Ferrets are members of the weasel or Mustelidae family. These long, slender creatures were domesticated over 2,500 years ago and were originally used for hunting rabbits and rodents. If you have ever heard the phrase “ferret out,” this historical use for ferrets is where it originated. Animals like ferrets make fun and mischievous pets.
In the wild, ferrets are called polecats. Ferrets are polygynous, meaning the male mates with many different females. There’s a difference in temperament between polecats (wild ferrets) and domesticated ferrets. Wild ferrets are territorial and prefer solitude, while domestic ferrets are playful and may enjoy a companion.
Ferrets are carnivores with diets consisting of small mammals, birds, frogs, and snakes. Wild ferrets, or polecats, are found in Europe, while domesticated ferrets can be found across the globe.
Ferrets have a scent gland that can be used to mark territory or as a defense mechanism. You may be familiar with these weasel-like animals, but this article will highlight other animals that are like ferrets in one way or another. For this article’s sake, we will compare wild ferrets to their relatives. With all these interesting traits that ferrets have, we though we’d show you some animals that are similar to ferrets in one way or another.
10 Animals Like Ferrets
Here’s a list of 10 interesting animals that are like ferrets!
Why Weasels are like Ferrets: Both are members of the Mustelidae family, have long, slender bodies, are carnivores, and are polygynous.
Weasels are very similar in shape to ferrets. Both have long, slender bodies with short legs and long tails.
Both animals are carnivorous members of the Mustelidae family. Weasels and ferrets are both polygynous, which means they mate with multiple partners during the mating season rather than being monogamous.
Why Stoats are like Ferrets: Both are members of the Mustelidae family, have a similar body shape, are polygynous, and are carnivores.
Stoats, also known as short-tailed weasels or ermines, are small mammals in the Mustelidae family. Like ferrets, stoats have long, slender, cylindrical bodies with short legs and long tails.
Both stoats and ferrets are carnivores. Like their weasel and ferret relatives, stoats are also polygynous.
Why Minks are like Ferrets: Both are members of the Mustelidae family, have similar body shapes, and are carnivores.
Minks are members of the Mustelidae family and are carnivorous. Minks, like ferrets, are small, carnivorous mammals with long slender bodies, short legs, and long tails. They both have small, rounded ears and sharp teeth and have similar colors.
Minks and ferrets vary from a pale white to a chocolate brown to a deep black. Both mammals live in dens or tunnels underground when in the wild.
Why Otters are like Ferrets: Both are members of the Mustelidae family and have long, slender bodies, small ears, and sharp teeth.
While otters spend more of their time in the water than their ferret relatives, they are still members of the Mustelidae family. Like ferrets, otters have long, slender, cylindrical bodies with short legs.
They also have the same rounded ears and sharp teeth. Another similarity between the two is that otters are carnivores.
Why Martens are like Ferrets: Both are members of the Mustelidae family, have similar body shapes, are carnivorous, and prefer to be solitary.
Martens are also members of the Mustelidae family. They are long and slender like ferrets with short legs and long tails.
Martens are carnivorous but will often supplement their diet with fruit if needed. Like wild ferrets, martens are solitary animals, preferring to defend their territory rather than work in groups.
6. Greater Grison
Why Greater Grisons are like Ferrets: Both are members of the Mustelidae family, have long, slender bodies, are carnivores, and have a strong scent gland.
Greater grisons are found in North and South America and are members of the Mustelidae family. Greater grisons are long, slender animals with short legs, much like their ferret relatives. They also have long necks and short, bushy tails like a ferret.
Like ferrets, minks, and otters, the greater grison has short, rounded ears, so they are physically similar to their Mustelidae family members in many ways. In addition to appearance, the greater grison also has a scent gland they used to spray a yellowish-green musk at attackers as well as mark its territory.
Why Wolverines are like Ferrets: Both are members of the Mustelidae family, are carnivores, are polygynous, and have anal scent glands.
The wolverine is the biggest member of the Mustelidae family that lives on land. While wolverines are significantly bigger than ferrets, they share the same carnivorous diets.
They are also both polygynous species and mate with multiple females when the time comes. The wolverine has an anal scent gland similar to the ferret it uses to mark its territory.
Why Badgers are like Ferrets: Both are members of the Mustelidae family, are polygynous, carnivorous, and have scent glands.
Badgers and ferrets are from the same family (Mustelidae), but badgers are significantly bigger. The smallest badger is known as the ferret-badger due to its smaller, more ferret-like size.
Both badgers and ferrets are carnivores and have multiple mates, making them polygynous. They also both have anal scent glands for marking their territory.
Why Tayras are like Ferrets: Both are members of the Mustelidae family, live in burrows built by other animals, and have long, slender bodies.
The tayra is found across most of South America. This Mustelidae relative of the ferret has a similarly long, slender body and small, round ears.
The tayra resides in burrows built by other animals, much like its ferret relative. If it can’t find a burrow, it will climb a tree to stay safe.
Why Skunks are like Ferrets: Both have long bodies, short legs, and smelly scent glands.
Skunks may not be in the same family as ferrets, but they have long bodies and short legs. They also have strong scent glands they use to mark their territory and defend themselves.
Unlike ferrets, skunks are omnivores, and although they live in burrows, they dig them themselves rather than steal them from their prey, like ferrets. There are about a dozen different types of skunks.
Ferrets are slender, long-bodied creatures with long necks and round ears. They are arguably adorable and similar to rodents. As members of the Mustelidae family, they have many close relatives, such as weasels, minks, otters, and wolverines.
Due to their unique scent glands, they are also similar to the skunk. Either way, these carnivorous creatures have many other long, slender, beautiful animals that have similarities.