The ferret is a domestic animal and falls in the category of Mustela putorius furo. These pets are sexually dimorphic marauders which specify that the male ferrets are generally larger than female ferrets. These animals have white, black, brown, cinnamon or mixed color fur. They measure over 20 inches or 51 cm in height plus a 5 inch or 13 cm long tail. In comparison to chinchillas they have shorter life span of 7 to 10 years. In weight these pets are 1.5–4 pounds at an average. The domestication of this animal is uncertain and unspecified but it is believed that they have been domesticated for around 2,500 years. In present times, they are also utilized for hunting rabbits.
Characteristics of the ferrets:
The Oakland Zoo describes ferrets as animals having a slender but long body. They have a gestation period of 42 days. The female ferrets usually have 2 to 3 litters yearly. The young ones are ablactated after a time period of 3 to 6 weeks and they become completely independent at the age of 3 months. They gain their sexual maturity at the age of 6 months.
Diet for ferrets:
As an owner, you must be aware of the fact that this animal is obligatory carnivorous. Their wild ancestors used to have natural food diet including fur, feathers, skin, bones, organs and meat. They used to go for smaller prey.
When it comes to the temperament of the ferret, you must know that they are both nocturnal and crepuscular. This signifies that they sleep for over 14 to 18 hours a day. Thus, they are highly active and in mood either at dawn or dusk. They do have similar qualities to polecats but they are highly social in behavior unlike the solitary polecat ancestors. They love to be in social groups. As ferrets are territorial, they love to indulge in borrowing acts and actually favor to sleep in covered and confined areas.
Ferrets also have scent glands present close to their anus. The secretion from this area is used to make scent. It has been stated that they can recognize the other individuals and their sex with the help of the anal gland secretions. They may also make use of the urine markings for individual identification and sex identification.
Ferret Health Issues:
You will have to give constant attention to the ferrets to keep them healthy. It is good to take them to veterinarians for regular check-ups. They may have bulging and runny eyes, dark wax around the ears, head tilting due to ear infection, ear mites can cause pain and scratching inside ears, vomiting, pale gums, leg stiffness, and weakness in hind quarters, black spots, hair loss, bleeding and discharging nose, flaky skin, problems in breathing, coughing, distended stomach, pain in the stomach, blood in stool, diarrhea, crying or vocalizing while urinating, walking in circles, and highly aggressive behavior. If your little pet is suffering from any of these symptoms, immediately visit a veterinarian.