they can possibly manage to get. Many people consider them not to be good animals that can be kept as pets due to this very nature of them. Only a few personnel are allowed to have the permit of having ferrets as pets for hunting rabbits and similar purposes.

Did you know...

As ferrets are predatory in nature and prove to be harmful to rabbits, birds, and rodents, they have been banned in New Zealand since 2002.  

If a ferret is in real danger, a stinky smell is produced by a couple of hormones that are secreted from the anal glands of the animal!

Keeping a proper check on the health of ferrets is extremely important as ferrets might die due to loneliness or being inactive for longer durations as well as due to heart conditions. There is also a high chance of jills or female ferrets dying easily due to a lack of mating.

Initially, the United States of America banned ferrets until the ’80s. However, the laws were changed and finally, they were made pets again. Different laws have been made by numerous countries over the licensing and rigid laws of ferrets. In Japan, for keeping pets, one must register a ferret with the local authorities.

What is the difference between a ferret and a weasel?

Though ferrets belong to the weasel family, weasel vs ferret is a piece of good information that everyone must have. Technically, ferrets have been considered pets for 2,500 years and weasels are even today recognized as wild pests. Ferrets are known as nocturnal creatures, while weasels do not adhere to that classification. Based on their physical appearance, ferrets are larger than weasels with comparatively shorter tails.

What sound does a ferret make?

Dooking is a sound similar to that of a chicken clucking that ferrets usually make. When your ferret is happy or excited dooking is what it would engage in. Ferrets might also hiss in order to show that they are angry. Even though they are rarely ever loud, they might scream and bark whenever they feel frightened or want to protect themselves or when the ferrets are in deep pain.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the African civet or the black-footed ferret.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our ferret coloring pages.

Ferret Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Rodents, possums, rabbits, prairie dogs, hedgehogs

What Type of Animal were they?

Meat

Average Litter Size?

3-7

How Much Did They Weigh?

1.5-4.4 lb (0.7-2 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

grass plains like parks, forests, farms, meadows, barns, villages

Where Do They Live?

north america, europe, asia, North Africa

How Long Were They?

15-20 in (38.1 - 50.8 cm)

How Tall Were They?

Unknown

Class

Mammalia

Genus

Mustela

Family

Mustelidae

Scientific Name

Mustela putorius furo

What Do They Look Like?

Golden brown, dark chocolate brown, white and black, gray

Skin Type

Fur

What Are Their Main Threats?

coyotes, golden eagles, bobcats, and owls

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern, and Endangered
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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