Information about: Polecat

Index | Polecat

Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.

Polecat. A name common to several species of the weasel family, but properly applied to the European marten, Putorius faetidus. This animal is about seventeen inches long, and the tail six inches. The color is dark brown. It is a nocturnal animal, sleeping during the day and searching for its prey at night. It is especially destructive to poultry, rabbits, and game, as pheasants, so that in Britain it is being rapidly exterminated by gamekeepers, farmers, and others. Frogs, toads, newts, and fish are often stored as food by this voracious animal. It has glands secreting a fetid liquor, somewhat like that of the American skunk, which it ejects when irritated or alarmed. The name of "Foumart" is also applied to the polecat; its fur, which is imported in large quantities from northern Europe, is known as that of the "Fitch." Its hairs form a superior kind of artists' brushes. In America the skunk is sometimes called a polecat.