From RationalWiki
(Redirected from Ferret)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
How cute. Weaseloid thinks that he can train a ferret not to randomly bite. Next he'll probably say that he's going to train him to use just one litter box.
Great Horned Ferret

The ferret is a sleek little critter, much smaller than a goat.

But ...!

It should be noted that many people, like this guy, have a weird, obsessive hatred of ferrets.[1]

Ferrets and the law[edit]

In certain places of the United States, such as California and Hawaii, owning a ferret (as a pet) is illegal. Many of these laws are very old and do not reflect the popular opinions of the present (much in the same way that certain laws against sodomy and adultery remain on the books in some places, despite a lack of enforcement).

In California, the fear of allowing ferrets to run lose and reduce the population of native species is the ultimate reason for the animal being illegal. This is, of course, absurd, as:

  • Ferrets do not have a "homing instinct" like cats and dogs do;
  • Domesticated ferrets lack the hunting instincts of wild ferrets (e.g., the endangered black-footed ferret)—this, combined with their lack of a homing instinct, means a ferret will likely die within weeks of being released into nature;
  • Many ferrets sold as pets in other states are de-scented and neutered—so not only do they not breed, but their primary natural defense mechanism is removed;
  • They aren't weasels; thus their relatively small size and slow movement (much slower than a rabbit or mouse) make them easy prey for snakes, condors and other endangered predators.

Measures have been passed through state legislatures to provide licensing of ferrets, but recent governors have declined to sign them into law. There is some irony in this, as the last measure to not be signed was declined by a governator who appeared in a film where the ferret was the hero[2]. Despite this rejection of Hollywood values and public popularity, there are an estimated 1-1.5 million undocumented domesticated ferrets living in California, waiting to provide much-needed state revenue in the form of license fees, along with the many loving couples wanting to get married[3].

Hawaii, on the other hand, has very strict import regulations when it comes to non-native species (both plant and animal), even requiring quarantine and inspection of cats and dogs, due to protections of exotic and often endangered wildlife as well as its isolated biology. Non-native diseases, zoonotic or otherwise, can quickly decimate an entire population of a given species on one of its islands, with drastic consequences. While protections are in place to emigrate cats and dogs, protections to bring in ferrets have yet to be introduced.

Ferrets and sport[edit]

"Ferret legging" is a popularO RLY? British sport. In this game the participants' trousers are tied at the bottom and a pair of wild ferrets are inserted in their trousers.[4] The "winner" is the competitor who withstands the process the longest. In 1972 the record was a mere 40 seconds, however it now stands at five hours and 26 minutes. Presumably this is because the advent of the internet has caused the sort of people who would actively enjoy the sensation to easily mingle with the sort of people who could make it happen.

Ferrets in the Bible[edit]

It is claimed by some[5] that the first historical reference to ferrets occurs in Leviticus chapter 10 verses 29 to 30. It is identified as one of the animals which the Hebrews were forbidden to eat[6]. The exact word was "trayf" and it is frequently translated as "weasel".


The word ferret can also be used as a verb, meaning to relentlessly pursue something kept secret. Usually used as "ferreting out" something.


  1. Audio of that guy freaking out about a ferret owner.
  2. Kindergarten Cop on IMDb
  3. California, it appears, has a problem with passing legislation allowing them to collect revenues on relatively simple agendae.
  4. Ferret legging - a description
  5. Biblical ferret
  6. Probably a good thing, given their musk glands and small muscles