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The Ancestry of the Domestic Ferret

Weekly Expert Pet Advice
with Dr. James Glover, Resident Expert


Where do ferrets originate from? (Merriah Walsh, Wisconsin)


A great deal of mystery surrounds the origins of the domestic ferret. Archeological remains of the ferret have been dated to 1500 BC, and most people place the origin around the same time as the domestic cat (which was probably during dynastic Egypt). 

The ferret was probably bred from the European Polecat (Mustela putorius), and some use the scientific name Mustela putorius furo. It is also possible that ferrets have the Steppe polecat (Mustela eversmanni) in their ancestry.

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