Coat Spotting: How to understand the coat color of ferrets?
Cover or fur hair is a type of hair found in mammals. They are strong, form the main part of the coat, and also determine the color of the coat. As primary hair, each fur hair is surrounded by a group of closely spaced wool hairs (secondary hair / uterine wool).
The top hairs are divided into two types:
- Primary hair is large, strong and longer hair that is surrounded by several secondary hairs.
- Secondary hairs have a bulb-like thickening similar to an awn at their end.
The color relates to the primary hair: these give the darker color again on the trunk, neck, extremities, tail, and mask. In summary, one can say it is: long, dark, and set.
Secondary hair (undercoat / wool hair)
Secondary hairs are thin, curled, and have no hair pulp, so they are always light. The closely spaced wool hairs surround the actual primary hair as secondary hair. They form the undercoat (undercoat), which is primarily used for thermal insulation. Woolly hair has only one sebum gland and no hair follicle muscle and is similar to the fuzz of chicks.
In summary, one can say they are: Short, soft, and “dense”.
The coat drawing (pattern) ONLY describes the distribution and intensity of the color. Donations (“white spots”) can also be combined with color and drawing.
It is not always easy to define the exact coat color/pattern and donation for ferrets because there is still no official “standard” as is the case with cats and dogs. In addition, there are other factors that make it difficult to assign a coat color and pattern, including, for example, the age of the ferret, the reproductive status (castrated – sterilized or uncastrated, especially because ferrets that have not been castrated during the ranting period have a yellowish color due to the oily coat Substance that is produced by sebum glands, which are responsible for the strong smell of the male dogs during the ranzzeit) and especially because of the change of coat, because the coat is shorter, “lighter” and darker in color in summer, while the coat is longer in the cold months, is denser and darker.
By changing the coat, the coat can lighten so much that the color intensity (pattern) also changes. The reason for these striking changes is very simple: in summer the undercoat is shorter and less dense than in winter, so there is less contrast between the primary and secondary hair and the coat appears darker, in winter the opposite happens, the undercoat is thicker, longer and “airy” because of this there is a clearer contrast and the fur appears lighter.
The extremities of the paws are white. At least 3 fingers on the front paws and two fingers on the rear paws must be colored white. It would be ideal if the white spot on the front paws extends to the joint and on the hind paws to the ankle. Mitts should also have a chest mark at least as large as ping-pong, but a uniform and extensive chest mark is preferred. A missing or only partially pronounced chest mark is only allowed with Solid and Self Mitt. White spots on the head that are more or less pronounced are not desirable, blinkers (small spots on the inside of the thighs) and white spots on the abdomen are allowed.
As the name suggests, milk mouths have white mouths. Depending on the severity, the stain can extend over the eyes to the forehead base. There may be a mark on the chest, but it is not required. White spots on the belly are also allowed, milk mouth ferrets often also have individual white-colored primary hairs on the tail, thighs, shoulders, and neck area, in this case, the probability is high that the ferret will lighten up year after year until it appears completely white or silvered, only those specimens that have hardly any individual white primary hairs and only a slightly pronounced milk mouth remain uniformly colored and usually do not lighten. Mitts are also often present, but mostly only the front paws/toes are colored white.
Blaze / Badger:
Blaze also called badger (= badger) must have a long white line that extends continuously from the forehead base, between the ears to the neck or shoulder base. The white line can be a few millimeters wide or extend almost completely over the entire head but never beyond the ears. Preference is given to specimens that have a 0.5-1.0 cm wide line that runs evenly in the middle of the forehead to the neck or shoulder. Blaze can have 4 white paws but rarely do the mitts extend to the joint, mostly only the fingers are white. Blaze is often also spotted white on the abdomen, thighs, and tail. A chest patch or bib must be present. Blaze ferrets light up and are completely white or silver-plated when they are around 3-5 years old.
Here are the 17 types of ferret breeds by coat color to know.
- Fur: yellowish – pure white.
- Undercoat: white to yellowish
- Mask: None.
- Eyes: pink – red.
- Nose: pink
A distinction is made between a light polecat and a dark polecat.
