Article

Behavioural particularities of ferrets

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Abstract

Ferrets have become companion animals during the last thirty years. Although the animal does not exist in its natural environment and there is limited research about the species available, some behavioural aspects have been identified that should be taken into account by the veterinarian. Numerous physiological and behavioural characteristics differentiate this species from other carnivores. Ferrets need a higher energy requirement and several meals per day. Ferrets sleep up to 18 hours per day. However, when awake they are highly active displaying exploratory and play behaviour even in adults. Aggression by biting is never pre-empted by menace behaviour. Owners should be aware of these characteristics and should provide the animals with a suitable space and environment.

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