It is not always easy bringing together diverse species and breeds. Similar to living with siblings under one roof, some animals fail to get along no matter what.
When it comes to cats and ferrets, there is a history of these animals becoming the closest of friends. Even so, this does not happen in the blink of an eye. Instead, it is a process that involves a proper introduction and consistent rules.
For an effortless course of action, allow us to take you through essential tips on cultivating an amiable cat and ferret relationship. First, let’s discuss the most important things you need to consider before your pet’s initial meeting.
Even in captivity, ferrets retain their natural instinctive traits, intelligence, mischievousness, and curiosity. One of their favorite pastimes is to play with toys and other pets. Additionally, they enjoy a bit of cuddling and petting from their owners.
A typical routine for a ferret revolves around eating, playing, and sleeping. With a very high metabolism, ferrets spend plenty of time feeding. Subsequently, they may fall into a profound slumber for hours.
Note that ferrets would always try to run off from the cage or house. With their tiny bodies, it is easier for them to squeeze into tiny spaces, crevices, or tunnels.
On the other hand, there are five different cat personalities. These are agreeable, extraverted, impulsive, neurotic, and dominant. This explains why pet owners find it very confusing when choosing the best feline to bring home.
Remember that you need the friendliest cat to relate well with ferrets and other pets. According to experts, an agreeable personality is the best pick. This trait mainly develops in early life when a kitten gets introduced to a well-socialized environment.
Like ferrets, cats rarely become violent, not unless protecting their young ones or a kill. Therefore, a sudden change of temperament may indicate an underlying medical condition. Compared to ferrets, cats enjoy a more solitary life.
Food & Diet
Ferrets may feed on cat food, but you need to consider the nutritional requirements first. It is important to note that ferrets have nutritional needs similar to a kitten. So, giving them adult cat food may lead to diet-related complications.
Conversely, ferret food is more expensive and hard to get. This may push most pet owners to opt for other cheaper alternatives. In such a case, contact an exotic vet on the best cat food alternative.
One of the first things you should check is whether the cat food contains meat in chicken or lamb form. An ideal kitten food for your ferret should at least have 20% fat and 32% protein.
All in all, avoid food with corn or any grains. Keep in mind that ferrets are strict carnivores, and their stomach may not digest plant-based foods well.
The only allowed carbohydrate in ferret’s food is rice or brewer yeast. Either way, always ensure that the main component is meat.
Building a cordial relationship between ferrets and cats is a process that takes time. Remember that these two animals are carnivorous. So when the prey instinct hits, the smaller one may get injured. To prevent this, avoid bringing home a kitten when you have a grown ferret and vice versa.
It can be a challenge when animals with a considerable age difference play together. Sometimes an innocent game may end up with one of them getting bite bruises, or broken bones.
For instance, ferrets love nibbling on anything they come across. That would be a real danger to a delicate little kitten.
Ferrets are well-known escape experts. They will always try to wiggle themselves out of the cages and house based on their curious nature. The first precaution measure is to ferret proof any outlet to keep them safe. Then keep them in an enclosed space either inside the house or outdoors.
Not only does keeping them in a cage protect them from harm, but it also prevents them from destroying stuff in the house.
Oppositely, cats love to explore and roam around. Most of them are well behaved and rarely damage household items.
Even if your cat may wander out of the house, they always find their way back, unlike ferrets. On that note, it would not make sense to keep your cat in a cage.
How to Introduce Ferret to Cat?
The first thing you need to armor yourself with is patience. No one should lie to you that the process would be smooth. Here are quick steps to follow.
- Step 1: Keep your pets in separate areas from the first day.
- Step 2: A few days later, swap pet’s positions to get accustomed to each other’s smell. Note that it may take you several repeated smelling sessions before they get comfortable with one another.
- Step 3: A couple of weeks later, try to introduce your pets physically. At this stage, keep the ferret in the cage and allow them to sniff one another at a safe distance.
- Step 4: Ferrets in the playful trait may bite, hitch a ride, or scratch. On the other hand, the cat may not take this as a game and may bite back. As a way of keeping them safe, always oversee their games for a couple of months.
Can a Cat Kill a Ferret?
Despite ferrets having a smaller body structure, rarely do you hear of a cat killing a ferret. Bear in mind that both are predators.
When threatened, they may attempt to protect themselves either by making odd sounds or jumping around. To prevent any mishaps, never leave the pets unattended.
Do Cats and Ferrets Play Together?
Usually, cats do well without other felines around. But that does not deter them from enjoying a little play with ferrets.
Apart from strengthening their relationship, playing together also stimulates their mental capability and keeps them physically fit.
We all know the importance of keeping pets in our homes. However, if they do not get along, it can be disheartening to the pet owner. The good news is that even if cats and ferrets are predators, both can get along well.
Yet, since both have different personalities, the cat and ferret relationship needs monitoring for a safe coexistence.