Stinky Pete's Ferret Retreat

A Florida Ferret Rescue

                      Ferret Terminology

New to the world of ferrets?  First-time ferret owners are often puzzled by ta whole new set of vocabulary that goes with speaking "ferretese".  Here is a partial diction ary that should help you out!



ADV:  Aleutian Disease Virus - a contagious parvovirus of ferrets that results in a weakened immune systme and eventual dealth.  Can be tested for but not cured. 

Albino:  A white (or yellowish) ferret with transparent red eyes and no other markings. 

Alpha Ferret:  The dominant, or "lead" ferret in a business of ferrets. 

Ankle Biter:  A ferret wanting attention (or a treat or to be picked up) who asked nicely the first time. 

Alter:  A ferret who has been spayed or neutered.  (See gib and sprite) 

Bark:  The noise the ferret makes when he is either frightened or excited. 

Belly Button:  A way to determine gender on a ferret is to look for the "belly button" which usually means it's a male.

Bib:  White fur on the chin and throat of a ferret.  Often associated with mitts.

Blaze:  A ferret with a white stripe between the ears and down toward the nose.  These ferrets may be deaf due Waardenburg's syndrome.  Less commonly called badger or shetland marking.  (see panda)

Blown Coat:  When ferrets shed their luxurious winter fur in the springtime, they "blow their coat".

Bomb:  When a non descented ferret gets frightened, angry or hurt, he may "blow a bomb" with his anal scent glands.  The effect is noticeable but temporary.  Also known as "poof".

Bottlebrush:  An excited or angry ferret will poof all the tail hair so it looks like a bottlebrush.  (Also bushy-tailed)

Bottom Dwellers:  Ferrets sleeping on the bottom on the fuzzy pile.

Bugbite:  When your ferret leaps awake from a deep sleep and immediately starts scratching an itch.  This is normal behavior that doesn't necessarily indicate the presence of bugs.

Bulldog:  A term used to describe the body style of ferret that is a heavily-built, with short, thick les and neck, a blunt, borad face, wide chest, and a rolling sort of gait.

Bups:  Hiccups brought on my excitement, often after a dance.

Business:  The correct name for a grouping of multible ferrets.

Chomp:  A meeting of ferret teeth and human skin, most often an invitation to play.  Often preceeded by licking, as in lick-lick-chomp.  Corret this behavior by scruffing. 

Cinnamon:  A ferret with orange-colored guard hairs.

Cow Tipping:  This silly urban legend says that renegade bands of roving ferrets can gang up on a sleeping cow and tip it over, then eat it.  A possible cause of ferrets being illegal in some areas!

Couch Sharking:  An ambush game where ferrets hide under the couch and wait for unsuspecting human victuims to sit down, upon which the ferrets will attack the ankles.

Crocodile Roll:  When a ferret rolls continuously after almost being attacked by another playmate.

Dance of Joy:  A happy or excited ferret will bounce around with stiff legs, arched back, open mouth and swinging head.  It is normal for ferrets to bounce into walls and off edges while doing this dance.  Most often accompanied by dooking and bottlebrush tails.  (Also known as Weasel War Dance)

Dash and Stash:  When ferrets find a great treasure, grab it and run off to put it in their hiday -hole.

Delayed Gratification:  When a ferret waits patiently for you to return the freshly cleaned leitter box so he/she can christen it.

DEW:  Dark-eyed-white (or BEW for Black-eyed-white) indicating a white ferret with dark eyes (not really black, but a deep cranberry red)

Dook or Dooking:  The chuckle or chortle sound a ferret makes when excited, exploring, playing or dancing.  A dancing ferret is usually a dooking ferret.

Doughnut:  A ferret sleeping in a circle.

Duck Soup:  Liquefied ferret food supplement usually hand fed to sick ferrets.  There are various recipes, all with high protein meats (usually turkey or chicken, not duck) and added vitamins.

ECE:  Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis, a contagious ferret-specific virus that results in diarrhea, dehydration and malnutrition.  Also known as the greenies or the green slime disease.

Ferret:  Also carpet shark, carpet monday, fert, furball, furrit, fur-kid, fur-snake, fuzzball, fuzzbutt, fuzzy, sofa monster, weasel and many, many others.

Ferretry:  A place tha houses businesses of ferret or breeds them.

Ferreting:  Hunting with trained ferrets, usually for rabbits or rats (generally illegal in the US). 

Ferret Fishing:  An interactive human sport where humans tie a ferret toy to the end of a pole, string or elastic line and reel in the ferrets.  A favorite game.

