Let’s celebrate these unique pets today!

We’ve all heard of National Cat Day and National Dog Day. But did you know there’s a National Day set aside for ferrets? That day is Sunday, April 2.

By Malcolm Mayhew
Virbac Copywriter

National Ferret Day was founded in 2014 to honor these often maligned animals. To celebrate these fascinating creatures, we put together a list of fun ferret facts: 

  • Ferrets were domesticated about 2,500 years ago, according to the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). 
  • Ferrets were once used to hunt rabbits and rodents. Thanks to their lean bodies and curious nature, ferrets are naturals at slinking through holes to chase rodents and rabbits out of burrows. This is the origin of the expression “ferret out.”
  • The average lifespan of a domesticated ferret is five to eight years, according to the website Ferret World.
  • Domesticated ferrets are sometimes - how do we put this politely? - stinky. This is because their anal glands secrete a smell to mark their territory. While many people think that bathing them on a regular basis may reduce the smell, this has proven to be a myth.
    • By bathing your ferret on a regular basis, you are actually stripping their scent, which in turn makes them produce more oils to compensate, according to A-Z Animal website
    • The best way to minimize the strange stench of your pet ferret, says the website, is to litter box train them and clean their cage on a regular basis. You can still clean your ferret, just make sure to bathe them, at most, once a month.
  • According to the American Ferret Association, it is still illegal to own a ferret in several U.S. cities and states, including Washington, D.C., Hawaii, New York City and California.1
  • Because of their high metabolic rate, ferrets will eat 8-10 small meals a day.2

Learn more about ferrets here




  1. Summary of State- and Territory-Level Ferret Regulations, http://www.ferret.org/pdfs/general/2009-StateByState.pdf
  2. What Do Ferrets Eat, article, PETmd, accessed March 2023, https://www.petmd.com/ferret/nutrition/evr_ft_nutrition_ferret