Can Ferrets Eat Hamster Food?

Ferrets are very picky eaters but it’s not very hard to find substitute food in case of an emergency. Their bodies are also made to need food pretty often so this is not a pet you can leave long periods of time without food. And if you’re in a crisis, you can even find hamster food that is OK for your ferret. In this article, we’ll talk about how ferrets react to hamster food and what they should actually eat.

Can ferrets eat hamster food
Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

Can Ferrets Eat Hamster Food? Why?

Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means they absolutely need to eat meat to function properly. The best option for them is raw meat, including whole pray. If you don’t think you can stand feeding your ferret chunks of raw meat and mice, you might want to look for another pet.

A responsible owner has to offer his ferret all the nutrients it needs from all the sources possible. You can also feed them kitten food that has high meat protein content, and more surprisingly you can even find hamster foods that are OK for ferrets.

Ferrets and hamsters are very different so you won’t see them eat the same things. But since hamsters do eat meat from time to time, some hamster foods might do the trick in case of an emergency.

You can feed hamsters small chunks of meat and insects as well. This is why their food contains a lot of protein and some options are strictly based on meat. And luckily for your ferret, it can substitute a meal or two with this type of food.

However, you should only do this in case you run out of meat or ferret food and there’s nothing your ferret can eat until you buy new ferret food. You could also feed your little furry friend hamster food as a treat once a month or less.

But generally, it’s very important to keep in mind that ferrets and hamsters eat very differently.

What kind of hamster foods are not good for ferrets?

As mentioned before, ferrets need meat to lead a healthy life. They have a short intestinal tract as well and they can’t absorb nutrients efficiently. This is why it’s important to feed your ferret raw meat a few times a day. You should also be careful about its hoarding habit and make sure it won’t eat any old meat.

Ferrets have sensitive digestive systems so they will get sick pretty fast if they eat normal hamster food. It’s one thing to feed them hamster food high in meat protein, but a whole another thing to feed them fruits, vegetables, seeds, etc.

Fruits and vegetables have complex carbohydrates that are very high in fiber. Ferrets don’t have the digestive system necessary to digest fiber, which means these foods have a very low nutritional value. This can also lead to disease.

Another thing hamsters love eating that ferrets should stay very far away from nuts. They also contain complex carbohydrates that can cause illness in your pet ferret. You should be very careful what hamster food you feed your ferret as some types of food should always be avoided.

Apples are often an excellent treat for rodents but it’s something you should never feed your ferret. This also includes peanut butter, bananas, etc.

What can I feed my ferret if I run out of special food?

A ferret’s diet should be around 35% high in protein and 20% high in fat. So if you ever run out of ferret food and meat in the house, you can get creative and find something for your furry friend. If you have other pets you might be tempted to feed your ferret some of their food, but this is something that should be done very carefully.

If you have dog food all over the house you should not attempt to feed your ferret with it. This is because dog food is not high enough in protein in fat. It also contains vegetable protein and fiber which can’t be digested by your obligate carnivore friend and can actually cause disease.

But if you own a cat and the house is full of cat food you might have a better chance of putting together a ferret-approved meal. Adult cats don’t really eat the same food as ferrets but you can opt for a high-quality wet cat food portion for one meal for your ferret.

It’s best if you own kittens or love to spoil your adult cat with some premium kitten food. Kitten foods are also high in protein and fats so it’s a much better option than adult cat food. High-quality kibble is the best substitute food for your ferret.

If you’re out of any options, you can feed your little furry friend an egg until its special food arrives. You can feed the egg either boiled or raw. But you should be always careful to never run out of ferret food as they get pickier and pickier the older they get.

Will a ferret kill a hamster?

Ferret indoors
Photo by Yulia Vambold on Unsplash

Ferrets are great hunters and the food in their natural habitat includes rats, hamsters, hedgehogs, possum, and other similar small animals. They also eat every single part of the animal, including the meat, skin, bones, fur, feathers, and intestines.

As pets, ferrets are a very new species and they are a very long way from getting fully tamed. Their natural hunting instinct remains very strong. This is why it would be a great food option to find a good whole pray seller that can provide you with the best food for your ferret.

You should never try to catch wild rats and mice just to feed them to your ferret. You never know what type of parasites they could be filled with. It’s ideal to throw away the mouse you found in your attic as well.

One thing you should keep in mind is that ferrets can’t live peacefully with other pets. If you’re trying to introduce your ferret to your hamster, you might quickly remain without the hamster. This is because hamsters and rats are a common source of food in the natural habitat of a ferret.

Sadly, ferrets are even capable of eating your small kittens if you’re not keeping them under control. If you have various types of pets, it’s best to keep them separated so you won’t end up with any “miraculous disappearances”.