Ferret vs Pine Marten

Ferret vs Pine Marten

Ferrets and pine martens are both part of the same mustelid family, yet differ in a few different ways. While they have similar diets, body sizes, and behaviors, there are also a few key distinctive features.

Physical Distinctions

The biggest thing that separates ferrets from pine martens is their physical size; ferrets are much smaller at around 20 inches in length, whereas pine martens can grow up to 25 inches.

Another difference is that ferrets are domesticated animals, whereas pine martens are wild animals. This also leads to some differences in behavior and diet.

Behavioral Differences

Generally, pine martens are much more wild and skittish than ferrets when interacting with humans, reacting much more strongly to being startled. They are also much more independent, with a tendency to wander away from their previous location in search of a new den.

Ferrets on the other hand, tend to be quite social, playful and curious creatures. They build strong relationships with their owners and are very loyal. They also require more attention and care than pine martens.

Dietary Differences

Although both ferrets and pine martens consume a variety of small mammals, birds, eggs, fish and reptiles, pine martens are more likely to hunt insects and small mammals such as voles, mice and rabbits.

Ferrets, on the other hand, tend to rely on a diet of high-protein, high-fat commercial kibble, supplemented with treats like cooked meats, eggs and vegetables.


Overall, ferrets and pine martens do share some similarities, but differ in physical size, behavior and diet. Understanding these distinctions will help you to make an informed decision on even if either of these creatures could be a suitable companion for you.