Ferret Juggling:   The act of having to carry, hold, restrain or control multiple ferrets to keep them from going where you don't want them.

Ferret Math:  A situation (not unlike eating just one more potato chip) that arises wherein the number of ferrets in your household keeps increasing - you just can't help it!

Ferret Proofing:  A never-ending process of tying to keep your household safe from the inquisitive little critters! 

Ferret Slippers:  When a human being attempts to walk with multiple ferrets attached to their ferret.

FLO:  Ferret Liberation Organization or underground ferret group who seems to communicate via ESP or even online.  These ferret agents devise mischief and methods of befuddling their humans.

GIB:  A male ferret who has been neumered and is unable to breed.

Gravity:  A word not in your ferret's vocabulary.

Hidey Hole:  The special hiding place of stolen ferret special items.  Usually inaccessible by humans.

Hit Rate:  A term used to indicate how well a ferret uses a litterbox or other designated potty areas.  Ferrets with over an 80% hit rate are considered wonderful!

Hiss:  The noise a ferret makes when he is annoyed.

Hob:  A male ferret who is "whole" or unable to breed.

Hooman Bean:  What ferrets are owners of, or tall bipeds with sensitive skin.

Tuck and Scoot:  A way for ferrets to transport or play with objects (typically round).  The ferret grabs the object with their front paws, hugs it, bushes it down under the belly and then scoots backwards.  Wild ferret couzins transport whole eggs in thi manner. 

Jill:  A female ferret who is "whole" or unaltered and able to breed.  (Also Doe outside the U.S.)

Kit:  A baby ferret.

Lick, Licker, Lick-Lick-Chomp:  Ferrets lick as a sign of affection because you taste good or as a prelude to a chomp.

Mitts:  White feet or toes on some ferrets (often accompanied by white knee spots and a bib).

Nip and Run:  When a ferret races up to you, mouths you on the shin and dashes off as an enticement for you to play.  Also known and drive-by.

NONOBADFERRET:  A pointless cry of a hooman bean in the process of watching FLO agents in action.

Panda:  A ferret with a mostly white face - an overgrown blaze marking.

Points:  The darker colored parts of a ferret - the tail, feet and sometimes nose.

Portal Ambush:  When a business of ferrets gather around the base of a door that a human wishes to open and race through as soon as the opportunity arises.  This forces the human to emply ferret juggling skills.

Rainbow Bridge:  When ferrets die they go to Rainbow Bridge which is just this side of heaven.  There they wait for you until you can cross the Rainbow Bridge together.

Rescue:  A ferret who has been picked up by a ferret shelter and is available for adoption.

Sable:  The foundation color of ferret - brown guard hairs over a cream colored undercoat, dark mask and somewhat darker points.

Scream:  The noise your ferret makes when he/she is terrified.

Scruffing:  Holding a ferret by the loose skin on the back of the ncec, as a mother would carry her kits.  This relaxes and calms down a ferret.  (they will often yawn).

Shiver:  The shaking motion a ferret makes when just waking up or being excited about something.  Does not usually denote fear and most often a way to regulate body temperature.

SND (sleeping not dead) or DFS (dead ferret syndrome):  A ferret so deep in sleep that it is hard to wake him/her up.

Silver:  A ferret with a salt and pepper coloration.

Snorkeling:  Some ferrets want to drink water by immersing their entire head and blowing bubbles.  Other ferrets prefert to dry snorkel by nosing under carpets, bath mats or any other fabric on the floor.

Speedbump:  When a ferret suddenly lies flat on the floor (usually accompanied by a deep sigh).  This may occur in the middle of playing which will usually resume after a short session of speedbumping.  Also called flat ferret, ferret flop or pancaking.

Sprite:  A female ferret who has been spayed and is unable to breed.

Toe Biter:  A ferret wanting to entice their human to play (or do the human war dance, which ferrets find histerically funny).

Waardenburg's syndrome:  A genetic defect found in humans, cats, dogs, mice and ferrets that results in a white steak of hair and sometimes results in hearing problems.

Water Weasel:  A ferret who enjoys snorkeling or one who mush accompany you out of the shower to lick your feet and any puddles on the floor.

Whippet:  A term used to describe the body style of ferret that is lean, lanky and fine-boned and with a tendency toward a pointier nose.

Whole:  A whole ferret has not been altered and can be bread.

Zipper:  The center "line" down the middle of a ferret's stomach, either caused by fur meeting at the ventral line or the scar left from surgery.