Weasel vs Ferret Best 10 Main Differences Explained

Weasel vs Ferret

The weasels belong to the Mustelidae family. There are seventeen species of weasels that are all wild animals and are present across North America, Asia, and Europe. The least weasel, with white underbellies and a red-brown coat, is the best-known species. The tropical weasels are found in South America. The weasels typically have beige or lighter brown coats and a white underbelly. The weasels have short legs and dark brown-colored coats with cream markings. The body size of the weasel ranges from about 6.8 to 8.5 inches. 

The weasels have longer tails, and they can grow with a long tail size of almost 13 inches. They mostly eat small mammals, reptiles, birds, etc. The weasels can be found dancing, looking for bird eggs, or climbing trees when not hunting. However, the pets weasels are not considered domestic species. They are not great pets due to their aggressiveness to other species and even human beings.

They are not widely domesticated and are very unsocial smaller animals that can be dangerous to other pets or other animals. That’s why they only prefer to be left to their own devices. They only interact with each other during the mating season. It is considered illegal to have a weasel as a household pet in many states.

 On the other hand, ferrets also belong to the same family Mustelidae. Ferrets tend to possess longer legs, long tails, long claws, thick fur, and a cone-shaped nose. The ferret tails are about 5-inch in size. Their colors range from brown sable markings of their wild ancestors to cinnamon, silver, and white. The domesticated ferrets eat insects, small mice, chicks, etc.

These domesticated ferrets do not exist in the wild. The black-footed ferret species are the wild ferrets that often drink the blood of the killed small prey. The domestic ferret species are considered nocturnal animals, sleeping for a large part of the day. The ferrets are very friendly, playful, and calm with toys, people, and other ferrets. 

Weasel vs Ferret

They can also be trained to do tricks or use a litter box. Although both weasels and ferrets look similar, differences also exist. For example, both weasels and ferrets are closely related small animals belonging to the same scientific family. Both animals have long, tubular bodies or lean bodies. However, the key differences between the two species are that weasels are smaller than ferrets. The weasels tend to be live longer in captivity, unlike ferrets, and is not prone to the same health conditions that other pets face.

The main difference is that ferrets are much thinner than weasels. These animals also have very different temperaments, such as ferrets are not more aggressive than weasels. Therefore, ferrets can be made great domesticated pets rather than weasels. People still confuse these creatures despite all these facts. There is no need to worry as this blog post provides other exciting facts and information about these animals, as mentioned below;



  • The weasels possess tube-like bodies with small, flattened heads. Their limbs are short, and their necks are flexible and long. The slim tail of weasels is pointed at the tip, and the short fur is dense. In addition to it, there are five toes on each foot, ending in sharp and curved claws. 
  • The ferrets possess a pale-colored long and slender body with black feet, throats, muzzles, and white foreheads. In addition to it, their pelage is of distinct colors, such as black, white, brown or mixed. They have tails that are half of their body length. 
  • The weasels are present in various countries worldwide, including South America, North America, Japan, etc. These animal species are also native to various habitats, such as farmlands, roadsides, woodlands, thickets, open fields, rock piles, brush piles, shrubland, young brushy forests, wetlands edges, and meadows. 
  • The ferrets are also present in various countries worldwide, including Western Europe, North Africa, North America, etc. Despite all this, these animals are not present in Australia and Canada. They are native to various other habitats, such as grassy plains. These creatures also live in tunnels that have been dug by different other animals, such as prairie dogs. 
  • The weasels possess a body length between 25 and 30 centimeters or 10 and 12 inches. Their tails can grow as long as 10.2 to 20.3 centimeters or 4 to 8 inches. In addition to it, they weigh about 85 to 350 grams or 3 to 12.3 ounces. 
  • The ferrets are considered to be the size of zucchini. The body length and head is about 20.5 to 46 centimeters or 8 to 18 inches. However, the tails are about half the body length size, ranging from 7 to 19 centimeters. They weigh up to 5.5 pounds. 
  • The weasels require a proper diet to survive on the earth’s surface. For example, their primary food consists of birds, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, rodents, larger mammals, etc. Furthermore, some weasel species also rely on fruits and other plants. 
  • The ferrets also need proper food to survive, like other animal species. They are obligate carnivores, meaning they must eat meat. The best option is raw meat. These small creatures also eat kitten food that contains higher meat protein content. 
  • The weasels communicate, using different scents, visual and sound cues. In addition to it, the female weasel species release an attractive scent, showing that they are ready to mate. These creatures use different sounds and body language when they confront each other. 
  • Although ferrets do not possess lingual capabilities like humans, it doesn’t mean these animals cannot communicate with each other. They use different movements and sounds, conveying whatever these creatures want. Unfortunately, people do not understand what ferrets are saying. 
  • Aside from when weasels are weaning young or mating, these creatures are solitary animals, fending for themselves in the wild. These animals are also considered to be territory that defends their homes when invaded. They can be made great pets due to their playful nature and high energy level. 
  • The ferrets being more docile than polecats retain a wide range of spontaneous and natural behaviors. These are considered curious, playful, lively and intelligent creatures that do not fear humans. In addition to it, they can become great pets if handled carefully. They also show aggressive behavior if disturbed. 
  • Spring is the only time when females and males associate with each other and start mating. The females give birth to a litter of 3 kittens or babies after a gestation period of about five weeks, in April or May. The second litter may also be born in July and August. 
  • The ferrets reproduce sexually, reaching sexual maturity during the first spring after their birth. Despite it, these small creatures give birth to an average of one to eighteen kittens after a gestation period of about 39 to 42 days.  
  • The weasels live for a specific time, after which they die. For instance, they have an average lifespan of about 5 to 6 years in the wild but for almost 8.8 years in captivity. 
  • The ferrets also live for a specific time like all other animals on the earth’s surface, after which they die. For example, they can live for 1 to 3 years in the wild and for 6 years in captivity. 
  • The weasels are preyed on by various other animals on the earth. The primary predators of these creatures are eagles, hawks, owls, snakes, and foxes. 
  • Other animals are also present, feeding on ferrets. For example, badgers, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, hawks, eagles, owls are their primary predators. 
  • According to IUPAC, the weasels are not considered extinct species. However, the mountain weasels population is decreasing due to habitat loss. 
  • The ferrets are not considered extinct in the world. Furthermore, according to Nature Conservancy, about 200 to 300 ferret species live in the wild nowadays. 


Sometimes people get confused and raise questions about weasel vs ferret to clear their minds. Therefore, the answers to some of those raised questions are as mentioned below;

Are weasels fierce?

Despite their small size, weasels are small mammals, weighing from about 2 to 12 ounces. These animals have a reputation as tenacious and fierce hunters. Their diet contains gophers, birds, rats, rabbits, and other larger animals. 

Are ferrets good pets?

The ferrets can be made excellent pets for people who bond well with animals and who have the time for them. They are usually companionable, curious, intelligent, friendly, and quiet animal species. 


Various animals and plants are present throughout the world, all possessing unique characters discriminating against them. The same is the case with weasels and ferrets. Although both look similar in appearance, they are different creatures with unique adaptations discriminating against them. There is no need to worry as this blog post provides exciting facts and information about these animals to make people’s minds clear. It will help greatly if you read this article with great care and pay full attention. 

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