What Human Food Can Ferrets Eat?

Ferret pet owner’s most common mistake is to feed your pet with cat and dog foods, but these are not really suitable. Those include complex, high-fiber carbohydrates. Ferrets are unable to absorb food, which means they have poor nutritional value. A high-carbohydrate diet can also cause fatal diseases.

Even after the pet industry has been improved and developed tremendously, there are only a few companies offering appropriate diet packet food for ferrets. Because of this Ferret pet owner should consider completing his diet with home-made food.


What is the Ferret’s Diet?

Because they are carnivores, ferrets need to be fed large amounts of protein and fat while very small amounts of fibers, carbs or sugar are needed. Understanding that animals in captivity need a diet that’s close to what they’d eat in the wild is always important. In the case of ferrets, the diet consists mostly of nutrients that can be obtained from animals that are freshly killed.

Ferret Food

Ferrets are hunters and strict carnivores usually require easily digestible protein food. They are often unable to survive on vegetarian diets and should not be given most dog foods or cat foods, as these products contain too much vegetable matter, and too much carbohydrate in the diet can cause health problems in ferrets.

According to a PetMD post, long lithe, intelligent and active, ferrets are predatory carnivores and need a diet containing at least 34% protein and 22% fat.

Ferrets have a short intestinal tract and inefficiently absorb nutrients, which is one of the reasons why their diet needs to be high in protein and fat dependent on food. Their bodies easily digest these, providing plenty of energy. Ferrets also need a little amount of food and often because of their short intestinal tract and high metabolic rate.

What do Ferrets Eat in the Wild?

Wild ferrets are nocturnal creatures and spend their nights hunting for prey. Being obligate carnivores, ferrets eat only meat. They eat whole prey animals that can be found in the wild, such as rats, possum, hedgehogs, small birds, and rabbits. They also eat eggs of fish and birds. Each part of the animal including its bones is consumed by ferrites. Bones help the jaws to exercise and clean the teeth.

Ferret in wild

Baby ferret feeds on their mother’s milk. The baby ferrets or kits are the sizes of a human finger at the time of their birth, but they gain weight and grow fast.  A jill(mother ferret) gives birth to 5-6 kit at a time and has 5 to 9 nipples and if the number of kits is more, then she feeds each in shifts.

The kits get their first teeth in 3 to 4 weeks and then eat solid food and start learning to hunt with the parent.

Here are some examples of what Ferrets eat in the wild. Mostly rodents include rats, prairie dogs, and mice that are easy targets for them. They eat fish and amphibians like frogs. In many documentaries voles, snakes and many other invertebrates were often used to feed. They also chase birds and strike their nests and eat eggs.

The Ferrets are fun and lovely pets at home. In the wild, this adorable creature is a small carnivore that keeps rodents, snakes and other creatures in check.

Do Baby Ferrets Need Different Food?

A mixture of fresh meat, goat’s or low lactose milk and water can be used to feed your baby ferret. Four times a day, it is recommended to feed baby ferret.

The first meal of the day should be rich in protein and should have sufficient water to hydrate that little baby. One should not forget to provide extra freshwater apart from food. After a fresh start, during lunch and even dinner, you can provide the baby ferret with small chunks of meat. Yet try to supply Goat’s milk or low lactose milk between the meal.

Ferrets like to bond as kits with their food, and it’s harder to change their eating habits once they’re older. You must encourage them when they are young to try lots of different foods to prevent problems later in life.

It’s also a good idea to occasionally give them soft foods, the same as baby foods (high in meat protein) or dried foods that are occasionally soaked in water. That’s so they don’t reject softer foods when they’re sick and can’t eat normally.

How Often Should you Feed an Adult Ferret?

Ferrets have a high metabolic rate, so they will eat about 8 to 10 small meals a day. And being carnivores, like cats and dogs, they need a high source of protein food.

According to the VCA Animal Hospital, the digestive process in ferrets is quite quick. This usually takes just three to four hours from the moment a ferret eats its food. In addition, as a ferret age, pancreatic tumors also increases that can cause excessive amounts of insulin to be produced due to you need to increase the no. of intervals between every meal.

Both excessive motility and inadequate insulin can contribute to the development of low blood sugar ferrets when there is no continuous digestion of food. Leaving plenty of food out for your ferret will, therefore, encourage them to “graze” on it all day long. When you observe the weight of your ferret, you may need to restrict how much food they consume. This can be accomplished in the course of the day by supplying them with several small meals.

If you use the whole prey approach to feed your ferret, they don’t always have to have food before them. They will spend a lot of time feeding and digesting their food. Make sure to provide them with plenty of freshwater irrespective of the diet of your ferret.

Human Food for Ferrets

The pure muscle meat diet is inadequate. Raw diets for ferrets, consisting of the correct proportions of nutrients, are available commercially. Perishable foods should be removed before they begin to spoil, so give your ferret an hour or so to eat before taking out any leftovers.

It’s good to change the food from a day to another, especially for older ferrets that become fussy over their food. This is also a good way to prevent your pets from becoming overly reliant on any particular type of food. Keep meals interesting for your ferret.

If you can’t put pieces of bone in the pet’s food, make sure the mix has some chicken feet, necks or wings; something that has more bone in it. Offering them whole animals that have died recently is something that ferrets appreciate too. The ferrets like playing with their food and they will enjoy food that’s a bit more difficult to tear apart.

Ferrets can eat the following raw meat:

  • Chicken wings and stripped carcasses, Turkey necks, Rabbit, Game birds, Pigeons, Minced beef, Lamb, Offal, Lamb’s heart, Chicken, Lamb

Food That Ferrets Can’t Eat

There is a lot of food in which you avoid feeding your ferret as it can be dangerous for them and could lead to fatal results.

Their intestine is basically a drinking straw’s diameter. So if something gets stuck, it will require exploratory surgery that can be very expensive and can be deadly if not treated in a timely manner! Of course … the chance isn’t worth it.here is a list of food ferret cant eats.

Alcoholic beverages, Apple seeds, Apricot pits, Avocados, Cherry pits, Candy (particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol), Coffee (grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans), Garlic, Grapes, Gum (can cause blockages and sugar-free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol), Mushroom plants, Mustard seeds, Onions and onion powder, Peach pits, Potato leaves and stems (green parts), Raisins, Rhubarb leaves, Salt, Tea (because it contains caffeine), Tomato leaves and stems (green parts), Walnuts, Xylitol, Yeast dough


Keep in mind ferrets are obligate carnivores so if you want to feed them human food, select meat, a boiled egg or chicken, chicken organ meats as a small treat, is fine. Do note that vegetables or anything plant-based isn’t a good idea.

They are also unable to digest plant material, things like carrots or peas can be lodged in their digestive tract. Make sure you provide them with carnivorous food and don’t forget to add some bone as it keeps their oral hygiene and is important for their teeth.

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