Ferrets has been the most common exotic agile pets around. More and more people in the US and all over the world are drawn to the cuteness and fun these little bundles of joy bring. They like to eat food, even cat food, a lot. Giving them the best ferret food will help them stay healthy, active all day and live longer.
The nice thing about them is they can co-exist with dogs and cats at home with proper training. An industry of ferret feed manufacturers are making sure ferrets are properly fed using a mix of nutritious ingredients in every kibble.
- Nutrition for Ferrets
- Top 10 Best Ferret Food
- Marshall Premium Ferret Food
- Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Digestive Supplement
- ZuPreem Premium Ferret Food
- Marshall Pet Products Select Chicken Formula Premium Ferret Diet
- Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Dry Ferret Food
- Marshall Premium Ferret Diet
- Wysong Ferret Archetype
- Kaytee Premium Ferret Food With Chicken
- Kaytee FortiDiet Pro Health Small Animal Food
- Kaytee Fiesta Ferret Food
- Top 5 Best Cat Food for Ferrets
Nutrition for Ferrets
What Do Ferrets Eat?
Ferrets are carnivores. This means their feed or kibble must have a very high meat content to keep them healthy. They should be kept in an exclusively raw meat or meat-based kibble diet. Ferrets have big appetites. In the wild, ferrets are predators. They hunt for small preys like mice or birds. Ferrets entirely consume their catch from meat and bone to fur or feather. They are always hungry.
They have very short intestines that digest food very quickly. Ferrets feed every three to four hours. It is useful to keep a bowl with a day’s worth of kibble within their reach so they always have easy access to food when they get hungry.
Before studies on ferrets were done, they were given food like fruits or grain which sped up the mortality rate of these creatures. Later on, it was discovered that they should be kept in a strict meat diet to keep them healthy.
What Do Baby Ferrets Eat?
From birth to six weeks, the baby ferret’s diet exclusively comes from feeding off the Jill, it’s mom. During this time, the Jill has to be fed with high caloric food and plenty of water to ensure that her milk production isn’t disrupted.
After 6 weeks, solid food can be introduced to the kit. They can eat adult food however it is recommended that different kinds of food are introduced before they turn six-months old. Ferrets imprint on food. They only eat what is familiar to them. Introducing different varieties of food will help the ferret become less choosy. Whether raw meat or pet food, they will eat it as adults as long as you introduced it while they were young. This will save the pet owner from worrying about its meals.
Food Ferrets Can & Can’t Eat
Some pet owners keep a den of live mice or chicks as feed. They do this to replicate the ferrets natural diet in the wild. They believe that live prey contain the exact nutrition ferret is meant to have. This is a bit risky as the ferret might become infected with some of the prey’s diseases or pest.
Other pet lovers give them chunks of uncooked beef or chicken which these creatures seem to enjoy.
The pet food industry recognized the growing number of ferrets taken as household pets. Many companies began selling different kibbles based on the ferret’s nutritional requirement. There are numerous popular brands available online.
When ferret kibble isn’t available offline or online, cat food is another option.
Cat are carnivores too and store-bought food for them are always meat-based.
Feeding ferrets, fruits, vegetables or grains. can shorten their life. This causes stomach cancer and other stomach disease which leads to death. Their digestive system does not have cecum so they are unable to digest plant matter.
Wet, Soft or Mushy Food
Ferrets need to exercise their bite to keep their teeth strong and clean. Giving them a soft, wet or mushy diet is not good. Avoid doing it as much as possible or not at all would be better.
Avoid giving fish to your ferret. It is not in his natural diet. It affects his sweat glands making his fur smell muskier and poop smellier than normal.
Top 10 Best Ferret Food
Marshall Premium Ferret Food
Pet lovers attest to its complete nutrition with high levels of meat protein, the complete healthy food ferrets at all life stages love to eat. You can start your pet on it from weaning to maturity. It promotes a shiny coat, longevity & overall good health.
Ferrets are carnivores so Marshall Premium Ferret Diet offers 38% meat protein mixed with 18% fat to give supply your ferret’s demanding metabolic requirement. It’s a staple with a great taste your ferret can’t resist. Fresh meat protein from chicken organs is combined with low temperature processing to ensure freshness. There’s no added artificial fat added to ensure consistent nutritional value. It mixes well with water for ferrets on a softer diet.
