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Common Ferret Colors and Characteristics
So you’re thinking about adding a ferret to your family. With all the energy and companionship of these lively creatures, the road ahead is sure to be filled with love and laughter. Although the color of ferrets varies from one animal to another, there are many characteristics that these animals share.
Adult female ferrets can weigh 1 ½ to 2 pounds. Males weigh between 3 pounds and 5 pounds as adults. Usually, it’s the male ferret that embraces the family, while the female is a bit more restless and active. Even with her activity level, however, your female ferret will give you plenty of love.
The two basic ferret colors you see are sable and albino. Albino A ferret is white with pink eyes. Ferrets that fall into the sable category have black legs and a black tail. Their under fur will be white or yellow with long shiny surface hairs that are dark brown or black. Sable ferret color is marked by a mask around your ferret’s eyes. This mask is made when a kit is about 2 weeks old. Until the kit reaches adulthood, it will also show a vertical band, called the “baby band”, between its eyes.
In addition to the variation in ferret color, there is also a variation in the length of their coats. Angora ferrets originated in Sweden when a breeder encountered a mutation in his ferrets that produced long hair on the back and sides of their bodies. A full Angora ferret’s coat is a coat 2-4 inches long. No undercoat. Angora ferrets also have a telltale fold on the nose and a short hair on the tip or inside of their nose. The shape of the eyes and face of the Angora ferret is slightly different from that of the American ferret.
While an Angora ferret can be oh so cute, this type of ferret is more powerful. If you know anything about the energy level of American ferrets, it might be hard to imagine a ferret with more energy and curiosity. But really, Angora brings it all to the table in one sweet little package. It is recommended that if you are buying an Angora, you have an adult ferret in your home to show the newborn the ropes and set an example of behavior. The Angora ferret can be a bit more aggressive than the American ferret.
Ferrets go through shedding seasons in the spring and fall. During shedding (molting), a colored ferret will experience a change in the color of their coat. Many ferrets turn a very different summer color only to return to their original color during the summer.
To prevent your ferret from eating hairballs, it’s important to brush him regularly. This can be done with a ferret brush or a cat brush. Due to their fickle nature, you can expect a bit of wrestling during grooming. If your ferret refuses to sit still to let you complete the task, try offering him one of his favorite treats to keep him still. Brushing your ferret should not be overlooked. Ferrets do not cough up hairballs like cats, which means they are susceptible to gastrointestinal blockage if they ingest hairballs.
No matter what color or type of ferret you get, you’re sure to have a fun-filled road ahead!
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