The word ferret has its origins in Latin and translates to little thief. With that tidbit of knowledge, it shouldn’t surprise you that ferrets like to steal things and hoard them.
My ferrets take anything they can drag. I saw my one kilo baby girl trying to take away the dog’s sterilized bone; her bone weighs more than her. (The only reason she couldn’t do it is that the dog saw her drag the bone across the room and intervened.) They stole my shoes, wrist brace, and stuffed toys. They tore up bookmarks, balls and plates of food. They stole mice, handkerchiefs and socks. They removed apples, potatoes, and staple removers. If they can pirate an item, they will.
So after my ferrets have acquired an object of desire, they accumulate it. Almost everything stolen ends up in the same place. After I clean up, they might transfer their stash, but there’s usually only one cache at a time. I found the hiding place under their cage. Once the escort was behind the television and once they actually put everything into one of my husband’s speakers. Currently, my kids like to transfer objects inside their Fun Tower, a tube that twists up and down. Fuzzies like to slide down the slopes of the Fun Tower, so it’s kind of weird that they block their fun slide path with toys. Still, they do.
Since I don’t speak ferret, and my ferrets don’t speak human, I can only guess based on their natural behaviors in nature. Skunks (from which our domestic ferrets were domesticated) are carnivores. They are hunters. They kill things smaller than themselves (usually smaller, but I’ve seen videos of ferrets killing things larger than them). Thus, a ferret kills a mouse and eats it. When finished, he will hide the leftovers. If a ferret kills an animal that is too large to eat in one sitting, the ferret will put the corpse away to finish later. And, in all of these cases, ferrets are trying to stop other animals from earning their booty.
I think that’s probably the best explanation for why ferrets steal, but I have another thought. I often find ferrets asleep amidst their stolen treasures. Usually, when they sleep in their cache, objects are soft and soft, such as small stuffed animals and other fluffy things. So my second guess is that ferrets like to build comfortable beds.
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