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About Ferrets


Ferrets are members of the family Mustelidae, which include weasels, mink, otters, skunk, ermines, fishers, and many others. Their closest relative is the European polecat, and it is believed that the domestic ferret is a direct descendant of this species. Domestic ferrets should not be confused with the endangered Black Footed Ferret; while their appearance is similar, the two animals are actually only distant cousins of one another.

I'm Snugglebum!Ferrets are domestic animals. They should not be classified as wild, as ferrets have been domesticated since at least 4 BC and have since lost all of their wild instincts and ability to survive in the wild. In fact, if ferrets escape the safe confinement of your home, the average length of time that your pet can survive is a mere three to five days. They are most likely to die as a result of dehydration, starvation, or being killed by a predator (due to the extremely trusting nature of ferrets). Never let your ferret "free" if you can no longer keep him! Use the services of a ferret shelter. Ferrets are also not exotic pets. While many pet stores classify ferrets as exotics, the definition of an exotic pet is one that is also found in the wild. Because there are no wild colonies of ferrets, to call ferrets exotic would be false. Ferrets are "companion animals" just as cats and dogs are. (Note: if this issue were to really be contested, ferrets are even more domesticated than cats and dogs; cats and dogs can and do survive out of captivity).

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