Ferret Facts

• Ferrets, domesticated for more than 2,000 years, have been used to hunt rabbits, rid ships of vermin and carry guide wires for cabling through pipes.

• Of the nation’s 6 million owners of small animals, 8 percent own ferrets.

• On average, ferret owners annually spend: $79 on non-surgical vet expenses; $14 on grooming; $105 on supplies, such as litter and sleeping hammocks; $73 on food; and $73 on toys.

• Ferrets are susceptible to intestinal blockages from ingesting small objects and diseases of the adrenal gland and pancreas, which are costly to treat.

• The average price of a ferret in 2006 was $88.

• Male ferrets are called hobs, females are jills and babies are kits.

• Hyperactive when awake, ferrets sleep about 18 hours a day.

• Average weight at maturity: 1 pound to 5 pounds

• Typical life span: 6 to 10 years.