Not many people own ferrets as the thought of having one is rather special. Ferrets come from the Latin word 'furoneum' which essentially means 'thief'! This is a clue to their behavior as they have a tendency to save and hide their food or playthings in several hiding places. Keeping ferrets as a pet is slowly gaining popularity as they can be curious little animals and friendly as well.
They make wonderful pets but bear in mind that litter training them would need endurance on your part. Ferrets were domesticated as few as 2,500 years ago. Ever since that time, they have considered humans as part of their social group. They were the favorite pets of the royalty in the Middle Ages for their friendly nature and unique looks. Ferrets are part of the weasel family, which can include a lot of members. The weasel family are mustelids.
They have over 65 different species of cousins in the weasel family, including otters and badgers. When you look at the ferret, you can see how they are closely related to these creatures instead of the rodents that they are frequently compared to. With their sleek bodies and their short fur, they can come in a variety of brown colors with black highlights. There are ferrets which are albinos and they are easily identified by their pink eyes and white fur, similar to other animals which have an albino strain. Male ferrets are usually about 18 inches and 2-3 pounds, while females are a little smaller.
We still have no clue why ferrets have a tendency to hide and hoard food and playthings. They probably initially started doing it to hoard food for the colder, more lean months similar to how squirrels act. This is probably where the behavior started, but it definitely continues to this day.
Ferrets are often accused of having a bad smell. This is not the case. They give off a musty scent due to their natural oils, but you can have the glands that produce these smells removed. Usually, if your ferrets have a strong odor, it is due their cages being unsanitary or due to owners not giving them adequate care.
Should you neglect your ferret's living space or litter box for a number of days, be prepared for the odor! Additional care needs to be given to ensure that ferrets do not give off an unpleasant odor and are maintained in tip-top condition. Unfortunately, they are prone to a number of ferret diseases and their already too-short lifetimes can become even more shortened. The diet of the ferret should be very high in fat and protein. They require a diet consisting of 35% protein and approximately 15% fat in order to be well maintained. For the first few years of a ferret's life, you will have to be very careful about what you feed them to make sure that they grow up strong. Of course, if you are in a tight spot, you may give your ferret cat food, however, this cannot continue over long periods of time.
After all, cat food doesn't have all of the vitamins and nutrients that ferrets need. Ferrets are very intelligent and can be trained to do some tricks, although this will require some patience. They have an innate liking for holes as they were originally bred to chase rabbits from their burrows. They are descended from polecats and love to sleep. Usually, a ferret can sleep for as long as 18 hours but you will definitely be in the know when they come out of their slumber! Such pets are intelligent and devoted, and a joy to be around, making them wonderful pets.
Moses Wright is a ferret pet lover. He sets up a site to help fellow pet owners with their home pet problems. He also provides more ferret health care problems, breed facts and supplies information on his site.