Ferrets Cuddle Up in Celeb Handbags
Paris Hilton crowns them the new accessory pet
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2010 8:33 AM CDT
A visitor holds a ferret as it is exhibited for sale at the Shanghai Pet Fair Friday, March 12, 2010 in Shanghai, China.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
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(Newser) – It looks like ferrets are the new chihuahuas: after Paris Hilton was spotted in Las Vegas with a pet ferret stuffed into her hoodie, ferret ownership is rising among women. But many people remain apprehensive about the offbeat pets, worrying about their ferocious appearance and reputed bad smell. Not a problem, vet Pete Wedderburn writes in the Daily Telegraph.

Cage-cleaning keeps ferrets smelling sweet, and the rodents "respond well to gentle care and consistent training," Wedderburn writes, so "if a ferret bites you it's probably your fault." Which was certainly the case with the ancient English sport of "ferret-legging," in which contestants tied their pant legs closed at the bottom and put a ferret down each leg. "Fortunately, ferret-legging has waned in popularity as awareness of animal welfare has increased," Wedderburn notes.