A domestic ferret "resting" momentarily.Ferrets sleeping in a pile
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Ferret

In general use, a ferret is a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo), a creature first bred from the wild European polecat or steppe polecat at least 2,500 years ago. more...

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Several other small, elongated carnivorous mammals belonging to the family Mustelidae also have the word "ferret" in their common names, including the endangered black-footed ferret.

History

No one knows exactly when ferrets were first domesticated, but ferret remains have been dated to 1500 BCE. Some say the ancient Egyptians had ferrets, but it is more likely that Europeans visiting Egypt saw cats and thought using a small carnivore to protect grain stores was a great idea.

The ferret was probably bred from the European Polecat (Mustela putorius), though it is also possible that ferrets come from the steppe polecat (Mustela eversmanni) or some hybridization thereof. All three species have unique similarities and differences.

Ferreting

For hundreds of years, the main use of ferrets was for hunting, or ferreting. With their long, lean build and curious nature, ferrets are very well equipped for getting down holes and chasing rodents and rabbits out of their burrows. They are still used for hunting in some countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, where rabbits are considered a plague species and the combination of a few small nets and a ferret or two remains very effective despite technological advances. However, the practice is illegal in several countries, where it is feared that ferreting could unbalance the ecology.

Caesar Augustus sent ferrets (named 'viverrae' by Plinius) to the Balearic Islands to control the rabbit plagues in 6 B.C.

Ferrets were first brought to the New World in the 17th century and were used extensively from 1860 until the start of World War II to protect grain stores in the American West. They first became popular as pets in the mid-1970s, chiefly thanks to Dr. Wendy Winstead, a veterinarian and former folk singer who sold ferrets to a number of celebrities and made many TV appearances with her personal ferrets.

Ferrets as pets

In many ways, ferrets act like kittens that never grow up. They have energy, curiosity, and potential for chaos all their lives, and are always keenly aware of their surroundings. However, they are far more people-oriented than cats, and most actively elicit play with their owners.

As a pet, ferrets rank third in the U.S., behind dogs and cats. Ferrets are sometimes accused of being dangerous to small children, but this claim is false -- proportionally, ferrets do much less harm to children than dogs or cats. Their lifespan can vary widely, but most often falls between six and eight years.

