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Adopt a Ferret Month – April 2023

Adopt a Ferret Month, which takes place every April, is one of the most popular months in the United States, given that the goal is to get as many households to adopt ferrets, one of the cutest animals on the face of the earth. Ferrets are part of the mustelid family and have long, slender bodies, averaging a length of about 20 inches. Still want to know why you should adopt a ferret? It’s simple, they can weigh up to 4.4 pounds, and their fur is extra soft.

History of Adopt a Ferret Month

Imagine this, you and your partner want to gift your child with a pet for their birthday, and you’ve spent a while researching possible animal shelters where you can go to adopt. Finally, the opportunity to find out which animal your little one would prefer presents itself. You lean in and ask your kid whether they would like a cat or a dog, and they very excitedly whisper in your ear, “a ferret.”

Ferrets are considered exotic pets, which means they are relatively rare or unusual to keep in a household, or they are generally regarded as a wild species rather than a pet. Naturally, the definition varies depending on culture, location, and time — but for most suburban families living in the United States, that is exactly what a ferret would be considered.

Historically, ferrets have been domesticated, yet not as frequently as cats, dogs, birds, and snakes. The biggest reason for this is the widespread disagreement due to the scarcity of written accounts and the inconsistency of those that have survived. Ferrets are often bred for sport and hunting rabbits in a practice known as ‘ferreting.’

While the Ferret Association of Connecticut has been very influential in the national conservation and adoption of these little critters since 1991, Dawn Miklichs was responsible for the concept of Adopt a Ferret Month in 2007, which was officially kicked off that following year. Today there are more than five million ferrets in the United States alone, showing that they are growing in popularity when it comes to households adopting pets.

Adopt a Ferret Month timeline

1860s
Protecting the Grains

Ferrets are introduced into the American continent to help protect grain stores in the American West from rodents.

1877
New Zealand Farmers Need Help

Farmers in New Zealand demand ferrets be brought into the country to help control the rabbit population.

1991
The Home of Ferrets

Ferret owners and sisters Ann and Vanessa Gruden establish The Ferret Association of Connecticut (FACT).

2008
Celebrating Ferrets

Adopt a Ferret Month, established by Dawn Miklichs, officially kicks off as a nationwide celebration of ferrets and brings awareness to pet adoption.

2021
National T.V. Heroes

Tom Dock of Noah’s Animal Hospital appears on a national television segment to promote Adopt a Ferret Month with two live ferrets.

Adopt a Ferret Month FAQs

What is the best age to get a ferret?

If you want to get a kit — a baby ferret — the ideal age range for most people is between eight and sixteen weeks, though they are frequently sold as young as six weeks. A kit under the age of eight weeks should not be separated from its mother or siblings, and it is best to wait until they are 12 weeks old.

How long is the lifespan of a ferret?

A ferret’s life span can range from five to nine years primarily because ferrets in pet stores live in a shorter time frame, whereas ferrets from shelters have a more extended age range.

Is a male or female ferret better?

There aren’t many differences between male and female ferrets. They are naturally active, playful, family-oriented, and curious. Some owners believe females are more aggressive than males when it comes to attracting attention, but this is purely anecdotal.

Adopt a Ferret Month Activities

  1. Adopt a ferret

    Naturally, the most important thing you can do to celebrate Adopt a Ferret Month is right in the name, go and adopt a ferret or two. These furry animals are easy to take care of, very agile and active, and incredibly cute. They often quickly cohabitate with other domestic pets like cats and dogs and warm up to humans, so raising children and having ferrets is safe.

  2. Raise awareness for pet adoption

    Not so long ago, people wanting to own pets would turn to breeders to get the best of the best and pay a lot of money in doing so. Often those animals were mistreated, crossbred, and not always what they were advertised to be. Pet adoption has grown in popularity but has not yet reached international attention as a way to introduce animals to homes. When you adopt a pet, you are giving an animal a home, and in many cases, these animals are older than the usual puppy age when most households buy their kids pets. The point is, that there are millions of discarded animals out there in need of love and a home, and you can provide that.

  3. Donate to an animal sanctuary or animal home

    Animal sanctuaries and homes take great care in treating and housing animals that have been discarded by their owners, people who outgrew their pets, kids who no longer want their dogs, and even abused animals and wildlife. By giving these sanctuaries cash or food donations, you are helping feed and house these animals and keeping them sustained until they are given permanent homes. Contributions can be as much as you can afford, and canned and dried food is always welcome.

5 Fun Facts About Ferrets

  1. They are always excited to see you

    In general, a ferret’s heart rate is around 200 to 250 beats per minute.

  2. They’re kind of klepto

    Ferret is derived from the Latin word ‘furittus,’ which translates to ‘little thief,’ which is evident in their habit of secreting away small items.

  3. Their color comes with age

    Kits, ferrets under the age of one year, are all born with white fur, with their adult color coming in at three weeks of age.

  4. They’re vintage

    Ferrets have been popular pets since the ‘80s and ‘90s.

  5. They’re related to weasels

    Ferrets belong to the mustelid family and are also called skunks and badgers siblings.

Why We Love Adopt a Ferret Month

  1. Pets bring us joy

    Pets are cute and keep us company; they are actually very beneficial to our mental health. In fact, there has been a sharp increase worldwide in animal and pet therapy. In short, animals of all kinds can help calm stress disorders and ease fear and anxiety in young children. Science also proves that adopting pets and giving them a home gives people a sense of purpose and direction in life, especially when creating a home.

  2. Pet adoption is important

    The fact is, when you adopt a pet, you are not only improving their quality of life but also your own, both mentally in that they provide emotional support and physically because they require walks and fresh air. And, when you adopt a pet from a sanctuary or animal home, you are helping feed the animals there with your donation, and you are giving the other animals more room to grow as many of these homes are pretty full.

  3. Ferrets are still underrated as pets

    Even though ferrets have been used as hunters since the 1800s, they are still relatively new to domestic households and are still considered exotic by many Americans. However, the years of domesticity have shown that they can quickly adapt to life amongst humans and thrive when given attention they would not receive in the wild. That’s something that Adopt a Ferret Month is so crucial for, gaining these furry animals some notoriety and public awareness, and giving them the ability to become pets.

Adopt a Ferret Month dates

YearDateDay
2023April 1Saturday
2024April 1Monday
2025April 1Tuesday
2026April 1Wednesday
2027April 1Thursday
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