Today we are going to be sharing some fun facts about ferrets. If you have a ferret friend, you many already know some of these. Check out some of our other animal companion fun facts posts after this one! We’ve featured cats, dogs, rabbits, and parrots.
1. Ferrets are very near-sighted and they have a poor sense of depth perception, which leads to them jumping off of tall objects or running into furniture if they are in an unfamiliar place. They have a keen sense of smell and hearing to make up for it, though. And once they’ve learned the layout of a place, they can navigate it easily even if they have gone blind.
2. Ferrets were originally domesticated by humans thousands of years ago to hunt rabbits. This is the origin of the phrase “ferreting out”.
3. Baby ferrets are called kits, females are called jills, and males are called hobs. A group of ferrets is called a business.
4. All ferrets are born completely white and only start to turn their adult color at about three months old. They are also born deaf and blind.
5. Ferrets who are deaf like to look at the world upside down. They tend to hold their head backwards while laying on their back and sleep facing upside down.
6. Ferrets often go into so deep a sleep that humans worry that they are still alive, but don’t worry, they are. It’s just near impossible to wake them before they’re ready to wake up. This sleep is called the “ferret dead sleep”.
7. The black-footed ferret was once thought to be extinct in North America. Recently they have made a comeback and are not critically endangered anymore. They live throughout the Midwest and in some parts of Canada.
8. There are no real wild ferrets. There are feral ferrets, which are ferrets who escaped humans and developed wild communities, but any wild ferrets are actually weasel or polecats. Ferrets oftentimes can breed with polecats.
9. It is actually illegal to have a ferret as a pet in Hawaii, New York City, and California. This is out of fear of the ferrets running away and creating feral colonies.
10. While it is slightly uncommon, some ferrets may wag their tail like a dog when happy.
11. Ferrets sometimes help humans by running cables and wires through small pipes, or clearing small ducts with a brush attached to their collar.
12. When they are excited, ferrets hop and leap sideways. This cheerful display is called a “weasel war dance” but it’s actually a sign of happiness.
Thank you for reading. If you have any requests or questions, please feel free to leave them in a comment below. We publish a new blog every Tuesday and Friday so, until next time, thank you for reading and goodbye!
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