Difference Between Pole cat and Ferret

Polecat and ferret both are small animals that belong to weasel family and both of these animals have an almost similar physical appearance. Sometimes, people fail to differentiate these two animals and get confused in guessing which one is polecat and which one is ferret. However, despite having a considerable similarity in physical appearance, these two animals also have some differences that help in distinguishing from each other. You can easily find the differences between polecat and ferret by paying close attention to their appearance and their habits. Keep reading to know the difference between polecat and ferret.


  • 1

    First of all, you should understand that it is a bit tricky to find the difference between polecat and ferret because both animals have many physical similarities as both belong to weasel family.

  • 2

    With the considerable similarity between polecat and ferret, the ferret is usually called a polecat which makes it more challenging to differentiate these two animals from each other.

  • 3

    The most prominent and visible difference between polecat and ferret is that polecat’s secretion releases an unpleasant smell while a ferret does not release that type of smell from its secretion.

  • 4

    A ferret has a sinuous body which is considerably long and its ears are very small. It has sharp little teeth and the most important characteristic of ferret is that it has a very sensitive nose that brings an incredible smelling power.

    On the other hand, a polecat has a lean and long body along with having furs which can be long and medium in range. The polecats also have sensitive whiskers and their ears are in round shape.

  • 5

    Ferret is usually stubborn animal that has a powerful sense of smell which is very beneficial in finding prey for food.

    On the other hand, Polecats have poor eyesight but very keen sense of smell which compensates their weakness of eyesight.

  • 6

    Both polecats and ferrets love to eat fish, reptiles, birds, fish eggs and small animals. But ferrets can be distinguishes easily as they also like to have raisins, bananas and peanut butter.

  • 7

    Ferrets mate between the months of March to January but Polecat’s matting season is not bound to months and they keep on mating almost all the year around.

  • 8

    Ferrets get separated after mating the couple gets separated while the polecats do not get separated after mating.

  • 9

    Ferrets love to share space for their partners while polecats do not like sharing their territory and they mark their boundary line in which no other polecat is allowed.

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