Can Ferrets eat Meow Mix?

Some quick research on the Internet will show you that ferrets are obligate carnivores. This means they are strict meat-eaters and need a lot of protein in their diet to stay healthy and happy!

They don’t need any veggies or cereals. This article is about checking if ferrets can eat Meow Mix.

If you are just for the answer “if ferrets can eat meow mix,” here it is: No, ferrets should not be feed Meow Mix!

Why should Ferrets not Eat Meow Mix?

Well, Meow Mix is made for cats. And it is (as far as I know) a pretty famous brand too. But ferrets should not eat Meow Mix because of the dry food itself and of the ingredients.

Dry food (like meow mix) isn’t bad for ferrets in general. But some kibble for cats and dogs contain high percentages of corn, wheat, and other grains. As you probably know, ferrets should never eat grains. Their digestive systems are not made to process fiber and other carbohydrates.

Corn is especially bad for ferrets, as it also contains a lot of sugar. There are many reasons why you should avoid corn when feeding your ferret.

Ferrets are tiny animals, and their digestive system just can’t handle sweet stuff. They are prone to developing all kinds of nasty illnesses from eating sugar and carbohydrates.

This could be Diabetes or, even worse, Insulinoma. Insulinoma is a cancer that develops in the pancreatic cells. Insulinoma can get very bad very fast and needs to be treated right away. It also requires an expensive operation.

Ingredients of Meow Mix

meow mix ingredient list screenshot

Here is what the ingredients list looks like (I copied it directly from the Meow Mix website):

WHOLE GROUND CORN, SOYBEAN MEAL, CHICKEN BY-PRODUCT MEAL, CORN GLUTEN MEAL, BEEF TALLOW (PRESERVED WITH MIXED TOCOPHEROLS), ANIMAL DIGEST, TURKEY BY-PRODUCT MEAL, SALMON MEAL, OCEAN FISH MEAL, PHOSPHORIC ACID, CALCIUM CARBONATE, L-LYSINE MONOHYDROCHLORIDE, CHOLINE CHLORIDE, SALT, TITANIUM DIOXIDE (COLOR), VITAMINS (VITAMIN E SUPPLEMENT, NIACIN, VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENT, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN SUPPLEMENT, D-CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, VITAMIN B12 SUPPLEMENT, MENADIONE SODIUM BISULFITE COMPLEX (SOURCE OF VITAMIN K ACTIVITY), VITAMIN D3 SUPPLEMENT, FOLIC ACID, BIOTIN), MINERALS (FERROUS SULFATE, ZINC OXIDE, MANGANOUS OXIDE, COPPER SULFATE, CALCIUM IODATE, SODIUM SELENITE), TAURINE, DL-METHIONINE, YELLOW 6, YELLOW 5, LACTIC ACID, RED 40, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, BLUE 2, ROSEMARY EXTRACT.

Source: https://www.meowmix.com/cat-food/dry/original-choice

What Does that Mean?

Now. As you can see, the first ingredient is whole ground corn, followed by soybean meal and chicken by-products. The first ingredient on any list is the one that has the most part in the food. So, in this case, a lot of corn is used in the recipe.

Corn and soybeans are cheap ingredients and are found in many dry cat food, dog food, and other pet food. They are used as fillers – they use up space but don’t add much nutritional value to the kibble. They do create bulk, though, which keeps your pet feeling full for longer.

As mentioned above, ferrets should not eat corn or any other grains. That’s why this particular Meow Mix should not be consumed by your ferret!

screenshot of the analysis of meow mix vat food

Source: https://www.meowmix.com/cat-food/dry/original-choice

If you add up the percentages in this analysis, you will notice that Protein, Fat, Fiber, and Moisture make up roughly 60% of the product. The missing 40% are most likely whole ground corn, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, and so on (as to be found in the ingredients list).

And just to be clear – nothing wrong with that – as long as you are going to feed your cat with it…

Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Digestive Support - Dry Ferret Food - 5 Pound Bag
  • Genetically Appropriate Diet With No...
  • Unprecedented And Unequalled Meat...
  • Supports Digestive Health And Desirable...

(Note: If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we may receive a commission but at no extra cost to you)

What Are Meat By-Products

Maybe you are wondering what the “chicken by-product meal” is? Well, a by-product is anything that has been left behind when something else was made. In this case, it’s anything that wouldn’t have been a meat product in the first place. Meat by-products are meat residue, or what is left after a slaughterhouse processes animal carcasses.

You want to make sure that you feed your ferret only “real” meat. Look out for any by-products mentioned in the ingredients list. In my opinion, you should rather spend a few more bucks but feed your ferret meat instead of chicken by-products.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t want to bash Meow Mix or their products. I am sure they are perfect for cats – But sadly not for ferrets.

What to Feed your Ferret Instead?

If you are planning to feed kibble, make sure to buy a product that is made for ferrets. Here are some excellent brands to recommend:

  1. Wysong Ferret Epigen 90
  2. ZuPreem Premium Daily Ferret Diet Food
  3. Kaytee Premium Ferret Food With Chicken

(Note: If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we may receive a commission but at no extra cost to you)

We published a whole article about commercial ferret foods.

The best way to feed your ferret would be a combination of dry food and raw meats. The most nutritious way for a ferret would be to provide it fresh meat.

If you want to feed the best of both worlds through – dry food with meats – I recommend adding raw chicken breast and the occasional chicken wing to the dry food of your choice.

What about Wet Cat Food?

That’s a different story. Some wet cat foods are ok to be feed to your ferret. You can, for example, use wet food as a treat. I would only recommend giving it to your ferret in small portions (once a week or so).

Cat food should never replace your ferrets’ regular diet!

Raw Diet

The most natural way of feeding your furry friend would be a raw diet. That means that you would prepare different meats (like chicken, beef, turkey) and feed your ferret raw meat.

But I would only recommend doing this if you are experienced in the field. You should not just start feeding your ferret a raw diet without knowing what you are doing. I recommend reading more about it here and here.

Conclusion

Sadly Meow Mix is not an appropriate replacement for a kibble especially made for ferrets. You must make sure to feed your ferret only high-quality dry food or raw meat. Ferrets are obligate carnivores – they should eat meat only! That’s why you shouldn’t give your ferret anything made out of corn and other grains.

Last update on 2021-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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