FAQ - Food and Treats
Ferrets are carnivors, meaning they should eat only meat and animal products.
Most owners feed their ferrets a combination of fresh meat, packaged pet food and other animal products like egg and milk based on each individual ferrets preference.
Ferrets should not be given any fish or seafood based foods as they cause ferrets to give off a strong and extremely unpleasant odour!
Prepackaged dry pet foods need to have at least 32% animal protein as ferrets have a short digestive system which prevents them from absorbing vegetable proteins. Animal products should be listed first in the ingredients.
Recommended brands are: IAMS, HILLS SCIENCE DIET and WHISKAS PROFESSIONAL FORMULA - available from most pet stores and vets, or through the NSWFWS Shop.
Ferrets under the age of 3-4 years should be fed kitten or growth formulated biscuits. Older ferrets may develop kidney problems from too much protein and should be switched to an adult cat version.
Ferrets should have dry food and water available all the time, as they tend to snack continuously and can quickly dehydrate in hot weather.
DAILY: Fresh water at all times! Fresh raw chopped meat (fatty is better than lean) such as lamb, beef, chicken, rabbit. High quality cat biscuits (as recommended above). Ferrets can be fussy so you may have to experiment a little until you find something your ferret will eat.
WEEKLY: Raw chicken wings or necks to help clean their teeth. Any uneaten meat or chicken should be removed after a few hours (sooner in hot weather) to prevent it from spoiling.
- Lactose reduced cow's milk as a treat only (Pets Own or Whiskas Cat Milk) - regular milk causes diahorrea and soy milk can interfere with absorption of calcium from food.
- Egg yolk (not egg white) with a few drops of Omega 3 oil or vegetable/nut oil.
- Nutripet, a caramel-flavoured supplement. Do not give it too regularly, as it is high in sugars and overuse can cause diabetes.
NEVER GIVE regular dairy products, chocolate, fish-based biscuits or meat, cooked bones, salt, dried coconut, dog's leather hide chews, sausage mince. These foods are either dangerous choking hazards or potentially poisonous to ferrets.