Difference between weasel and ferret

Main difference

The weasel and the ferret are the same animals when it comes to the shape of both animals. Often times, inexperienced people have difficulty differentiating between both mammals, which are different from each other but at the same time are interconnected with each other. Both animals belong to a similar scientific family, called the Mustelidae. The genus Mustela includes a total of 17 species, of which ten are classified as weasels, while the ferret is the polecat subspecies, which in turn is a member of the weasel family. The other big difference between these two animals is that ferrets have been domesticated for about 2000 years for various purposes, on the other hand, weasels are non-domesticated animals.

Comparative chart

Weasel Ferret
Gender The genus Mustela includes a total of 17 species, of which ten are classified as Weasels. Ferret is the subspecies of polecat, which in turn is a member of the Weasel family.
Domesticated Weasels are undomesticated animals. Ferrets have been domesticated for about 2000 years for various purposes.
Measurement Weasels have long, slender bodies that measure between 6.8 and 8.5 inches. Ferrets have an average length of around 20 inches and their tails around 5.1 inches.
Tail Longer tail compared to the tail of ferrets. Small tail compared to the weasel’s tail.

What is Weasel?

The weasel belongs to the Mustelidae family and the Mustela genus; They are mammals with long, slender bodies that measure between 6.8 and 8.5 inches. The long, slender bodies help them to catch their prey even in burrows. One of the biggest differences between ferret and weasel is the tails, as the latter has a longer tail compared to the former. Female weasels are shorter compared to males, usually having a white belly and a red or brown top coat. They are predators, preying on poultry from farms or rabbits from commercial burrows. They choose wooded areas or dense forests to reside and hide from the six great predators. They are famous for damaging farms and stealing poultry. Therefore, They are not domesticated by farmers and others. These long tales, raging mammals are present in diverse ways around the world, except in areas like Australia and Antarctica. Weasels are seen as intelligent animals, performing a specific dance called the ‘weasel war dance’ after competition or fight. Weasels are also known to prefer to rest in safe areas, which is why they make nests in crevices.

What is Ferret?

The ferret belongs to the same genus as the weasels; the difference comes because the ferret is the subspecies of polecats, which belong to the similar group. With an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years, it typically has a mixed coat that has contrasting colors such as brown, black, and white. They are longer in body compared to weasels; They have an average length of around 20 inches and the tail around 5.1 inches. Ferrets are quite popular around the world as they have been domesticated around the world for about 2,500 years for various purposes. Previously, they were mainly used to hunt rabbits in different parts of the world, but today they are kept as pets in most parts of the world. They have quite a friendly attitude towards humans, even by their side, Several areas of the world have put a restriction on the domestication of ferrets. They are twilight since they spend between 14 and 18 hours of the day sleeping. They generally hunt and do most of their activities in the dawn and dusk hours.

Weasel vs. Ferret

  • The genus Mustela includes a total of 17 species, of which ten are classified as weasels, while the ferret is the polecat subspecies, which in turn is a member of the weasel family.
  • Ferrets have been domesticated for about 2000 years for various purposes, on the other hand, weasels are non-domesticated animals.
  • Weasels have long, slender bodies that measure between 6.8 and 8.5 inches. Contrary to this, ferrets have an average length of around 20 inches and their tails around 5.1 inches.
  • The weasel has a longer tail compared to the tail of ferrets.

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