September 2014′s Animal Of The Month – Ferrets

By September 29, 2014 No Comments

September is nearly over, so we are bidding the playful ferret adieu as our Animal of the Month.  If you’ve been following us on Twitter @ExoticPetVets, you will have seen all of the interesting and fun facts we tweeted about ferrets throughout the month. In case you missed them, here is a summary of our tweets about ferrets. Did you know?:

  • The ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is part of the weasel family (Mustelidae).
  • Ferrets have one ancestor, the European polecat, from which it was domesticated over 2,000 years ago.
  • Ferrets were originally used for pest control and hunting in Europe.
  • The verb “ferret” can be used to describe the act of hunting with ferrets.
  • The verb “ferret” can also be used to mean someone is searching for something – to ferret out the truth, for example.
  • A female ferret is called a jill, but a male is not known as jack – he’s called a hob. Babies are called kits.
  • A group of ferrets is called a “business of ferrets.”
  • The pregnancy length for ferrets is about 42 days and they have an average litter size of eight kits.
  • Ferret kits are born deaf and with their eyes closed. Their eyes open and they get their hearing at around three weeks.
  • A ferret’s average lifespan is 5-8 years.
  • Ferrets have something in common with cats – they can be easily litter trained.
  • Ferrets are generally good-natured pets, but should be well socialized to help prevent aggressive behaviour.
  • Ferrets can be trained to do tricks, which helps keep these intelligent animals mentally stimulated.
  • Ferrets are curious and are great escape artists. If they can fit their head into a space, they can fit their body in too.
  • All holes leading to inaccessible areas should be blocked to prevent your ferret from escaping or being injured.
  • If you put a collar with a bell on your ferret, make sure it’s securely attached and that the bell can’t be swallowed.
  • They say “curiosity killed the cat,” but a ferret’s curiosity and love of chewing can also have deadly consequences.
  • Rubber, styrofoam, foam & plastic are appealing & must be kept away from ferrets as they’ll eat it and it’ll block them up.
  • A gastrointestinal blockage in a ferret can lead to an expensive surgery or even the ferret’s death.
  • Ferrets have anal glands that secrete a smelly liquid.
  • Breeders typically have ferrets fixed and de-scented before they are adopted out as pets.
Lifelearn Admin

Lifelearn Admin

S. Fontana is a LifeLearn author.

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