How long do ferrets live?
More than two thousand years ago, the polecat (Mustela putorius), a small carnivorous mammal belonging to the Mustelidae family, would give life to a particular version of itself: the ferret (M. p. Furo).
The latter, unlike its wild counterpart (polecat), possessed a more docile and human-friendly character. Today, the ferret is, along with cats and dogs, one of the most popular pets in the world.
The energy and vitality of the ferret is incredible indeed, if it weren't for the fact that they require long rest sessions on a daily basis (up to 18 hours a day), their enormous stamina and insatiable curiosity could prove detrimental to their breeder.
Naturally, these capabilities also make it an excellent hunter, so you should be extremely careful if birds or small rodents live in your home.
Despite the aforementioned, the ferret remains a charming animal, brimming with vitality and desire to share fun moments with its human family.
So don't worry. It is not impossible to raise a ferret, simply, they demand a little more of your attention, pampering and care as a breeder than other domestic animals.
- Ferret lifespan
- Where do ferrets live?
- What do ferrets eat?
- Interesting facts about ferrets
Given the curious, restless and vigorous nature of ferrets, trying to predict the life expectancy of these mustelids can be complex. There are many factors that can affect the life expectancy of the ferret, such as genetics, eating habits and the hostility of the environment in which it grows.
How long does a ferret live in captivity?
While it is not possible to say with absolute certainty how many years of life a ferret will live, it is possible to set, on average, an upper and lower limit for the life expectancy of these lovely mustelids.
Typically, the longevity of a ferret ranges between 6 and 10 years, although, unfortunately, many of these mammals die before reaching their sixth year of life.
How long does a ferret (polecat) live in the wild?
Are there ferrets in the wild ...? If they exist. Although ferrets are considered companion animals and their introduction to new ecosystems is regulated in countries such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico (just to name a few of these), the proliferation of these species in the wild has manifested itself previously.
In New Zealand, for example, ferrets, which had been introduced to New Zealand fauna in 1879 with the aim of controlling the rapid growth of the bighorn rabbit population, began to cause great damage to native birds. In fact, its behavior in the wild is not very different from that of a European polecat.
Likewise, in the wild, the ferret has a life expectancy similar to that of the polecat, reaching between 6 and 8 years of life approximately.
Where do ferrets live?
Like cats, ferrets have an incredible ability to hunt, which means that, despite being considered companion animals, their upbringing should not be neglected at any time, since these mustelids could cause great damage to fauna of urban ecosystems.
For this reason, the reproduction, breeding and trade of ferrets is regulated by most of the governments where they live.
However, in a strictly taxonomic sense, a ferret is a subspecies of the European polecat that is considered entirely domestic, since, as mentioned above, its introduction into different ecosystems could cause imbalance.
On the other hand, the wild version of the ferret, the polecat, does have a great natural distribution. The latter can be found in almost all Western European countries and in some Eastern European countries.
What do ferrets eat?
In general terms, ferrets can be considered omnivorous animals, since they can feed on meat, insects, seeds, berries and even eggs. Despite this, ferrets have a greater predilection for carnivorous diets, some of their favorite prey being the following:
- Birds (chickens, pigeons, etc.).
Interesting facts about ferrets
What is the etymological origin of its name?
The term ferret comes from the Latin furonem, which means thief, a fairly accurate adjective for this elusive and mischievous mustelid who enjoys stealing and hiding anything that is within reach of him.
Ferrets are very sleepy
If a competition were held to see which animal is the sleepiest of all, without a doubt, mice, armadillos, opossums and ferrets would be among the top positions.
As incredible as it may seem, the ferret sleeps 18 hours a day. These charming mustelids are usually most active at dawn and dusk, although, don't worry, if it has a good relationship with you (its breeder), it will most likely adapt his schedule to yours.
Its vision is not very good
Despite being excellent hunters, ferrets have rather poor vision. In fact, it is dangerous for these mustelids to inhabit in very tall apartments or houses, since their ability to calculate vertical distances is very limited.
Its smell may not be pleasant to you
If you decide to adopt a small ferret, you may not like its smell at all. However, it is important to understand the fact that its odor, secreted through its skin in the form of sebum, fulfills a specific biological function that is extremely important for its well-being.
For this reason, under no circumstances should you remove their scent glands, as this procedure could be harmful to your little pet.