Domesticated around 2,500 years ago.
Ferrets belong to the domestic mammals. Their lenght averages to 50cm which includes their tail, which can grow up to 13cm. Their weight is commonly between 700g to 2kg and the natural lifespan is 7 to 10 years.

Characteristics

Their fur is usually brown, black, white or mixed. Albino ferrets have pink eyes and pure white fur. They have long, slender bodies and the males (hobs) are considerably larger than females (jills).

Behavior

Ferrets love to sleep! They can spend up to 18 hours a day asleep and tend to be most active throughout dawn and dusk. They are social pets but also territorial, preferably sleeping in enclosed areas. They are loved as pets because they are intelligent, playful, inventive and fun.

Food

Ferrets diet should consist of high quality ferret food (meat based kitten food can sometimes be used too, but it doesn't provide all the nutrients they need!) with a high fat content. They also enjoy to snack (offer only small amounts!) on fruit and vegetables. Don't forget to always have FRESH food and water out, their metabolism is high so they eat very often. Their food needs to be easily digestible so avoid grain and corn. Offering natural meat is a great way to offer additional nutrition, though ferret food should still be added to his diet for a good balance.

Health

Unfortunately, ferrets are known to suffer from several health problems.
The most common ones are cancer (pancreas, adrenal glands and lymphatic system), viral diseases and influenza.

Cleaning and grooming

Keeping your ferret's home clean will keep the ferret's characteristic musky smell almost unnoticable. Gently grooming your ferret on your lap is a great time to bond and keep your pet tamed. They shed their coats in spring and fall, and can end up having a different colored coat for that season. They also need their nails trimmed once they have grown too long.
Is a ferret the right pet for me?

Image credit: a lonewolf