Do you know how many types of ferrets are there?
How can we distinguish different types of ferrets?
That is the topic of this post where we will cover all types of ferrets and how can we recognize them. Here you can learn the difference between an albino ferret and an all-white ferret, what is an angora ferret, or what makes a panda ferret. Start reading and find out the different types of ferrets in the world.
How Can We Decide On A Type OF Ferret?
There are two things we have to consider when we are deciding on a ferret type.
Ferret Fur Colors
When we are talking about the colors of the fur, we mean general colors. That means fur color, but also the color of the eyes and the nose. Every ferret type comes with a few rules that are connected to the fur color, eye color, and nose color. The fur color is the most important one, but we have to consider the eyes and nose as well.
Ferret Fur Pattern
Ferret fur pattern isn’t connected to the colors of the fur, although it is easier to notice the pattern if the fur is darker in color. Most types of ferrets come with a darker topcoat and a lighter undercoat which helps in noticing the pattern.
How Many Types Of Ferrets Are There?
Ferret colors and patterns can vary from one ferret to another. If we are looking at the American Ferret Association, there are 8 basic ferret types and few patterns we can distinguish in a ferret fur.
Sable ferrets are the most common of all ferret colors. It reminds most of the raccoon due to the dark brown mask around the eyes and some people call him bandit ferret. The same color (dark brown) is on their legs and tail, occasionally on the upper part of the body, around the neck and shoulders.
The rest of the body has the same color – light or cream brown but not yellow. They have dark eyes and the nose is mostly pink with some brown coloring in the middle.
Black (Dark) Sable Ferret
A black sable ferret is a type of ferret that has a similar color pattern to sable, but they are a much darker brown color. The undercoat is mostly white or creamy shade. Since they are a black version of sable, they should be darker in color and in the pattern.
Eyes on the dark sable ferret are black or dark brown with a brown nose or just a blackish pattern. Even though its name is black sable, it isn’t black it is blackish brown, but with a black shine of healthy fur.
Solid (All) Black Ferret
When it comes to all-black ferret, there aren’t many things to say. Black ferrets are types of ferrets that should have really black fur, not blackish brown or just dark brown. Just like the fur, dark ferret’s eyes should be really black or almost black color and nose should be black or very dark brown, almost black.
The nose can be speckled black, but it mustn’t be pink. Solid black ferrets can have some white or light brown patterns usually on the head but in small amounts. These are the darkest types of ferrets.
Albino ferret is all white and with pink or red nose and eyes. Albinism is a term for every living being when it comes to the absence of pigment. Albino ferret has all-white fur with a pink nose and ruby red eyes, without any other colors. So, if you see a white ferret with red eyes, that is an albino ferret. This is the lightest out of all types of ferrets.
There is one thing about albino ferrets, but it isn’t anything big. They are more prone to hearing problems, meaning there is a slighter bigger chance for the albino ferret to be deaf. Also, an albino ferret can have yellow fur. No, that is not a yellow ferret, it is a normal color due to the oil in the skin.
Dark-Eyed White Ferret
The dark-eyed white ferret has all-white fur (this is dark-eyed white – shorten DEW) or white fur with some pattern on part of the body (this is a dark-eyed white pattern – shorten Marked DEW). The difference between albino and the dark-eyed ferret is in the eyes, as the name says. If it’s DEW then all fur must be white, the nose must be pink and the eyes must be burgundy.
Just like albino, DEW ferrets can also be deaf or experiencing hearing problems. The most distinguish treat for these ferret types is their dark eyes.
Cinnamon is a slightly different fur color because it has little red color in it. Cinnamon color ferrets have reddish fur with a white undercoat and legs and tail darker than the rest of the body. Their eyes are red to ruby, but there can be black as well.
The nose in the cinnamon color ferret is beige or pink with a beige pattern or pink which is the rarest nose color. This is also the rarest of all types of ferrets.
A chocolate type of ferret has warm chocolate brown fur with a white undercoat and people can mistake them for a Champagne ferret. Eyes should be dark brown or black, but if they are burgundy it’s fine as well.
The nose, on the other hand, should be a lighter color. It should be pink or beige with a light brown pattern, not dark. Chocolate ferrets are on the lighter side of the fur coloration like cinnamon ferrets.
Champagne (Sandy) Ferret
Champagne color ferrets are very similar to chocolate, but diluted version. They are also known as sandy ferrets. A champagne ferret’s fur should be lighter (beige) and the undercoat should be white to cream, without yellow pigment.
Since champagne ferrets are all diluted ferret types, their eyes should be light to dark burgundy and their nose should be pink or beige with a light brown pattern.
How Many Ferret Patterns Are There?
There are many more types of ferrets that are the result of color and pattern mixture. Every ferret color can have almost every ferret pattern (except albino) and you can imagine how many combinations can exist.
A standard ferret is a sable ferret. It means it has the dark fur on the body, with darker patterns on the shoulders, legs, and tail. Also, standard ferrets come with visible masks on the face. That mask goes around the eyes and on half of the face and that is called a “bar mask”.
The second option is a “T-mask”. This is similar to a “bar mask” but it is connected to the dark patch on the top of the head.
Out of all the different types of ferrets, this one is the easiest to recognize. A solid ferret is a ferret that comes all in one color. Solid means that your ferret’s fur is all in one dark color. The color on the stomach can be slightly lighter.
The only markings they can have is on the face. The face should have a “T-mask” or standard mask. Albino ferrets aren’t in this group, but every other fur color is in it.
A point ferret is also known as a siamese ferret. As the name says, this pattern is located on the points (legs, shoulders, hips, and tail). The rest of the fur is much lighter than the fur on those points.
The mask on a siamese ferret is not so noticeable, usually in a “V-shape”, meaning it goes around the eyes and down to the nose. This mask is not connected to the dark patch on the top of the head.
