Ferrets are popular pets because they’re so easy to live with, and they have a fantastic sense of curiosity. They also make for much easier pets than other animals because they are not as demanding, loud, or messy. That said, ferrets can be on the picky side when it comes to their diet. Have you ever wondered if ferrets can eat hay?
Here is your answer: NO – Ferrets can not eat hay!
Why is Hay bad for Ferrets?
Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means they must eat a diet consisting of meat. Plant food (grains and vegetables) can be dangerous to many animals, but ferrets are susceptible to plant matter, so they need to stick to a diet consisting of meat.
The digestive system of ferrets is not equipped to handle that much plant food. Hay is a cut grass that has been dried. It has a high fiber content which ferrets cannot take as it would cause serious digestive problems for the animals.
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Can Ferrets eat any Vegetables?
No. Ferrets should not and actually don’t need to eat vegetables. They need meat to live a long and healthy life. Vegetables do not hold any value to ferrets.
Can Ferrets eat any Grains?
But what about grains? Ferrets should have absolutely no grains in their diet. So, no again! If you’re going to keep a ferret as a pet, it is your responsibility to make sure they are getting meat for every meal.
Can Ferrets eat Fruits?
Nope. No fruits for ferrets. The sugar in fruits will make your ferret sick. As said above, all that a ferrets needs for a healthy diet is meat. Sugar of any kind can cause significant problems for their blood sugar levels.
Too much sugar could lead to diabetes or hypoglycemia, a condition where you may have sudden mood changes and hyperactivity, dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, and weakness. In severe cases, sugar could cause Insulinoma.
Insulinoma is cancer in the pancreatic cells. When a ferret eats sugar, the body will manufacture insulin to convert the sugar into energy. When the insulin is in excess, it will be stored in the pancreas. When this happens too often, it can lead to cancer.
What can my ferret eat?
Ferrets can eat a variety of meat and kibble. Good examples for meats are:
- chicken breast
- turkey necks
- game birds
- organs (liver)
- bones (raw)
- whole prey (feeder mice)
- fish (every once in a while)
If you instead not feed raw meat every time, you can opt for a ferret’s kibble; they are generally made of chicken. You can purchase them at some local pet stores. Make sure to check the ingredients list. Fiber should not exceed 5%, and also make sure to check the main ingredient (it’s the first one on the list).
Try not to buy kibble that has meat by-products as its main ingredient! Look for something with chicken, turkey, or beef as the number one ingredient.
If you are looking for an alternative, you could also feed cat food to your ferret.
Should you feed a ferret with wet or dry cat food?
Ferrets should only be fed wet cat food because it has the proper nutrients for them. Dry food is not suitable for ferrets as it’s not as digestible and can cause animal health issues. This is due to the fiber in it. Remember, ferrets should eat meat only…
Cats, just as ferrets, can not produce Taurine by themselves. Taurine is only to be found in meat. That’s why high-quality cat food could be fed to your ferret.
But please keep in mind, cat food can only be given as a treat or supplement but can not replace a proper ferret diet. A ferret’s diet must consist of meat for them to be healthy. If you only give your ferret cat food, it will probably become malnutrition.
The best way to feed your ferret would be a raw meat-only diet. Many people think that this is very dangerous and bad for the animal, but it really isn’t. If you’re going to go with raw, make sure to do some research.
A popular raw diet for ferrets is the so-called Frankenprey Diet. Basically, you are “imitating” what a ferret would eat in the wild. You do that by combining different parts of animals to form a “prey.” What I mean by that is that you, for example, combine a chicken wing with some chicken liver and some lamb.
If you are interested in this topic, here is a link to an excellent resource:
Hopefully, now you know the answer to the question: Can ferrets eat hay? The answer is no! They should not be eating any kind of plant matter. Nor should they eat fruits. Ferrets need meat to live a healthy and happy life. Because they are carnivores, they can not digest grains, vegetables, or fruits.
Last update on 2021-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API