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Pet Owner Version

Introduction to Ferrets


James K. Morrisey

, DVM, DABVP (Avian), Companion Exotic Animal Medicine Service, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

Last full review/revision Jan 2020 | Content last modified Oct 2020
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Ferrets have become popular pets.

Ferrets have become popular pets.

The domestic ferret is part of the Mustelidae animal family that includes weasels, badgers, and minks. However, unlike these wild species, ferrets are fully domesticated and would likely starve if released outside. Ferrets have been in captivity for more than 2,000 years and are used as hunting animals in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. They have become popular pets over the last decade in the United States.

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