The fire ferret has long, soft, reddish-brown fur on most of its body and dark red-brown fur on its short legs. It has a light face with tear markings and robust cranial-dental features.
The light face has white badges similar to those of the red panda, but it is possible that each individual can have distinctive markings. Its roundish head has medium-sized upright ears and a black nose and its long bushy tail has alternating red transverse black rings, though the end of the tail is solid black.
The fire ferret is a docile and friendly creature. Once tamed, it can easily be kept as a pet and is obedient and loyal to its owner, as exhibited by Pabu. The fire ferret can also be trained to do certain stunts, as demonstrated by Pabu's circus acts.
The fire ferret is a derivation of a red panda in size, fur patterns, and coloration in the face, body, and most distinctly the tail. It has most of the features of the red panda combined with the elongated body of a black-footed ferret.
Its name uses the Chinese name for red pandas (火狐), which translates literally to "fire fox" in English.