Friday, April 1, 2011

Ferrety Trivia

This week’s ferrety Friday shares a list of some interesting facts about beloved fuzzies. Start studying; there will be a quiz on ferrets sometime in the future. Now, aren’t you just excited about that?

- Ferrets are the third most popular pet in America after cats and dogs.

- In 2003, The American Ferret Association reported that there were approximately 4 million ferrets in the United States.

- A group of ferrets is called a “‘business”.

- Ferrets sleep 15 – 18 hours a day.

- Some ferrets can sleep so deeply (referred to as dead sleep) that it can take quite a few minutes to wake them up.

- Ferrets belong to the Mustelidae family, which includes weasels, polecats, ferrets, minks, fishers, otters, badgers, wolverines, stoats, martens, tayras and grisons (most of which I have no clue what they are)

- A few common names for a ferret include fuzzy, fuzzbutt, fert, carpet shark, speedbump, furball, woozel and fuzzball.

- The scientific name for a ferret is Mustela putorius furo. Furo is Latin for thief.

- Ferrets are not, nor are they related to, rodents in any way, shape or form. (I've mentioned this a gazillion times already, so if you still think a ferret is a rodent, you're a lost cause!)

- According to legend, Queen Elizabeth I of England had albino ferrets as pets. It's also been stated that Queen Victoria may have been a ferret owner. (I haven’t verified if this is true or not, so who knows.)

- On average, ferrets live anywhere from 6 - 10 years depending on how well they are cared for, how healthy they are and where they originate from. Some sources state that animals from mass breeders often have more health complications, which shortens their lives.

- Although children enjoy them, ferrets are usually pets of adults. (I would think that this is because ferrets require quite a bit of care.)

Handsome Spaz
- Domesticated ferrets (the kind you see in pet shops) cannot be found anywhere in the wild; they are only pets.

- The majority of ferret owners have more than one ferret. (I think it’s better for a ferret to have a fuzzy buddy than to be alone.)

- Ferrets are very unlikely to become infected with rabies because they’re quite resistant to the virus. Furthermore, studies have shown that even if a ferret does become infected, the amount of rabies virus found in its saliva is negligible.

- Ferrets can be trained to use a litter box (although a fuzzy’s success rate will not be equivalent to a cat’s).

- Ferrets less than a year old are called ‘kits’.

- Stealing and hiding objects is part of a ferret’s natural nesting instinct.

- Male ferrets are called ‘hobs’. Neutered male ferrets are called ‘gibs’.

- Female ferrets are called ‘jills’. Spayed female ferrets are called ‘sprites’.

- Unlike their polecat ancestors, which are solitary animals, ferrets will live happily in social groups.

- When they’re very excited, ferrets may perform a routine commonly referred to as the weasel war dance, characterized by a frenzied series of sideways hops and bumping into things. This is often accompanied by a soft clucking noise, commonly referred to as dooking. (I’ve witnessed this; it’s hilarious.)

- Similar to domestic cats, ferrets can also suffer from hairballs and dental problems.

- There are four basic colors for ferrets: the sable (including chocolate and dark), albino, dark eyed white (DEW), and the silver. All the other colors of a ferret are variations on one of these four categories.

- Ferrets have been featured in a number of movies, appearing alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop, Jennifer Aniston in Along Came Polly, Marc Singer in The Beastmaster, and Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski.

- Baby ferrets open their eyes around 34 days of age

- All kits are born pink and gain their color at 3 weeks of age

- A jill can have 1 to 15 kits in a litter.

- Ferrets are often referred to as nature's clowns. (I agree. They are quite entertaining.)

That’s it for today, folks! Hope you learned something new.


  1. They are pretty darn cute and I would assune they are affectionate as they snuggle with you on the couch in the evening etc?

  2. Jane, these little animals are the sweetest I've ever had. They are incredibly docile and cuddly; not an aggressive bone in their bodies. But we don't let them roam free; ferrets are so curious (and fit into the smallest spaces, and chew and eat what they shouldn't) that you need to ferret-proof your home to keep them from geting lost, trapped or hurt. So, we've dedicated a space in our home for their play area. Keeps them safe, and allows them to get enough exercise. When they're sleeping (which is most of the day), they are caged.

  3. The 'weasel war dance' description reminds me of that thing cats do when they're scared - the sideways hop with the fur standing on end - I roll on the floor laughing when I see that, especially with kittens.

  4. Tatiana, it is very similar to what cats do when they're scared! I'd forgotten about that :) My black cat is terrified of the vacuum and acts that way when I clean the house. And not only does her fur stand on end, her tail grows huge and ends up looking like a bottle brush. Hilarious!