Mustela putorius furo
Ferret Topics & Issues
Ferrets are domestic sub-species, derived from the polecat (Mustela putorius). They are obligate carnivores. They are lively, inquisitive and cheeky animals. They make very good pets and have been used in sport (or hunting for food) by mankind, at least since the time of the Ancient Greeks, about 2,500 – 3,000 years ago. The Romans used ferrets and did have them in Britain. The Normans were the people responsible for popularising the ferret in Britain.
Ferrets suffer diseases rather similar to those of the dog, possibly as a result of their similarly domesticated situation and because of similar species susceptibilities. It is also likely that feeding unsuitable diets, as so often is the case, may contribute to their diseases.
As with cats and dogs, a ferret's teeth become coated and unhealthy if he or she is given pappy food to eat. A diet including raw meat is best, preferably with bone (e.g. rabbit).
Male ferrets are usually sexually active from March to July (i.e. seemingly daylight dependent).
The AVMC is willing to provide advice on fresh, wholesome diets for ferrets and to advise on disease treatment and control.