Ferrets are considered in the cat family. It is a form of domestic animals especially a form of the European polecat. it is a mammal of the same genus as of the weasel and the Mustela to be specific about its family then it belongs to the family Mustelidae. They have coting of fur typically of brown, black or white sometimes having a mixed color. They are having an average length including the tail of 13cm is 51cm and weighting 0.7-2 kg.they have a lifespan of around 7 to 10 years. The males are usually larger than females.
What do they eat?
Ferrets love to eat meats that are their typical carnivores. Serving them with raw meats is the best option that is serving them with the whole prey would make them happy. And occasionally one can serve them with eggs because ferrets diet consists of 32-38% of protein and 15-20% 0f fat. Now raw meats are of a different kind and can be differed by the quality of the fibers of the meat ferrets usually likes to have soft tender fibers that are usually found on the following meats such as turkey necks, rabbit, lamb, chicken and sometimes raw bones for calcium and cleaning of their teeth.
But most of people do not support the idea of feeding their ferrets with entirely raw meat but it is the natural diet of the species and it is important to meet its nutritional needs. So as a guardian of your pet you must take care of giving your pet the best quality of meat and it is preferred not to go for catching rodents for your pets because that may contain some unknown parasites which may be very harmful to your pet. So it is always better to keep a track of your pet because your pet may try to hide out some food for later which may cause food poisoning in your pets.
What is the nutrition needed?
Ferrets are usually smaller in size that is it has a smaller intestine and digestive system and cannot absorb nutrients efficiently which is the reason that their diet must be chosen wisely which should provide proper nutritious value without harming their nature of digestion. So it is highly recommended that one should feed their ferrets with meat-based proteins or animal proteins and fats and should decrease the number of fruits and vegetable proteins in their diet. It is so important because the vegetables contain complex carbohydrates that have high fiber content and rather difficult to digest by ferrets.
A diet that is usually high in carbohydrates is also not recommended because it may lead to some sort of disease. And as they have small intestinal tract but high metabolic rate, therefore, they eat very little and often. So this is the reason why one should choose their diet properly because as they eat little so they need to be provided with a high amount of nutrition with a small amount of food that is mostly available through animal protein.
What is the best choice?
Now most of us have a common question that is can ferrets eat wet cat food? The answer is yes they can have wt cat food because cat food also contains meat and animal proteins and fats which is essential and required in their diet.
But the best foods for ferrets is serving them with raw meat. Usually, in the wild situation, the ferrets are habituated with every part of the prey that is they usually have everything of the prey including the bones which helps their health and in their jaw exercises too. But in case you are not interested to serve your ferret with raw meat then there are a few dried food that is available. The dried ferret foods are Burgess ferret food, Chudleys, Jame Wellbeloved ferret food and Optima. The dried ferret food products contain high meat protein than any other dried supplements but if in any case, the dried ferret food is high in carbohydrate and fiber then you should avoid it because as ferrets have a small intestinal tract, therefore, they cannot digest nutrients that are high in carbohydrate and fiber.
What are the foods that ferrets cannot eat?
Ferrets are having a small intestinal tract and a high metabolism rate which means that they need a diet that contains high amount of protein in a small amount of food, therefore, it is always preferred to serve them with animal protein, but they cannot digest carbohydrates and fibers that are products rich in carbohydrate and fiber content. So it is recommended to avoid giving them fruits and vegetables because as ferrets cannot digest fibers therefore the food is of low nutritional values. The ferrets do not have cecum which is necessary for the digestion of fibers, this is a part of the digestive system of the animals who can digest carbohydrates in its complex forms.
Why high carbohydrate products are avoided?
It is recommended to avoid diet having high carbohydrates for ferrets because a diet high in carbohydrates produces glucose in the ferret’s blood. This causes insulinoma, which is a kind of metastasis int he blood cells having the property of contact inhibition leading to cancer of the beta cells in the pancreas. Moreover, vegetables contain vegetable protein that is indigestible by ferrets so on prolonged consumption of vegetables by ferrets may lead to some disease like bladder stones, ulcers on the skin, reduces the ability of reproduction, gastroenteritis and on reproduction the kittens could suffer from the same inborn disease too leading to poor growth and body development.
So, it is recommended to the owners that they must try to avoid a diet that is high in the complex carbohydrate and instead of that they should go for a diet that is rich in animal protein which is going to be easier to digest by your ferret and hence, it will remain healthy.