What Do Ferrets Eat?


What Do Ferrets Eat?

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Despite being some of the first domesticated animals, ferrets are not as well known in homes as cats and dogs. These little, hairy weasels have an average height of 13 cm and a length of 51 cm.

They have a lifespan of 7 to 10 years and are quite smart.

Over 2500 years have passed since ferrets were domesticated. But these adorable, cuddly creatures may be just as dangerous as a typical dog. Although they are still frequently used as rabbit hunters in some nations, ferrets are generally maintained as cherished pets.

These animals adapt well to living in homes. They bring their owners a lot of happiness, and their inquisitive temperament frequently makes for excellent laughs.

A ferret needs to be treated with the utmost care. Ferrets who are neglected have a tendency to become hostile as well as sick. Choosing the proper foods for your ferret is the first step in providing excellent ferret care.

What Do Ferrets Eat?

What Do Ferrets Eat?

The fact that ferrets imprint on meals is among the most crucial things to bear in mind when feeding them.

Around six months of age is the imprinting period for ferrets, after which they won’t test or eat new foods. Because of this picky feeding style, some pet owners even find it difficult to transition between food brands.

In order to prevent picky eating or food imprinting, it’s critical to introduce your ferret to a variety of foods from a young age. And if you’re going to give your ferret a particular food type, make sure to pick a brand that you can get your hands on and afford for the next seven to ten years.

A ferret’s diet should contain between 32 and 38% protein and between 15 and 20% fat.

Here is a brief list of the most popular items that ferrets enjoy eating:

Live small animals

Hunters by nature, ferrets. They will stalk and hunt tiny animals like cats do. They enjoy catching mice, rats, chicks, tiny chickens, pigeons, rabbits, and game birds. These organic food sources are beneficial for keeping ferrets active and healthy, and they can give your cherished pet plenty of diversions to prevent disturbances in your home.

Raw meats

It is acceptable to give your ferret a dead animal to grow up on rather than anything alive.

They like to consume many kinds of meat.

The best meats to feed your ferret are chicken wings, chicken carcasses that have been stripped of their feathers, turkey necks, rabbit, birds, pigeons, minced beef, lamb, offal, lamb heart, raw animal bones, chicken, and other kinds of meat.

Cat food

All the essential minerals and protein your ferret needs to keep healthy are present in high-quality cat chow.

Many ferret owners simply give their pets kitten kibble, but some choose to give their pets a variety of things, such as cat food and raw meat. After becoming accustomed to eating cat food, ferrets may develop a strong brand preference.

Because cats can stop eating if you simply choose to switch between cat food brands, it is preferable to select a brand that is simple to find. The best menu would include a variety of meals. This prevents ferrets from developing a brand preference for cat food.

Baby food

Ferrets can eat high-protein infant foods as well. When you are taking care of a baby ferret, these foods are extremely useful. Here, it’s important to concentrate on giving your baby foods that are high in protein or meat.


A great source of protein is eggs. Many pet owners decide to give weekly snacks of an egg to ferrets that only eat cat chow. They adore this treat, and eggs are a simple go-to option for your cherished pet.

Dried ferret food

Ferret food is stocked in several pet shops. These foods might be more economical than serving meat and are typically high in protein.

Again, it is crucial to spend money on ferret food that you will be able to purchase for a long time.

Once they have imprinted, ferrets that have been raised on a particular brand or kind of ferret food will find it difficult to change.


For proper hydration, ferrets need a lot of fresh water. Additionally, they enjoy splashing and digging in shallow water while playing in a bowl of water. These animals can become dehydrated if you just provide freezing cold water since they dislike the cold. These species do best in water that is at room temperature.

Diet Variations

Some pet owners might suggest giving their ferret some fruits and vegetables to eat. If they are hungry or curious, they might also decide to snack on these things. For these animals, it is preferable to stay away from all fruits and vegetables.

Consuming too many carbohydrates might raise blood sugar levels and result in insulinoma.

Additionally, they have a very difficult time digesting these meals, and frequent ingestion can lead to intestinal bacteria.

The vegetable proteins in meals are also bad for the health of your ferret. Your ferret should ideally only eat dry cat and ferret foods or meat.

How to Feed Ferrets

How to Feed Ferrets

Some ferret owners may only provide dry cat food or high-protein ferret foods, while others will choose to exclude these foods and add extra treats like eggs or meat in the morning or at night.

