If you have a kitty and you are considering getting a ferret or vice versa, besides knowing their nutritional, health, care, and housing needs, it is good to know if these two pets can get along with each other or even live together.
To begin with, cats belong to the family Felidae and genus Felis while ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) are a member of Mustelidae and Genus Mustela. They both share the Carnivora order and are obligate carnivores domesticated by man.
In terms of their size, the Mustela putorius furo is about the size of a small kitty and these two are both predators that share similar preys including rabbits, rodents, birds, some invertebrates, and other small animals.
Can they get along?
Yes. Ferrets, cats, and dogs can get along well if well trained and introduced since cats do not eat ferrets and vice versa.
However, being “natural hunters, ferrets usually can’t be trained to get along with birds, fish, rabbits, rodents, or lizards” notes Senior Link.
Therefore, if you intend to introduce them, do it when they are both young and slowly under your supervision until they get used to each other and coexist peacefully until your kitty no longer stalks your ferret.
When introducing them, keep one in the cage and let the other observe him or her. They may also smell each other.
Alternatively, give your ferret a tube they can hide in and your kitty a high inaccessible place they can jump to minimize incidences of confrontations as well as either being stressed.
Cats and ferrets playing together
Ferrets are often playful, and you may note him or her play with your kitty’s twitching tail, hanging on him for a ride and so on. This can be quite fascinating.
However, being aggressively playful, your ferrets may “bound up to a cat, which usually causes the cat to recoil and go away to rethink the situation, states Vet Babble or your kitties may go to higher ground and watch him or her play.
Will they fight?
Whereas we have noted that ferrets are good with cats to consider their individual temperament. The chances of these two pets fighting is little if they have been well introduced. However, if the are both aggressive, then they may fight.
Usually, “ferrets like to tease other animals by nipping at their feet or tails, or running underneath them and grabbing them by the neck or belly and hanging on,” notes PetCoach. Also, they may burrow into your kitties fur.
Secondly, as The Spruce Pets states these animals “can actually be a little tough on cats, especially kittens, so don’t let a grown ferret play with a kitten without close supervision.” In fact, if the finds a timid kitty, they may learn to nip, attack and chase him.
These behaviors may make your kitties alarmed and some pace towards them and bat them or in the worst scenario bite them with their sharp incisors. Your feline friend may also get some nips back.
On the other hand, do not forget that a farm cat can kill a naïve ferret with easy and a house cat can kill its kits who are often careless and fearless.
Also, an adult feline that has never seen a ferret before may harm her or she may feel threatened if he or she has been threatened by a feral cat before.
Can ferrets and cats living together
Before you let them live together, you need to consider if they can share their foods. First, ferrets eat smaller foods frequently (8-10 times) while cats eat like twice or three times a day.
Also, they have a higher need for proteins and fats than adults felines. Maybe a good quality kitten diet may do. Also, their need for carbohydrates is low and according to PetMD, they cannot process Anything that has complex carbs such as dairy, vegetables, fruits, or has sugar.
Finally, fish is not part of their natural diets although they can eat it just like kitties love and eat fish, it should not make a key part of their diet and their foods should be round as those with sharp corners will hurt their mouth.
On the other hand, due to the high protein and fat and the frequent feeding required, your feline friends may end up being obese if they ate ferret food since these cats should be fed few times in a day.
Therefore, if they must live together, ensure you keep their foods in their cages or limit one from eating the other’s food.
The above discussion should help you in deciding whether you should keep these pets together or not. A key to success will depend on introducing and bonding them well as well as keeping their foods separate.