A Brief History of Ferrets As Pets

By M. K. Albus

Although ferrets as pets is a relatively new development, they have in fact been domesticated for around two and a half thousand years. Athough the earliest history is somewhat vague, it is believed that ferrets were first domesticated for use in hunting. It is believed that the first domesticated ferrets came from Northern Africa and were then spread throughout Europe. Romans used ferrets to hunt rabbits.

The word ferret comes from a Latin word meaning, "little thief." This is in reference to the common ferret's habit of secreting away small items. Pet ferret owners have realized this annoying little habit.

It is believed that today's common ferret derived from either the European polecat or the Steppe polecats, or perhaps from some hybrid combination of the two.

It has only been in the last 50 or so years that it has become popular to keep ferrets as pets. Ferrets have appeared in several Hollywood movies and this has increased popularity. It is illegal, however, to keep ferrets as pets in Iceland, Portugal, New Zealand, and parts of Australia.

Female ferrets are called Jills and males are called hobs. Young ferrets under the age of one are called kits. As ferrets become more popular as pets there is a need for information on how to raise them and keep them healthy. Many people are under the false impression that one can keep a ferret following the same information for keeping dogs or cats but ferrets definitely have their own specific care needs. To find out everything you need to know to keep ferrets as pets, visit: FindOutAboutFerrets.com.


Training Your Pet Ferret, by Gerry Bucsis, Barbara Somerville, and Patricia Bartlett. Furry, cuddly, and bursting with energy, lovable ferrets can be a handful for inexperienced owners. The authors instruct on training methods that really work, pointing out that effective training can start anytime, whether owners adopt an adult ferret or purchase a baby as a kit. They offer tips on protecting the ferret from household hazards, as well as protecting carpets and houseplants from a ferret's tendency to claw and dig. They also provide helpful information on housing, equipment, feeding, health care, and more. New in this edition is a chapter on clicker training, a humane and effective way to solve ferret behavior problems. Filled with color photos...More

Also by M. K. Albus: Dogs and Nuts Are Not a Good Mix


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