Additionally, you can occasionally give your ferret snacks like a tiny mouse, rat, or dove to keep them happy.

Offering a range of food types from a young age is ideal. By providing a range of foods, you may prevent breeding picky eaters and make future feeding much simpler for your ferret.

How Much Do Ferrets Eat?

Due to their incredibly quick metabolisms, ferrets can eat anywhere between six and ten times daily. It can be challenging to provide your ferret with enough food 10 times per day. Ferrets should ideally consume 5–7% of their body weight in food each day.

Your ferret may decide to eat more food on certain days than others. Their appetite can be impacted by a number of factors, including growth, age, pregnancy, lactation, and high-activity days.

The ideal feeding method for ferrets is feeding. The only time you should limit a ferret’s food consumption is if it gets too fat.

However, many pet owners make up for the weight increase by providing an alternate snack that takes longer to consume, like stripped chicken carcasses.

What do Baby Ferrets eat?

Kits are the name for young ferrets. The amount and type of food a kit consumes depends on its age. Until they are 4 weeks old, ferrets remain dependent on their mothers for care, and weaning is not advised until they are at least 8 weeks old. The kit will eat all the nourishment that they require during this period from its mothers.

You can start giving your kitten cat food, ferret food, or small pieces of minced meat in addition to its mother’s milk when it is four weeks old. At eight weeks of age, the kit can completely wean itself from its mother after gradually increasing its food intake.

Ferrets that have been abandoned can be very difficult to care for since they require so many feedings throughout the day and night. The majority of abandoned ferrets are fed a diet of three parts puppy milk substitute and one part whipping cream.

They require feeding at least four times every day. At three weeks old, you can start feeding your cat or ferret food. Over the coming weeks, the orphan will eat more food, but it is advised to continue giving it milk until it is 6 to 8 weeks old.

What Do Ferrets Eat In The Wild?

Wild ferrets eat whatever they may find in their surroundings. They prefer hunting tiny creatures including mice, rats, squirrels, birds, rabbits, and chicks because they are skilled hunters.

Ferrets will also scale large heights in order to get to nests where they can devour bird eggs. Additionally, they are content to devour the carcasses of whatever meat supply they may locate.

What Is The Best Food To Feed My Ferret?

Offering a wide choice of high protein diets to your ferret is the greatest way to ensure its happiness and health.

Ferrets can consume any kind of meat you give them, as well as dry cat food and ferret food. They enjoy catching and eating small animals as well.

In a perfect world, you would provide all three of these food options. Offering live animals may keep your ferret entertained and content, and raw meats are as close to their native diet as you can get. Given that they enjoy eating up to 10 times a day, dry cat or ferret food is another good food option to have available to your ferret all day.

Can Ferrets Eat Fruit?

Fruit is something ferrets occasionally eat, but they shouldn’t. These foods are not at all healthy for your ferret and can eventually lead to several intestinal issues. You should refrain from providing any type of fruit or vegetable. Being carnivorous, they must eat items high in protein to survive.

Ferrets are not the most straightforward pets to care for, but doing so may be incredibly gratifying.

To keep your ferret healthy and active, it’s crucial to provide them nutritious, high-protein diets. Offering alternative foods has a high danger of expensive medical expenditures and is simply not worth it.

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Does a ferret bite hurt?

It should be noted that because ferret skin is harder and thicker than human skin, when ferrets nip at each other during play, there is no actual pain involved. However, it can be painful if they nip at a human.

Will a ferret bite you?

A ferret may bite out of pain or in an effort to attract attention. It is typical for a ferret to nip your foot or ankle to say “Hey!” when you are occupied and it wants to play.

Do ferrets bite humans?

Ferrets can bite painfully for a variety of reasons, and they frequently do. The most frequent and painful bite is brought on by fear. Some terrified ferrets attempt to flee or scream, but others bite. Proper socialization when you first bring your pet home is essential for stopping this habit.

Do ferrets bite their owners?

A ferret may bite out of pain or in an effort to attract attention. It is typical for a ferret to nip your foot or ankle to say “Hey!” when you are occupied and it wants to play.

Are ferrets harmful?

Even if the wound does not appear to be deep or serious, germs can spread from ferret bites and scratches. If a ferret is unvaccinated and has come into contact with a rabid animal, the bite may get severely infected or transfer rabies. Ferret bites are particularly dangerous for young children.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author