It is fortified with vitamins A, B12, D3 and E; lysine for growt; taurine for mental alertness and other minerals that help support your ferret’s optimum health. It does contain cod fish which might strengthen your ferret’s musky smell.
Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Digestive Supplement
Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Digestive Support Ferret Diet contains 60% protein and 16% fat! The kibble comes from a trusted brand that has been around for almost 40 years. They made the first extruded starch free, high meat-low carbohydrate, and genetically appropriate ferret food in the market. It includes healthful micronutrient support like probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, phytonutrients, nutraceuticals, natural form antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that ensures your ferret’s healthy digestive system.
Chicken and chicken meal are the primary ingredients fit for all life stages. It should be introduced gradually, to avoid any digestive disturbances and discomfort. Wysong Ferret Archetypal-2 is a unique formulation should be gradually incorporated to its present diet for over a period of 15 days in gradually increasing proportions until your pet gets used to its taste. If difficulties arise, return to a smaller amounts and try again. Maintain your pet’s ideal body weight and avoid overfeeding. Over consumption leads to digestive upset due to digestion difficulties.
ZuPreem Premium Ferret Food
ZuPreem Premium Ferret Diet is an extruded healthy diet containing real chicken and egg protein for unsurpassed nutrition. It also has a delicious flavor your ferret will lone eating. It was developed by a veterinarian who aimed to provide high quality and great tasting food to his patients that has a great nutritional value.
Its main ingredients are chicken meat, chicken fat, chicken meal and eggs. It is fortified with Vitamins A, D3, E, B12 and folic acid as well as taurine for brain health and calcium for strong bones. This ferret kibble is meant to be your ferret’s staple diet. It is recommended to limit the amount of treats to no more than 20% of your ferret’s daily meal. Uneaten old food should be discarded and replenished with new ones for safety. This will protect your pet’s digestive health. Fresh, clean water should also be accessible to your pet at all times.
Marshall Pet Products Select Chicken Formula Premium Ferret Diet
Marshall Pet Products Select Chicken Formula Premium Ferret Diet is one of the top 5 recommended foods for ferrets in search engines like Google. It contains 3lbs of chicken in each 4lb-bag. Despite the strong aroma this food emits, ferret keepers report improved health after administering this diet. This improved Marshall kibble is an excellent source of nutrition for ferrets of all ages, and is rich in Omega 3’s and amino acids that promotes soft and shiny fur growth.
It is made primarily from chicken and chicken organs only. It has no fish content so it reduces the odor from your pet’s sweat glands compared to Marshall’s other variety. It’s also contains enhanced with crude protein, fat, fiber and water, not just binders and extenders to help your ferret’s digestion. Majority of buyer’s suggest serving it like soup as ferrets love the soft consistency and helps prevents digestive problems.
Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Dry Ferret Food
Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Dryis a unique, nutritionally packed ferret food from America’s most trusted pet food manufacturer since 1979. This kibble almost replicates a ferret’s natural diet as it is made of the highest 90% meat ingredients, 62% protein and 18% Fat. It is the richest in natural value, protein & nutrient concentration compared to other brands in the market.
It contains a hefty amount of Omega-3’S, and other essential fatty acids to help prevent ferret cancer; enriched with important nutritious, food elements like probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, phytonutrients, nutraceuticals, natural antioxidants, calcium, folic acid, vitamins A, C, B12, D3 and E as well as other vital minerals making it a popular choice for reasons of weight gain, optimum health and disease prevention.
This may serve as your ferret’s standalone meal because of its high nutrition but for best results, occasionally offer variety like raw food and ferret treats. Provide lots of water too to aid digestion.
Marshall Premium Ferret Diet
This big pack of Marshall Premium Ferret Diet comes out more economical than purchasing the smaller variety. This ferret food contains the perfect mixture of fresh meat-based proteins and fats to truly meet the exact nutritional requirement needed by your ferret. It is also packed with Vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D3 for health. It’s easier to moisten with just a little hot water compared to Wysong when serving as a soup-based meal.
