New Page 1




Selettore risorse   



                                         IL Metodo  |  Grammatica  |  RISPOSTE GRAMMATICALI  |  Multiblog  |  INSEGNARE AGLI ADULTI  |  INSEGNARE AI BAMBINI  |  AudioBooks  |  RISORSE SFiziosE  |  Articoli  |  Tips  | testi pAralleli  |  VIDEO SOTTOTITOLATI
                                                                                         ESERCIZI :   Serie 1 - 2 - 3  - 4 - 5  SERVIZI:   Pronunciatore di inglese - Dizionario - Convertitore IPA/UK - IPA/US - Convertitore di valute in lire ed euro                                              




- Great Painters
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
- Concept Cars
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

- Education
- Masterpieces of English Literature
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
- Christmas Traditions
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables


  1. Alligator
  2. Alpaca
  3. Anaconda
  4. Ant
  5. Anteater
  6. Antelope
  7. Baboon
  8. Badger
  9. Bat
  10. Bear
  11. Bee
  12. Boa
  13. Butterfly
  14. Camel
  15. Canary
  16. Cat
  17. Cheeta
  18. Chicken
  19. Chimpanzee
  20. Cobra
  21. Cod
  22. Condor
  23. Cormorant
  24. Cow
  25. Crab
  26. Cricket
  27. Crocodile
  28. Crow
  29. Deer
  30. Dog
  31. Dolphin
  32. Donkey
  33. Dove
  34. Duck
  35. Eagle
  36. Elephant
  37. Emu
  38. Falcon
  39. Ferret
  40. Fly
  41. Fox
  42. Gazelle
  43. Giraffe
  44. Goat
  45. Goose
  46. Gorilla
  47. Hare
  48. Hedgehog
  49. Heron
  50. Hippopotamus
  51. Horse
  52. Hyena
  53. Ibis
  54. Jackal
  55. Kangaroo
  56. Kingfisher
  57. Koala
  58. Leopard
  59. Lion
  60. Llama
  61. Lobster
  62. Louse
  63. Mantodea
  64. Mink
  65. Mole
  66. Mongoose
  67. Mosquito
  68. Mule
  69. Nightingale
  70. Octopus
  71. Opossum
  72. Orangutan
  73. Ostrich
  74. Otter
  75. Owl
  76. Panda
  77. Parrot
  78. Partridge
  79. Peacock (Peafowl)
  80. Pelican
  81. Penguin
  82. Pheasant
  83. Pig
  84. Pigeon
  85. Prawn
  86. Puffin
  87. Quail
  88. Rabbit
  89. Reindeer
  90. Rhinoceros
  91. Salmon
  92. Seagull
  93. Seal
  94. Shark
  95. Sheep
  96. Shrimp
  97. Silk worm
  98. Skunk
  99. Sparrow
  100. Spider
  101. Squid
  102. Squirrel
  103. Stork
  104. Swallow
  105. Swan
  106. Tarantula
  107. Termite
  108. Tiger
  109. Toucan
  110. Tuna
  111. Turkey
  112. Turtle
  113. Violet-ear
  114. Vulture
  115. Walrus
  116. Wasp
  117. Whale
  118. Wolf
  119. Woodpecker
  120. Yak
  121. Zebra


L'utente può utilizzare il nostro sito solo se comprende e accetta quanto segue:

