Do Ferrets Eat Turtles?

Whenever you’re asking yourself whether it’s safe to have a ferret around another pet, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that these are predators at heart, and they eat only meat. Out in the wild, ferrets will eat turtles, along with small birds, insects, amphibians and other small mammals.

Turtles, or tortoises, are popular small pets in many households, all over the world and in the United States in particular. Their advantage is that they’re cute and very low maintenance, so once you get them set up in an enclosure, you don’t have to do much work to keep them alive.

That being said, their environment should be safe for them, and turtles shouldn’t be allowed to come in contact with larger pets that might eat them. This applies to ferrets, dogs, cats, and other similar predators.

Do Ferrets Eat Turtles?

Pet Turtle
Photo by Fernando Maté on Unsplash

Yes, ferrets will eat turtles if they’re given the opportunity to do so. Ferrets are still predators at heart, and dedicated carnivores, so they love hunting down and eating any small mammal, amphibian, or bird, and eating it raw. A small tortoise definitely qualifies and would be included in a ferret’s diet in the wild.

It’s generally not a good idea to have ferrets and turtles loose in the house at the same time. You can still have both as pets, but they shouldn’t ever get the opportunity to meet.

While the ferret might not be able to reach into the shell and get the turtle out, they will bite and chew its legs or head, if the turtle doesn’t retract back in fast enough.

Should You Get a Pet Turtle If You Have Ferrets?

Yes, you can have a pet turtle or tortoise, while also keeping ferrets in your house. However, the two should never meet, as ferrets will eat a pet tortoise if they find one. Same goes for any other small animal.

The solution here is to have an enclosure for your tortoise, large enough so that it doesn’t need to get out in order to exercise. This sort of large enclosure can be a turtle’s entire universe, and letting it out should only be done on rare occasions, when the ferrets are locked away in their own cages.

Provided that you can keep the two types of pets apart, then yes, you can get a pet turtle even though you have ferrets as well. I’d recommend the same precautions if you have any other type of small pet, such as rabbits, birds, or small rodents. They’re all potential targets for predators like ferrets.