According to the American Ferret Association, the European polecat, the primary ancestor of the ferret, is a native of western Eurasia and North Africa. It is believed other members of the family Mustelidae contributed to the ferret's lineage, including the Steppe polecat, which lives in Europe and Central Asia.
Ferrets are domesticated animals, nearly incapable of living outside of a human dwelling. A ferret can grow up to 5 pounds and subsists on a carnivorous diet. Ferrets are intelligent pets and capable of being trained. The scent glands of a ferret produce a foul odor when the animal is endangered, but doctors do not recommend removing them.