Can Ferrets Eat Cheese?

Ferrets are curious and spontaneous animals. They will do anything they’re able to, which can be good or bad depending on the situation. Since these little creatures are carnivorous, their bodies aren’t meant to deal with anything but meat. Grains, fruits, and vegetables can also be harmful.

Now the question is, “Can ferrets eat cheese?” and the answer is NO.

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t feed your ferret cheese, and we are here to explain the facts you need to know.

Your Ferret is a Strict Carnivore.

Ferrets should not be fed cheese or any other dairy products. Ferrets actually don’t have the enzymes necessary to break down dairy products, which causes bloating and diarrhea. They are strict meat-eaters and are lactose intolerant.

In addition, the milk proteins in soft cheeses can cause an allergic reaction and make your ferret sick or even kill him/her.

It is also important to note that some people think that using a “ferret friendly” cheese will help their ferret digest it better; this isn’t true. Just make it a rule and don’t give any dairy products to your furry friend.

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High-Carbohydrate Foods

The American Ferret Association warns that high-carbohydrate foods like cheese can cause digestive upset and other issues with ferrets. They could also cause insulinoma in some instances.

Ferrets should not be given any food that has the potential to irritate their digestive tract. Food allergies exist in ferrets, so they should never be fed foods that they have shown signs of intolerance for.

Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means that they require high-quality meat as their primary source of protein.

Ferrets are curious and spontaneous animals. They love to play and explore and are full of energy.

They are usually straightforward to train to obey simple commands (like stay, sit, and wait). Ferrets are very intelligent and typically make good pets. Their loving nature makes them easy to bond with.

They need at least 3 hours/day outside of their cage, and if you own only one ferret, you should make sure it gets regular playtime with you.

Some people like to let them play with a cardboard box. You can also build a basic ferret wood pen and hide treats in it for them to hunt for (hiding treats is not an easy thing to do. Ferrets are intelligent – Plan ahead!

Tip: Dairy products are unhealthy for ferrets and should be avoided. Ferrets cannot digest lactose found in milk. Therefore they can not eat cheese.

a white ferret playing with a ball

Energy Levels

These tiny creatures are about the same size or smaller than cats, and they have a surprisingly high metabolism.

There is no need to feed your ferret dairy products like milk, yogurt, and ice cream because they will not digest them and can be very dangerous for your pet.

Instead, feed them with some raw and fresh meat.

  • beef
  • game bird
  • porc
  • lamb
  • organs
  • chicken (wings)
  • turkey (necks)
  • bone
  • ground meat
  • and so on

Ferrets are not limited to a certain kind of meat. As long as it is raw and fresh, they can eat it. You can also enrich their diet with pig ears, boiled eggs, and chicken necks.

And every once in a while, you could even get them some tuna. Ferrets can smell food from miles away and are always ready to eat it. But like I said, they are tiny creatures, and since they have a super-fast metabolism, it would be wise to not overfeed them.

How Often Do Ferrets Eat?

Ferrets eat several times a day. Expect to feed them more often when you give them dry kibble. Raw meat has a higher energy level, so you won’t have to worry about overfeeding them.

Ferrets Need Meat!

Ferrets in the wild would consume rodents, rabbits, and other small animals. Feeding your ferret uncooked meat is better for digestion than dry food or processed food.

Commercial foods may have chemicals and preservatives that are potentially harmful to your pet’s health. Each meal should be about sixty to seventy grams if you are using a standard measuring cup.

Quality Food For Ferrets

It is essential to feed your ferret with quality food since they have a very small stomach and can eat only small amounts at a time. The best food should be fresh and contain vitamins and minerals. They love raw chicken wings, chicken necks, pig ears, etc.

What about Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains?

a picture of a red apple

Grains, fruits, and vegetables can also be harmful to ferrets because of their very different digestive system. Ferrets have a short intestine and cannot digest some foods.

Fruits contain sugar and can cause severe diarrhea, diabetes, and eventually insulinoma. Also, bacteria from the fruit can infect ferrets, which may lead to illness or death.

Grains, especially grain products such as wheat and rice, are also not suitable for ferrets due to their mostly meat diets. It is very hard on their little stomachs for them to digest grains.

Ferrets should eat only meat, not grains or vegetables (e.g., potatoes). Vegetables have also been known to cause intestinal upset in ferrets.

Summary

As with food, ferrets should eat only meat and not cheese, grains, fruits, or vegetables. Ferrets can also have many problems if they are fed with food that they can not digest properly.

This could lead to severe illnesses such as diabetes, pancreatitis, and even insulinoma. So do not feed your ferret cheese or any of the other foods mentioned above!

Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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