Roan or Silver Ferret
A roan pattern ferret means that these types of ferrets have more than half of the white fur scattered all over the body. So, their pattern roans on their fur, and there aren’t any rules in the location of white fur.
This pattern is also known as the silver ferret pattern due to the white fur. Most silver ferrets become DEW ferrets with age because they lose dark fur with time. The color combination makes them known as white and grey ferrets too.
The mutt pattern in a ferret means that you can’t put that ferret in any of the categories above.
Ferret markings are not connected to the entire body like patterns. We can divide them by color into white markings and other markings. They are focused on some part of the body like the legs or head. So, let’s see what are most popular ferret markings.
Ferret With A Bib -White Marking
A ferret with a bib is a type of ferret with a white spot on the chest, right under the neck. Sometimes it can spread a little further, but usually, it’s only under the neck.
A full bib is when the entire area under the neck is white. If a ferret has only a small white spot under the neck, it is not considered a full bib.
Ferret With Mitts – White Marking
Every ferret that comes with white fur on the paws is a ferret with mitts. If you have, for example, a black sable ferret with white fur on the feet which ends at the ankle, congratulations, you have a black sable mitt ferret.
Occasionally, mitts can have a bib in combination, and not every paw has to have white markings on the fur. Also, the mitt can spread up to the knee or elbow.
Ferret With Milk Toes – White Marking
A ferret with milk toes has white spots on the paws, mostly located only on the toes. It can cover only one toe to all of them.
That means it is not on the entire paw and it doesn’t go up to the knee or elbow so you can’t say it is a ferret with mitts.
Blaze Ferret – White Marking
The blaze ferret comes with a white line in ferret fur which spreads from head to the back of the neck. This “white line” doesn’t have to be a line, it can look like white spots on the head that spread down the back too.
The blaze pattern can come in combination with mitts and the white tip of the tail. With years, blaze ferret can become dark-eyed white ferrets because they lose dark fur with time. These ferrets are also more prone to deafness than other colors and patterns.
Panda Ferret – White Marking
Panda Ferret is also easily recognized. A panda ferret has a white head and colored circles around the eyes (no mask). Color on shoulders and hips is darker than the rest of the body with mitts on feet and white tip of the tail.
It is important to mention that the panda ferret doesn’t have dark hairs on the head. If there is dark fur on the head, then we are talking about the blaze ferret, not a panda. If you have a panda ferret, you might end up with a dark-eyed white ferret with time due to the seasonal fur change.
Zipper – Dark Marking
The zipper is located on almost every dark fur ferret. A zipper is a dark line located in the middle of the abdomen. It goes from the neck to the legs where you can see the rest of the dark fur on the legs.
Noses can be from pink to black. The lightest is the pink nose, after that, it is a brown-T nose. A brown-T nose has a light brown line in the middle and on top of the nose in a form of the letter T.
A speckled nose is a nose with light or dark speckles on the entire nose. It can vary from light brown speckles to almost brown nose with a few pink speckles.
The last and the darkest one is the black nose. This nose marking is actually an entire nose colored in dark brown color, almost black.
There are two types of ferrets when it comes to the length of the fur so let’s talk about them too.
Standard ferrets are the most common type and most ferret owners have them. You can easily recognize them because they have short hair.
Angora ferrets are long-haired ferrets. They come in all shapes and sizes like standard ferrets. The only difference is the length of the fur and the fact that angora ferrets can have hair on their noses too.
But, the hair on the nose can result in breathing difficulty so it is not a good characteristic. Noses without hair are healthier and better for angora ferrets.
Fur Color Changes
Every ferret goes through seasonal fur change and that can result in different fur patterns, even colors. That is perfectly normal so you don’t have to worry if that happens with your ferret too.
Ferret fur colors are interesting, but they shouldn’t be your first criteria when you are picking a ferret.
Why Is My Ferret Yellow?
White ferrets can turn into yellow ferrets for several reasons. The most common reason is oils form their body. Every ferret has oils on the body that produce a smell, but the difference in the color is only visible in white ferrets. Dark-haired ferrets are too dark for you to see the oil color on the fur which turns a white ferret into a yellow ferret.
Why Is My Ferret Orange?
Your ferret can turn light orange (or yellow) due to the oil production on the skin. If the orange color is located on the ferret’s white fur, it is a normal seasonal change.
Is Your DEW, Panda, Or Blaze Ferret Deaf?
If you have a DEW, Panda, or Blaze type of ferret there is a chance that your ferret is (or will be) deaf. How to determine if your ferret is deaf? Well, since ferrets tend to ignore humans, you can’t call him by name, but you can stand behind him and shake your keys for example. If your ferret isn’t deaf, he’ll turn around and try to see what is making that noise. Also, observe your ferret with other ferrets, and if you see all other ferrets start to run and hide, but that one white ferret’s stays, minding his own business, that is a good sign that your ferret is deaf.
What Is Waardenburg Syndrome?
Almost 75% of all Blaze and Panda ferrets are deaf or experiencing some hearing problems. This genetic defect is called Waardenburg syndrome and it’s present with Panda and Blaze ferrets types. This syndrome results in underdevelopment of the hearing mechanism of the inner ear. The reason for that is the white pattern on their head and face.
There are many different types of ferrets, but no matter the type, they are all similar. There aren’t any links between ferret’s behavior, personality, and color, but there are some ferrets that are more likely to be deaf or blind which can be linked to types of ferrets. Ferrets are one breed, they share the same habits, the same playfulness, the same high energy level when they are awake. Their personality, on the other hand, depends on each and every ferret. One ferret may be the most cuddly fuzzy you have ever met and the other one may not be interested in cuddling at all and yet, they are the same type of ferrets.