The domestic ferret is thought to have been bred down from the European polecat. It was originally domesticated for use in controlling rats and mice, but also to help catch rabbits for humans to eat.

The domestic ferret is a member of the weasel family, and like most weasels, it can have a strong scent. In fact, its scientific name is Mustela putorius furo which means "stinking, thieving weasel!" 6-10 years