Ferret Facts

A Few Interesting Facts about Ferrets in Massachusetts:

All ferrets sold in Massachusetts must be spayed, neutered and have initial rabies and distemper vaccinations. The follow-up vaccinations are the responsibility of the owner.

Ferrets seldom cause allergies. People who are generally allergic to cats and dogs don’t usually have problems with ferrets.

Ferrets are usually not territorial. They often get along with other ferrets quite well, and with dogs and cats if introduced properly.

Ferrets do not “go feral” or “wild”. A loose ferret will typically die of starvation within 4 days.  They have no instinctive knowledge of what is or is not food.  They will die within 24 hours of exposure as they cannot tolerate freezing weather or heat of 90F.  There have been no reports of any feral colonies of domestic ferrets in any of the 48 states where they are legal.

Ferrets are classified as domestic animals, who are completely dependent on people for their existence. They are commonly mistaken for their distant cousin, the wild Black Footed Ferret, which is now endangered.  To compare a Black Footed Ferret to a domestic ferret is like comparing a toy poodle to a wolf or a domestic short haired cat to a mountain lion.

In Massachusetts, only licensed breeders and research institutions will be allowed to possess whole or unneutered ferrets.

Male ferrets typically weigh from 2-5 pounds and can grow up to 18 inches in length.  Female ferrets are typically half the weight of a male and can grow up to 16 inches in length.  They come in a variety of colors, with sable and white being the most common. Ferrets are very lively animals and their play resembles that of an over exuberant puppy.  They are very curious explorers.

A group of ferrets is called a “business”.

A female ferret is called a Jill and a male is called a Hob.  A spayed female is called a Sprite and a neutered male is called a Gib.

The Massachusetts Colonial Navy has a ferret as its mascot.

Ferrets do not claw or chew on furniture and are very quiet animals that do not make much noise.

Ferrets are easily litter trained.  However, for a ferret, close counts!

Ferrets maintain their playful nature throughout their lives and generally live 6-8 years but can reach the age of 10.

Ferrets were given as gifts by Queen Victoria who raised albino ferrets.

Ferrets will never give you a dull moment.  They are very inquisitive and playful when awake, but sleep most of the day (16 hours), if allowed to.  They easily adapt to their owners schedule and will be awake when they are home and attentive.