Fun Ferret Facts for Fans of Ferrets

By Dr Eloise Bright 3 Min Read


  • The Latin name for ferret, Mustela putorius furo means ‘smelly little thief’
  • Ferrets are carnivorous mammals in the weasel family, along with otters, badgers, weasels, milks and wolverines
  • A group of ferrets is called a ‘business’
  • A male ferret is called a  ‘hob’, a de-sexed male ferret is called a ‘gib’ and a vasectomised male is known as a ‘hoblet’
  • A female ferret is called a ‘jill’ and a de-sexed female is called a ‘sprite’
  • Ferrets LOVE their sleep and usually doze for 14-18 hours per day. (Oh if only!)
  • The Ferret has become the third most popular pet in the US behind cats and dogs;
  • Ferrets do not occur naturally in the wild and were originally domesticated for hunting
  • The largest feral ferret population is currently decimating wildlife in New Zealand, where 4000 ferrets were released between 1884 and 1886, ironically to control the rabbit population
  • There is no known feral population of ferrets in Australia. They have poor eyesight and are very susceptible to overheating, so those escapees are unlikely to survive in the wild
  • Ferrets are wonderful, trainable pets who will willingly use a litter tray
  • Ferrets love to chew, so should be supervised in the house to protect them and your power cords
  • Ferrets are crepuscular, so are most active at dawn and dusk
  • Ferrets can be very affectionate and enjoy playing with humans. They do get bored easily and can lose focus, so when training them, it is best to teach them one task at a time and for short periods of time;
  • Ferrets tend to do their business within the first 15-30 minutes after waking up and tend to use this to their advantage when they are being toilet trained. These little geniuses know that YOU know their schedule, so they can actually pretend to go so that you let them out of their cage. Make sure they deliver!
  • Lost your remote lately? Your car keys? Stealing and hiding objects is part of the Ferrets natural instincts. Stealth!

Visit our ferret page for more information about ferret care, training and other issues, including which states and territories in Australia allow ferret ownership and those that require a licence.

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Dr Eloise is a Clinical Lead at Love That Pet and one of our resident pet care experts. She also curates the select range of vet recommended and approved products which feature on our site.
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