The ferret is a very close relative of the polecat, but it is as yet unclear whether it is a domesticated form of the European Polecat, the Steppe Polecat, or some hybrid of the two.
The history of the ferret’s domestication is uncertain, like that of most other domestic animals, but it is likely that ferrets have been domesticated for at least 2,500 years. They are still used for hunting rabbits in some parts of the world today, but increasingly they are being kept simply as pets.
Ferrets are extremely playful, very curious, love to go exploring, and love to play games. The name ferret comes from the latin word “furritus” meaning “little thief”. Though ferrets have a very curious nature, they are hardy animals that can contribute to many treasured memories.
Ferrets can be just as great of a companion as a dog or cat, but do need a lot of attention and care. Their average life span is about 5 – 7 years though they can live up to 11 or more years if given good care. They can also be well trained.