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Ferret Facts For Kids and Adults–An Intro to Ferrets

Ferret Facts For Kids and AdultsFerret Facts For Kids and Adults

An Intro to Ferrets

Although some sources report ferrets may become the third most popular pet in the United States, many people don’t know much about them. The list of 20 facts below serve as an intro to ferrets–for kids and adults.

  1. The word “ferret” comes from the Latin word “furo” which means “thief”.
  2. The ferret is the domesticated form of the European polecat, a cousin of the mink, weasel and otter.
  3. As early as 300 B.C., ancient Romans used ferrets to drive away rats and to find rabbits, which the Romans used for food.
  4. Queen Elizabeth owned a ferret which she posed with in one of her portraits.
  5. Young ferrets are called kits.
  6. A group of young ferrets is called a litter.
  7. A group of ferrets is called a business.
  8. Ferrets can live 15 years, or more, but most live between 6 and 8 years.
  9. When kits are born, they cannot see or hear–it usually takes 3 weeks for them to gain sight and hearing.
  10. Kits are born pink and gain their coat color at about 3 weeks of age.
  11. Ferrets coats come in many colors and patterns–from albino to black, with many variations in between.
  12. A ferret’s coat can change colors–often getting lighter in winter and darker in summer.
  13. Ferrets molt in Spring and Fall.
  14. As ferrets age, some or much of their fur can turn gray or white.
  15. Ferrets are very social and playful animals and require at least several hours of play and interaction each day.
  16. Ferrets make a variety of sounds, including chuckling, hissing and screaming.
  17. When a ferret feels frightened or threatened, he may fluff up his tail to appear larger and more dangerous and may release a musky scent from his scent glands.
  18. Ferrets can sleep 15-20 hours per day–usually about 4 hours at a time.
  19. Ferrets require a meat based protein diet.
  20. Ferrets can be trained to use a litter box.


Now that you have had an intro to ferrets, want to learn more?

Thinking of adding a ferret to your family?

See Are Ferrets Good Pets? and Where Can I Buy a Ferret? for more information.

Then, read some of the other articles on this site for even more helpful tips and information.

Looking for gift ideas for pet lovers (or yourself)? Visit my Ebay Store–pinkpoodoo 

Your questions and comments are welcome.

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11 thoughts on “Ferret Facts For Kids and Adults–An Intro to Ferrets

  1. Fascinating ferret facts! I had no idea they are the 3rd most popular pet in the US – that’s really surprising! Sounds like they’d be good pets for kids who like to play with an animal and be entertained by them daily. I love knowing that they can be litter-trained! 🙂

    1. Thanks for visiting Marlaine! Yes, ferrets are naturally particular about their bathroom habits and like to go in one corner–perfect for litter training!

  2. Hi Sandra,

    I remember when I was a kid in Scotland, seeing men hunting for rabbits with ferrets. now I know why, they’ve been doing it since 300 B.C. – you learn something new every day!
    This is great information, Queen Elizabeth owned one too, who would’ve thought?!
    Ferrets can be trained to use a litter box, again – great information.
    Presumably there are books on how to train them?

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the ferret facts! If you want to learn how to train a ferret to use a litter box, you can read my article “How to Train Your Ferret to Use a Litter Box” under the Ferret Care Tips Page.

  3. I LOVE ferrets!!! I had four when I was in high school and into college years and I now I know I had a business! Haha
    I never knew the latin name meant thief, but how appropriate! They once stole my friend’s keys and she couldn’t go to work because of it. They’re such amazing little animals that bring so much laughter! Love this page!

    1. Thanks, Liz. Yes they sure are little theives!

  4. These are great facts. I’m a ferret owner and I didn’t even know they’re related to otters. I guess I should have. They look way too similar. Thanks for the fun facts Sandra!

  5. These are some interesting facts about Ferrets! I actually didn’t know much about Ferrets before reading this. They are kind of strange pets to have in my opinion. And they sleep 15-20 hours a day? They are lazier than cats haha

    1. Ferrets are like kittens that never grow up! They are full of energy and very playful when they are awake. That’s way they need lots of naps!

  6. these are really interesting facts. I had no idea about sleeping schedule of ferrets. Do you know why do they sleep 4 hours at a time? It seems quite interesting

    1. Ferrets are so full of energy and give it their all when they are awake. So they take a nap for a few hours to rest so they are ready to play again in a few hours. Ferrets are kind of like kittens that never grow up.

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