Are Ferrets Rodents?

No, ferrets are not rodents. They’re members of the order Carnivora known as mustelids, along with the weasel family, badgers, skunks, otters, minks, and polecats. Rodents are even part of their diet!

The word “ferret” actually means “little thief,” and they earned it. Ferrets love to play hide-and-seek and are very good at it. They can squeeze into any tiny opening bigger than their head (about the size of a quarter). This makes them great for hunting in barns or catching rabbits and other rodents.


Unlike their relatives, who are primarily nocturnal animals, which hide on trees, burrows, or in the water (like otters do), Ferrets are domesticated and usually don’t survive on their own in the wild.

What's a rodent?

Rodents are various gnawing mammals of the order Rodentia, including rats, mice, voles, gophers, and squirrels. The distinguishing characteristic is their front teeth that never stop growing. This allows them to keep eating wood or plants even when one of their teeth gets broken.
You can quickly tell the difference between a rodent and a mustelid by looking at their tails: mice, rats, squirrels, and other rodents have hairless tails; ferrets have long ones covered in fur.

Ferrets are not wild animals.

Ferrets are not wild animals but domesticated.
They probably were domesticated more than 2500 years ago from their relatives, the European polecats, to hunt rats and rabbits. Still, they have become more popular as household pets over time. Today, ferrets are kept as pets in many places across the world.

Getting A Pet Ferret

If you’re considering getting pet ferrets, please do your research on them. They can be excellent pets for the right person, but they have a justified reputation for being very naughty escape artists. I’ve been a ferret owner for 20 years, so take a minute a read my next article. Are ferrets good pets?

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