What should ferrets eat

Graz Ferret Association


How do you know what to feed?

Of course, if you want to get ferrets, you also want to know what to feed them. Unfortunately you get the first wrong information here. You can get the right information from ferret helpers and in special forums. In many pet shops and pet shops you always hear the same thing: cat food. But CAT food is for cats and should therefore not be used as ferret food. Dog food is not at all suitable due to its low or no taurine content.

It is important, however, to pay close attention to the diet of ferrets, because only a well-nourished ferret is healthy.

What's good for my ferret?

In the individual sub-categories we present you the best types of food. But the most important thing is: fresh, raw meat. Ferrets are predators and carnivores. They need proteins and in their pure form. Canned food often contains sugar, caramel, many vegetable by-products (which ultimately means sugar) and animal waste (blood, urine, horns, beaks, claws ...). If you want to do something good for your ferret, feed fresh meat.

Ferret food is not just ferret food!

Unfortunately, there are many dry foods on offer that are not at all intended for ferrets. Unfortunately, many types of dry food are very bad and you often cannot get good food, especially in pet shops. Do not believe everything that the seller and the product tell you. Ferret aids often offer bulk orders from large feed manufacturers. This makes the feed cheaper and you can be sure that only the best feed is ordered here.

How and when do I feed correctly?

Ferrets eat several small portions throughout the day, so they always need access to food and fresh water. When ferrets do not have food available, their blood sugar levels drop rapidly, which can also be life-threatening.

Fresh meat should also be on the feed plan every day. There are many different types of meat and offal that you can offer your ferrets. Since ferrets get used to one type of meat very quickly, they should feed something different every day.

We already know that ferrets always need fresh dry food. You can get fresh meat either in the morning and in the evening or only once a day, that always depends on your own time management.

How much do I have to feed?

Dry food must always be in excess so that everyone has enough. How much a ferret actually eats depends on the ferret. Small females eat less than large males. Some eat more dry food and less meat, others no dry food at all and a lot of meat. You have to feel your way around the quantities and try out who eats how much. With two ferrets you can expect between 10-20 pieces of meat, depending on whether they are good or bad carnivores. If there is a lot of meat left over or stashed in a day, just take a little less. If everything has been fed up and when half the dry food bowl is empty, it can be a little more. The exact amounts automatically settle for each ferret holder.

What to do if my ferret is not eating properly

Refusal to feed can have many causes. Often there is an illness behind it, gastrointestinal complaints or something else. But it can also be the teeth, because inflammation of the gums or tartar can cause pain and the ferret loses its appetite. If you have taken over ferrets, it may also be because they are not used to the food. You can find tips on changing food here -> Changing food.

If the behavior persists, you should definitely consult a veterinarian.

What happens in autumn / spring?

Ferrets begin to eat winter fat in autumn and therefore need more food. You should respond to this behavior and also feed more meat. Ferrets often gain a great deal of weight at this point. Males even over 1/2 kilo and females up to 300 grams. Ferrets also get their winter fur and thus look even bigger and thicker.

In spring, when it gets warmer again, the winter fat is no longer needed and less is eaten again. In addition, they lose their winter fur and get a chic, thin “summer dress”.

Is my ferret too fat?

Ferrets that are fed healthy and properly, i.e. with plenty of fresh meat, feed animals and high-quality dry food, cannot become obese. Even if your own ferrets seem a lot thicker and heavier than other ferrets, that doesn't mean they're fat. Even females can weigh over 1 kilo if they are tall.

Fresh meat

Wet food

dried animal food

Additives and treats

Feed changeover