Ferrets are, more or less, small, long, bouncing balls of enthusiasm and energy. They are in the mustelidae family, which puts otters, weasels, badgers and mink as their closest relatives. Ferrets have never existed in the wild; they are a completely domesticated animal. Ferrets can make wonderful pets in the right home. Like all animals, anyone considering bringing a ferret home needs to seriously consider their ability to provide for all of the animal’s needs.
Ferrets are extremely high energy, especially in their youth. The older a ferret gets, the more likely it is to be a very cuddly creature. At playtime, however, ferrets don’t want to be held, they want to run! A ferret that is playing will see the entire world as their playground. This means that everything in your home becomes fair game for exploration. Ferrets love to explore and will take the opportunity to go anywhere they can fit! They may hide things from you (like your keys), take naps in your sweaters, zoom around the room under furniture, and will generally bounce off walls.
Ferrets are usually kept in cages and given several hours each day to run free in a ferret-proofed home. They are quiet animals, and tend to sleep when there is nothing of interest happening. They tend toward nocturnal hours, but will wake up anytime you come to visit with them. Ferrets are quite smart and fairly trainable: they can be litter-trained and it is entirely possible to walk a ferret on a leash. They are also quite good at training their human counterparts.
A final word of advice: unless you plan on breeding ferrets, have the stink glands removed (unless you’d like your home to smell like a skunk) and have them neutered/spayed.