Are Ferrets Rodents? [Find the Truth]

Ferrets are cute animals that look like rats but aren’t! Well, mostly, they are domesticated and don’t live in the wild. But you can find them in the wild too! There are different types of ferrets and not all of them look like rats! 

The fact that people confuse them with rats or mice can make you question “is a ferret a rodent?” The easy and short answer is- no, a ferret isn’t a rodent. It belongs to a completely different family named Weasel. 

We will shortly describe why people confuse these two groups and what the differences between a ferret and a rodent are. Check it out!

Are Ferret Rodents

Is a Ferret a Rodent? 

Ferrets are not rodents- instead; they belong to the Weasel family. Yes, we understand the confusion you are having because of their looks- but no, they aren’t rodents. 

Ferrets have almost a similar appearance to any other rodents and so, it’s quite common to mix them up. 

Ferrets are from the genus Mustela and the scientific name of the family of Mustelidae. Unlike the prey rodents, the mustelids like ferrets are predators. 

They have small but lengthy bodies. This species has short legs and their spines are long. Their range is distributed in North America, North Africa, and Western Europe. 

And they are mostly domesticated now. However, there are also ferrets living in the wild like the forests, farmlands, semi-desserts, mountains, etc. 

Why are Ferrets not Rodents?  

Yes, they look quite similar to the rodents but there are differences. Their appearance includes fur all over their small long body, and people confuse them with rats. 

However, if we think about the scientific differences, we’ll know there are dissimilarities. Here, we will mention some differences between rodents and ferrets. 

Rodents vs. Ferret 

1. Lack of Ever-Growing Incisors

The very first reason why ferrets are not considered rodents is their incisors. Rodents have—growing incisors. Their incisors keep growing every day. 

But the ferrets are different; they don’t have ever-growing incisors like the rodents. Compared to rodents, ferrets have sharp carnivorous teeth. 

2. Body Shape 

Rodents are small just like the ferrets however, there’s a difference in their body shape. Unlike rodents, ferrets have long and slender bodies. 

On the other hand, rodents usually have a round-shaped fluffy bodies. If you look carefully, you’ll know that both of them look different too! 

Ferrets have longer necks and tails too. Also, their short legs can be a major feature of their family. This helps them to go for fierce hunting. 

3. Diet 

Another difference that makes these two categories different is their food habit. Most of the rodents are herbivores. 

On the contrary, ferrets are carnivorous and feed on meat. While rodents love veggies and fruits, ferrets are obligate carnivores and can only survive if they get protein from meat. 

4. Prey-Predator Relationship 

Rodents are prey to most of the larger animals while ferrets are not prey. Yes, both of these animals look small but ferrets are on the stronger side. They are the predators. 

And the interesting part is they prey on rodents. Though they look similar, if they get a small rodent, they will try to kill and eat it eventually. In short, rodents and ferrets have a prey-predator relationship. 

Wrap Up 

You can see, they have a prey-predator relationship, and no matter if they look the same, they have completely different body shapes and diets. 

The reason why people confuse ferrets with rodents is that they are kept in the same section in pet stores. So before you grab one as your pet, make sure you do your research!

About Dale E. Bitting

He is the founder of Rodents Info, where he provides comprehensive methods, tips, tricks, and techniques to keep harmful rodents at bay from homes and landscapes. As a rodents expert, he shares valuable information and resources to help safeguard properties against unwelcome critters. Dale is also passionate about nurturing and caring for harmless pet rodents. He offers pet parenting guides, tips, and advice to ensure these furry companions live happy and healthy lives. Join him as he explores the fascinating world of rodents and celebrates the joy they bring to our lives. Learn more..

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