One interesting ferret fact is that ferrets have a natural odor that is concentrated in the skin glands. Ferrets have been domesticated for over 2,000 years, and these animals were first brought to the United States around 300 years ago.Continue Reading
Although ferrets possess a particular odor, it is not overwhelming. The smell is present regardless of descenting, a process that involves removing the scent glands. Ferrets are typically descented in North America, but it is believed that descenting is ineffective since the scent glands do not hold the odor. Bathing the ferrets is recommended, but doing so does not reduce the odor. Excessive baths may enhance the odor instead of reducing it because the skin glands produce more oils to counteract the dry skin. The scent glands are the same as skunk glands, but there is no spraying involved. The odors are more prominent when the animal feels threatened. The smell of these glands is mild, and washing dissipates the smell.
There may be ferret remains that date as far back as 1500 B.C. There is speculation that the ancient Egyptians domesticated the ferret, and the Romans may have used ferrets as hunting companions. Ferrets accompanied hunters for over 1,000 years, and a law was passed in England in 1390 that limited hunting with ferrets to the ruling class. Ferrets were imported to New Zealand in the late 1880s. New Zealand farmers wanted these animals in the country to control the rabbit population.Learn more about Pets