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Types of Ferret According to their Size, Color and Coat

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: November 29, 2016
Types of Ferret According to their Size, Color and Coat

Ferrets are wonderful, long-domesticated pets who have accompanied mankind for at least 2500 years. Such a long tradition of breeding ferrets means that nowadays there are many different types of ferrets of various shapes, colors and coats, just like there are different breeds of cats and dogs.

This AnimalWised article will focus on how to identify the different types of ferret according to their size, color and coat. This will give you a general idea on how to classify them, and it will be very useful if you're looking to adopt one.

You may also be interested in: Tips to Reduce a Ferret's Odor

Ferret breeds according to their size

The scientific name of ferrets as a species is Mustela putorius furo, and they descend from the wild European polecat. They belong to the same family as weasels and minks, all of them mammals with long bodies but short legs.

Historians believe that ferrets evolved in North Africa and that they were already used by the Romans, but nowadays they are spread all over the world. It is very likely that the first tame ferrets were domesticated to chase rodents and other home pests. In some areas they have bred with polecats, resulting in hybrids.

If you like ferrets, you'll surely have noticed that they come in many different shapes and sizes. However, you can only be sure of the size of a ferret when it is a fully grown adult. You can classify them into three large groups:

  • The whippet is the smallest ferret in existence. It comes from the United States and has a small, elongated head.
  • The standard ferret is the most common. It originates from Europe and was used in rabbit hunting for centuries.
  • The bulldog ferret is undoubtedly the biggest and stockiest. It's notable for its short legs, broad head and bulky chest. They come from northern Europe.
Types of Ferret According to their Size, Color and Coat - Ferret breeds according to their size

Ferret types according to color

In addition to a ferret's size, you can also classify them according to their color. There are four parameters that allow us to define them:

According to the base color:

  • sabre
  • black sabre
  • black
  • chocolate
  • champagne
  • cinnamon
  • albino
  • DEW
  • silver
  • marked silver

According to the pattern of color distribution:

  • standard
  • Siamese
  • roan
  • self
  • solid

There are also patterns of white:

  • bib
  • gloves
  • socks
  • harlequin
  • blaze
  • panda
  • polka dot
  • milk mouth
  • knee patches
  • tip

Finally, they may also have mask-like patterns:

  • in a V-shape
  • in a T-shape
  • incomplete
  • without mask
Types of Ferret According to their Size, Color and Coat - Ferret types according to color

Ferret types according to coat

To finally draw a line under the classification of ferrets according to their physical features, you should know that there are three types of fur. The most common of all is short or mid-length hair, which the majority of ferrets have. However, other types exist:

  • Short hair or standard
  • Long hair
  • Angora
Types of Ferret According to their Size, Color and Coat - Ferret types according to coat

Do you have a pet ferret or are you thinking of adopting one? Take a look at the following articles:

If you want to read similar articles to Types of Ferret According to their Size, Color and Coat, we recommend you visit our What you need to know category.

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