The Domestic Ferret: A Guide for the Veterinary Practitioner
The domestic ferret (Mustela putoriusJura) is a small, elongated, lithe carnivore. It belongs to the Mustelidae family; along with the skunk, badger, and mink. Its domestication from the wild European polecat dates back to the 4th century B.C. when it was used for rodent and snake control, and later, for rabbit hunting.l It has been raised in captivity for centuries, and selectively bred for productivity and desirable behavioral traits. The domestic ferret was first imported to the U.S. about 1875. Unlike its relatives, it is not a wild animal. It has survived for centuries only in captivity. This animal should not be confused with the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) that is native to the U.S.