Ferret News
Pet Ferret Care Tips
and Information.



Ferret News Issue #39: Ferrets and Cat Food - Ferret Treats
March 24, 2003

by Mary R. Shefferman and Eric Shefferman
along with Trixie, Koosh, and Gabrielle (ferrets)

contact: marymodernferret.com

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The Pet Ferret Care Tips E-Newsletter

Ferret News Mailing List #39
March 24, 2003

by Mary R. Shefferman and Eric Shefferman
contact: marymodernferret.com


I can't believe March is almost over!

A quick reminder: As we move towards spring, we need to start thinking about giving hairball remedy (for example, Petromalt,  KittyMalt, Ferret Lax) to our ferrets as they begin to shed. It's a good idea to give all your ferrets hairball remedy when the first one begins shedding. Ferrets groom each other, so the ones who aren't shedding can still end up swallowing a bunch of fur.

This newsletter has a little article about ferrets and cat food, as well as an update on Modern Ferret things (yeah, the computers are now working, but we're lagging terribly).

Have a great week!

-- Mary & the Fuzzies
Mary R. Shefferman, Editor


In This Newsletter...

==> Is Cat Food Okay for Ferrets?

==> Appropriate Treats

==> Update on Modern Ferret Things



The fun book: 500 Things My Ferret Told Me

500 Things My Ferret Told Me

The fun book about ferrets brought to you by Modern Ferret!

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To learn more about this book go to:


Be sure to check out the "Magic 8 Ferret" feature at:


To order the book from our Ferret Trading Post store go to:




Is Cat Food Okay for Ferrets?

By Mary R. Shefferman

Some people have asked me if it's okay to feed cat food to their ferrets. When people have cats as well as ferrets, the ferrets might prefer to eat the cat food over their own ferret food. But ferrets really aren't the best judges of what's best for them to eat.

For many years there were no good ferret foods. Often, people would feed their ferrets high-quality kitten food. Cat foods tend to have less meat protein than kitten foods, so the kitten foods are preferable. A ferret fed cat food can develop various nutritional deficiencies (some that are very serious!), so it's best to get your ferret eating ferret food or kitten food. But how?

Ferrets pretty much decide what's food by the time they're six months old. After that, it can be a bit of a challenge to get them to accept new foods. Not impossible - but a challenge. The goal is to get your ferret eating high-quality ferret food and/or high-quality kitten food.

Mix the high-quality kitten food or ferret food in with the ferret or cat food your ferret is already eating. Eukanuba kitten and Iams kitten are both good foods nutritionally - and ferrets tend to like the taste. Some good ferret foods include: 8 in 1 Ultimate, Totally Ferret, Marshall, and Zupreem. But, if you're switching from cat food, your ferrets might be more receptive to kitten food than ferret food at first. If you never get your ferret to eat ferret food, at least a high-quality kitten food will provide better nutrition than the cat food or poor-quality ferret food.

If you have cats, don't let the ferret eat the cat's food. Pick up the cat's dish while the ferrets are out playing. You can put a dish of kitten food or the mix of kitten and ferret food outside the cage, since some ferrets just get a kick out of eating food from a different place (a different bowl). It's perfectly all right to continue feeding a mix of ferret and kitten food to all your ferrets - as long as the kitten food is high quality (that is, it has a high amount of meat protein and fat). Eventually, the ferret might begin to eat the ferret food as well as the kitten food because they are mixed together.

Be aware that any time you change your ferret's diet you will likely see a few loose stools in the litter box. This doesn't mean the food is bad; it's just a sign of the ferret's body adjusting to the new levels of nutrients. As long as it's only a few bad poops, it's nothing to worry about. If the diarrhea becomes severe, you should have your ferret checked by your vet.

A couple of other things... Not all ferret foods are good ferret foods. Check the ingredients. The first ingredient must be meat (chicken, chicken by-product, chicken meal, fish - all these are fine). The binding ingredient is preferably rice, not corn. The protein and fat percentages should be in the 30% (protein) and 20% (fat) ranges - a little higher is better; a little lower is okay. If you look at the label of various high-quality kitten foods, you will see similar ingredients and percentages (which is why mixing in kitten food is not so terrible).

Ferrets are carnivores and they need meat protein to live healthy lives. Getting your ferrets to eat a good diet can go a long way to keeping them healthy and full of playfulness.

We feed our own ferrets a variety of ferret foods -- the same selection that we sell in our online store:




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Appropriate Treats

By Eric Shefferman

A reader wrote in the following question:

I'll be taking care of my son's ferret for nine months next year and I was wondering if she can eat other foods besides her diet foods?

