The marbled polecat is named for its varied coat pattern of yellow, brown, red, black, and white. The marbled polecat's face has a distinctive mask appearance of black and white, and its back has a saddle-shape of colors. It also has a dense, bushy tail and short legs and long claws, which enable it to chase after rodents and to burrow. Like most mustelids, marbled polecats can emit a strong odor, used for marking their territory and warning off threats. They are small animals, not reaching more than forty-five centimeters in length and weighing only one to three pounds.
The marbled polecat eats a variety of foods, consisting of beetles, snails, rodents, small birds, lizards, eggs, small rabbits, fish, and sometimes fruit. Its population will vary depending on the availability of these food supplies.