Weasel vs Ferret: How to Distinguish These Guys One from Another?

You probably have heard about weasel vs ferret before. Not gonna lie, these animals are similar at a glance. However, they do have distinction that makes weasel distinguishable from its similar counterpart—which is ferret. If you are wondering what kind of difference they do share and why people make them as pets, you come to the right page. This article will show you how to differ weasel from ferret, including each animal’s physical features and personality traits.

Believe it or not, both are cute (especially their faces that are heart shaker) and their scurry body makes them look cuddly as well. Are both animals appropriate to be taken as pet? Can you even train them to do tricks? You will get the explanation in this article about weasel vs ferret below.


Weasel vs Ferret: The Characteristics

First, we should know what makes both animals are considered the twin for each other. They share quite a lot of physical features even people consider it as subtle differences. Let’s talk about it further.

  1. Facial features and size

The talk about weasel vs ferret will not be complete without talking about their visual differences. Both animals look like smaller versions of beaver, yet their facial features resemble quite much with hamsters. Some people may even compare them with koala, bunnies, squirrels, and even rats!

Knock away their resemblance, when you’re directly comparing weasel to ferret, you will know instantly that ferret is taller. Typical length of weasel (adult) is 4-12 inches, weighing them around 1-13 ounces. While the counterpart is quite larger: ferret’s length is typically around 13-15 inches and the weight is around 4.5 pounds.

However, unlike the rest of the body, weasel’s tail is longer than ferret’s. Additional feature to compare is the legs. Weasel has shorter lower extremities compared to ferrets.

  1. Colors

The next aspect of weasel vs ferret is colors. Weasel’s furs tend to be lighter than ferret’s—typically it comes in light brown or beige. Note that the underbellies of weasels are white.

With that in mind, you will be able to instantly distinguish weasels from ferrets. Ferrets, although not all, have darker shades for their coats. You may find white ferrets as well, although it is quite rare. Their underbellies are quite similar in color as weasels; so, you can consider the colors of other body parts’ colors in order to distinguish weasel vs ferret.

  1. Lifespan

Regarding lifespan, both animals can live pretty long—but not as long when compared to dogs or cats. Weasels tend to live shorter than ferrets, which is only around 4-6 years. In contrast, ferrets offer longer companion for you, ranging from 5 years and goes up to 10 years.


Weasel vs Ferret: Personalities and Other Features

Talking about weasels and ferrets, we won’t be able to complete the talk without discussing about their personalities. You will know a glimpse about their personalities, including their trainability, diet, and their possibility to live with children and other pets. Let’s talk about each animal to ease you in understanding about this.

  • Weasels


More ‘mini’ if compared to ferrets, weasels make a great pocket pet; especially if you plan to bring this pet somewhere. Weasels are not widely domesticated, and they can still be pretty wild if you do compare weasel vs ferret. They are an active animal; and even their captivity, you can see them glaring over preys when not sleeping (and hungry).

You cannot lower down this nature especially if you adopt them when they are already adult. But if you got them when they’re still a little guy, you can train them to lower down their hunting desire. They are quite difficult to train. To be extremely said, they have poor trainability. Therefore, it’d be greater to train them ‘to be tame’ as early as possible.

Weasels, just like ferrets, are pretty family-friendly. However, keep in mind that weasels are not commonly domesticated. Therefore, don’t be bamboozled if, when you let your weasel to mingle with children, kitties, or puppies, you may have it bite larger animals out of their threatened self. This will be more prevalent if you adopt it as pet when it is already adult; as it is not adequately socialized to larger family members.

According to a source, a weasel’s hunt instinct is way stronger than ferrets. They may be small, yet they are a ferocious hunter. It is even said that weasel can eat prey(s) which is larger than the, by 10 times. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

  • Ferrets


Compared to weasels, ferrets are getting more and more spotlight of being house pets. It doesn’t mean weasels cannot be pets—it’s just ferrets are more popular in terms of being pets compared to weasels.

If you relate carnivorous animal to their wild nature, you won’t find that in weasels and ferrets. However, ferrets are less wild, making it pretty easy to train to live even in a confined place. That’s probably why a lot of people take ferrets as another choice of pet.

Another upside of ferrets is that they can get along better with other pets in the house. Be it dogs or cats, ferrets can befriend them relatively better than weasels. Being a cuddle baby? Ferrets are in for the game as well. Once you’ve got their trust, you will be able to play tricks with them. Even you’ll be able to trim their nails—hence making them incapable to do that scratch-scratch game on your furniture.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t bite or scratch. When they feel threatened, biting and scratching becomes their ultimate weapon to attack back. To avoid this, consider getting baby ferrets and let them to socialize with people in your house as they grow up.

As earlier said another weasel vs ferret subheading, it never be easier to train ferrets than weasels. They learn and adapt to new condition better, and that’s why they tend to be friendlier with family members. You may even have them dance, listen to your short command, and play the tricks for some treats—just like dogs!

Have you made your mind which one from weasel vs ferret that you will pick as your pet? Overall, ferrets tend to win the required aspects to be a good house pet. Besides they are relatively tamer compared to weasels, their trainability makes ferrets become a cute, cuddly, and playful to have.

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