  • Le risorse linguistiche gratuite presentate in questo sito si possono utilizzare esclusivamente per uso personale e non commerciale con tassativa esclusione di ogni condivisione comunque effettuata. Tutti i diritti sono riservati. La riproduzione anche parziale è vietata senza autorizzazione scritta.
  • Il nome del sito EnglishGratis è esclusivamente un marchio e un nome di dominio internet che fa riferimento alla disponibilità sul sito di un numero molto elevato di risorse gratuite e non implica dunque alcuna promessa di gratuità relativamente a prodotti e servizi nostri o di terze parti pubblicizzati a mezzo banner e link, o contrassegnati chiaramente come prodotti a pagamento (anche ma non solo con la menzione "Annuncio pubblicitario"), o comunque menzionati nelle pagine del sito ma non disponibili sulle pagine pubbliche, non protette da password, del sito stesso.
  • La pubblicità di terze parti è in questo momento affidata al servizio Google AdSense che sceglie secondo automatismi di carattere algoritmico gli annunci di terze parti che compariranno sul nostro sito e sui quali non abbiamo alcun modo di influire. Non siamo quindi responsabili del contenuto di questi annunci e delle eventuali affermazioni o promesse che in essi vengono fatte!
  • L'utente, inoltre, accetta di tenerci indenni da qualsiasi tipo di responsabilità per l'uso - ed eventuali conseguenze di esso - degli esercizi e delle informazioni linguistiche e grammaticali contenute sul siti. Le risposte grammaticali sono infatti improntate ad un criterio di praticità e pragmaticità più che ad una completezza ed esaustività che finirebbe per frastornare, per l'eccesso di informazione fornita, il nostro utente. La segnalazione di eventuali errori è gradita e darà luogo ad una immediata rettifica.


    ENGLISHGRATIS.COM è un sito personale di
    Roberto Casiraghi e Crystal Jones
    email: robertocasiraghi at iol punto it

    Roberto Casiraghi           
    INFORMATIVA SULLA PRIVACY              Crystal Jones

    Siti amici:  Lonweb Daisy Stories English4Life Scuolitalia
    Sito segnalato da INGLESE.IT


This article is from:

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: 


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Ferrets are kool. They eat other little rodents.

This article is about the mammal. For the military vehicle, see Ferret armoured car.

In general use, a ferret is a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo), a mammal first bred from the wild European polecat or steppe polecat at least 2,500 years ago. Several other small, elongated carnivorous mammals belonging to the family Mustelidae also have the word "ferret" in their common names, including the endangered black-footed ferret.

Contrary to popular belief, ferrets are not rodents, but members of the mustelid family, which also includes weasels, badgers, stoats, and otters. Until recently, skunks were also placed in this family.


A drawing of a ferret.
A drawing of a ferret.

It is unknown exactly when ferrets were first domesticated, but ferret remains have been dated to 1500 BC.[1]

Some say the ancient Egyptians had ferrets, but it is more likely that Europeans visiting Egypt saw cats and thought using a small carnivore to protect grain stores was a useful idea.[citation needed] The ancient Greeks kept pet ferrets: they are mentioned in Aristophanes's plays. [citation needed]

The ferret was most likely bred from the European Polecat (Mustela putorius), though it is also possible that ferrets come from the steppe polecat (Mustela eversmanni) or some hybridization thereof. All three species have unique similarities and differences.

Wild ferrets, in the form of ferret-polecat hybrids, do still exist. New Zealand has the world's largest feral population of these hybrids.[2] (See Ferrets as pests, below, for more details.)

Elizabeth I of England used to give ferrets as gifts, which were highly prized; a ferret is the mascot for the 1st Battalion the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire in the British Armed Forces.[3]


For hundreds of years, the main use of ferrets was for hunting, or ferreting. With their long, lean build and curious nature, ferrets are very well equipped for getting down holes and chasing rodents and rabbits ("rabbiting") out of their burrows. They are still used for hunting in some countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, where rabbits are considered a plague species and the combination of a few small nets and a ferret or two remains very effective despite technological advances. However, the practice is illegal in several countries, where it is feared that ferreting could unbalance the ecology.

Caesar Augustus sent ferrets (named "viverrae" by Plinius) to the Balearic Islands to control the rabbit plagues in 6 BC.

Ferrets were first brought to the New World in the 17th century and were used extensively from 1860 until the start of World War II to protect grain stores in the American West. They first became popular as pets in the mid-1970s, chiefly thanks to Dr. Wendy Winstead, a veterinarian and former folk singer who sold ferrets to a number of celebrities and made many TV appearances with her own ferrets.

Ferrets as pets

Ferrets sleeping in a pile
Ferrets sleeping in a pile

In many ways, ferrets act like kittens that never grow up. They have energy, curiosity, and potential for chaos all their lives, and are always keenly aware of their surroundings. However, they are far more people-oriented than cats, and most actively elicit play with their owners.

