Ferrets have an inquisitive and playful nature. If they're well handled by people from a young age, ferrets can learn to see humans as companions and form a strong bond with their owners. If they're well cared for, ferrets typically live for around 6 years but can live up to 10 years.

Keep reading to find out more about ferrets.

Ferret fact file

Ferrets belong to the carnivore family of the Mustelidae. Despite their rather misunderstood nature, they've recently become very popular pets thanks to their charming and cheeky characters. Here are some more facts about ferrets.

  • Ferrets enjoy exploring - they're very curious and will test out most items with their mouths.
  • Ferrets are sociable - domestic ferrets are sociable and usually enjoy living in groups, although this does depend on the individual animals.
  • Ferrets like sleeping - a healthy ferret may sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day.
  • Ferrets use a range of methods to communicate - as well as using smell to hunt, ferrets use scent to communicate with each other. Ferrets also use postures and sound to indicate how they're feeling.

Find out more about ferrets in our full ferret fact file.

Understanding ferrets' needs

Ferrets are domesticated animals, and their most likely wild ancestors are the European and Steppe polecats. As they don't have counterparts in the wild, we're still learning about the ferret's natural needs, habitat and behaviours.

There is no single 'perfect' way to care for ferrets because every ferret and every situation is different. It's up to you how you look after yours, as long as you meet all their needs.

Find out more about caring for pet ferrets in our expert-reviewed pet care information, including their environment, diet, behaviour, company and health and welfare.

Adopt a ferret from the RSPCA

Ready to welcome ferrets to your life? Then why not search for ferrets for rehoming from the RSPCA!

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