Ferret Colors and Patterns5 min read

Ferrets are known for their interesting coat colors and patterns. Many different brown, black, white, and grey shades make up the ferret’s coat. Some even have a combination of these colors!

The coloration can change dramatically with each seasonal coat change and with age.

If you purchase a ferret specifically for its coloring or markings (such as being all black), do not be frustrated when those colors change over time. So, please don´t choose a ferret based only on its coloring or patterns!

Fun Fact: Pet ferrets, not to be mistaken with wild European polecats or North American black-footed ferrets, actually are only one breed despite some people calling them Angoras, Europeans, or Standard breeds.

Ferret Colours

The American Ferret Association (AFA) identifies seven different colors and seven different patterns that are considered breed standards for ferrets

The colors are:

  • Albino
  • Black
  • Black Sable
  • Champagne
  • Chocolate
  • Dark-Eyed White
  • Sable

It may come as a surprise to you to learn that all of the colors above may have white feet (mitts) and white patches under the neck (bibs).

Every ferret has a variety of colors and patterns that they can have. Personally, I find the roan pattern to be my favorite because it is such an interesting combination!

However, each color or marking also looks beautiful in its own way as well- so don’t hesitate if you see one with your preferred coloring/markings either.

Ferret Pattern Standards

You can identify ferret colors quite easily. The patterns on the other hand, are much more difficult to identify and vary greatly with each season. There are seven official patterns that are considered breed standard.

The patterns that may be seen (according to the AFA) in ferrets include:

  • Solid
  • Standard
  • Color Point (Siamese)
  • Blaze
  • Panda
  • Roan
  • Dark-Eyed White Pattern
  • Solid Pattern

Solid Pattern

Any color as listed above. A ferret with a solid pattern is typically one color from head to tail and includes the white feet.

These are often referred to as “show quality” because they’re known for their beauty, but this may vary depending on your personal preference. Masks are preferably T-Bar masks.

Standard Pattern

Any color as listed above. The concentration of color is not as heavy as with the solid pattern. Full masks are preferred, but T-Bar masks are also fine.

Color Point (Siamese) Pattern

Any color as listed above. The concentration of the ferret’s coat colors is focused in a specific area and distinguishable from between body color and the points.

Blaze Patter

Any color as listed above. This pattern is sometimes present in any of these colors. It’s a must to have an unbroken blaze (which should be about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide) that runs from the top of the head down behind the ears and covers at least 2/3rds of the way down its back.

Panda Pattern

Any color as listed above. The panda pattern in Ferrets shows an almost completely white head. Across the shoulders and the hips, a darker color should be seen. Mitts are mandatory on all four feet. Should not show a full mask. Nose pink and eyes burgundy.

Roan Pattern

Any color as listed above. The color/pattern category is determined by the degree of roaning. 40-60% of white guard = pattern is roan. 90% white guard hairs = Dark-Eyed-White pattern.

They show a beautiful mix of colors that is eye-catching to say at least something about them!

Dark-Eyed-White Pattern

Any colors as listed above. Minimum of 90% white guard hairs. Colored spots/colored stripe or a sprinkling of the colored guard.

Fun Fact: Some common gray-based coloring on a black coat is called “blue,” which comes from the dark blue hair follicles covered by darker guard hairs of varying shades when visible in sunlight or bright lighting.

Why is my Ferret turning Colors?

Your ferrets are going through a seasonal coat change. Some color and markings might show up in the future, depending on how old they are, so if you purchased them with specific colorings in mind, don’t be disappointed!

What are the Colors of a Purebred Ferret?

According to the AFA (American Ferret Association), the standard colors are:

  • Albino
  • Black
  • Black Sable
  • Champagne
  • Chocolate
  • Dark-Eyed White
  • Sable

Why is my Dark Colores Ferret Changing?

We love our ferrets. And they are adorable little furballs, but what color are they going to be? A ferret’s coat is an essential part of its personality. They come in different colors and patterns, and they can change with age.

That your ferret may change its color is completely normal. Your ferrets will undergo a seasonal coat change. If you purchased them in the past with specific colorings in mind, don’t be disappointed if the coloring changes.

Why does my Ferrets Nose changing Colors?

If the nose is whitish or dark red or your ferret has crusty discharge around its nose, eyes, or a rash, that could be a sign of distemper, which is a virus that can be deadly if left untreated. Go and see your veterinarian right away!

Occasionally, the color of a ferret’s nose, lips, and gums will change from pink to white, usually from anemia. Again: go and see a vet as soon as possible.

Another reason for the color change: maybe your ferret is licking its nose too much.

The Ferret Coat

The ferret´s coat is primarily made up of two layers: the long, outer guard hairs and a short undercoat. The coloration comes from pigment cells in both these coats that are called melanocytes.

These tiny skin-colored structures produce dark or light colors depending on how much pigmentation they have left after exposure to sunlight over a certain period of time.

Ferrets are one of the most interesting domestic pets you can have. They’re not only fun to play with, but they also provide a great deal in terms of entertainment and enjoyment for kids or adults alike!

If this sounds like something, your family would be interested in adopting it into their home. If you have the chance, don´t go and buy a ferret at a pet store. You should better try to find a ferret at a ferret rescue! This is because a lot of ferrets are abandoned and end up living in these places.

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