Their lifespan can vary widely, but usually falls between six and ten years, though in rare cases they can live into their early teens. While there are two types of ferrets, the European and the Black-Footed, it is the European ferret that is the widely domesticated species. Thus it is the European ferret that breeders breed in order to turn a profit through the sale of the animals as pets.

In the USA ferrets can cost $200, as well as the obvious ongoing costs of food, bedding, veterinary bills etc, so prospective owners should be thoughtful of the full cost of ownership before purchasing.

Dangers to ferrets

It has been suggested that ferrets were bred for curiosity; whether this is true or not, their curiosity often exceeds their common sense. Ferrets are very good at getting into holes in walls, cupboards, or behind household appliances, where they can be injured or killed by electrical wiring, fans, and other dangerous items. Many enjoy chewing items made of soft rubber, foam, or sponge, which present the risk of intestinal blockage and death if ingested. Screen doors are no match for a ferret's claws, and dryer vents often become escape routes to the outdoors. Unlike dogs and cats, most lost ferrets have little homing instinct and cannot survive as strays, causing them to die within a few days unless found.

Recliners are the number-one cause of accidental death in ferrets today[citation needed]. Ferrets will often climb inside the springs and then be squashed and injured or killed once the chair is put into a reclined position. Fold-out sofas cause similar problems.

For these reasons, steps must be taken to "ferret-proof" a home before acquiring one as a pet. Ferret-proofing a house is an ongoing task that involves carefully going through each room, removing items dangerous to ferrets and covering over any holes or potential escape routes. Ferrets can open improperly latched cupboards or doors by rolling over and clawing at the bottom edge, so many owners buy childproof latches or keep cleaning products in high, out-of-reach places. However, ferrets can fit through holes as small as an inch square[citation needed], making some childproof latches ineffective.


Ferrets are obligate carnivores; their natural diet consists entirely of meat, and they lack the ability to digest vegetable matter.

There are a wide variety of ferret foods available at pet shops worldwide. A cat or kitten food can also be used, as long as it provides the high protein and fat content required by the ferret's metabolism. However, most cat and kitten foods lack the nutrition that ferrets require. Kibble formulated for ferrets is much more suitable. Ideally, a ferret food should contain between 32-38% protein and between 15-20% fat, with the top three ingredients meat-based.

Ferrets usually have a fondness for sweets like raisins, bananas, peanut butter, and pieces of cereal. Such treats should be given sparingly (if at all), as their high sugar content has been linked to insulinoma and other diseases. In fact, veterinarians are now saying not to feed raisins and the such to ferrets at all because they are known to hide their food. It's possible a ferret may hide a large amount of raisins over time and then consume them all at once, which is a major health risk.

Some ferret owners feed a meat-based diet consisting of chicken, organs, bone, and whole prey like mice and rats. This is still common in Europe, and is becoming increasingly popular in the US as concerns are raised about processed ferret foods' high sugar and carbohydrate content.


Ferret waking from a nap
Ferret waking from a nap
Young ferrets in deep sleep
Young ferrets in deep sleep

Ferrets spend 14 to 18 hours a day sleeping, but when awake they are very active, exploring their surroundings relentlessly. Ferrets are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk. However, ferrets are known to easily adapt to the schedule of their owners. If kept in a cage, they should be let out for a few hours daily to get exercise and satisfy their curiosity. When ferrets are kept in their cages for too long, their walking ability can be affected, and they may become subject to depression or "cage stress." Ferrets, like cats, can use a litter box with training, though are not always totally litter box trainable.

Ferrets are also fine backyard companions and especially enjoy "helping" their owners in the garden. However, they should not be allowed to wander; ferrets are fearless to the point of foolishness and will get into whatever holes they will find, including storm drains. Whenever they are outside, they should be closely supervised and preferably kept on a harness leash designed for ferrets. There are different types of harnesses, and some ferrets prefer certain kinds. The H-shaped harness is the most popular. Collars will not work for ferrets as they do for dogs; a ferret can easily slip out of a collar because their heads are about the same width as their necks.