Dangers to ferrets

It has been suggested that ferrets were bred for curiosity; whether this is true or not, their curiosity often exceeds their common sense. Ferrets are very good at getting into holes in walls, cupboards, or behind household appliances, where they can be injured or killed by electrical wiring, fans, and other dangerous items. Many enjoy chewing items made of soft rubber, foam, or sponge, which present the risk of intestinal blockage and death if ingested. Screen doors are no match for a ferret's claws, and dryer vents often become escape routes. Fold-out sofas and recliners are particularly dangerous, since ferrets will often climb inside the springs and then be squashed to death once the chair is put into a reclined position.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Rat Hamster Chinchilla Rabbit Ferret Hedgehog Outgoing Packet Bag Hanging BedRat Hamster Chinchilla Rabbit Ferret Hedgehog Outgoing Packet Bag Hanging Bed $6.59 to $8.99 1 Pc Soft Ferret Rat Rabbit Pet Cat Hammock Polyester Hanging Bed Cage Polk1 Pc Soft Ferret Rat Rabbit Pet Cat Hammock Polyester Hanging Bed Cage Polk $3.70
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Ferret Nation Accessory Kit 1Ferret Nation Accessory Kit 1 $27.65 B3 Bell Ball Pet Bells Toy Puppy Rabbit Guinea Pig Hamster Rat Ferret ChinchillaB3 Bell Ball Pet Bells Toy Puppy Rabbit Guinea Pig Hamster Rat Ferret Chinchilla $2.36 Was:  Previous Price $2.48
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125Ml Blue Small Animal Water Bottle for Pet Bunny Ferret Hamster Guinea Pig125Ml Blue Small Animal Water Bottle for Pet Bunny Ferret Hamster Guinea Pig $4.69 Automatic Small Animal Water Bottle for Pet Bunny Ferret Hamster Guinea Pig KitAutomatic Small Animal Water Bottle for Pet Bunny Ferret Hamster Guinea Pig Kit $4.69 Was:  Previous Price $4.99
Marshall Ferret Octo-PlayMarshall Ferret Octo-Play $19.25 Rabbit Water Feeder Rodent Rabbit Ferret Mouse Nipple Water Drinker for 100pcsRabbit Water Feeder Rodent Rabbit Ferret Mouse Nipple Water Drinker for 100pcs $31.29
Guinea Pig Medium Play Tunnel Small Pet Rat Ferret Exercise Tube Toy Hide OutGuinea Pig Medium Play Tunnel Small Pet Rat Ferret Exercise Tube Toy Hide Out $16.97 Adjustable Ferret Harness Baby Rabbit Hamster Mouse Reptile Leash Lead with BellAdjustable Ferret Harness Baby Rabbit Hamster Mouse Reptile Leash Lead with Bell $3.48
Bunny Rabbit Cage Indoor Roger Pet Pets Accessories Kids Hamster Small AnimalsBunny Rabbit Cage Indoor Roger Pet Pets Accessories Kids Hamster Small Animals $73.96 Pet Hamster Ferret Rabbit Squirrel Toy House Bear Hammock Hanging BedPet Hamster Ferret Rabbit Squirrel Toy House Bear Hammock Hanging Bed $4.80
No Drip Small Animal Water Bottle for Small Pet Bunny Ferret Hamster Guinea PigNo Drip Small Animal Water Bottle for Small Pet Bunny Ferret Hamster Guinea Pig $4.69 Was:  Previous Price $4.99 Pet Chew toys "Cavy pops" for guinea pig ferrets rats hedgehogsPet Chew toys "Cavy pops" for guinea pig ferrets rats hedgehogs $4.00
20x Rabbit Ferrets Nipple Water Drinker Waterer Poultry Feeder Rodent Mouse20x Rabbit Ferrets Nipple Water Drinker Waterer Poultry Feeder Rodent Mouse $9.56 100Pcs Hot Keep Warm Cotton Ball Cage House Filler for Hamster Rat Pet Supplies100Pcs Hot Keep Warm Cotton Ball Cage House Filler for Hamster Rat Pet Supplies $1.38
8 In 1 Pet Products Seoh409 Ferretone Skin and Coat Ferret Liquid Supplement, by8 In 1 Pet Products Seoh409 Ferretone Skin and Coat Ferret Liquid Supplement, by $65.43 Shampoo Soothing For Ferrets 6.8oz In The Excerpt Of Nasturtium And Mint ZoluxShampoo Soothing For Ferrets 6.8oz In The Excerpt Of Nasturtium And Mint Zolux $24.75
Lixit 8 oz. Premium Quality Glass Water Bottle, (Hamsters, Birds ,etc.) S S tubeLixit 8 oz. Premium Quality Glass Water Bottle, (Hamsters, Birds ,etc.) S S tube $4.99 Ferret Hammock - Red with Holly Leaves - 12" x 14"Ferret Hammock - Red with Holly Leaves - 12" x 14" $12.99
Green 5 1/2 X 8" Bin Feeder for Rabbits Guinea Ferrets Small Animal PetsGreen 5 1/2 X 8" Bin Feeder for Rabbits Guinea Ferrets Small Animal Pets $17.30 Prevue Hendryx 485 Pet Products Feisty Ferret Home with Stand, Black HammertonePrevue Hendryx 485 Pet Products Feisty Ferret Home with Stand, Black Hammertone $179.44
250Ml Small Animal Water Bottle for Pet Bunny Ferret Hamster Guinea Pig No Drip250Ml Small Animal Water Bottle for Pet Bunny Ferret Hamster Guinea Pig No Drip $4.69 Was:  Previous Price $4.99 ferret ballferret ball $20.00
10Pcs Nipple Water Drinkers Water Rabbit Guinea Pig Ferret Rat Mouse Feeder10Pcs Nipple Water Drinkers Water Rabbit Guinea Pig Ferret Rat Mouse Feeder $3.00 Polyester Pet Rat Rabbit Ferret Chinchilla Cat Hammock Bed Cover Bag Polk DotPolyester Pet Rat Rabbit Ferret Chinchilla Cat Hammock Bed Cover Bag Polk Dot $8.99
Kaytee Ferret Diet with Chicken, 4-lb bag Contains Real Chicken, High ProteinKaytee Ferret Diet with Chicken, 4-lb bag Contains Real Chicken, High Protein $17.38 Adjustable Ferret Harness/Baby Rabbit/Hamster Rat Mouse Leash Lead Rope C986Adjustable Ferret Harness/Baby Rabbit/Hamster Rat Mouse Leash Lead Rope C986 $1.08 to $1.38
Pet Cages X Large Kennel Crate Habitat Rabbits Guinea Pigs Ferrets Small PetsPet Cages X Large Kennel Crate Habitat Rabbits Guinea Pigs Ferrets Small Pets $139.95 Hamster Rabbit Guinea Pig Rat Ferret Small Cat Breathable Harness Leash LeadHamster Rabbit Guinea Pig Rat Ferret Small Cat Breathable Harness Leash Lead $3.98
Trixie Natura 2 Story Rabbit HutchTrixie Natura 2 Story Rabbit Hutch $248.55 Pet Rat Mouse Hamster Ferret Adjustable Harness Lead Leash Collar Pink & BluePet Rat Mouse Hamster Ferret Adjustable Harness Lead Leash Collar Pink & Blue $2.43 Was:  Previous Price $2.59
Ware Manufacturing Home Sweet Home Pet Cage for Small Animals - 28 Inches LargeWare Manufacturing Home Sweet Home Pet Cage for Small Animals - 28 Inches Large $63.85 N-Bone 1 Pouch Ferret Soft Treats Chicken Flavor, 3 ozN-Bone 1 Pouch Ferret Soft Treats Chicken Flavor, 3 oz $4.17
Plush Hammock For Pet Ferret Rat Hamster Parrot Squirrel Hanging Bed House ToysPlush Hammock For Pet Ferret Rat Hamster Parrot Squirrel Hanging Bed House Toys $6.87 Mercury Round End TableMercury Round End Table $219.98 List price:  Previous Price $483.00
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Prices current as of last update, 03/17/18 10:40pm.

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