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#1
Old 12-31-2004, 02:43 AM
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Ferret vs. Cat-Who would win?

This probably doesn't belong in General questions so-

If a housecat and a ferret were put in the same room together, with no exits, who would win? Why?

Anyone who has seen this gets extra points?
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#2
Old 12-31-2004, 03:03 AM
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My daughter hosts this card at her place. I've seen them go at it. The cat ends up chasing the ferret away. The ferret does have a bit of growing to do. But I think the cat will always have the advantage though with that disemboweling move. And the ferret has no biting power either.
#3
Old 12-31-2004, 03:14 AM
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People actually do this?

I'm going to go with the housecat especially if it's the agressive type.
#4
Old 12-31-2004, 03:22 AM
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START, their just house pets! I was speaking metaphorically. But if push came to shove, yeah a cat would take it.
#5
Old 12-31-2004, 03:24 AM
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And go to bed already!
#6
Old 12-31-2004, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimpatro
And go to bed already!
Your right...I just can't help it I am going to be so messed up next week.
2 weeks with nothing urgent to do like school really messes up your sleep schedule anyway back to the topic at hand. I forgot people keep ferrets as pets, I knew that just never met anybody with a ferret. I've met a few people with pigs before.
#7
Old 12-31-2004, 07:35 AM
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The ferret won, the only time it happened in my house. We tried introducing my youngish, timid cat to my boyfriend's mature ferret, and ended up prying the ferret's jaws off my poor kitty's eyeball. They were shut in separate rooms for the rest of the visit, and never met again.

M.
#8
Old 12-31-2004, 07:45 AM
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Depends on the ferret and cat in question. Ferrets tend to play harder than cats because they have tougher skin than cats/humans/dogs, and rough-house with other ferrets, so they need some decent training in what's acceptable vs. what's painful. Cats have sharper claws and a larger bodymass, plus they're more likely to lash out at a "strange" animal than a ferret is, typically - though if the other animal is a rodent in either case, it's a tossup what a cat or ferret will do.

I've seen a ferret latch onto the ear of a fully-clawed but timid cat, leaving the cat whining pitifully to be released. I've also seen ferrets scare typically pissy-tempered cats into running in terror, just by deciding to "play chase" with the cats, while the cats fled, apparently yelling "What is that thing?!" the whole time. Then again, my inlaws have a cat who's taken (literally!) chunks of flesh out of people who dared interpret nuzzling and purring as "please pet me more." I wouldn't trust that cat near my mother, much less my ferrets.
#9
Old 12-31-2004, 09:14 AM
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I had cats and ferrets for about 5 years. My ferrets were the alpha animals in the house. Yes, kitties are taller but that just means that the ferrets can attack from below. And ferrets have no compunction against grabbing kitty by the ear and trying to drag kitty under the bedroom door. Remember, ferrets are predators and they are lightning-quick.

Cats don't like a determined attacker. Ferrets will keep going back to play-fight until the cat escapes to the top of the fridge.

Slight hijack: Ferrets will also kill the hell out of any baby opossums that get into your house.
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#10
Old 12-31-2004, 09:20 AM
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Isn't this pretty much the subject of Get Fuzzy for the past two weeks?
#11
Old 12-31-2004, 09:35 AM
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The stuff in spoilers is icky and graphic descriptions of the killing tactic of each animal. Don't read unless you mean it.

When I got a ferret, the vet warned me to be very, very careful when introducing her to my cat. The vet's opinion was that the ferret was much more likely to damage the cat than vice-versa. If they're playing, then the cat has the jumping out of the way advantage, but if they're seriously fighting, a ferret's killing style is
SPOILER:
to grab on under the throat and simply hold on, while the animal (cat, rat, opposum, chicken, whatever) struggles and rips his own jugular out and bleeds to death.

Ferrets have that strong jaw referred to as "locking" (although of course nothing really locks, it's just strong). A cat out to kill, on the other hand, will try to
SPOILER:
use her hind claws to rip open the belly of the other animal, letting it trip on its own intestines and bleed out, or to step on the spine and snap it in two.

