Ferrets are a domesticated species belonging to the weasel family, and there’s a lot of interesting things about them!
Why are They Called Ferrets?
The word “ferret” comes from the Latin word “furittus”, which means “little thief”.
It is believed they got this name because of their tendency to snatch and hide away small items.
What Are Groups Called?
Like other animals, groups of ferrets have a special name. This special name is a business!
You may also see a group of ferrets referred to as “busyness” , which is an alternate spelling.
How Did Ferrets Become Domesticated?
Although it isn’t uncommon for ferrets to live in homes alongside humans today, you might be wondering how they came to be domesticated. Well, it is not known with 100% certainty, but it is thought that ferrets were bred for the purpose of “rabbiting”.
With small bodies and an ability to burrow, ferrets were an ideal candidate to help control rabbit populations, and they were often given this task.
Ferrets Cannot Digest Plants
Ferrets are not supposed to eat plants. In fact, their digestive systems cannot break them down! This is because they do not have a cecum, which is the part of the stomach that helps digest things like fruits and vegetables.
In other words, ferrets are what are known as “obligate carnivores”; they simply have to eat meat. If you have a pet ferret, do not feed them plant-based food items to avoid causing stomach troubles.
They Do a Weasel War Dance
Even though it has war in the name, the weasel war dance is a playful behavior. A ferret will be jumping around, up and down even side to side. If you see this, you will probably think the ferret is hyper, which is a good description. He or she might also make a clicking noise while running about.
When dogs or cats suddenly run around the house, it is referred to as the “zoomies” often, and the ferret’s actions are very similar to this.
You Couldn’t Always Have a Pet Ferret
In the United States, up until the 1980s and 1990s, some states banned keeping ferrets as pets. Today, however, you can commonly find them in pet stores and for the most part, you do not need a special license to have one or more in your home.
That is for the most part, of course. Some places do have restrictions, such as Washington D.C., and New York City, where they are banned. The entire state of California also forbids owning a ferret as a pet.
If you live in Rhode Island, you can have a pet ferret, but only if you get a permit to do so first.
Around the world, there are also different rules regarding ferrets. For example, in Brazil, you may have a pet ferret, but only if he or she has been microchipped and spayed/neutered.
Ferrets Need Their Sleep
Ferrets can sleep up to 18 hours per day! They are a lot like cats in that they require a fair amount of sleep.
They also tend to be more active at night, which is another thing they have in common with cats.
You Can Walk Your Ferret
Ferrets can be trained to walk with a harness and leash, so it is possible to be able to take them out on a walk around the neighborhood.
In fact, if you have a ferret who will wear a harness and leash, this is a great way for him or her to get needed exercise, as well as some fresh air.