Can ferrets eat cat food?

In this brief discussion, we’ll answer the question “ can ferrets eat cat food? “ We will also discuss if ferrets can eat cat treats and kitten food, the difference between nutritional requirements of cats and ferrets and what will happen if you give cat food to your ferret daily.

Can ferrets eat cat food?

Yes, ferrets can eat cat food but in emergencies. Certain kinds of cat foods are superior to others, and it is obviously not advised to feed your ferret a diet based solely on cat food. 

But feeding your ferret cat food occasionally in small amounts works. High amounts of cat food can create certain nutrient deficiencies along with some health issues because the nutritional needs of cats and ferrets are different. 

Therefore, you need to keep a balance and take advice from a vet before making these changes to your ferret’s diet.

Can ferrets eat cat treats?

Yes, ferrets can eat cat treats but under special circumstances. Cats and ferrets are both carnivores, but they require different kinds of nutrients. You need to be disciplined when it comes to snacks. Cat treats can be given to your ferret, but not frequently.

Low levels of the primary nutrients that make up a ferret’s diet, protein and fat, are frequently used in producing low-quality cat snacks. In addition, they often contain rice and corn, which you shouldn’t give your ferret.

A poor-quality reward might not be appealing to your ferret at all as it can detect there isn’t much animal protein in it. It is advised to check the ingredients before giving your ferret cat snacks. Ensure there are sufficient protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

What is the difference between the nutrient needs of ferrets and cats?

Like cats, ferrets must eat meat to survive. They, therefore, require a dietary source with a high proportion of animal protein to aid in their development. Taurine is also essential for ferrets’ diets. 

In the wild, ferrets fulfil their nutritional requirements by consuming fresh meat, thus it’s crucial to pick a commercial food with taurine added. A Ferret’s diet should have a minimum of 15% fat, a maximum of 30% carbs, and 30% protein. It ought to have fatty acids as well.

Contrary to cats, who can be fed twice daily, ferrets need to have up to ten separate meals throughout the day due to their fast metabolism. 

Because of this, ferret food is frequently pelleted, and many manufacturers advise leaving a small number of pellets out for your ferret to freely eat whenever they want.

What will happen if I give cat food to my ferret daily?

Cat food is designed specifically for cats and contains a lower protein and a higher carbohydrate content compared to ferret food. This is not ideal for ferret health in the long run. However, occasional feeding will probably cause no harm to your ferret.

If you give your ferret a diet that is higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein, you run the danger of stunted growth, an increase in infections and metabolic disorders, and reduced reproductive health, none of which are desirable if you intend to use your ferret for breeding.

Can I give kitten food to my ferret?

Yes, you can give kitten food to your ferret. Given that it should contain more protein than cat food intended for adult cats, cat food made for kittens can frequently serve as an excellent emergency replacement for ferrets.

Make sure the cat food you choose is grain-free. Although grains are frequently included as a filler in commercial cat foods, there is no need for a ferret (or a cat, for that matter!) to eat them. A large percentage of carbohydrates won’t be tolerated by your ferret’s digestive tract.

In comparison to cat food for adult cats, which should include 26% protein and 9% fat, the AAFCO advises that kitten food comprises 30% protein and 9% fat. In terms of protein composition, kitten food is therefore considerably more suited, but it still lacks sufficient fat.

Perhaps you should include an omega-3 fatty acid food your ferret’s diet to avoid nutritional deficiencies if you plan on feeding kitten food to your ferret on daily basis.

How do I choose the cat food for my ferret?

If you must feed your ferret cat food, the best choice is dry kibble made for kittens. Pick a protein-rich option that contains no grains or maize.

The greatest choice for ferret kibble is beef or lamb because they want robust, meaty flavours. They will also consume chicken-based kibble but stay away from fish-based variants since ferrets don’t usually eat fish.


We answered the question “ can ferrets eat cat food? “ We also discussed if ferrets can eat cat treats and kitten food, the difference between nutritional requirements of cats and ferrets and what will happen if you give cat food to your ferret daily.