Because ferrets are quick and low to the ground, and extremely flexible, it's hard for the cat to do either of these moves. So in play, the cat wins, often by running away and jumping on something high. In an earnest attempt to kill, my money's on the ferret.
#12
Old 12-31-2004, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShibbOleth
Isn't this pretty much the subject of Get Fuzzy for the past two weeks?
Oh yeah, forgot about that. In that case, the ferret will win because of having a superior intellect - hell having an intellect at all. He won't fall for the "decoy Smacky" routine except by pretending to as part of a ruse.
#13
Old 12-31-2004, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot
The stuff in spoilers is icky and graphic descriptions of the killing tactic of each animal. Don't read unless you mean it.

When I got a ferret, the vet warned me to be very, very careful when introducing her to my cat. The vet's opinion was that the ferret was much more likely to damage the cat than vice-versa. If they're playing, then the cat has the jumping out of the way advantage, but if they're seriously fighting, a ferret's killing style is
SPOILER:
to grab on under the throat and simply hold on, while the animal (cat, rat, opposum, chicken, whatever) struggles and rips his own jugular out and bleeds to death.

Ferrets have that strong jaw referred to as "locking" (although of course nothing really locks, it's just strong). A cat out to kill, on the other hand, will try to
SPOILER:
use her hind claws to rip open the belly of the other animal, letting it trip on its own intestines and bleed out, or to step on the spine and snap it in two.

Because ferrets are quick and low to the ground, and extremely flexible, it's hard for the cat to do either of these moves. So in play, the cat wins, often by running away and jumping on something high. In an earnest attempt to kill, my money's on the ferret.

Huh. When Zoe killed field mice, she would just use her jaws to chomp them. Of course mice are too small for the hind leg tactic you mention. Still I think if a cat got the drop on a ferret, it would stand a good chance.
#14
Old 12-31-2004, 12:56 PM
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A feral cat is a completely differant prospect to a house cat.

Feral cats hide tends to be like leather, one I have in my house which I now own took the vet several attempts to get the vaccination needle into his hide, tough as old boots he is.

I'd imagine he'd be very well capable of looking after himself against a ferret.
#15
Old 12-31-2004, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShibbOleth
Isn't this pretty much the subject of Get Fuzzy for the past two weeks?
Pretty much. But since Bucky apparently loses fights to dust bunnies, it's not a particulary good reference.
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#16
Old 12-31-2004, 02:08 PM
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And what is it with cats and possums? I've only ever seen cats just keep their distance looking kinda confused. Anybody ever seen a cat go after one?

Ferret Herder, can ferrets "pull their punches?" I mentioned my daughter's ferret's weak bite. When I play with him does he know it's just play?
#17
Old 12-31-2004, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimpatro
And what is it with cats and possums? I've only ever seen cats just keep their distance looking kinda confused. Anybody ever seen a cat go after one?
Not me. A couple weeks back I let my cat in out of the cold on my way out the door, and noticed a Possum sneaking off into the underbrush. I suspect it scared my cat, because she ran in when I opened the door. I chastised the cat and asked her why she, the big mean pysho-kitty, would run away from something she could probably kill. As usualy, all I get was a "Meow".
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#18
Old 12-31-2004, 03:04 PM
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Maybe they think it's the grandaddy of all those mice they ate come to get 'em!
#19
Old 12-31-2004, 03:50 PM
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As a sidenote to ferret v. cat my flatmate's family lived in a rural area and had a semi-feral cat (effectively a farmcat), which was known to hunt and kill weasels, when there weren't enough rabbits available. The cat weighed 12lbs to 14lbs.

Apparently they had a surprise finding his larder hidden behind a cooker in one of the sheds (weasel, weasel, rabbit, rabbit, stoat, rabbit...) all neatly lined up.

Considering the size disparity between female and male ferrets, I don't think the cat would have had any problems with a female.
#20
Old 12-31-2004, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HPL
Pretty much. But since Bucky apparently loses fights to dust bunnies, it's not a particulary good reference.
I warned you! But did you listen to me? Oh, no, you knew it all, didn't you? Oh, it's just a harmless little bunny, isn't it?
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#21
Old 12-31-2004, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Slight hijack: Ferrets will also kill the hell out of any baby opossums that get into your house.
Same thing goes for baby kittens. My sister's cat had kittens (she also owned a ferret) and the ferret got out of its cage found the kittens and killed the whole lot of 'em

Sure ferret can kill most housecats but can they handle a tiger?
#22
Old 12-31-2004, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimpatro
And what is it with cats and possums? I've only ever seen cats just keep their distance looking kinda confused. Anybody ever seen a cat go after one?
Cats would be wise to avoid possums. My aunt's neighbor had a little yap dog, and a possum killed it. We had a stray cat with three kittens hide in our garage that same summer. One kitten when home with my aunt, and a few days later, before we could capture the other two, possums had killed one and injured the other. The mother cat apparently assumed both were dead, since she abandoned the injured one, which we were able to capture and get antibiotics into so she didn't die of the infected neck wound the possum left her with.

