There are several different animals that resemble domestic, pet ferrets. Stoats, Polecats, Weasels, Pine Martins, Black-Footed Ferrets all have a long slender body, long tail, long neck, and small, flat triangle shaped heads with round ears. Black-Footed Ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are the only Wild Ferret. Pet Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) are domesticated descendents of European ferrets (Mustela putorius), sometimes called polecats.
Are there different types of ferrets? While cats and dogs come in many breeds, the domestic ferret is a single breed. Unlike the black-footed ferret, the domestic ferret does not have one standard color or coat pattern. Like cats and dogs, ferrets can have a variety of different colors and coat patterns.
Ferrets and cats, just like other animals (and people) have different personalities. One cat might be best buddies with one cat and hiss and fight with another.
A Ferret’s Point of View
Ferrets view people, other ferrets, and other animals in a variety of ways. But primarily as a playmate. As a carefree and fearless pet, ferrets above all love to play. Ferrets can play very hard, and without meaning to, could harm another pet.
Another way ferrets may see another pet, such as a cat, is as an enemy. A fearful ferret will defend himself if he feels cornered. A jealous ferret might act aggressively toward a cat if you aren’t paying enough attention to him.
A Cat’s Point of View
Cats view people as their servants and other pets as either toys, prey, predators or rivals. Cats may see small ferret kits as a new toy to play with or as a tasty snack! Cats are also territorial and may see a ferret as an intruder to his territory, which he must defend. Some cats will also become jealous if they are not getting the attention they demand. Any one of these characteristics may cause a cat to potentially hurt a ferret.
Does your vacation include your ferret? Some people wouldn’t dream of leaving their little furry kids at home, while others want the freedom to do whatever they choose without worrying about their pets.
You should take some things into consideration when deciding to take your ferret along or leave him in someone else’s care. Of course much depends on where you are going, how you are traveling and how long you will be gone.
The United States Department of Agriculture classifies ferrets as domestic animals. Ferrets are legal as pets almost everywhere. But a few states (and countries) are slow to accept that ferrets are domestic animals.
Strangely enough, parrots are legal pets. Although some may argue that hand raised parrots are domesticated, not too long ago they were stolen from their tropical nests and smuggled into the the U.S and other places. This practice still goes on due to the profit to be made on the illegal parrot trade. At most, hand raised parrots are only a few generations removed from their wild relatives. Since they have not been kept as pets for long, they retain many of their wild characteristics. But parrots don’t face the discrimination ferrets face.