Ferret – Always Burrow Deeper
Having a wild side, enjoying being looked after by others, being given space to be yourself, excitement and joy, curiosity and openness, having an uncertain heritage, collecting items, always burrowing deeper to understand the truth, self-reflection, theft, the value of connection and positive treatment, take care of who you spend your time with, do not allow yourself to be exploited by others, expanding your defences, the importance of not being out on your own.
The ferret is a domesticated mustelid, which are sexually dimorphic obligate carnivores with fur of varying colours. There are four basic colours from which others are built; sable, albino, dark-eyed white and silver. A male ferret is a hob, a female a jill, a spayed female a sprite, a neutered male a gib and juveniles are called kits. It is uncertain when or how they were domesticated, but it’s likely they’ve been domesticated for 2500 years. They are utilised for hunting (ferreting) rabbits, rodents and moles, but are more commonly kept as house pets. They have formed feral populations, particularly in New Zealand, which has resulted in some countries restricting the ownership of ferrets. Domestic ferrets are not suited to living in the wild, unless hybridised with polecats. They are crepuscular in habit. They have scent glands near the anus used in scent-marking, and can be considered odorous by some pet owners. Some ferrets are sold de-scented in the US as a result; in many other countries this practice is considered barbaric and unnecessary. They need to eat regularly, and consume prepared dry or wet foods, often with nutritional supplements. They are prone to several health problems and diseases, some of which can be transmitted to humans.
They are territorial, but can live happily in social groups, which is referred to as a ‘business.’ They burrow, and like to sleep in enclosed areas. They engage in a behaviour when excited called the ‘weasel war dance’ which involves frenzied hops and twists, and is an invitation to play. They will ‘dook’ during this dance, which is soft clucking. Ferrets have a habit of hiding small items, and have been nicknamed the ‘little thief.’ Males generally go into rut between December and July, and will mate with as many females as possible. A well-socialised, well-disposed ferret will interact well with other ferrets, cats, dogs and people, but can kill pet birds, and other small mammals (rabbits, rodents). They will hiss when agitated, threatened or upset. They are inquisitive, curious, and tunnel around and into anything. They have a lifespan of between 7 and 10 years on average. They can be trained, and respond to positive discipline. They can be trained to use a litterbox. They are often used as experimental subjects in biomedical research.