The ferret is a much maligned and misunderstood animal, widely believed to be a smelly, quarrelsome, amoral, biting beast. All you have to do is take a quick look at some of the most popular children’s stories like Wind in the Willows to observe this phenomenon.
However, this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Ferrets are often kept as working animals due to their agility and intelligence but are also known to make loyal and rewarding companions. Ferret Day promotes the true virtues of this cute, cuddly critter and furthers the welfare of ferrets everywhere.
Ferret Day seeks to celebrate these remarkable and resilient creatures as well as raise awareness about the standards of welfare, nutrition and care. Ferret Day provides a focus for ferret-lovers to work together and share their passion, as well as educate the wider public about this fine, upstanding member of the weasel family.
The History of Ferret Day
Human beings are thought to have domesticated ferrets about 2,500 years ago. The precise reason is unknown, but historians believe that Romans used them for hunting. When Europeans traveled to the New World, they soon decided to bring ferrets to their colonies to get the rodent problem under control.
In modern times, ferrets are still used to manage so-called plague species, such as rabbits. Ferrets have also been used in many areas of research, such as the pathogenesis and treatment of various diseases. Fields such as virology, endocrinology and neuroscience also use ferrets as experimental subjects.
In the UK, rural fairs and festivals organize ferret racing competitions during which the ferrets that run through pipes while their owners bet on which animal will make it through first. Ferrets are relatively common household pets nowadays as well.
Ferret Day was officially recognized in 2014, although it had in fact been created several years before that by Carol Roche, a New Yorker enchanted by her new pet which she said was, “as affectionate and social as a puppy and independent and playful as a kitten”.
How to Celebrate Ferret Day
If you have a ferret, celebrating this day is as simple as spending some extra time with your pet—like all pets, nothing could make your ferret happier than just having some fun with you. And even if you don’t have a pet ferret, there is no reason why you shouldn’t celebrate Ferret Day! One of the best ways to do this is to educate yourself a little about these amazing little animals.
- Ferrets have been used to run wire in places like Buckingham Palace and Greenwich Park during some of the most important events in England’s history.
- Ferrets love to sleep, dozing for up to 18 hours daily.
- Ferrets cannot catch colds from their humans, but they can catch influenza and sinus infections.
- Ferrets can easily be trained to use a litter box, like cats.
- A group of ferrets is called a “business”, and they definitely have fun like nobody’s business!
- The most famous artistic portrayal of a ferret is undoubtedly Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine” painting that dates back to 1490.
- Ferrets express their joy by doing what is called the “Ferret Wardance”, during which they jump excitedly and even bump into things.