Ferret Polecat Hybrid: Should You Get One For Your Family?


What is a ferret polecat hybrid?

Do you know the difference between polecat and ferret?

Today I will talk about polecat ferret hybrids, what makes them ferrets and what makes them polecats. But, before we start with the difference between polecat and ferret, let us see what a polecat actually is, besides a ferret-like animal from the Mustelid family.

What Is a Polecat?

A polecat, also known as a European polecat, is a mustelid native to North Africa and Western Europe. Its Latin name is Mustela putorius and it is actually a ferret’s ancestor. European polecat comes with brown or dark brown fur with a mask on its face and slightly lighter fur on the belly. Polecats are not as big and agile as their mink cousins, but they are stronger thanks to their super strong bite.

ferret ancestor european polecatPhoto Source: Earlham Institute

The fact that polecats and ferrets share the same genes, there is a possibility to create a hybrid between a polecat and ferret. The interesting thing is that the hybrids and polecats are so much alike they have almost identical DNA.

Why Are There Polecat Ferret Hybrids?

One of the biggest reasons why a human would breed a polecat and a ferret is probably human curiosity. But, besides that, there are a few others. For example, that is a good way to get a better and more versatile genetic material.¬†Also, I assume, people thought they will get a hybrid that will be better at rabbiting than a ferret. But, that didn’t end up so great due to the fact that those hybrids are harder to train and handle in general. Also, hybrids aren’t too friendly towards dogs and they don’t flush out rabbits, most of the time they kill them in the tunnel.

polecat ferret

Difference Between Polecat And Ferret

There are many similarities and differences when it comes to a hybrid and a ferret and today we will share the biggest differences in their physical appearance and their behavior. After that, you will see if a hybrid is an option for you and your family, or you are more of a ferret person.

Physical Appearance

Polecats are mostly brown to dark brown, while ferrets come in different colors. Their color can vary from white to dark brown. The lighter color, the easier it is to separate two of them. Polecats have a mask on their face, but that mask is not that strong as it is in ferrets. Also, most polecats come with a slightly stronger body and jaw and larger head, although that is not a rule. That makes most polecat-ferret hybrids more agile and more energetic.


Ferrets are domesticated animals and they are used to humans. Polecats, on the other hand, aren’t. They are wild animals and the only way to see a polecat is if you encounter it in the wild or see it at the Zoo or some sanctuary. That is why their hybrids (especially early generations) are afraid of humans and can be aggressive toward us. They are also more independent so you can’t expect that type of hybrid to come for a daily snuggle. The more ferret is in the animal, the more dependent the animal will be on you.

ferret polecat hybrid

Physical Capabilities

Due to the fact that polecats are wild, you have to be aware that they are stronger, smarter, more energetic, and more fierce than our ferrets. Don’t get me wrong, ferrets are also intelligent, but they don’t need constant stimulation like a polecat needs. That is why their hybrids are much more energetic than ferrets. They will jump higher, be faster and they don’t do well in small enclosures. “Tiring out” will get a completely different meaning with a ferret-polecat hybrid in your home. A hybrid will break through obstacles with much more power than a ferret and most of the time, he will succeed.


As you can assume by now, ferret polecat hybrids aren’t that easy to handle and to train. If the animal is more polecat than a ferret, it will be harder to train and handle. If the animal is more ferret than a polecat, it will be easier to handle, but not as easy as you would handle a ferret. That is why it is not recommended for beginner ferret owners to get a hybrid. A hybrid is more likely to bite and ignore its owner. So, if you think ferrets are a piece of cake, then consider owning a hybrid. If you don’t, then I would suggest sticking to ferrets.

difference between polecat and ferret

Other People Experiences

People with ferret polecat hybrids said that they had no idea how capable those animals are. Most of the ferret proofing they did in their home was useless so they had to do it all over again. Also, the jumping abilities of a hybrid are a few times better than that of a ferret. So, if you had a ferret that loved to jump, then you can imagine what a hybrid can do. You simply have to multiply that ability with 5 and you are there.


A ferret polecat hybrid will make sure there is not a single dull moment in your life so make sure you can keep up with one before you get one. They are like ferrets on steroids, but if you train them well and teach them manners, they can provide you with love and care. Have you ever seen a polecat ferret hybrid? Are you aware of the difference between polecat and ferret? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and subscribe to our newsletter for more ferret-related posts and news from Friendly Ferret!

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Anja Delic
Anja is a Friendly Ferret owner and a ferret parent who is involved in the ferret world for more than 10 years. She started her Friendly Ferret blog when she got her first ferret Frida 8 years ago. In 2013, Friendly Ferret was recognized as a great source of information and it has become a good ferret brand for education, products, and fun. Since then, Anja was a part in many ferrets shows as a sponsor and as a judge, and she met many great and interesting people who share the same passion as her - ferrets. Anja is always opened for suggestions and advice, so if you have something to ask or say about ferrets, feel free to contact her on Instagram, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter or support@friendlyferret.com