Ferret Fun Facts
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

  • An unspayed female ferret is called a jill while a spayed female is a sprite. An intact male is a hob and a neutered male is called a gib. Baby ferrets are called kits.

  • Ferrets have been domesticated for thousands of years; in fact, on the walls of some Egyptian tombs there are pictures of ferret-like creatures on leashes.

  • Ferrets have no inherent fear of humans.

  • A newborn ferret is so small that it can fit into a teaspoon!

  • All ferret kits have white fur at birth.

  • After kithood (6-8 weeks of age) ferrets make very few sounds.

  • The average ferret lives to be 6 or 7 years old.

  • Ferrets like to crawl into small dark spaces to sleep.

  • Ferrets are members of the mink family.

  • Ferrets can sleep so soundly that they cannot be woken up even when picked up and jostled.

  • A small ferret may be able to squeeze through a hole just over an inch in diameter.

Did you know?
Because ferrets are so different anatomically than other small pets or cats, it can be difficult for the average person to determine the sex of a ferret. Surprisingly, ferrets are built similarly to dogs when it comes to determining their gender. Of course the breeder will know, but if you want to figure it out yourself, here's one way to do it:

First gently feel for the bottom of the ferret's ribcage. About half way between this point and the tail, a male will have what can be mistaken for a "belly button." A female will have an opening directly below the anal opening.