Ferrets are fur-bearing mammals. They consume high-protein, high-fat diets. Their fur has natural oils that repel water. As a consequence they have a natural musky odor.
During the times of year when reproductive activities are ongoing, the odor of male ferrets (hobs) becomes much more noticeable. This may be due in part to an increase in male sex hormones as well as territorial marking with urine.
Ferrets of both sexes also have anal scent glands. Much like skunks, ferrets can release secretions from their scent glands when challenged or fearful. The scent released dissipates much more quickly than that from a skunk, but can leave an unpleasant odor that some find quite objectionable. Although many private ferret breeders do not descent their ferrets, owners may wish to have these glands surgically removed if the ferret releases scent frequently.
Here are some tips on reducing ferret odor:
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