– Ferrets belong to the weasel family (Mustelidae), which includes polecats, stoats, and ermines. Domesticated ferrets most likely descend from the European polecat.
– From 1860 to the start of World War II, ferrets were widely used in the American West to protect grain stores from rodents. They gained popularity as pets in the 1980s and 90s.
– A ferret’s normal heart rate is 200 to 250 beats per minute.
– Ferrets are most active at dawn and dusk.
– All kits are born with white fur and get their approximate adult color at 3 weeks of age.
Ferrets can get heartworms from the bite of an infected mosquito. Ferrets are similar to dogs in their susceptibility to heartworm infections, but their symptoms are more similar to those seen in cats.
The ferret is the most popular companion mammal in the U.S. behind the dog and cat.
– The average lifespan of a domestic ferret is eight years.
– The name “ferret” is derived from the Latin word furittus, meaning “little thief.” This name likely refers to the common ferret habit of secreting away small items.
There are about 5 to 7 million pet ferrets in the U.S.
– Ferrets sleep for about 15–20 hours a day, usually for about 4 hours at a time. A ferret’s sleep is also known as “ferret dead sleep” because ferrets sleep so deeply.