Long, generally adorable if a little nervous-making mammals are oft-domesticated and lovingly pinned with crimes of stealing things and stuffing them under the sofa.
Great. But did you know that a female ferret will die if she doesn't mate? And we're not talking romantic euphemisms here, people. We're talking six feet under, d-e-a-d, dead.
Apparently when a lady ferret is in heat she starts secreting a helluva lot of estrogen into her blood—if it stays in there too long it causes a "progressive depression of bone marrow" that results in death-inducing aplastic anemia. Basically if they don't get it on, their bone marrow stops making new blood cells.
Weirder still, she-ferrets doesn't have to get pregnant to rejigger their hormonal balance—they just have to mate!
"The physical act of mating induces ovulation in Jill and will bring her out of estrus. She’ll then have a false pregnancy that will go full term, (about 40 to 45 days), but without the nasty side-effect called kids." — Todayifoundout.com
So there ya have it. Next time you're going bonkers from your bone-less existence, toss your ass into a cold shower and thank the big J you weren't born a ferret. You might feel like you're gonna die, but down-there cobwebs are happily different than a coffin.