It is the perfect food for all stages of your ferret’s life from early weeks of life to maturity. It contains lysine that promotes the growth of baby ferrets; taurine for mental alertness and calcium for strong bones to support a ferret’s playfully active habits. The protein-rich ingredients in this ferret food, like chicken and herring meal helps your ferret build and retain strong muscles while protecting its internal organs on the inside and improving both the skin and coat on the outside.
Wysong Ferret Archetype
Ferret Archetype is the first unheated above 118° Fahrenheit raw food but freeze-dried non-thermally. Pet owners have three varieties of formula to choose from. It comes in chicken, rabbit and quail flavors. This type of healthy ferret food replicates the natural carnivorous raw food that your pets were born to. It does not contain non-nutritional additives used by competitors to artificially alter your pet’s color and texture or stool consistency. There are also no added preservatives to extend shelf-life. It has been designed help ferrets get optimal nutrition that is beyond minimal regulatory standards.
Archetype is purely meat-based and starch-free so it will not harm your pet. It will protect your ferret from carbohydrate glut or digestive diseases that threaten modern domesticated ferret breeds. It mainly contains meats, plant nutrients, nutraceuticals, prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. Healthy fats that are naturally protected against free radical or oxidation degradation make the formula provide pets with extra supply of energy for activity and play.
Kaytee Premium Ferret Food With Chicken
Ferrets just can’t resist the flavor of Kaytee Premium Ferret Food with Chicken. This also comes in turkey flavor. When mixed with other kibble brands, ferrets would pick out Kaytee and eat it first. They are considered staples that ferrets love. The delicious kibble is gluten-free and made with 42% chicken and 20% natural fat. It is also loaded with the essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that supply the daily nutritional needs of ferrets. These kibbles are naturally preserved and combine the healthy nutrients recommended by vets in terms of shapes and textures. These prevent injuring them when feeding.
Though this brand is considered the favorite tasty meal among ferrets it lacks digestion aids like probiotics and contains plant-based products like peas flour and beet pulp which is not part of the ferret’s natural diet as well as fish meal usually made from fat fish like herrings is also an unnatural food for ferrets that can cause your pets to produce strong musky odor.
Kaytee FortiDiet Pro Health Small Animal Food
This version of Kaytee ferret food is fortified with prebiotics and probiotics to boost ferret health. It is rich in natural antioxidants for general health and immune support as well. This delicious treat is the answer to easy ferret feeding as they love the flavor. The specially-formulated healthy kibble comes in various sizes and shapes with large crunchy pieces that support your pet’s dental health by encouraging a more natural chewing activity in every meal.
With over 150 years of nutritional experience, Kaytee understands the palate discerning palate of household pets and the concern of pet lovers. Sharing life with a small pet is not only enjoyable and enriching but also tedious and strenuous at times. Kaytee ensures providing your small pets with the easy-to-give best nutrition for a long and healthy life. Every feeding routine will be a fun-filled activity for all. However, it does contain plant-based food and fish that have the effects earlier mentioned that have some side effects, you would have to watch out for.
Kaytee Fiesta Ferret Food
This Fiesta Ferret food is a nutritionally fortified gourmet diet. The chicken-flavored kibble comes in a variety of different size and shapes in every meal. This makes nutrition fun for small animals. Remember to adjust the right portions of feed to maintain your pet’s ideal weight. Avoid over feeding your pet as it may also cause stomach upset. To support digestive support, Kaytee contains prebiotics and probiotics formulated to match your small animal species. Naturally preserved for ideal freshness, owners are assured of food safety in every pack.
It is important to note that Kaytee feeds are manufactured in a peanut and tree nuts factory so for those allergic to nuts, handle the product with care and direct contact to your pet’s mouth to avoid allergens.
Despite being fortified with valuable vitamins, minerals, probiotics and other micronutrients, it’s a consistency fruits, vegetables, seeds and grains blends that pose a health risk like cancer and bladder stones both owner and pet must be willing to take.
