Most of the time, ferrets and cats can live in the same house without any problems. But it’s extremely important to introduce them properly and make sure they are never left playing together unsupervised. You never know when a playdate can turn deadly.
In this article, we’ll talk about what you can do to make your ferret and cat accept each other.
Do ferrets and cats get along?
About 98% of the time, cats and ferrets can get along, live, and play together very well. And if the kits and kittens are brought up together, they will quickly become best friends and even sleep together. Cats hate smelly things but if they are friends with the ferrets, they will welcome them in their sleeping beds. Some things are not to be shared between them though, and this includes catnip.
If you let out the ferrets for some playtime and they suddenly disappeared, don’t panic. They’re probably in your cat’s bed taking a nap. And since many cat toys are ferret-safe, they can end up sharing various toys as well during playtime. And if they all are nowhere to be found, they probably made their way onto your bed if it’s very comfy.
The relationship between a ferret and a cat depends 100% on their personalities. Cats tend to ignore anything that’s not a cat and will try their best to avoid the new energetic and smelly ball of fur you just brought home. But some cats can also be tempted to hunt the ferret when it sees it running around like that. Ferrets can be very aggressive and tough on cats as well.
At the end of the day, it all depends on how your pets act, what is their history with previous cats and ferrets, and how they were introduced from the first moment you brought the new pet home.
Can a cat kill a ferret?
Cats get extremely confused by ferrets as they look a lot like prey but they don’t act nor smell like one. The first instinct your cat might have is to check out the new pet and try to avoid it when it sees how the ferret smells. But if your cat is used to hunting similar creatures while it’s roaming outside, it might get ready to kill the ferret as well.
Typically, cats have a bit of a hard time killing ferrets because ferrets are also very good at fighting. They’re also more flexible and their teeth are also nothing to joke about. But if your adult cat can’t stand the ferret, you should be prepared for an attack and if the ferret is too small, or the cat too big, it might end up with the ferret dead.
Even if the cat seems completely uninterested in the ferret, don’t leave them alone unsupervised even for a second. You never know when the cat’s hunting instincts will kick in and begin to hunt the little ferrets around the house. While the ferret might be able to find a tight place to hide, a confrontation with an adult cat can cause some serious harm.
Will ferrets hurt cats?
Ferrets can also absolutely hate cats, especially if they had a bad experience as a kit. And if the previous owner let the ferret chase their cat around, they might have all the courage they need to start chasing your cats as well. Ferrets love playing chase and they find running around after cats an extremely pleasant sport.
An adult cat can usually either defend itself against the ferret or jump somewhere really high where the ferret can’t get to. But if you have kittens, you should be extremely careful. If the ferrets are adults and they tend to be aggressive, it’s best to not even let the kittens around them. Ferrets are actually known to kill house kittens as they see other creatures as either prey or predator.
It’s good to let the kitten and ferret get to know one another, but never let them play as ferrets play a lot rougher than cats do. Cats also know that when the other cat meows in pain, it’s time to let go. But ferrets actually get more excited when they see the cat struggling and they might play rougher instead of stopping.
Why are cats afraid of ferrets?
Kittens can get scared of ferrets as they see them as predators, and they have all the rights to be scared. Ferrets love chasing and killing kittens, so it’s best to avoid getting a kitten while you have ferrets, or a ferret while you’re cat is not an adult yet. Ferrets hold their own against a cat and can even kill one, which is why it’s important to make sure the cat is big enough to defend itself.
You can get a kitten and a kit instead. And if they grow up together they will get along much better and they might also become inseparable. Adult cats, on the other hand, might show disgust and they can be really bothered by the new pet. This doesn’t mean that they’re scared, it means that they just simply want the new smelly thing to disappear.
If your cat has a history of getting hurt by ferrets when it was small, she might be both scared of ferrets and get very defensive and aggressive towards even the most innocent ferret. You need to be 100% sure that neither the cat nor the ferret has ever had any bad experiences with each other.
Introducing cats to ferrets
Sneaking the ferret inside the house to avoid letting the cat know is a very bad idea. Cats have an amazing smell and ferrets stink. Your cat will go crazy at the door of the room you’re keeping the ferrets in as she wants to know what you brought home. This can lead to her sneaking in when you don’t notice and it can create havoc within just a few minutes.
It’s best to place the cage with the ferret down as soon as you brought it home and let the cat check the new creature out. Let it smell and interact with the ferret while it’s still inside the cage. And in the next few days, place both animals in a room and let them check each other out. Make sure you use thick gloves so you can break the fight if they start going for each other’s throats.
This is where you can tell if they’ll have supervised playdates in the future or if they need to be kept 100% apart from one another. If you don’t have enough space to keep them away from one another, get a friend with a ferret to come by and check how your cat reacts to ferrets before bringing one home.