8 Difference Between Ferret and Weasel with Similarities and Pictures

What is the difference between ferret and weasel?

Ferrets and weasels are animals that people keep on confusing. They both have long tubular bodies although at a different lengths. They all belong to Mustelidae.

The appearance of these two animals, their habits, and their appetites are quite different from each other.

The main difference between ferrets and weasels is that ferrets have longer bodies and shorter tails as compared to weasels.

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Difference Between Ferret and Weasel

Comparison Table (Ferret vs Weasel)

Characteristics Ferrets Weasel
Classification They belong to subspecies within the polecat division of Mustelidae. They are part of the 17 species of Mustelidae.
Appearance They are dark brown in color, have long legs, bigger tubular but thin body. They are long creatures but not like the ferrets.
Tail length They have a shorter tail. They have long tails.
What they feed on They feed on mice, rats, snakes, birds, rabbits. They feed on mice, rats, birds.
Activity They are nocturnal hence active at night. They are diurnal hence active during the day.
Behavior They are often in groups. They are solitary animals.
Domestication They have been kept as pets over years. Due to their aggressive behavior, they are restricted from being used as pets.
Color Black-brown appearance with a mix of white. Red-brown appearance with a white underbelly.
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What is Ferret?

Ferrets belong to the polecat division of Mustelidae. They have long tubular-like bodies with shorter legs. They have been kept as pets for over 2000 years.

When they are kept as pets, they can keep mice, rats, and snakes away from home. They feed on them hence they will constantly hunt on them.

They often live in groups. They are not solitary animals. Their shorter and slender legs make them be fast movers. They are known for making people laugh.

They are social creatures that enjoy spending time with other animals and human beings when they have been kept in captivity.

They are carnivores and they can eat anything they find on their way. When left home alone, they can cause damage. They can be taught how to respond to instructions.

What is Weasel?

It is one of the species in the Mustelidae family. It is a small animal that is small but ferocious as a hunter. They have a long, tubular body with long tails.

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Its thin body is an advantage it when it comes to hunting. The long tail also gives it balance when hunting for the targeted prey. The females are smaller than their male counterparts.

They have red-brown coats with white underbellies. It is not kept as a pet due to its aggressiveness. It is notorious for preying on poultry hence farmers cannot keep it as a pet.

They are carnivores. They hunt on rats, mice, birds, rabbits, and snakes. They can also keep these animals away from home hence they can be beneficial.

They hunt during the day and they may even hunt when they are not hungry. They do not like seeing any animal passing in front of them anyhow.

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Main Differences between Ferret and Weasel

  1. Ferrets are nocturnal; active during the night while weasels are diurnal; active during the day.
  2. Ferrets are part of the polecat division in the Mustelidae family while weasels are a species in the Mustelidae family.
  3. Ferrets have longer bodies and shorter legs while weasels have longer bodies with long legs.
  4. Ferrets are domesticated as pets while weasels are more aggressive hence not domesticated.
  5. Ferrets have black-brown coats mixed with white while weasels have red-brown coats with white underbellies.
  6. Ferrets may eat anything they find on the way while weasels are specific on what they feed on.
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Similarities between Ferret and Weasel

  1. They are both swifts.
  2. They both have long, tubular bodies.
  3. Both are carnivores.
  4. Both are cute and look cuddly.

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In Conclusion

Both ferrets and weasels are different in habits and appetite. Ferrets can kill their prey and drink blood from it while weasels may kill the prey and leave it there. Ferrets are very social animals and can easily live with human beings and make them laugh.

Weasels are not friendly to humans and other animals. Instead, they are very aggressive hence they can easily pounce on other animals or humans hence not allowed to be kept as pets.

The main feature that makes ferrets different from weasels is the size of the tails.

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