ferret is a domesticated mammal almost certainly being selectively bred from the
European Polecat (Mustela putorius furo). Male ferrets are substantially larger
than females. They typically have brown, black, white, or mixed fur. They have
an average length of 50cm including a 13 cm tail, weigh about 0.7–2 kg, and have
a natural lifespan of 7 to 10 years.
Several other small, elongated carnivorous mammals belonging to the family
Mustelidae also have the word ferret in their common names, including an
endangered species, the Black-footed Ferret.
It is likely that ferrets have been domesticated for at least 2,500 years.
They are still used for hunting rabbits in some parts of the world today, but
increasingly they are kept simply as pets. Given that they are members of the
mustelid family, ferrets have a pungent smell about them, so they do not made
good pets in most domestic, urban or city environments.