Pole-Cat vs Ferret: Difference and Comparison

Ferret and polecat, both weasel family members, are so alike that it’s difficult to tell them apart. A tamed polecat is what a ferret is called.

European polecats were used to domesticate ferrets. A polecat can easily be recognized from the terrible odour created by its excretion.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pole cats are wild animals native to Europe, while ferrets are domesticated descendants of the European pole cat.
  2. Ferrets are smaller and have a friendlier temperament than pole cats, making them more suitable as pets.
  3. Pole cats have a stronger, more pungent odor than ferrets, as they use their scent glands for territorial marking in the wild.

Pole-Cat vs Ferret

The difference between Pole-cat and Ferrets is based on their training nature.

As both are domestic animals, how much they follow their owner or master can make a big difference.

Pole-cat is an intelligent animal, but Ferrets is a stubborn animals. Ferret is brilliant but stubborn, making it different from pole-cat.

Pole Cat vs Ferret

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A Polecat has a long & slim physique. Furs are also available in medium and long range.

Polecats have short collars, round ears, as well as delicate whiskers. It comes under the class of mammals.

It belongs to the order of Carnivora. They can be referred to as pet animals and sufferers of many health problems.

The body of a ferret is long and curved, having tiny ears. His teeth are razor-sharp, as well as his nose is susceptible.

Ferrets are curious & enterprising creatures. They also are thought to be obstinate & tenacious.

They have been domesticated for a long time history. The primary purpose of domesticating them is to manage the rabbits.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPole-catFerret
Average height21 and a half inches – 24 and a half inches21 to 26 inches
Other pet-friendlyNoYes
Life span10 – 12 yrs8 – 10 yrs
Categorymammals belonging to the Carnivora orderMustelidae species
TrainabilityIntelligentIntelligent but stubborn

What is Pole-Cat?

Polecat refers to mammals belonging to the Carnivora order and the subfamilies Ictonychinae and Mustelidae. Polecats are not classified as just a single taxonomic group (i.e. clade).

Such a name is given to a group of animals that share many characteristics with European polecats, only one polecat species found in the British Empire, including a dark mask-like mark across the face.

The dark Ferret, a native of the Mustelidae family, is commonly referred to as a polecat in the United States.

In Southern American vernacular, the name polecat has frequently been used as a colloquial nickname for such skunk, which is only closely connected to mustelids.

Polecats, like some other pets, are prone to various health problems. They are frequently found with fractured teeth.

They also run the danger of developing deadly abscesses in the face, neck, as well as jaw. However, you should probably be more concerned about fleas.

To avoid an infestation, ensure the pet is sprayed at least once a month.

Influenza, pneumonia, common cold, and distemper are all frequent ailments. Visit the veterinarian regularly to have your pet checked for these health problems.

Polecats have a low grooming requirement & are capable of self-cleaning. However, don’t forget to clean the ears and trim their long nails.

The nails might become entangled in clothing, carpet, or bedding, causing accidents.


What is Ferret?

Ferrets are members of something like the Mustelidae species, which includes weasels, stoats, polecats, mink, skunks, otters, and badgers, among other tiny to medium-sized predators.

A tamed polecat is indeed the Ferret.

A European polecat was most likely the ancestor, although if the tamed Ferret is descended from the Siberian, European, Ethiopian, or Asiatic polecat is a point of contention.

Domestic ferrets have indeed been employed to manage rabbits from Roman times, and the practice is being practised today in Europe & Australia.

While ferrets are used as working animals to manage rabbits and rodents, they are also maintained as pets in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria, Europe, Nz, & Japan.

Ferrets are employed as a test subjects for medical science & were once used in the fur industry. Research on ferret physiology began with the intention of using ferrets in biomedical.

Ferrets are frequently infected with just an enteric alphacoronavirus related to viruses found in mink yet different from viruses found in swine, kittens, & dogs.

Ferret coronaviruses may cause the more dangerous epizootic catarrhal enteritis, or “green slime” sickness, and systemic disease with several parallels to feline viral peritonitis, in contrast to widespread but largely benign gastrointestinal infection.

Ferrets may develop a distinctive effusion in this situation. However, the majority of documented cases seem to be from the “dry” variety of the illness.

While distinct viruses known as ferret systemic coronaviruses have been identified, their connection to ferret enteric coronaviruses is unknown.


Main Differences Between Pole-Cat and Ferret

  1. The Pole-cat is an intelligent animal, but the Ferret is an obstinate one. Ferrets are clever, yet they can be obstinate at times, distinguishing them from polecats.
  2. Both animals can also differ in terms of height. The average height of a pole cat is 21 and a half inches – 24 and a half inches, whereas Ferret’s average height is 21 to 26 inches.
  3. The nature of other pet animals also differs between these two animals. Pole-cat is not friendly to other animals, whereas Ferret is friendly to other animals too.
  4. The life span of both of these animals is different. Polecat lives for 10 – 12 years, whereas Ferret can live for 8 – 10 years.
  5. They both differ in regard to the classification to which they belong. Pole cat belongs to mammals belonging to the Carnivora order, whereas the Mustelidae species is the family from which Ferret belongs.
Difference Between Pole Cat and Ferret
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2907.1987.tb00282.x
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10531-008-9499-9

Last Updated : 04 July, 2023

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