Additional care should be taken during mosquito & tick season, as ferrets are susceptible to the diseases carried by these parasites. Ticks can drain a ferret's blood in a matter of days, and can also carry Lyme disease. Mosquitoes can carry heart worms and the West Nile virus. Fleas can cause extreme skin irritation and can be intermediate hosts for tapeworms, one of which could potentially kill a ferret due to the ferret's small size. Also because of their small size, ferrets can also be regarded as prey by birds such as the hawk, and by larger snakes. Their small size also makes the venom of a bee, wasp or spider much more serious than for a larger animal. For these reasons, an owner must be very vigilant while a ferret is outside.


Ferret playing tug with a hair pick
Ferret playing tug with a hair pick

Since ferrets are social animals, many of them are playful by heart and are happy to play with humans. "Play" for a ferret can involve hide-and-seek games, or some form of predator/prey game in which either the human attempts to catch the ferret or the ferret to catch the human.

Like a playful kitten, ferrets usually will not actually "bite" their human companions, but instead gently grab a toe or finger in their mouth and roll around with it. However, ferrets that have been abused or are in extreme pain will bite a human. Ferrets have strong bites and can sometimes bite through human skin, especially children's. Once properly socialized, however, domesticated ferrets will very rarely, if ever, bite humans.

Most kitten toys work well with ferrets. Toys made of rubber or foam should be avoided, however, as ferrets can chew off and swallow small pieces, possibly leading to intestinal blockage. Ferrets love playing tug of war with toys and stuffed animals.

Ferrets regularly wrestle with each other, and with their owners.

When ferrets are especially excited, they will perform the weasel war dance, a frenzied series of sideways hops. This is often accompanied by a soft chuckling noise, called dooking by many ferret owners.

Ferrets and children

Child with ferrets
Child with ferrets

Ferrets can make wonderful pets for children. However, like all other domesticated animals, they should not be allowed unsupervised near infants or very young children. Given that young children and ferrets can both be excitable and prone to rough play, interaction between ferrets and young children must always be closely supervised -- for the protection of both the children and the ferrets.

Social nature

Ferrets at play
Ferrets at play

Ferrets are extremely social animals, and most enjoy playing and interacting with other ferrets. Many ferret owners recommend owning two or three ferrets for this reason, but there is nothing wrong with owning one ferret, provided that it receives lots of play time and attention. Ferrets frequently bond emotionally with other ferrets, and bonded pairs are often observed to die just a few days apart from each other.

Ferrets have been known to play with household cats and small non-aggressive dogs. However, great care must be taken when introducing ferrets to any new animal, particularly terriers and other breeds with instincts for catching ferret-sized prey. Ferrets will normally not get along with rabbits, birds, rats, mice and guinea pigs which comprise part of its diet in the wild and will often be attacked if there is a chance.


Pet female ferrets should be spayed if they are not going to be bred. Ferrets go into extended heat and an unbred ferret without medical intervention can die of a form of anemia.

Ferrets need their nails clipped and ears cleaned on a regular basis. Regular nail clippers will work, and most pet stores supply ferret specific ear cleaning solution. Most ferrets also shed twice a year, in the spring and fall; during this time, it is a good idea to brush them regularly and give them a laxative or petroleum jelly to help any ingested fur pass more easily through the digestive tract.

Frequent bathing is not necessary. Most sources recommend bathing no more frequently than once every 6 months, and many owners don't bathe their ferrets at all unless something needs to be washed off. Over-frequent bathing can actually increase a ferret's natural smell, as its skin works overtime to replace the oils lost in the bath.

It is a misconception that ferrets smell bad. The bad smell usually attributed to ferrets comes from their bedding and litter box. Bedding should be washed or changed out regularly, and a ferret's litter box should be cleaned every day, or at least every other day. Depending on the cage, it is a good idea to take it apart and hose it down every once in a while, to remove material stuck in crevices.

It is recommended that ferrets are taken to a veterinarian for a yearly checkup. Ferrets often hide symptoms of illness very well, perhaps from an instinct to not appear weak to predators in the wild. Any out-of-the-ordinary behavior is good cause for a consultation. Ferrets have high metabolisms and cancers can progress at an alarmingly fast rate. Early detection is key.

