Although ferrets are not the regular pets for everyone, they, however, make an excellent pet for the rightful owner. This is because they are affectionate and bond easily with people around them; they are also known to be very playful.
Even with these amazing characteristics, most people consider ferrets as not good due to their distinct and unique nature. Therefore, if you are considering adopting ferret as a pet, you must learn about some of its characteristics.
Features of Ferrets as pets
Ferret is the primarily domesticated form of the European Polecat, a class of mammal that belongs to the Mustelidae family. They have brown, white, black and mixed fur and an average length of 51cm; they are sexually dimorphic predators because the males are quite much in number when compared to the females. In some parts of the world, ferrets are used in hunting rabbits and also kept as pets.
The name Ferret comes from the Latin word Latin furittus, which means “little thief.” They are described as little thieves due to their ability to take away small items secretly. A male ferret is known as a hob while the female is referred to as jill. Ferrets which are less than a year are known as kits while a group of ferrets is referred to as “business.”
These amazing pets have a mutelid body shape that is usually long and slender. The average length is 50cm, and they come in black, brown, white or mixed colours. The average gestation period for a ferret is 42 days; they become sexually mature at six months and have an average life span of 10 years.
Ferrets sleep for 14-18 hours daily, they are most active at night, and they need at least one hour daily to play. They also leave happily in social groups and prefer sleeping in enclosed areas. Ferrets have secret glands located close to their anus; they recognize people from these anal gland secretions. They also use urine marking for sex and individual recognition. When excited, this little creature performs a behaviour that is known as the “weasel war dance,” which is characterized by frenzied sideways hops, leaps and bumping into nearby objects.
Ferrets are obligate carnivores animals; they feed on whole small preys that include meat, organs, bones, skin, feathers, and furs. They have short digestive systems and quick body metabolism. Fruits are inappropriate for ferrets because it has negative impacts on their health. It is vital to introduce new food to these creatures when they are small because as they grow, a simple change in their diet to could meet resistance from them.
Ferrets have four different types of teeth and a dental formula of 18.104.22.168. They have twelve small incisors teeth for grooming, twelve premolar teeth for chewing foods, and six molars for crushing food.
Finally, ferrets are playful, colourful, friendly, social, affectionate and intelligent pets. However, they have distinct characteristics that make them unique from other pets. Therefore before adopting one, it is vital to have a good knowledge of these distinct characteristics.