Ferrets are an adorable type of weasel that were first domesticated in Europe of what we believe is over 2500 years ago. These animals have been used for hunting prey for centuries and are excellent pets to go around. These little guys are full of mischief and energy, always running around and even stealing and hiding various things. But how many different types of ferrets are there?
In short, there are a lot of ferret breeds. They only vary in color and sometimes the texture of their coat. From the most common sable colors that are your typical brown and white ferrets, all the way to the pure albino ferrets with their red eyes.
When it comes to the difference between the different breeds, there are none. Differences come with the ferret itself. You could own 2 of the same type of ferret, but one can be timid all of the time while the other can be feisty and somewhat aggressive with no downtime.
As you continue to read this article, we will be going into the different colors of ferrets and some of the different textures their coats can also take. Not only that, but we will discuss what diverse body types ferrets have as well. Let us read on to find out more information.
What Are The Different Types of Ferret?
When it comes to the domesticated ferret, there is only one breed. As ferrets are part of the weasel family, they can vary in size, color patterns, and lengths. The different colors and patterns they take on all have other names. The American Ferret Association has identified eight different colors and patterns that can be considered different “breeds” of ferrets.
Several different terms are used to describe the patterns on specific parts of the ferret. Mits being their feet, bibs meaning under their chin, and masks when talking about their facial markings. We will be using these terms when describing each type of ferret below.
1. Sable Ferrets
We will be starting with the most common breeds of ferrets, the sable. Sable ferrets typically have a brown outer coat of fur, with a lighter color for an undercoat, generally white, cream, or even golden.
Usually, the sable ferrets will sport mittens that are the same color as their overcoat while also having the typical dark color mask that looks like a raccoon. Because these guys are the most common ferret, they are easily found in pet shops worldwide.
2. Black Sable Ferrets
These types of ferrets are incredibly similar to the regular sable ferrets, just darker. They have a typical black outer coat with a white or cream undercoat. Black sable ferrets also have mittens that have the same color as their outer coat. These small ferrets usually sport the same mask as the regular sable. Something to take into account the black sable ferret has a more striking contrast between its outer and undercoat.
3. Chocolate Ferrets
The chocolate ferret comes with a medium brownish color that resembles chocolate. These little guys can vary significantly in their patterns. They can have the same design as the sable and black sable ferrets, or on the other hand, they can have a trim similar to pandas. These ferrets have a chocolate brown overcoat and either cream or milky white undercoat.
4. Cinnamon Ferrets
These ferrets break the norms when it comes to typical patterns for ferrets. Cinnamon ferrets seem to have a solid color, light brown to reddish color overcoat, and a dark cream to golden undercoat.
5. Champagne Ferrets
These ferrets share a lot of the same qualities as the chocolate ferrets. However, much like the black sables are to the regular sables, champagnes are to chocolates but in reverse. Champagne ferrets share the same array of patterns as chocolate ferrets but are just much lighter.
6. Black Ferrets
Black ferrets are sort of similar to dark sable ferrets. However, true black ferrets have a black overcoat and a white undercoat, while dark sables have dark brown. These little guys will also sport black eyes and a black nose. The nose of the black ferret can either be entirely black or have a sort of white spot of fur around the nose.
7. Albino Ferrets
Albinism is a minor disorder that can happen in all living animals and humans. Being albino only means that the skin cannot produce melanin, which gives skin, hair or fur, and even eyes their color. Albino ferrets are all white, have pink skin, and have red eyes.
8. White Ferrets
Much like the albino ferrets mentioned, these ferrets are also covered in light-colored hair, either white or cream, or a mix of the two also having pinkish skin. However, white ferrets do not have albinism. Therefore their eyes are not red but instead are a dark brown or black color.
Common Ferret Patterns
Now that we have gone over all of the recognized “breeds” of ferrets let us talk about the different kinds of patterns each can sport.
- Standard pattern: The typical way for ferrets is a darker overcoat with a lighter undercoat beneath that. It is similar to a solid design, but the undercoat being softer, can peek through the darker coat, giving them almost a natural highlight.
- Roan pattern: When a ferret has this type of pattern, it typically means that half of the overcoat is either white or a light color like cream while the other half is darker in color. Roan pattern is the most common for all ferrets except for albino and white ferrets.
- Striped pattern: This pattern consists of the ferret mainly being a lighter color like white, cream, or champagne, with usually less than 10% of the ferret’s overcoat is much darker, consisting of a stripe that goes down the back of the ferret.
- Point pattern: This pattern is referred to as a color point or siamese. Ferrets with this pattern have a distinct difference in color saturation. When looking at a ferret with this pattern, their feet, legs, tail, shoulders, and even the face have different saturations of the same color along their body. This pattern can occur in any type of ferret except white or albino ferrets.
- Mutt pattern: The mutt pattern can contain a wide variety of colors and patterns. This pattern is a kind of a fallback for ferrets. If a ferret cannot be classified as any other pattern on this list, it is lumped into this category.
- Blaze pattern: A blaze pattern is a streak of color that runs from the back of the head down the neck and can be any color except white. The eyes of blaze ferrets are dark red or brown, the nose is pinkish, and the tail, paws, and knees usually are white. Other variants include a white bib, speckled bellies, and white guard furs on rare occasions.
- Solid pattern: This is probably the most straightforward pattern to explain. If a ferret has this pattern, then it is a solid color.
- Panda pattern: The panda pattern looks how it sounds. Ferrets with this pattern share the same look as a panda, with a white body and darker colors dominating their mitten, legs, and tails. They can also have a mask, but it is not required to classify with this pattern.
What Are The Different Ferret Body Types?
Although there are many different types of ferrets regarding how they look, you may be wondering why some ferrets are more significant than others. This is because ferrets come in three different body types. We will briefly be discussing them down below:
- Bulldog ferret body type: This ferret body-type is extremely strong with a wide body. These ferrets are much bigger than other ferrets, hence the word “bulldog.” They have a round head with a muscular body. The bulldog body has short legs and walks much closer to the ground.
- Greyhound ferret body type: The ferret with a greyhound body type has a more slim figure than the bulldog, but they are still highly muscular as you pick one up. These ferrets are fast, long, and slender. Their muscles are also a lot longer and slimmer, so they will not give that fragile feeling while being held.
- Whippet ferret body type: Lastly, there is the whippet body. Ferrets are more related to dogs than rodents, and in the dog world, a whippet means they are a smaller version of the greyhound. The whippet ferret is the most diminutive ferret. However, they have a very slim figure, long body, and legs and typically walk with their backs arched high up.
Ferrets are adorable, furry, and full of energy. These little guys can be a bit of a handful to care for, but they can bring so much joy to their owners’ lives. While there are many different “breeds” of ferret, they only differ in color. Something to remember with ferrets is that the “breed” of ferrets does not dictate their personalities and act.