The thing about ferrets is that they’re a very Western domesticant, animals that are domesticated mainly in the West and especially Europe. If you take a look at the dog, cat, chicken, pig and cow they’re domesticated in Eastern Eurasia or Asia, as Europe’s really just the Western tip of the continent. If dogs are believed to be first domesticated in East Asia, it makes sense that they’d be more genetically diverse there than they would be in Europe.
But ferrets seem to be mostly domesticated in Europe, while a polecat* population does exist in Africa it’s too small to be domesticated en masse the way cats are in the Middle East and Africa (it’s believed that cats were domesticated twice, first in Anatolia and second in Egypt). If ferrets were the predominant pest control animals in Europe, cats would be the predominant pest control animals in Africa and Middle East and they still are in countries like Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Ghana.
There aren’t a lot of Asians and Africans with pet ferrets, so the number of pet and feral ferrets are greater in Europe, North America and New Zealand that they would be in the rest of Eurasia and Africa. This proves my point that ferrets are a Western domesticant, that’s if they’re first domesticated in Southern Europe. If Southern Europe’s what greatly influenced the rest of Europe and the Western world in general then ferrets are really a Western invention whereas dogs are evidently Chinese and Mongolian exports.
Ferrets seem to mostly occur in Western countries, whereas cats and dogs are found outside of them. It could be that these two are more globally popular, though not always well-received in some places and countries. But I still have the nagging feeling that ferrets are Western domesticants, they weren’t and still aren’t exported to Asia and Africa en masse the way dogs have in Africa and Europe or cats have in the rest of Eurasia. Outside of Europe, the only places where ferrets are found in considerable numbers are in New Zealand and North America.
While New Zealand’s geographically situated in the East (that’s in the Pacific Ocean), it’s culturally Western and that’s where ferrets have become an invasive species there. But there aren’t a lot of ferrets in Asia and Africa, despite a degree of Westernisation having taken place due to colonisation. Either that they can’t adapt to the African and Asian environments or perhaps because they simply weren’t exported there. That could be likely, but cats got exported to the Americas and Oceania.
If cats and dogs are global domesticants (they’re found nearly all over the world), ferrets are a purely Western domesticant. In some regards, it could be better argued that ferrets are invariably the pets of white people while black Africans own cats and dogs as do Middle Easterners and those from the Far East. Not that there aren’t any black ferret owners, but if the number of African American pets owners is small and the number of ferret owners isn’t that great either so the number of black ferret owners would be really small.
African blacks, on the other hand, own cats and dogs in greater numbers but ferrets never became that popular in Africa despite Westernisation and colonialism. It’s not that ferrets are redundant, as much as they’re not that commonly used for hunting and pest control the way cats and dogs are in Asia and Africa. Not all Africans like cats, but it’s likelier and more common for Africans to own and use cats for pest control and dogs for hunting than they would with ferrets.
The use of ferrets is thus a very white, Western thing because white Westerners use them for hunting rabbits, rats and mice. Perhaps it’s like how monkey ownership’s a mainly Asian and African phenomenon, if because there’s a precedent for using monkeys to get fruits in Egypt and Thailand as well as monkey ownership being a thing among South American indigenous groups. (Some Angolans and Vietnamese own monkeys themselves.) If ferrets are a white person’s pet, then the monkey’s a brown person’s pet.
Cats and dogs are the most globally popular pets, everybody’s pets really and these are the pets people use for hunting and pest control in many countries. This is a fact, no amount of your opinion would change that. There are more cat and dog owners in the world, even in Africa, than there are ferret and monkey owners. This is a no-brainer, and in some cases like in Africa where polecat numbers are low people turn to cats for pest control because they’re more readily available.
While there are some Asians and blacks who own ferrets just as there are white Westerners who own monkeys but generally speaking, monkey ownership’s more common in Angola, Thailand and Vietnam and ferret ownership’s more common in Europe and North America. There aren’t a lot of African ferret owners as opposed to considerable numbers of African cat owners, this is a fact based on what I’ve read. Likewise, from personal experience there aren’t a lot of Filipino ferret owners either.
I still stand by my observations and understanding that ferrets are practically Western domesticants as they never exist in substantial numbers outside of Western countries.
*European polecats are the direct ancestors of the ferrets.