People have divided themselves into “cat persons” and “dog persons” for ages, on the basis of which do they prefer as a pet. The cat lovers usually despise the dogs’ dependence and infinite fidelity for their masters, while dog lovers see the cats’ character as being evil and abusing of the humans’ affection. After recently meeting a ferret as a pet for the first time I started seriously thinking: are we going to get “ferret persons” too? These creatures are so cute, fun and fuzzy, that maybe they are going to gain an army of owners who will happily define their personality as ferret lovers? The ferret combines the characteristics of cats and dogs in such a way that it could maybe provide a safe space for all those who like both pets and dogs? That is why on the following pages I compare the traits of cats, dogs and ferrets as pets.
You have all certainly seen countless pictures of cute fluffy kittens and adorable little puppies. But have you seen enough of how adorable ferrets can be? Although cat’s fur is much softer and fluffier and dog’s begging eyes are much more lovable than ferret’s, there is something infinitely cute about them. Maybe it is the pinkish nose or the human-like tiny hands. Or is it something in the way they move, at the same time smoothly and clumsily and the fact that at one moment they are on their all four legs and at the next moment they are standing upright just like us.
1 / 10
“Ferrets are stinky” is what most people think when it comes to owning. Although this is true in practice you are most likely to neuter your ferret just like you would your cat or dog. This will seriously decrease its stench. You can also choose to remove its anal gland (the one that makes the skunk so infamous). If you keep it clean and feed it properly, it shouldn’t stink any more than a dog. And let’s face it: dogs also stink, especially if you keep them in a flat. Cats are maybe the least stinky, but if you suffer from any kind of animal fur allergy you should know that people who suffer from pet allergies react much less to ferrets then cats.
2 / 10
You thought your cat can enter any unimaginable place? You haven’t seen a ferret! Not just is their body built in such a way that they can enter pretty much any hole or box, they are also driven by their inexhaustible curiosity and playfulness. As you can see on the picture, ferrets’ claws are longer and more defined then dogs’ or even cats’. This means that they can actually hold things – not to mention opening drawers and unzipping bags!
3 / 10
4. Fidelity and loyalty
There are innumerable stories of dogs finding their way to their owner. Cats are said to be less bonded with people, but more to their home. Unlike cats or dogs, ferrets have no home instinct. This means that if they get lost, they won’t be able to find their way home. This is not because they are not loyal to their owners, but just because they don’t know the way.
4 / 10
Cats chase mice on strings. Dogs like to walk, run and fetch the stick. Ferrets like EVERYTHING! Chasing, combat, tug-of-war, throwing around, climbing, hunting, even walking on a leash – you name it! There is no game boring for the curious and playful character of a ferret. They also love owning and stashing things. If they have a toy of their own nobody can take it away. Just hope they are not going to claim your car keys or cell phone as their toy!
5 / 10
Most cats are considered unfriendly because they choose when they want to be petted. Also, unlike most of the dogs, they can be very suspicious towards strangers. In this matter, ferrets are more like puppies: they like meeting new people and are mostly very open and trustful towards newcomers.
6 / 10
The dog lovers usually say that cats are stupid because they don’t fetch a stick when you order them, nor do they come when you call their name. Cat lovers respond that learning tricks and obedience is not a sign of intelligence, and that the independent and manipulative character of a cat is actually a proof that it is smart. A ferret seems to be just the right combination of the two: it can learn its name and will usually come when you call it. It can also learn tricks. Still, it will retain his own character and will not jump at every move you make like most dogs do. Just look at this one: it’s not stupid, just curious! And curiousness is a sign of intelligence, right?
7 / 10
8. Criminal activities
Of course that you can’t refer to animals as “criminals” since they don’t know the same social and moral laws as human beings. But hasn’t your cat ever given you the “I-Know-I-am-guilty-but-I-am-also-cute” look after having eaten all the ham you planed for dinner, and then throwing it up on the carpet? Hasn’t your dog ever put his tail between his hind legs after misbehaving while you were gone? Don’t pets, just like humans, do certain things even if they know they are not allowed? Well – ferrets are the ultimate pet criminals! Since they are much more dexterous than any cat or dog, and their body shape allows them to get into very tiny holes and openings, and they are as keen on biting the cables as any rabbit, you need to get all your house ferret-proof in order to let it run free.
8 / 10
Many people don’t think about how long is their pet going to live when they are getting one. When getting a dog, you should consider that the average dog lifespan is around 13 years, while cats can live for 15 to even 20 years. I know it might sound cruel, but if you don’t plan for having your pet for the next 15 years, better consider a ferret. The poor thing lives around seven years. And as horrible as it can be when your pet dies, it is even more horrible when you have to abandon it – just look at the human-like figure reminiscing about the meaning of life on the picture below!
9 / 10
As in nature they are hunters, ferrets don’t get along with birds or rodents, just like the cats don’t. But usually they can be trained to get along well with cats or dogs. So if you haven’t decided what you like most – cats, dogs or ferrets – while reading this article, don’t hesitate and get all three of them! But don’t forget: every ferret gets along best with his own kind.
10 / 10