For example fresh vegetables?

Thank you.

The easiest thing to feed a ferret that is reasonably good for them is commercially marketed ferret food. The better of these ferret foods generally have a higher meat content and are more digestible by ferrets.

Ferrets are carnivores and cannot get nutrition from foods like vegetables. In some cases, their inability to digest vegetables can even cause an intestinal blockage (requiring immediate surgical attention).

Although many people feed (very small) pieces of soft fruit (like banana or raisins) or they feed bits of cereal (like Cheerios or Kix), these are certainly not necessary for good ferret health.

A better treat might be a small piece of cooked chicken or other meat -- or a piece of cooked egg.

I often hand-feed them bits of their regular food as a treat. The important thing is the attention you are giving them. Ferrets thrive on attention -- not sweets.

-- Eric


Update on Modern Ferret Things

We got new computers up and running and we even have our network set up. Now it's time to buckle down and finish another issue of Modern Ferret magazine. We met a giant ferret named Fuzzle (you can see pictures of him on Mary's blog - see below for the url). You'll be able to read about him in the next issue of the magazine (we'll let you know when the issue is in print). We're still settling into our new place - unpacking takes a lot longer than we thought!

Stay Tuned! - Mary and Eric and the fuzzies: Trixie, Koosh, and Gabrielle

As always, you can keep up with the latest that we're up to by reading Mary's blog:




Ferret News: www.FerretNews.com

Please let your ferret friends know about this newsletter and encourage them to join.


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The shortened version of the disclaimer is: If your ferret is ill or you think your ferret is ill, bring your ferret to a ferret knowledgeable veterinarian.

Copyright 2003 Modern Ferret magazine.
All rights reserved.




Get Your Ferret Supplies Online at Ferret.com


Modern Ferret Magazines

The Super Monster Pack
More than 1,000 pages of ferret fun and information. Twenty-eight back issues of Modern Ferret magazine.

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Super Monster Pack + Back Issue #4 + Wit and Wisdom of the Modern Ferrets book + Ferret Faces Address Book
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Rare Back Issues of Modern Ferret Magazine:
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Issue #22 (signed by Tiffany Taylor -- limited supplies) ($15.00)
Issue #4 ($10.00 $8.00 - temporary price cut)
Issue #24 (both versions) ($20.00)

Ferret Books

500 Things My Ferret Told Me
Humor Book


The Wit and Wisdom of
the Modern Ferrets

Ferret-care information with a ferrety twist.
($12.95 $10.95 - temporary price cut)

Ferret Faces Address Book
The perfect place to keep track of all your friends' phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.
($5.99 $4.99 - temporary price cut)


Ferret Food

Totally Ferret Active Diet Food 4 lb

Totally Ferret Active Diet Food 30 lb

Totally Ferret Older Ferret Diet 4 lb.

Totally Ferret Older Ferret Diet 15 lb.

Totally Ferret Baby Ferret Formula 1 lb

Marshall Premium Ferret Diet Food 4 lb

Marshall Premium Ferret Diet Food 7 lb

Marshall Premium Ferret Diet Food 18 lb

Marshall Premium Ferret Diet Food 35 lb

Marshall Premium Ferret Diet Senior 4Lbs

8 in 1 Ultimate Ferret Diet Crunchy 4.4 lb

8 in 1 Ultimate Ferret Diet Soft Moist 1.5 lb


Ferret Art Print Sets

Ferret 5" x 7" Art Print Set: Albino Ferrets (4 prints)

Ferret 5" x 7" Art Print Set: Sable & Cinnamon Ferrets (4 prints)

Ferret 5" x 7" Art Print Set: Full Set (8 prints)


Ferret Grooming Items

Super Pet Squeaky Clean Shampoo 6-oz. Ferret

8 in 1 Ferretsheen Shampoo 10oz

Marshall Ferret Shampoo 8 oz

Marshall Ferret Shampoo Original w/Baking Soda 8oz

Marshall Ferret Shampoo 8 oz Aloe Vera/No Tears

Marshall Ferret Creme Rinse Tropical Blend 8 oz

Super Pet Fresh Ferret Wipes 20-pack

Marshall Dental Gel for Ferrets 2 oz

Petrodex Dental Kit - For Cats

Petrodex Finger Toothbrush Gloves - 8 pack

Marshall Ear Cleaner for Ferrets 4 oz

Super Pet Clip Trim Nail Trimmer 5 Inch

Marshall Nail Clipper for Ferrets

Pet Swabs Styptic Stick

Sheppard & Greene Ferret Ear Wash

Zoom Groom

Marshall Ferret Lax Remedy for Ferrets 4 oz