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Can Cats Kill Weasels? Dangers, Facts & FAQ

The debate over whether a cat or a Weasel would win in a fight has been around for years, especially when having a pet Weasel in your home with a cat or even other small animals.

As to whether a cat can kill a Weasel, it depends on the weight and size of the cat and whether they are fighting to the death. Although the odds favor the cat, Weasels are known for being aggressive animals that hunt and eat smaller animals constantly, including small cats.

So, there’s no clear answer as to who would win. Can a cat and a Weasel live in the same house? There’s no clear-cut answer here, either. However, we’ll answer your questions the best we can below.

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What Does a Weasel Look Like?

Weasels and Ferrets are cousins and look a bit alike. A Weasel is part of the Mustela family, as is the Ferret. They usually range from 4 to 12 inches long and have colors such as brown, gray, or black and white with tan markings that turn all white during winter.

weasel (mustela nivalis) on a tree log
Image Credit: Stephan Morris, Shutterstock

Weasels Are a Danger to Small Pets

Weasels are used to hunting smaller animals for food, so they are a danger to small pets, including cats in your household. Pets that your Weasel may go after to kill and eat are cats, gerbils, rabbits, and even small dogs. It’s truly not a good idea to have a Weasel living in the same house with other small pets, so if you’re going to give a Weasel a forever home, you might need to make a choice between the two.

Another animal related to the Weasel, the Pacific Fisher, is not suitable to keep as a pet, and in the United States, they’re illegal to own. The fur trade nearly decimated them in the 19th century, but the population has rebounded, and they have been spotted in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. If you live in one of those states and own a cat, keep it indoors. Fishers are skilled hunters that kill chickens, rodents, and small cats.

Pet Weasels Could be Illegal Where You Live

Some Weasel species are on the list of endangered, threatened, or species of concern. They were placed there by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, which means it could be illegal for you to own a Weasel in the first place.

In fact, Weasels and ferrets are illegal to own as pets in California and Hawaii. Certain counties and cities in other states have various rules about keeping Weasels, and some have banned them. You’ll need to check with your local animal enforcement agencies in your state and county to ensure owning a Weasel isn’t illegal in your area before you decide to get one as a pet.

black and white cat leaning on a tree hunting its prey
Image Credit: Kapa65, Pixabay

Weasels as Pets May Not be the Best Idea

In all reality, keeping a Weasel as a pet isn’t the best idea. Pet parents with other small pets shouldn’t own a Weasel because it is highly possible that the Weasel will attack and try to kill the other pets. Also, you’ll need to check with local authorities, as owning Weasels as pets is illegal in many areas.

If you must have a pet in the Mustela family, you might want to adopt a ferret instead. We’ll tell you the differences between a Ferret and a Weasel in the section below.

What Are the Differences Between a Ferret and Weasel?

There are a few fundamental differences between a Ferret and a Weasel. It’s easy to find a ferret breeder, and they may be a better choice for you and your family, especially if you have other small pets such as cats, rabbits, or even small dogs.

Here are the differences of note between the two.
  • Ferrets have longer tails and shorter bodies than Weasels
  • Weasels are wild, while Ferrets are more domesticated
  • Ferrets have black and brown coats that are mixed with white
  • Weasels are awake and play during the day, while Ferrets are nocturnal creatures

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When it comes right down to it, having a pet Weasel just isn’t a good idea for many reasons. For one, they are wild and are not fond of living in captivity. They also tend to hunt smaller animals, and that includes domestic cats. While a cat might be able to kill a Weasel, a Weasel has sharper claws that can cause serious harm to felines. The last thing you want is to bring an animal into your home that might kill your pets or be killed by them.

A Ferret is a much better option for keeping as a pet. Lastly, it is illegal to own a Weasel as a pet in many areas, so if you do decide that the Weasel is the only pet for you, you have to ensure it’s allowed in the state, city, and county where you live.

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Featured Image Credit: feathercollector, Shutterstock