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Background information on Ferrets

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The domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) descends from the European polecat and was originally raised to hunt rodents and rabbits and for fur production. Male ferrets are called hobs, and females are called jills. Baby ferrets are called kits. Several color variations have developed through breeding the domestic ferret, including the sable or "fitch,'' which has a dark mask across its nose and around its dark-colored eyes (see cover) and a pastel or cream-colored ferret, with a light-colored mask around dark eyes (see inside). Legal ownership of ferrets varies. Some states, municipalities and cities require that owners register their pet ferrets. Several states have special rabies quarantine laws governing ferrets in case of a human bite. Before purchasing a ferret, inquire about local laws regarding ownership and obtain proper permits or licenses. Changes in legalities are updated on the internet.


Credit: Used with permission of the Zoological Education Network.
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