A ferret is a domesticated mustelid, a family of mammals that includes weasels, minks, otters, wolverines, and many others. Members of the Mustelidae family are carnivorous and eat insects and small rodents. Ferrets, however, are domesticated and require food prepared specially for their metabolisms.

A Hunting Partner

Like many domesticated animals, humans developed relationships with ferrets for something useful they could offer. For ferrets, it is hunting. Some records indicate ferrets may have been domesticated 2,500 years ago. Ferrets were used in the American West to protect grain elevators from rodents.

A Playful Friend

The word ferret comes from the Latin word furittus, meaning “little thief.” These little animals love mischievous play and live up to their name. Make sure to carry treats, so your friend knows who’s boss.

Ferrets need lots of TLC and human care. Many ferret owners purchase food specially made for ferrets. These animals lack the real ability to digest plant matter, which means a diet of almost entirely meat. In addition to special diets, ferrets have some of the same late-onset illnesses many cats suffer from.

Ferret Lingo

  • A baby ferret is a kit.
  • A group of ferrets is a business.
  • A spayed ferret is a sprite and a non-spayed jill.

Ferrets are playful fun family pets. However, don’t forget regular vet visits to ensure your ferret lives to its maximum life of 8 years.