As for ferrets and cats... when one of our siamese cats and one of our ferrets were babies, they played together frequently. Of course the kitten was soon much larger than the ferret. The reason we stopped letting them play together much was because of the ferret, though. The kitten had huge ears (all his life, we thought he'd "grow into them" but he didn't) which proved to be far too tempting for the ferret: she'd climb his back to chew his ears. Once he got to be twice her size, he was also a lot stronger, and really didn't enjoy his ears being attacked, so we brought their playing to an end before he hurt her since he was beginning to lash back.
#23
Old 12-10-2012, 01:43 PM
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Cat wins

I watched a Tom cat attack and kill a ferret in literally 10 seconds. There's your answer, if a cat is actually trying to kill the ferret and wants to eat it then the ferret has no chance. Playing is a different story.
#24
Old 12-10-2012, 02:06 PM
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I was sort of hoping My Lord would have an opinion on this. At least he'd provide a ton of cites.
#25
Old 12-10-2012, 04:48 PM
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My male cat could easily take down the ferrets, our female cat seemed to back off when the ferrets became aggressive. I could not let the Tom cat in the house while the ferrets were out I am sure he would kill them.
#26
Old 12-10-2012, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casdave View Post
A feral cat is a completely differant prospect to a house cat.

Feral cats hide tends to be like leather, one I have in my house which I now own took the vet several attempts to get the vaccination needle into his hide, tough as old boots he is.

I'd imagine he'd be very well capable of looking after himself against a ferret.
And a polecat is a whole different critter than somebody's pet ferret. In any case, I used to be the co-owner of a small army of ferrets. I saw the whole cat v. ferret battle played out a bunch of times, especially after my wife (of the time) started vet school and lived above a veterinary clinic with several other students and their assortment of pets and rescues. I never once saw a ferret retire from the field. Every single time it was the cat that fled in disarray. Further, although the cats seemed to find it a uniformly terrorizing experience, if not in fact a source of lasting psychological trauma, the ferrets all regarded it as jolly good fun indeed.
A treasured memory: a particularly pissy-tempered Persian cat that I absolutely loathed yowling in terror and running laps around the combined kitchen/dining room with a ferret clamped to its tail. The floor was covered with linoleum and the ferret was skidding along behind the cat like it was water skiing. I thought it was taking the turns a little too wide, but it was having too much fun for me to be really critical.
#27
Old 12-10-2012, 05:00 PM
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Without a doubt, a ferret would win. Have you ever seen those things in action? They are vicious jackals from hell!
#28
Old 12-10-2012, 05:17 PM
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One more vote for the cat, mainly because I love cats and absolutely despise ferrets. Of course if it was a zombie ferret re-animated by someone who signed up just to weigh in on this (almost exactly 8 year old) debate, I'd probably take the ferret.

Welcome to the board Ironcross!
#29
Old 12-10-2012, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Cats would be wise to avoid possums. My aunt's neighbor had a little yap dog, and a possum killed it.
I always figured being very concerned with cleanliness, cats avoid possums because they are grossed out by the snot bubble routine they do when they play dead.

