The Ferret is a small domesticated member of the mustelid family. There is evidence that Ferrets have been domesticated for over 2,500 years, their ancestor being the polecat. They are mostly a crepuscular species, being active during dusk and dawn and living in social groups. When excited, Ferrets will go into a frenzy which consists of sideways hops, leaps, and bumping into nearby objects!
Ferrets have been bred specifically to produce a variety of colours from albino to silver to chocolate. They can be easily house trained to use a litter box and can be great pets although they may bite. As carnivores they require a meat-like diet regularly throughout the day due to their high metabolic rate.
Latin name - Mustela putorious furo
Class - Mammalia
Order - Carnivora
Family - Mustelidae
IUCN Status - Not listed
Habitat - Forests and semi-forest habitat
Distribution - Worldwide as pets or working animals for hunting
6 - 10 years
Disease, habitat loss and predators.
Ferrets can sleep for around 18-20 hours a day and the few hours left are spent happily frolicking around with other ferret friends. They are often known to go into a ‘dead or deep’ sleep where only very shallow breathing is difficult to spot. Even upon picking them up sometimes they take a while to come around!
We have a business of 7 ferrets currently living together in the Main Building. All our Ferrets have joined us as either abandoned or ex-pets. Young Penny arrived in 2022 when she was discovered abandoned in Deerleap car park. Penny was joined by 5 rambunctious Ferrets who came from the RSPCA; Winefred, Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera and Louie. The business was later completed with the addition of Sylvester.
If you would like to keep a ferret check this website first: www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/ferrets
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