Top 5 Best Cat Food for Ferrets
Hill’s Science Diet Senior Indoor Cat Food, Adult 7+
Some ferret owners prefer to give meaty cat food to avoid additives in commercial ferret food. Like cats Hill’s Science Diet Senior Indoor Cat Food, Adult 7 is great for mature ferrets who are less active. It provides great tasting natural nutrition for your pet’s long, happy life. Every moment you spend together is special and this formula strives to give just that longer. With natural ingredients and the right nutrients, the kibble is precisely prepared to offer your seven-year old ferret and cat the nutrition they need for lifelong health and happiness.
It is US -made with highest quality natural ingredients from North America, Europe and New Zealand. These ingredients must meet strict requirements for purity and nutrient content, which exceed industry standards. This prevents you pet from shedding and hairballs. Though it also includes plant and fish products along with the meat and other nutrients which are health risk to your ferrets.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food, Adult 1-6
Some ferret owners who had no negative history with ferret eating cat food give Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Cat Food provides precisely balanced nutrition tailored for cats with an indoor lifestyle. It is also best given to ferrets with a less active lifestyle. It is healthily and gently aids digestion for easy litter box clean-up. Clinically proven antioxidant benefits with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
It is blended with with vitamins C + E to help support a healthy immune system and high quality lean protein helps maintain a healthy your pet’s ideal weight. It has pork met and chicken liver flavor. It’s however loaded with grains and plant based products like Green Peas, Apples, Cranberries, Carrots and Broccoli which can be detrimental it keeping ferrets in their best state.
According to experts, it is best to give raw or dead prey meals to ferrets and let them have commercial kibbles occasionally as treats.
Hill’s Science Diet Urinary Hairball Control Adult Chicken Cat Food
Like cats, ferrets are prone to hairballs. As there is no ferret hairball control kibble, Hill’s Science Diet Urinary Hairball Control Adult Chicken Cat Food, can be a possible solution as some ferret owners suggest. This formula supports the health of the whole urinary system with optimal level of magnesium and natural fiber that empathically reduces hairballs. This product is clinically proven in providing antioxidant benefits with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives for healthy meals.
It is fortified with vitamins C + E to help support a healthy immune system and recommended for adult pets from one to 6 years old. Avoid excessive feeding and keep fresh water available at all times! Remember, your pet’s nutritional needs may change as they age. It is made with pork fat,fish and chicken liver with plant-based products that can have adverse effects on your ferret’s general long-term health.
Instinct Original Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Cat Food
Instinct is the best cat food suitable for ferrets by far. It is made in the USA from cage-fee chicken so it is packed with high animal-protein. This recipe is grain-free recipe with no added potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives. This is the only cat kibble with pure raw nutrition fit for ferret.
It also has guaranteed adequate levels of live natural probiotics, omegas factors and antioxidants for digestive health, healthy skin and coat and immune health. It is 81% real animal and nutritious oils mixed with with 19% vegetables, fruits and other ingredients. The meat content is its good attribute that compliment ferret diet but the plant based content should be placed under serious consideration.
Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Recipe Natural Cat Food
Ferrets and cats share common sensitivities. They both are carnivores. Being so, their diet should be 100% meat which isn’t always possible. To cope, knowing exactly what’s in their food is important. That’s why Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Recipe with Real Turkey lists purposefully formulated this kibble with one animal protein and one vegetable additive, versus the loaded mixes in most other cat foods. With purity and simplicity of raw in mind, this recipe with real turkey is simple but provides the essential nutrition your ferret or cat needs to thrive.
Made with cage-free turkey which is a healthy and easily digestible protein containing all the essential amino acids your pet requires. It doesn’t contain – grain, dairy, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, sweet potato, potato, chickpeas, corn, wheat, soy and artificial colors or preservatives for that flavorful turkey taste your pet will surely enjoy. This is also the next best thing to raw and ferret kibble.
Ferrets, though mistaken as rodents, are really unrelated to them. They are the cousin of polecats and weasels. Though small, they eat a lot more than canines or felines because of their physiology. Their long bodies contain a short intestine.
Pet owners should ensure not to give these creatures any plant-based food as it could be dangerous or fatal to their pet. Ferrets don’t have the digestive ability to process it. Alternatively, in case ferret food isn’t available, they can eat cat food as long as it is dry and meat is the main component of the meal.
They can also get along well with other pets as long as they are well-trained so don’t be afraid to let you pets co-mingle.