My friends lab seemed utterly confused, for a minute. Now labs have two responses to anything gross. They either eat it or roll in it. His dog decided to do both. For a minute we thought he was going to lick the poor possums face off, then he nearly crushed it rolling against it. Poor abused possum.
#30
Old 12-20-2015, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimpatro View Post
My daughter hosts this card at her place. I've seen them go at it. The cat ends up chasing the ferret away. The ferret does have a bit of growing to do. But I think the cat will always have the advantage though with that disemboweling move. And the ferret has no biting power either.
I realize this is an older post but ignorance doesnt justify stupidity...the bite power of a ferret is roughly 4 times stronger than a house cat, 40lbs for house cat and 160lbs for a ferret. I have 4 ferrets and 2 cats and every time my 15lbs cat tries to mess with my 2.5lbs ferret, he finds himself on the losing end! Mind you this cat kills birds, rabbits, and chases off other cats reguardless of size. So with that if you were to ever see a feral cat and a wild ferret meet up in the wild, that cat better turn around and not mess with that ferret!
#31
Old 12-20-2015, 03:18 PM
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My vet is of the opinion that in most cases, the ferret has the advantage. Most ferrets I've known are far more tenacious than any cat I've known.
#32
Old 12-20-2015, 03:46 PM
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I once saw a cat strolling through our yard come face to face with a groundhog living under our deck. They were roughly the same size. After going eyeball to eyeball for about three seconds,
the cat fled.

I thought this was smart, since although groundhogs aren't carnivores, they have strong teeth and powerful claws.
#33
Old 12-21-2015, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by pool View Post
Sure ferret can kill most housecats but can they handle a tiger?
Tigers I'm not sure about, but they can definitely handle lions.
#34
Old 12-23-2015, 12:55 PM
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Hmm depends on a lot of things. In the proposed scenario, if we have a large (25lb, unaltered) cat that is experienced in hunting and killing vs a large (4lb) ferret, with no escape? I'd bet on the cat every time.

Sure if the cat can run, the cat will run. It doesn't see any reason to fight this ferret, and as noted above, the ferret usually enjoys it. In this case, it can't run, so it will usually fight. A cat when panicking or fighting generates a lot more force than it does when playing, and one can kill an animal larger than itself in a fight.

Remember, most of the cats you know are fixed. They're hormonally a shadow of themselves when it comes to being violent.
#35
Old 12-23-2015, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by scabpicker View Post
Remember, most of the cats you know are fixed. They're hormonally a shadow of themselves when it comes to being violent.
Yeah, but so are most ferrets.
#36
Old 12-23-2015, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
Yeah, but so are most ferrets.
It's easier to find an intact cat than an intact ferret.
#37
Old 12-24-2015, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
Yeah, but so are most ferrets.
Fair enough. I wasn't aware of that.

However, as a real-world example of how this fight might play out, here's a video of a bobcat hunting a mink. The bobcat is about the size of a large house cat, and fights like one. The mink appears to be roughly the size of a ferret, and largely fights like weasels do.

The bobcat does decide that this attempt at dinner is too unpleasant to actually finish, but there's no point in time where he looks to be in danger of being dinner himself. The reality is, cats the size of bobcats see animals the size of ferrets as prey. It may be a difficult meal, but it's not actually a threat.

Last edited by scabpicker; 12-24-2015 at 10:33 AM.
#38
Old 01-08-2016, 08:18 AM
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Ferret v cat

The evidence I've seen on question seems mixed. One video in which a decent sized cat and ferret were mock fighting showed the latter caning the cat - it seemed twice as fast and could have killed the cat many times over. That said, the cat seemed disgruntled and irritated while the ferret was full of the joy of battle. However, I saw another video (from what appeared to be a Chinese reality show, believe it or not) where a cat was battling a large ferret or weasel-like creature that showed said creature dead a few frames later (I think it was a mink). Likewise Google searches of ferret v cat reveal photos of cats posed before dead ferrets as though they have killed them.

I imagine the answer is that it depends on the size and temperament of the combatants. Certainly I think the ferret would have more of a chance than the size disparity would suggest, yet if both creatures were of max size, strength, speed and valour I would bet on the cat. I think there is some validity to the theory that many cats are cowardly and non aggressive and therefore do not show well in mock fights, whereas ferrets are usually game.

There is definitely a wide variation in cat prowess. Many posts here are saying that their cats are scared of possums, yet my unfixed male tomcat used to kill them regularly (usually youngish ones, but even the older ones shut up when he was on the scene). That said, he is something of an Arnie among cats; handsome as he is, his forelimbs are thick to the point of absurdity. Incidentally, he doesn't disembowel or snap spines either - his victims' bodies are invariably untouched ... except for the fact that they've lost their heads.

Last edited by Nyetek; 01-08-2016 at 08:19 AM.
#39
Old 01-08-2016, 03:21 PM
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My cat and ferret were pals. They played together.

The cat has a minor advantage in being able to jump to a higher location.
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