Ferrets are a member of the weasel family that have been domesticated for over 2,000 years. In fact, illustrations have been found on ancient Egyptian tombs depicting ferrets on leashes. They have been popular pets for a long time, and continue to be a favorite for animal lovers today.
As babies, they are referred to as “kits”, and typically live to be around 6 or 7 years old. During “kithood”, they are very vocal, but are usually very quiet pets once they’ve reached adulthood. Although they sleep through most of the time (around 16 hours each day!), ferrets are some of the most exciting pets around! All that sleeping gives them tons of energy, so ferret owners will need to keep a close eye on them when they are awake and playing. Ferrets can be frenetic, and they will keep you on your toes. They fit in tight spaces and move quickly, so it’s easy for them to sneak away when you aren’t looking.
The Weasel War Dance
If you’re fortunate enough to own a pet ferret, you may have seen what is known to many as the “Weasel War Dance”. This is a fun display that is put on by ferrets, and will keep most people laughing until it passes. This performance includes an arched back, a puffed out tail, and a lot of interesting noises. The ferret will become wobbly and hyper, and it will run into things as it “dances” around. For our domesticated friends, this is an invitation to play, and it usually does the trick of drawing humans in for some fun. However, in wild weasel species, this routine is used to transfix prey. Rodents are the typical prey of ferrets, and they will often stare at the peculiar dance and become disarmed, allowing the ferret to make his move.
Here’s a video of a ferret doing her war dance. So cute!
Ferrets can be so much fun! They are cute, active, and playful. However, just like any other pet, you are making a commitment to the care of the animal. It’s so important to learn about the general requirements and responsibilities of owning a ferret before you adopt one.
For More Information:
The American Ferret Association – www.ferret.org – These guys can tell you everything you’d ever want to know about ferrets! They even offer information for flying with your pet ferret. Definitely check out “Are You Ready to Be a Ferret Owner?” in the Read and Learn section.
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