Are Ferrets Carnivores?

Are Ferrets Carnivores?

Ferrets, small mammals that can make great pets, are known to typically live around 5-10 years. But do they have a carnivorous diet?

What Do Ferrets Eat?

Ferrets are actually strict carnivores; meaning they consume mostly meat, with minimal-to-no fruits or vegetables. Though they may enjoy treats like fruits and vegetables the majority of the diet should be protein-based. A ferret’s natural diet consists of small prey like mice, rats, rabbits, and birds.

Commercially available ferret food can be a better alternative, as they are formulated specifically to meet the animal’s nutritional needs. It’s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian to ensure the ferret is getting the proper nutrition it needs.

How Do Ferrets Hunt?

In the wild, a ferret will hunt alone. It will track down, corner and grab small prey, such as mice, rabbits, rats, and birds. It will then hold the prey in its powerful jaws, kill it and eat it.

When given the opportunity, ferrets will also hunt for entertainment. It’s important to provide plenty of playtime, as hunting and chasing prey can be mentally stimulating.

Do Ferrets Store Food?

In the wild, ferrets will sometimes store food for later. This behavior can be seen in pet ferrets as well.

If a ferret is given a diverse diet, such as raw meat, they may hoard certain items. It’s important to monitor the food the ferret is storing, as older pieces may be spoiled.

What Is the Best Diet for a Ferret?

A ferret’s diet should predominantly be protein-based, as they are carnivores. High-quality ferret food that has undergone safety tests is a good alternative, as it’s formulated specifically for ferrets.

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It’s also important to provide treats like fruits and vegetables, as well as toys and chewables.


In conclusion, ferrets are carnivores. Their diet should be composed of mostly meat, either in the form of raw meat, ferret food, or a combination of both. It’s important to provide a variety of different food sources, as well as toys and chewables, to ensure the ferret is getting its necessary nutrition, as well as mental stimulation.