Other uses of ferrets

Ferrets have been used to run wires and cables through large conduits. They have been employed in this way by event organizers in London. TV and sound cables were run by ferrets both for the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer, and for the "Party in the Park" concert held in Greenwich Park on Millennium Eve.[4]

Since they share many anatomical and physiological features with humans, ferrets are extensively used as experimental subjects in biomedical research, in fields such as virology, reproductive physiology, anatomy, and endocrinology.

Ferret biology and health concerns

Like many other carnivores, ferrets have scent sacs near their anus. Secretions from these are used in scent marking. It has been shown that ferrets can identify whether such a mark was left by a male or a female ferret, without recognizing the individual.[citation needed] Like a skunk, a ferret can release this scent when startled or scared, but the smell dissipates rapidly. Most pet ferrets in the US are sold with these anal sacs removed, although this does not affect a ferret's natural musky scent. To eliminate this scent entirely neutering male ferrets and spaying female ones is required, since it is through this odor that female and male ferrets find each other during the mating season.

In the UK, it is illegal to remove a ferret's anal sacs, which is considered animal abuse.

Many domestic ferrets are known to suffer from several distinct health problems. Among the most common are cancers affecting the adrenal glands, pancreas, and lymphatic system. Certain breeds may also have a genetic defect known as Waardenburg syndrome .

Sadly, most ferrets will ultimately contract a life-threatening illness. It is uncommon for the domestic ferret to die from old age. Early detection and treatment is key to ensuring ferrets live a long and fun-filled life.

Adrenal disease

Adrenal disease, a growth of the adrenal glands that can be either hyperplasia or cancer, is most often diagnosed by symptoms like unusual hair loss, increased aggression, and (in the case of females) an enlarged vulva. Even if the growth is benign, it can still cause a hormonal imbalance which can have devastating effects on the ferret's health.

Treatment options include surgery to excise the affected glands, melatonin implants, steroids and/or hormone therapy. The cause of adrenal disease is unknown, but speculated triggers include unnatural light cycles, diets based around processed ferret foods, and the premature desexing of pet-store ferrets. Others have suggested that the problem is hereditary.

Adrenal disease is usually detected during the spring or fall. This is because adrenal disease affects the hormones that make their fur grow, so when ferrets with adrenal disease shed their winter coat they simply don't grow it back because of the disease. The hair loss pattern is very specific for adrenal disease: It begins at the base of the tail and then continues up the ferret's back.


Ferrets are also known to suffer from insulinoma, a cancer of the pancreas. The growth of cancerous nodules on the lobes of the pancreas sometimes, but not always, leads to an increase in the production of insulin, which regulates the rate at which the ferret's body metabolizes blood glucose. Too much insulin will cause blood sugar to drop, resulting in lethargy, seizures, and ultimately death. Symptoms of insulinoma include episodes of lethargy, drooling, pawing and/or foaming at the mouth, staring "blankly" into space, and seizures.

Like adrenal cancer, the exact cause of insulinoma is unknown. It is speculated that the diets of domestic ferrets are too far removed from the natural diets of their polecat ancestors, and include too much sugar or simple carbohydrates.

Treatment for insulinoma may include surgical excision of the cancerous lobes, pharmaceutical treatment with steroids that suppress the production of insulin, supplemental changes in diet (most often poultry-based baby food), or a combination thereof. Unfortunately, the growth of the tumors cannot be completely stopped, and the ferret will eventually suffer a reoccurrence of symptoms.


Lymphoma/lymphosarcoma is the most common malignancy in ferrets. Ferret lymphosarcoma occurs in two forms -- juvenile lymphosarcoma, a fast-growing type that affects ferrets younger than two years, and adult lymphosarcoma, a slower growing form that affects ferrets four to seven years old.

In juvenile ferret lymphosarcoma, large, immature lymphocytes (lymphoblasts) rapidly invade the thymus and/or the organs of the abdominal cavity, particularly the liver and spleen. In adult ferret lymphosarcoma, the lymph nodes in the limbs and abdominal cavity become swollen early on due to invasion by small, mature lymphocytes. Invasion of organs, such as the liver, kidney, lungs, and spleen, occurs later on, and the disease may be far advanced before symptoms are noticeable.

