Ferrets are fine pets in the right home True, for dogs and cats too – some people may be too busy for dogs, or disdain scooping litter boxes….not every type of pet is for every home. Ferrets have been domesticated for over 2,000 years, and clearly acceptable pets.
In 1933, all mustelids were banned from California – and ferrets are members of that class of animals, which includes wolverine, badger, martin, skunk, mink, and weasel species. It’s unknown why State officials took this action but back then – but they weren’t thinking pet ferrets.
In the 1980’s, when ferret began to catch on as pets in the U.S., they did so big time in California. Don’t know why, maybe just because Californians like trends.
Instead of rescinding the antiquated law, or making domestic ferrets exceptions to the ban on mestelids, state officials decided to enforce the ban.
Due to a lack of staffing in animal control and also because most everyone agrees the law is “stupid,” it’s rarely enforced. Still, though, ferrets are sometimes confiscated.
Can you imagine your house burning down….firefighters valiantly rescue the pet ferrets. Minutes later, the police confiscated the little guys. It’s obviously ridiculous.
So why ban the ferrets? I don’t really know. The public officials are either too lazy to suggest domestic ferrets ought to be exceptions to the mustelid ban, and write that into law. The few public officials that have bothered responding suggest they really believe that if they escape outdoors the ferrets will reproduce (hard to do since nearly 100 percent of pet ferrets are spay/neutered) and develop problematic colonies like feral cats. Truth is that ferrets are less able to adjust to life outdoors as many cats can, and the ferrets that get out typically starve (if they’re not hit by a car), and they’re certainly not reproducing.