Weasel vs Ferret
With an untrained eye, weasels and ferrets may look highly similar physically. In fact, ferrets come from the weasel family. However, it is important to note that weasels and ferrets are different, and the differences are highly significant.
Generally, ferrets are known to be domesticated. As such, people would usually get ferrets are pets. Although there are wild ferrets that have a diet of small prey, domesticated ones eat insects, chicks, and mice. Weasels, on the other hand, are rarely bought as pets. Weasels are not domesticated. They are known to hunt bigger rats, rabbits, and even snakes. Scientists have even noticed that weasels would sometimes kills for sport, and this is evident in some of the remains of weasel preys which are left intact.
Although easily domesticated, ferrets are still known to be territorial species. Pet owners observed that pet ferrets can be very territorial with objects given to them such as toys and even food to the point that two ferrets may fight over a single object. Weasels are also very territorial, but this is apparent as they are known to be predators. Because they are considered wild, weasels can actually pose a huge threat to humans.
As mentioned, weasels and ferrets come from the same family, which explains why it would be difficult to distinguish a ferret from a weasel. However, a weasel is usually bigger, depending on the gender of the weasel. Female weasels are smaller than male weasels, being about 13 inches long, while male weasels are a few inches longer. The color of the weasel is generally different as well. They usually have a brown or red coat and white underbelly, but this would also differ depending on the type of weasel.
Ferrets, on the other hand, have an off-white coat, similar to a yellowish-white hue, but again, this would depend on the type of ferret. Other ferrets would usually just have a combination of different colors on their fur. They are known to have pink eyes as well. In general, ferrets are slimmer than weasels.
In general, weasels and ferrets may actually be more similar than different since they are both carnivorous and predatory when not domesticated. However, in terms of behavior, weasels’ temperament is really more dangerous and difficult to handle or predict than ferrets’.
It’s actually very easy to mistake a ferret from a weasel, and this mistake can be highly dangerous for a pet owner considering that domesticating a weasel would need extra care and caution. Ferrets have been domesticated for over 2000 years, and although weasels may be domesticated as well, they will surely retain their wild behaviour, considering they do not share a long history of domestication. When going to a pet store, one would usually find a ferret anyway, but when faced with both weasels and ferret, one must keep in mind the huge differences of both species. It would also be best to ask the pet store for more information on both species such as diets of domesticated weasels and ferrets so they can be taken care of properly.