As in humans, ferret lymphosarcoma can be treated surgically, with radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination thereof. The long-term prognosis is rarely bright, however, and this treatment is intended to improve quality of life with the disease.

Viral diseases

ECE (epizootic catarrhal enteritis), is a viral disease that first appeared in the northeastern US in 1994, is an inflammation of the mucous membranes in the intestine. In ferrets, the disease manifests itself as severe diarrhea (often of a bright green color), loss of appetite, and severe weight loss. The virus can be passed via fluids and indirectly between humans. Although it was often fatal when first discovered, ECE is less of a threat nowadays with the right supportive care.

ADV, the Aleutian disease virus, is a parvovirus originally found among mink in the Aleutian islands in the early 20th century. In ferrets, the virus affects the immune system (causing it to produce non-neutralizing antibodies) and many internal organs, particularly the kidneys. There is no cure or vaccine for the disease, and ferrets may carry the virus for months or years without any external symptoms. As a result, many ferret organizations and shelters recommend that owners test their pets for the virus regularly, separating them from other ferrets if they test positive.

Ferrets are also susceptible to the canine_distemper virus. It is almost always fatal. It is recommended that ferrets should receive an annual vaccination. While this is vital to protect a ferret's health, it is not without controversy, and can cause anaphylactic_shock. Some veterinarians prefer to pre-treat ferrets with injectable benedryl. There are currently two vaccines that can be used on ferrets, only one of which is USDA approved.

Waardenburg Syndrome

Ferrets with a white stripe on their face or a fully white head, primarily blazes, badgers, and pandas, almost certainly carry a congenital defect known as Waardenburg syndrome. This causes, among other things, a cranial deformation in the womb which broadens the skull, causing the white face markings but also partial or total deafness. It is estimated as many as 75% of ferrets with visible Waardenburg signs are deaf. Beyond that, the cranial deformation also causes a higher instance of stillborn ferret kits, and occasionally cleft palates. Because of this, many breeders will not breed Waardenburg-patterned ferrets.

Terminology and Coloring

A sable ferret, the most common color variation
A sable ferret, the most common color variation

Male ferrets are called hobs; female ferrets are jills. A spayed female is a sprite, and a neutered male is a gib. Ferrets under one year old are known as kits. A group of ferrets is known as a "business".

Ferrets come in a variety of coat colors and patterns, the most common of which are as follows:

White ferrets were favored in the Middle Ages for the ease in seeing them in thick undergrowth, and ownership was restricted to those earning at least 40 shillings a year (a large sum then).[citation needed] Leonardo's painting Lady with an Ermine is likely mislabeled; the animal is probably a ferret, not a stoat, for which "ermine" is an alternative name (the latter strictly applying only to the animal in its white winter coat). Similarly, the "Ermine portrait of Queen Elizabeth the First" shows her with her pet ferret, who has been decorated with painted-on heraldic ermine spots.

Ferrets as pests

In 1877, farmers in New Zealand demanded that ferrets be introduced into the country to control the rabbit population, which was also introduced by humans. Five ferrets were imported in 1879, and in 1882-1883, 32 shipments of ferrets were made from London, totaling 1217 animals. Only 678 landed, and 198 were sent from Melbourne, Australia. On the voyage, the ferrets were mated with the European polecat, creating a number of hybrids that were capable of surviving in the wild. In 1884 and 1886, close to 4000 ferrets and ferret hybrids, 3099 weasels and 137 stoats were turned loose.[6] Concern was raised that these animals would eventually prey on indigenous wildlife once rabbit populations dropped, and this is exactly what happened as New Zealand bird species had evolved free from mammalian predators.

