Ferret Relations: The European Polecat


It’s September and this month we’re going to explore the close relations of our furry ferret friends. In particular, their relations in the wild.  

We’ve already covered the fact that there is no such thing as a wild ferret. There are, in fact, only feral ferrets. For that reason, we will be looking at ferrets’ closest cousins and where they came from.  

We’ll look at European Polecats, Step Polecats, Black-Footed Ferrets and European Mink.  

European Polecats

Our domesticated ferrets come from European Polecats. Polecats generally have a shorter, more dense body than some of the other mustelids like stoats and weasels. They also have quite dark guard hairs. Their undercoats are generally a white colour and they have a wide head.  

While Polecats are more powerful, they are also slightly less agile. To compensate, they have really strong teeth. When they catch and eat prey, they pierce the prey’s skull with their canine teeth, paralysing the prey, which they drag into their lair, hole or burrow. They then leave it there – a kind of refrigeration – until they’re ready to eat it.  

Polecats are capable of emitting a really foul-smelling scent to mark their territory. Ferrets can do something similar – we call it skunking – and it happens when they’re excited or scared. It’s not as bad as a skunk skunking, but we call it skunking because it’s still not pleasant.  

They cover the area from North Africa all the way up through the western part of Eurasia. They are on the endangered table of animals but are listed as least concern, meaning there must be quite a few of them in the wild.  

European Polecats will eat pretty much anything – birds, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish.   Next week we’ll talk about the Step Polecat.  

Check out the video to find out more.

More to explore

Blue Ferret Boarding: Ferret content

At Blue Ferret Boarding we’ve worked really hard to create content that helps you to live with, love and cherish your fertle friends. So I wanted to talk about in this last week of the year was how have you found this year for you and our Blue Ferret content?

Blue Ferret Boarding: Harnesses

We’re talking all about the ferrety items we have listed in our shop at the moment – in case you need any more ideas for fertle Christmas presents!

Blue Ferret Boarding: Ferret Products

Last week I talked a little bit about Blue Ferret Boarding as a business and showed you a little bit about WD oil that we sell. This week I just wanted to talk a little bit about more about some of the things that we sell in our shop. Have a look – it’s a one-stop-shop for everything you need for your ferret and we’re adding new things all the time.

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