Ferret Nutritional Needs

What Should I Feed My Ferret?

Ferrets are strict carnivores and should be fed a high protein (at least 34%), high fat (atleast 20%) high quality chicken or lamb based dry ferret diet. EVO, Doctors Foster and Smith and 8 in 1 Ultimate are some good choices. Feeding your ferret a balanced raw diet is also healthy, however you need to do your research and make sure they are getting the nutrients from the entire animal and not just muscle meat (such as feeding whole frozen feeder mice or chicks). Speak with your veterinarian about how to feed your ferret a whole raw food diet and get recommendations. Chicken or lamb should be listed in some form (poultry, lamb or poultry meal) as the number one ingredient in the list of ingredients on the back of the bag if you are choosing a commercial ferret food. You should also look for food that is naturally preserved with vitamin E and has no artificial colors. Do not feed your ferret dog or puppy food- it does not contain enough protein.

Ferrets have very short digestive tracts, so they need a food that contains easily digestible meat protein. Foods that list grain or corn as the first ingredient should not be used. Grocery store kitten or cat foods are not adequate.

If you are feeding your ferret grocery store kitten or cat food, please switch to ferret food or kitten food brands like Eukanuba or EVO if ferret food is not available (and give your ferret a fatty acid supplement like Ferretone daily). Your ferret is not getting the proper nutrients with grocery store cat or kitten food. Grocery store foods contain too much fiber and not enough quality animal protein. This food can also contribute to stones in the kidneys and bladder, malnutrition, dull coats and other health problems for your ferret.

Your ferret needs to have fresh food and water available 24 hours a day. Ferrets eat small meals throughout the day due to their high metabolism and short digestive tracts.


Ferrets need to be given treats that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Do not feed your ferret dried fruit, nuts, cereal, crackers, raw vegetables, cooked vegetables and sugary foods as they are dangerous for your ferret and can even cause gastrointestinal blockages. Cooked egg, cooked meat (with no seasonings), raw small animals (from a reputable seller of organic raw pet food), high quality kitten food or meat based commercial ferret treats (like chicken jerky, chicken livers), chicken baby food and vitamin supplements made for ferrets such as Ferretone can be good choices. The key ingredients should be meat and not carbohydrates, vegetable matter or sugar.

For detailed information on ferret nutrition, litter box training and more, purchase The EverythingFerret Complete Guide to Ferrets and Ferret Care.