Ferrets in literature and the media

  • Aristophanes, a Greek playwright of note, made references to ferrets in the satire The Achaeans written around the year 450 B.C., comparing the Achaeans to ferrets, who were widely regarded as thieves.
  • The title character of the short story Sredni Vashtar by Saki (pseudonym of H. H. Munro) is a pet "polecat" openly kept by a young boy.
  • The children's book Zucchini by banana Dana is about a boy and his pet ferret. However, the author gets a number of basic ferret facts wrong, claiming that they are vegetarian rodents.
  • The BBC Children's TV magazine programme Xchange (CBBC) stars the puppet Vinnie, a wheeler dealer, general mischief making ferret.
  • In the film The Big Lebowski, Lebowski is attacked in the bathroom by a "Marmot" which is really a ferret.
  • In the film Kindergarten Cop, John Kimble (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) owns a pet ferret, which later becomes the mascot of his kindergarten class and saves his life by biting the main antagonist near the end of the film.
  • Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, has written five books starring ferrets as part of his Ferret Chronicles series.
  • In the 2004 romantic comedy Along Came Polly, Jennifer Aniston's character, Polly, owns a ferret named Rodolfo who often runs head-first into stationary objects (to great comedic effect). The ferret was also featured in the promotional material for the film.
  • The film The Beastmaster has two ferrets which appear as major characters. The film's protagonist usually kept them in a small pouch attached to his belt.
  • The comic strip Get Fuzzy features a malevolent ferret named Fungo Squiggly who is the main antagonist of cat Bucky Katt and also trusted friend of naive dog Satchel Pooch.
  • In the fourth Harry Potter book and film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the character Draco Malfoy is turned into an albino ferret.
  • HTV Wales' long-running investigation series The Ferret has a ferret in the main titles and also has dictionary text on the titles describing the word "ferret".
  • Ferrets appear in almost every story of Brian Jacques's series, Redwall.

Regulation on ferrets as pets


It is illegal to keep ferrets as pets in Queensland or the Northern Territory; in the ACT a license is required.


Selling, distributing, breeding and keeping ferrets is illegal in Iceland.

New Zealand

It has been illegal to sell, distribute or breed ferrets in New Zealand since 2002.


It is illegal to keep ferrets as pets in Portugal. Ferrets can only be used for hunting purposes and can only be kept with a government permit.

United States

Ferrets were once banned in many US states, but most of these laws were rescinded in the 1980s and 90s as they became popular pets. Ferrets are still illegal in California under Fish and Game Code Section 2118[7] and the California Code of Regulations.[8]

Additionally, "Ferrets are strictly prohibited as pets under Hawaii law because they are potential carriers of the rabies virus";[9] the territory of Puerto Rico also has a similar law.[citation needed]

Ferrets are also restricted by individual cities, such as New York City, Washington, DC, Beaumont, Texas, and Bloomington, Minnesota.[citation needed] They are also prohibited on many military bases.[citation needed] A permit to own a ferret is needed in other areas, including New Jersey and Rhode Island.[citation needed] Illinois does not require a permit to merely possess a ferret, but a permit is required to breed ferrets.[10] It was once once illegal to own ferrets in Dallas, Texas,[11] but the current Dallas City Code for Animals includes regulations for the vaccination of ferrets.[12]


Ferrets are becoming popular. They are only allowed if they are microchipped and sterilized.

Travel regulations

Airline policies

Note that most airlines require advance booking for pet travel and may levy additional fees. Also, requirements concerning pet carrier size, weight, and construction vary from airline to airline.

Train policies

Import laws


Ferrets brought from anywhere except the US require a Permit to Import from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Animal Health Office. Ferrets from the US require only a vaccination certificate signed by a veterinarian. Ferrets under three months old are not subject to any restrictions for importation.[20]

European Union

As of July 2004, dogs, cats, and ferrets can travel freely within the European Union under the PETS travel scheme. To cross a border within the EU, ferrets require at minimum an EU PETS passport and an identification microchip (though some countries will accept a tattoo instead). Vaccinations are also required; most countries require a rabies vaccine, and some also require a distemper vaccine and treatment for ticks and fleas 24 to 48 hours before entry. PETS travel information is available from any EU veterinarian or on government websites.

