Cats and ferrets share a lot of similarities. Maybe that’s why these two get along well too. They have almost the same build and appearance. They make good pets because they can be very fun, entertaining, playful, affectionate and enjoys being with people. Adding a ferret to your brood of cats will double the fun and excitement for sure.
To keep your ferret and cat healthy and strong, you need to follow some certain set of nutritional diet rules that will make these possible. Both are carnivores and largely need high protein and fat content in their diets. With cat food being widely available, a lot of people wonder if they can give ferrets cat food.
Just because they look and act the same, you can’t just assume that taking care of a ferret will be the same as looking after a cat. Even with the glaring likeness, they have differences that you should know to really take good care of your ferret.
Can I Give My Ferret Cat Treats?
Yes, but not very often
Because they share a lot of similarities, people think that they can share the same food too. Even if they are both carnivores, a ferret has different nutritional need than a cat. So exercise prudence when feeding them and giving them treats.
It can be a little tricky to feed a ferret. Both ferret and cat are obligate carnivores but ferrets need at least 35% protein component in their diet. They also are fed with too much fruits, vegetables, fiber and grains. Basically, a ferrets needs a high protein and low fiber diet.
Since it is what is readily available, aside from being affordable, cat treats are usually given to ferrets. There is nothing wrong with this as long as it is not often practiced. In fact, cat food is said to be the better alternative ferret food.
The thing with cat treats though, especially the cheap ones, is that they are not of high quality. The lower quality cat treats are inadequate in its protein, fat and meat content. So always check the labels and nutritional information of a product. Make sure there is enough animal protein in a treat. Check if the protein is derived from meat and not plants. Treats that list grain or corn as one of the first ingredients should be avoided. Store-bought cat treats usually contain more fiber and not too much animal protein. This will not give your ferret the proper nutrients it needs. Instead it may bring some health problems for your ferret. And ferrets will know what a good quality treat is. It’s sometimes in the kind of smell it gives off, so most likely a ferret might not even eat poor quality treat.
But if you really want to give your ferret cat treats, there are some brands that can provide ferrets with its needed protein content and is grain free as well. Consider Blue Buffalo cat food with some 40% meat protein and grain free, Innova Evo which has 50% protein and grain free and Petcurean Go! Natural Chicken and Turkey which also has 50% protein and grain free.
As long as cat treat is given occasionally and not as a part of a ferret’s everyday diet, there should be no problem with it. A cat treat will also provide a good change in what it usually eats. Just bear in mind that treats are given for a purpose–as a reward, part of training or to bond with your pet. Aside from cat treats, you may give a ferret other treats like small amount of raw meat, vegetable, fruits and flavored supplements.
Also just to be always on the safe side, check with your trusted veterinarian about what treats are recommend for your ferret. Be mindful that high calorie treats can lead to some health problems like obesity, stomach upsets, pancreatitis and can even be fatal. As a ferret owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your pet is getting the best nutrition there is. Be well-informed and know what is best for him. Be very picky if you have to. If you are a first time ferret owner or you just want to know how to properly take care of it, there are dedicated forums on the Internet that could equip you with enough knowledge or better yet visit a veterinarian. Improper care and nutrition could lead to something serious and you don’t want anything bad to happen to your beloved pet.