Ferrets get the most nutrition from meat-based protein sources. A ferret’s diet is mainly low in fiber and carbohydrates as its digestive system is not designed to get nutrition from. These furry pets may be mistaken for another pet, like a cat, but it does have specific meal requirement, unlike other household pets. At times, it can be a lot picky, so you really need to know what kind of foods that you can feed your ferret to keep it safe and satisfied while under your care.
Ferrets have lesser options when it comes to food, but as they have a shorter digestive tract, they will need to eat more frequently than your regular household pet. Some just opt to offer their furry balls cat food for ferrets as this seems to be the easiest meal that they can provide for their ferret. However, not all types of cat food will work well with your ferry.
There are times when you’ll find your local pet store does not have the food that you need to feed to your pet ferry. As cat food seems to be a popular option, you will think of giving your ferret a can for one of its meal. You’re still wondering, however, whether your ferry will like it or if it will benefit his health if it eats cat food instead of the regular meals that you normally provide for it. You were in such a hurry that you just ask the store owner what brands you can choose from for your ferret’s next meal.
The Good News
Ferrets do and can eat cat food. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news, however, is that your ferret will need a specific type of cat food and not just any type of cat food will do.
A Ferret’s Nutritional Requirement
Your furry ferret is a carnivore. That means it can only chow down meat food sources. For a healthy pet ferret, you need to make sure to serve foods that are high in protein (about 30-40 percent on the label nutrition analysis). The protein in its diet should also be of high quality, highly digestible, and also animal-based and not plant-based. Remember that your ferret’s digestive tract cannot retrieve nutrients from fibers and carbohydrates. Its diet should also be high in fat (at least 20 percent, even up to 30 percent on the label analysis). Finally, a perfect diet for your pet should be low in carbohydrates and fiber. You can provide no less than 3 percent of fiber to your ferret each day.
It also consumes small amounts of food but more frequently since it has a short intestine and has a quick metabolic rate. This means that it can easily digest the food that it eats and relieve of itself of body wastes as frequent as every three hours. The frequency of their poops and pees will depend on several factors, however. Check if they are getting enough water and food. Your pet will be needing food and every three to four hours as its digestive tract is designed to do digest the food it consumes faster than your cat or dog (perhaps, any other household pet).
It’s amazingly short digestive tract and quick metabolic rate are to blame (or to thank for these phenomena, depending on how you see it).
Now, if you are a little worried about the quality and frequency of your pet’s poop and pee, you should consult a vet for proper diagnosis and medication (if necessary).
The Cat Food for Your Ferret
A kitten’s food that is of high-quality and from well-known brands like Blue Buffalo or natural selections will be good for your ferret.
You need to make sure that the ingredients on the commercially made food that you are going to serve to your pet have a higher meat content. Avoid those with by-products or anything that contains vegetable proteins (ie. “potato protein”). These are usually added to cat’s food to “artificially” boost the food’s protein level.
Grain-free canned foods are usually high quality. So, if you are looking for some cat food as back up for your pet’s regular diet (if there is a shortage of ferret’s food), narrowing your search by looking for grain-free canned food will be a quicker way to do it.
There are ferrets that only on kibbles may not always accept cat food. To encourage your pet to eat canned formulas, you may need slowly blend the new food in its regular diet.
Next time you get short of food for your pet ferret, you may consider looking for a premium cat or kitten food. Opt to go with a brand that has the most meat and least fillers, no grain, no corn, and has high protein and fat. To be sure, always check the printed label.