Ferrets are fascinating and unique pets that have been gaining popularity in recent years. They are small, agile creatures that are known for their playful and curious nature.
However, before considering getting a ferret as a pet, it is important to understand the different types of ferret breeds available and their specific characteristics.
There are several different ferret breeds, each with their own unique characteristics. The most common breeds are the American, European, and Polecat ferrets.
Main Categories Of Ferret Breeds
The American ferret’s smaller size and gentle temperament make them a popular breed among pet owners. Conversely, the European ferret, also known as the black-footed ferret, possesses a larger size and is known for its more untamed appearance and aggressive nature.
Although European ferrets are intelligent and often used for hunting and pest control, they are not recommended as pets for families with children.
Polecat ferrets, on the other hand, are wild ferret species that are larger and more aggressive than their domesticated counterparts, and are not suitable for living in captivity.
Despite the differences between ferret breeds, it is essential to remember that all ferrets require proper grooming and care and have a strong odor.
Furthermore, ferrets have a lifespan of around 6-8 years and need plenty of attention and playtime. While some ferrets can live up to 10 years, it is important to note that they require dedicated care from their owners, making them a long-term commitment.
Differences In The Ferret Breeds
|Ferret Type||Size||Temperament||Suitable for|
|American Ferret||Smaller||Docile||Families with children|
|European Ferret||Larger||Aggressive||Not recommended for families with children|
|Polecat Ferret||Larger||Aggressive||Not recommended as pet|
Ferrets come in a variety of different colors and shades, which makes them an interesting and unique pet.
The American Ferret Association officially recognizes that there are 8 main colors of ferrets, which include:
- Dark-Eyed White
- Black Sable
These are majority if not all ferret colors: albino, black sable, black sable mitt, blaze, champagne, chocolate, chocolate mitt, cinnamon, cinnamon mitts, dalmatian, heavy silver or pewter, panda, light pattern, medium pattern, sable, sable mitt, siamese, siamese mitt, striped white, and white with dark eyes. .
The Different Ferret Types
In your quest to own a ferret, you are likely to come across any of the following ferrets.
Albino ferrets are characterized by their white fur and red eyes. They are rare and often have a higher price tag.
Black Sable Ferrets
They are known for their jet black fur, which is shiny and smooth. Their eyes should be really black or almost black in color and the nose should be black or very dark brown, almost black.
Black Sable Mitts
These are a variation of black sable ferrets, characterized by white markings on their paws, also known as “mitts.”
Blaze ferrets are known for a white blaze or patch on their forehead.
Champagne ferrets are characterized by their light golden or champagne-colored fur.
The Chocolate ferrets are characterized by their rich chocolate-brown fur.
These are a variation of chocolate ferrets, characterized by white markings on their paws, also known as “mitts.”
These ferrets are characterized by their warm, reddish-brown fur.
Cinnamon mitts are a variation of cinnamon ferrets, characterized by white markings on their paws, also known as “mitts.”
Dalmatian ferrets have a distinct spotted pattern, similar to that of a Dalmatian dog.
Panda ferrets are characterized by their black and white fur, similar to that of a Panda bear.
Light Pattern Ferrets
Light pattern ferrets have a distinct pattern on their fur, but it is not as pronounced as that of a medium pattern ferret.
Medium Pattern Ferrets
Medium pattern ferrets have a distinct pattern on their fur, which is more pronounced than that of a light pattern ferret.
These ferrets are characterized by their agouti fur, which has multiple bands of color on each hair shaft.
Sable mitts are a variation of sable ferrets, characterized by white markings on their paws, also known as “mitts.”
The Siamese ferrets have a distinct dark mask and ears, with a lighter body color.
Siamese mitts are a variation of siamese ferrets, characterized by white markings on their paws, also known as “mitts.”
Striped White Ferrets
Striped white ferrets have distinct white stripes on their fur, giving them a unique appearance.
White with Dark Eyes Ferrets
White with dark eyes ferrets have white fur and dark eyes, which is a unique combination.
Gold ferrets are characterized by their golden or yellow-tinted fur, which can range from light to dark shades.
Sandy ferrets are characterized by their sandy-colored fur, which can range from light to dark shades.
This type of ferrets are characterized by their silver or gray-tinted fur, which can range from light to dark shades.
Silver mitts are a variation of silver ferrets, characterized by white markings on their paws, also known as “mitts.”
Steels ferrets are characterized by their dark gray or steel-blue colored fur.
White-faced ferrets have a distinct white patch on their face, which can vary in size and shape.
Ferret coat types and patterns
Ferrets come in a variety of coat types and patterns, which make them unique and fascinating pets. The standard short coat, the angora coat, and the semi-angora coat are some of the common coat types.
They can also display different coat patterns, such as solid, roan, and point. Solid ferrets have a solid color all over their body, while roan ferrets possess a mix of white and colored hairs.
Pointed ferrets feature a darker color on their face, legs, and tail and a lighter color on their body.
These playful and curious creatures’ charm is augmented by the variety in their coat types and patterns. It’s important to note that some ferrets may have unique color variations that don’t fit into any specific category.
Ferret color also has no bearing on their temperament or suitability as pets. Proper care and attention are necessary for all ferrets.
Hybrid Ferret Breeds
Breeders create hybrid ferret breeds by breeding two different ferret species or subspecies.
The most popular hybrid ferret breed is the Angora ferret, which results from crossing a standard ferret with a white or colored Angora.
Angora ferrets are commonly used in the fur industry and possess long, silky fur.
Other hybrid ferret breeds include the Polecat-ferret cross, which is a combination of a ferret and a European polecat, and the Black-footed ferret, which is a blend of a ferret and a black-footed ferret.
Hybrid ferrets can display traits from both parent species, and they may exhibit unique physical and behavioral characteristics.
However, it is crucial to note that most ferret organizations do not recognize hybrid ferrets as a separate species, and some areas may prohibit their ownership.
Before considering getting a ferret as a pet, it is important to research and understand the different types of ferret breeds available and their specific characteristics.
By understanding the unique traits and needs of each ferret breed, potential ferret owners can make an informed decision and choose the best breed for their lifestyle and household.