United Kingdom

The UK accepts ferrets under the PETS travel scheme. Ferrets must be microchipped, vaccinated, and documented. They must be treated for ticks and tapeworms 24 to 48 hours before entry. They must also arrive via an authorized route. Ferrets arriving from outside the EU may be subject to a six-month quarantine.[21]


Ferrets cannot be imported into Australia at all. A report drafted in August 2000 seems to be the only effort made to date to change the situation.[22]


  1. ^ Glover, James. The Ancestry of the Domestic Ferret. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  2. ^ Feral Ferrets in New Zealand. California's Plants and Animals. California Department of Fish and Game. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  3. ^ Animals on Strength (as at 1 Feb 2002). The British Army Statistics. Retrieved on 2006-09-12. "Note: The ferret held by 1st Battalion the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire is not a charge to public funds and the cost for feeding, accommodation and clothing (small cap and ceremonial jacket) is borne by the regiment."
  4. ^ Ferrets save millennium concert. BBC News. BBC (1999-12-29). Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  5. ^ Morton, E. Lynn "Fox" and Chuck, Earle-Bridges, Michelle, photographer (2000). Ferrets: everything about purchase, care, nutrition, diseases, behavior, and breeding. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 13–14. ISBN 0-7641-1050-0.
  6. ^ RABBIT CONTROL. A Hundred Years of Rabbit Impacts, and Future Control Options. New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Rabbit Biocontrol Advisory Group. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  7. ^ Fish and Game Code Section 2118. California Codes. State of California. Retrieved on 2006-09-19.; the Code states, in part: "animals of the families Viverridae and Mustelidae in the order Carnivora are restricted because such animals are undesirable and a menace to native wildlife, the agricultural interests of the state, or to the public health or safety."
  8. ^ Section 671(c)(2)(K)(5): "Family Mustelidae". California Code Of Regulations, Title 14: Natural Resources, Division 1: "Fish And Game Commission—Department Of Fish And Game", Subdivision 3: "General Regulations", Chapter 3: "Miscellaneous",Section 671: "Importation, Transportation and Possession of Live Restricted Animals". Retrieved on 2006-09-19. Ferrets are not among the exceptions to the classification "Those species listed because they pose a threat to native wildlife, the agriculture interests of the state or to public health or safety are termed "detrimental animals" and are designated by the letter "D".
  9. ^ News Release:Illegal Ferret Found in Kailua. State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Retrieved on 2006-09-19.
  10. ^ Wild Bird and Game Bird Breeder Permit Application (pdf). Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  11. ^ Dallas. Prohibited by Ordinance. Ferret Lover's Club of Texas (1996–2005). Retrieved on 2006-09-19.
  12. ^ Animal Services. Dallas City Code, Chapter 7: "Animals"; Article VII: "Miscellanous". American Legal Publishing Corporation. Retrieved on 2006-09-19.
  13. ^ Travelling with your Pet. Air Canada. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  14. ^ Pets as Carry On. Delta Air Lines, Inc.. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  15. ^ Travelling with animals. Special Requests. Luxair S.A.. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  16. ^ What is Ryanair's policy on the carriage of animals?. Baggage. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  17. ^ US Airways - Pets in the Passenger Cabin. Baggage. US Airways. Retrieved on 2006-10-26.
  18. ^ Southwest Airlines Travel Policies - Animals and Pets. Baggage. Southwest Airlines. Retrieved on 2006-10-10.
  19. ^ Information on taking Pets and Guide dogs on Eurostar. Questions and Answers. Eurostar Group Ltd.. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  20. ^ Importation of Foxes, Skunks, Raccoons and Ferrets. Pet Imports. Canadian Food Inspection Agency (2006-03-20). Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  21. ^ PETS: How to bring your ferret into or back into the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). Animal health & welfare. Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (defra) © Crown copyright 2006. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
  22. ^ Importation of Ferrets into Australia, Import Risk Analysis - Draft Report (.pdf). Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) (August 2000). Retrieved on 2006-09-12.

See also

  • Marshall Farms, the largest breeder of ferrets in the United States

External links

Organizations and shelters

Biology, Veterinary Science, Diet

  • the Ferret Natural History FAQ
  • Ferret Health List: Moderated by veterinarians with ferret expertise.
  • Ferret Color Chart.
  • Ferret universe Lymphoma/Lymphosarcoma
  • Pathology of the Domestic Ferret
  • Ferret Food Information - Varieties and Ingredient Listings
  • Ferret Health Care
  • Rethinking The Ferret Diet - Info about species-appropriate diets, and the negative effects of commercially prepared diets, written by a veterinarian.


  • Information on travelling with Ferrets (in the United States)
Retrieved from ""