A polecat is a weasel-like animal that is closely related to the North American skunk.  Polecats make their home in most parts of Europe and Asia.

The common polecat may grow to be almost two feet long.  Its dark fur is long and loose.

The polecat lives in a burrow and hunts for its food at night.  It eats rats, snakes, rabbits, and any other small animal it can catch—especially poultry.

In fact, the “pole” in the polecat’s name probably comes from the French word “poule,” meaning “a hen” because of its fondness for chickens and other poultry.


The polecat is usually bloodthirsty and will often kill much more than it can eat in one meal.

Like the skunk, it is equipped with special scent glands under the tail which emit a foul-smelling fluid when the polecat is alarmed.

In the United States, the skunk is sometimes wrongly called a polecat.  – Dick Rogers