ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What To Feed Your Ferret

Updated on November 14, 2007
Utensils are optional when it's dinnertime for ferrets.
Utensils are optional when it's dinnertime for ferrets.

After baby ferrets (kits) are weaned, you have to provide all the food Mom ferret used to. However, it's never been easier to provide proper nutrition for your furry little friends. In the last ten years, the demand for healthy, commercially available balanced ferret food has produced (arguably) just that. In the Sept/Oct 2007 issue of Ferrets, vets were asked what they thought was the best medical breakthrough in ferret care. "Advancement in nutrition" came in at number 7.

Don't Take Ferrets' Words For It

Ferrets are not too finicky about their food, which can lead them into a lot of gastro-intestinal embarrassments. They also can get fat. Although the thought of a fat ferret can make you giggle, a fat ferret, unfortunatley, goes through all of the dangers that a fater dog, cat or person goes through. Too much weight makes the body work harder and can lead to premature death.

You also shouldn't rely on giving ferrets canned or dry cat food or dog food, as was popular about twenty years ago. Food for cats is formulated for the strictly high protein, long sleep day nature of a cat. Dog food ...well, is dog food, and does not have enough protein. Also, it tends to contain corn, which a ferret cannot digest at all. Dog food also does not contain taurine, which a ferret needs for a thriving cardiovasculr system.

Raw meat is not a good idea for feeding pet ferrets, even though wild ferrets eat this. Raw meat can contain parasites that will infect your pet.

But commercially manufactured ferret food is considered balanced enough and specialized enough for the unique nutritional needs of a ferret. The ferret chow comes in kibble and cans, looking very similar to cat food. Check that chicken, turkey or lamb is the number one ingredient.

Breaking Down The Numbers

You need to stay somewhat inside the ballpark in percentages of nutrients for the proper feeding of ferrets. Everyday, your pet ferret needs:

  • 33% protein (at least)
  • 20% high fat (preferably from protein sources like gravy)

Vitamin supplements are not necessary unless your ferret is ill or your vet advises to put your pet on them. There are vitamin supplements made just for ferrets.

Good Stuff

Good things to feed your ferret are commercvially available ferret kibble, canned food, treats, boiled eggs, high quailty kitten food, a small amount of mashed or cooked vegetables or fruits (no raisins or grapes) as treats only. Human baby food makes a nice treat -- Gerber Second Stages Chicken especially recommended by ferret care websites. Ferret vitamin supplements could also be used as a treat.

Bad Stuff

Please don't feed your ferret sweets, chocolate, candy, cakes, dog rawhide, salty human junk food snacks (some ferrets have died of salt poisioning), nuts or seasoned table scraps. Although ferrets like dairy treats, milk products will give them digestive problems -- unless it is lactose free milk.

And absolutely no alcohol and no caffeine. Your ferret will be a handful as it is without being either drunk or hyperactive. Seriously, alcohol or caffeine can do very severe dmamge to a ferret's cardiovascular system and lead to a premature death.

Looking at the "Bad Stuff" list, it makes you wonder why we eat most of the stuff on the list!

Nothing like home cookin'! Film by Dahl1a


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)