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Are ferrets rodents?

 People who see ferrets, the first thing that comes to their mind is oh how cute animal, looks like a hamster. When you see something that small and adorable you assume that this little fuzzy is a rodent. How could something like that be carnivore or predator? Well, it is. 🙂 They are half the size of a normal cat and almost the same size as the guinea pig so you can see why people often ask: “Are ferrets rondents?” Every ferret owner, including me, isn’t happy when someone says that their little fuzzball is a rodent because my little fuzzball can eat a rodent for lunch and I really mean that. 🙂

Actually, I am not even sure why is everyone confused with the question is ferret a rodent, because when you look at them they really aren’t anything like them!


One excellent difference between those two animals is right on their face.  Just look at ferret’s teeth and rodent’s teeth and you will see are ferret rodents, or not.

Rodents are famous by their big two front teeth which are growing their entire life, so they need to chew to shorten them.  They are using it for eating, protection, chewing, almost everything. They mostly eat seeds and plants like hamsters (herbivorous diet) although there are omnivorous as well, like rats.

When you see ferret’s teeth and rodent’s teeth, there isn’t one thing that is similar. Ferrets have canines, like cats and dogs (alongside other predators) When you look at cat’s and ferret’s teeth, the resemblance is uncanny.

ferret teeth

Hamsters aren’t famous for their interaction with owners, but cats and dogs are (especially when they are little) When you are playing with your ferret and it starts to chase you around the room, that is the predator in your ferret playing.  If you try to play that with your hamster, it will probably run away and hide (herbivorous side is running away).

Ferret does look adorable and it really is adorable but that doesn’t make any ferret a rodent. Ferret will eat rodents and that is the only link between this two animals. 😀  Ferrets belong to weasel family (mustelid) which are feisty predators. The best diet for ferrets is raw meat diet which consists of rodents and birds. So, are ferrets rodents? NO.

The extremely interesting fact is that ferrets were domesticated to be rodent terminators. People used them to hunt rabbits and other rodents because they were pests. Ferrets have high killer instinct especially for rodents, so if you have a pet rodent (rat, mouse, hamster, guinea pig) don’t put your ferret in the same room with them, it can end really badly.

I’ve bought my Frida one harness that was too big for her and I didn’t know what to do with it. I remembered I have a friend with a rabbit.  Frida wore the harness once, so I gave it to that friend with a rabbit. The interesting thing, she washed harness (remember, Frida wore it only once) but when she tried to put that harness on her rabbit, rabbit went crazy and started to bite harness and ran away. I guess Frida’s smell was still on it and the rabbit wasn’t happy at all.

So, are ferrets rodents? No, even rodents don’t want to be near them. 😀

Honestly, ferret owners are allergic when people are calling their fuzzbutts rodents. I don’t see it as an insult or anything negative, the problem is because people don’t know what are they.

When you see some uncommon dog breed, you don’t ask the owner is that a cat? The same thing is with ferrets. They may be uncommon, but please don’t call them rodents because you don’t know what are they. Just ask, what kind of animal is that? (For example) My Frida was called everything, from mouse, hamster, rat, (?!) cat, dog, lion, beaver to weasel and otter.  I was really entertained at the beginning, but when every other person asks you about your rodent, it can become exhausting.

What about you, ferret parents? Do you like when someone calls your ferret a rodent?


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Comments (2)

  1. Raquel March 17, 2017 at 11:26 am Reply

    My name is Raquel and I live in Spain. I found your web site by chance but I liked it. I have been living with ferrets for the last 20 years and I perfectly understand you passion. Now, I have two albino ferrets, miniel and drago and they are the best for me!

    1. Anja
      Anja April 1, 2017 at 6:46 am Reply

      Hi Raquel, thank you for your kind words! Aren’t they the most amazing animals? Give your ferrets kisses from me and my ferrets! 🙂

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