The domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is in the order Carnivora, family Mustelidae, and has been in captivity for over 2,000 years. Ferrets are used as research animals, often in studies of the respiratory system and as a model for Helicobacter sp infection. They have become popular pets in recent years in the USA. They are also used as hunting animals in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
Last full review/revision July 2011 by James K. Morrisey, DVM, DABVP (Avian)