- Fur: The guard hairs are dark to light brown. The legs and tail are slightly darker.
- Undercoat: cream-colored, yellowish or whitish, the overall impression is rather light
- Mask: light brown, not very pronounced
- Eyes: brown or black
- Nose: pink or dark pigmented
- Fur: Guard hairs are black to dark brown, legs and tail are often darker
- Undercoat: dark, gray-yellowish. Overall impression rather dark
- Mask: dark brown, can also cover the entire face.
- Eyes: brown or black
- Nose: can be pigmented black
Siam / cinnamon:
- Fur: Guard hairs are light brown, a slight orange / cinnamon-colored touch possible, legs and tail are darkened (Siamese drawing)
- Undercoat: cream-colored to reddish
- Mask: very bright, can also be missing
- Eyes: light brown or burgundy
- Nose: mostly pink, sometimes pigmented.
Harlequin ferrets can come in all colors except DEW and Albino. They have 4 white paws, a neck flap, and white spots on the knees.
This term covers all newer color varieties. These are not that common yet. Despite the grandiose designation special color, they are by no means better animals, they just have a different color than the original pet ferrets. There are many, many different names for very similar colors.
The animals are mostly white with a few dark sickle hairs, for example along the back or the tail.
These animals often have a white head, white belly flap, and white paws. In terms of the rest of their appearance, they can be polecat or Siamese colors.
Similar to the American panda. However, they only have dark fur on their legs, tail and rarely on their backs.
Often resembles a polecat ferret, but has gray sickle hair and is very light. The American Silver often becomes lighter with each coat change and can become DEW.
The eyes are black or brown.
Badger / check:
Their basic color is polecat or Siamese color, their characteristic feature is a white stripe on the head. The paws are often white and there may be a spot on the chest. In piebalds, other parts of the body and especially the abdomen can also be spotted. The line not only runs along the forehead but also merges into other white spots in the neck.
DEW / BEW
Bew / Gew or Dew (based on the eye color which can be blue, green, or dark) has a completely white fur from birth. You can also use a 0.5-2 cm wide colored line that extends from the shoulders to the tip of the rod, ferrets that have a colored line are called striped. Basically, they have to be 85% white in color.
Almost completely black animals with a very dark undercoat.
The fur pattern and color intensity must be uniform (with the exception of the chin, which is always white in all patterns). Particularly harmonious specimens have fully colored upper lips; a uniform coloring that extends from the lip base over the entire head would be free of defects. The color distribution is best represented when the entire appearance is drawn uniformly. The nasal mirror is evenly colored dark.
A mask is not required. Shades at the base of the ears in the form of small “half-moons” are permitted, but only with winter fur. The primary hair is 100% dark.
- No mask
- The color is uniform from the tail to the nose
The overall appearance is dark brown. The color of the primary hair is dark brown and the undercoat can be white (in winter) to cream-brownish. The undercoat on the badges is always dark brown. The eye color is diverse and varies from blue, green, or dark brown. The nose color is always black.
– Blue, green, or dark brown eyes
- White undercoat in winter, brownish in summer
- Primary hair colored dark brown
- Brown nose
Chocolate ferrets are rather rare, this dark color is often mistaken for cinnamon. The primary hair is chocolate brown. The undercoat on the badges is colored gold to light beige. The eyes are mostly brown, blue, or green. The nose should preferably be uniformly brown (of varying intensity) with brown spots, with shades or (with light color drawings such as Point, Standard, and Roan) light.
- Brown, blue or green eyes
- Brown nose with shades, brown speckled, uniformly brown or light
- Undercoat white to light gold-colored
- Primary hairs chocolate brown
The primary hair is colored gray-brown. The undercoat is usually white in winter. The eyes are mostly brown (light-dark) in color. Depending on the color distribution, the nose can be uniform, with light shades, spotted champagne-colored, and with the standard and point ferret also light (pink).
- Brown eyes
- Uniform, with light shades, spotted champagne-colored and with standard or point ferrets also light (pink) nose color
- White undercoat in winter
- Primary hair gray-brown (champagne)
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