What to Do if My Ferret Won’t Eat: Some Potential Causes5 min read

Are you worried about your ferret because it won’t eat? If you are, then this article is for you. There are a few things that could be causing your ferret not to finish their meal.

One potential cause of an uninterested appetite is the food itself. You might want to try switching up what types of foods they have been eating lately and see if that helps them out at all.

It also might be time to visit the vet if your ferret has recently started refusing food and showing other signs of illness like weight loss or lethargy.

If nothing else seems likely for your ferret’s lack of appetite, then talk with a vet about blood tests because there are many options available when it comes to diagnosing ferrets!

Ferrets are Obligate Carnivores

  • Ferrets are obligate carnivores, so they need meat-based proteins in their diet.
  • They should be fed a variety of meat-based proteins, such as raw and cooked meats, eggs, and so on.
  • Some ferrets may prefer to eat one type of protein more than others.

Have You Changed Your Ferrets Diet Lately?

The first thing to do if you notice that your ferret has stopped eating is to make sure it’s not a simple matter of taste. If you recently changed your ferret’s diet to a different type of food, this may be why they’re not eating.

To figure out the cause and get your ferret back on track, first, make sure it’s not taste-related, then talk with a vet about blood tests because there are many options available when it comes to diagnosing ferrets!

The most important thing is that our pets eat, so we can’t let them starve for too long.

Their metabolism is different from ours. They do need a constant supply of food to remain healthy and fit.


Maybe your ferret was mainly eating kibble, and now you changed its diet to more fresh and raw meat? This could very easily be the reason for your friend not eating properly.

Ferrets that have not been introduced to raw meat need to be guided to liking it. You could start by adding just a little bit of raw chicken breast on top of their kibble diet.

Gradually increase the amount of meat you add. The good idea is to use a blender and make what I would call a “cold soup” made of chicken meat.

Make it watery in the beginning and increase the amount of meat step by step.

New Brand

Did you change the brand of food you are feeding? It could well be that your ferret does not like the taste! Simple as that! Try the food you gave before and see if the “not eating properly” problem remains.

If it turns out your ferret doesn’t like what you are feeding them: try making some changes to either the brand, texture, or flavor and see if things improve from there.

Medical Reasons Why your Ferret Won’t eat

It is also possible that the ferret does not eat because of a stomach problem. It could be food poisoning or other illnesses.

If you suspect your pet has one of these problems, it’s best to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Go and see a veterinarian if your ferret won´t eat for more than one day!

Other Reasons For Your Ferret Not Eating

Other possible causes for why your ferret does not want to eat:

  • New food
  • Stress (general)
  • Unusual smells around the house
  • New pets in the household
  • Illness (e.g., parasites)
  • Physical stress from being handled too much.

If it’s any of these reasons, address them first before worrying about a new diet!

If you think this is due to one of these factors but still aren’t sure, please consult vet advice as soon as possible. Don’t wait longer than one day!

What if I Don´t Know What my Ferret should be eating?

As said above. Ferrets are obligate carnivores. That means that their diet should only consist of meat or meat-based product.

The easy way: We recommend a mix of high-quality canned wet food and dry kibble. Make sure that the food does not contain fillers or grains. Just meat. No plant-based protein either!

The best way: Raw meat! Yes, a turkey neck or a chicken wing, chicken breast, minced meat, and so on.

Other Meat Ferrets Can Eat:

  • Turkey necks
  • Chicken wings and stripped carcasses
  • Rabbit
  • Game birds
  • Pigeons
  • Minced beef
  • Lamb/ Lambs heart
  • Raw animal bones for calcium and clean teeth

Make sure you feed quality meat. We have published quite a few articles regarding this topic. Find out more here.

The ideal ferret diet consists of 32 – 38% of protein and 15 – 20% fat. No vegetables, no fruits – only meat!

Dog Food as a Variety?

You can not feed them dog food because of the fillers and grains used in canine food.

Cat food for a Change?

Some brands offer filler and grain-free cat food. Mostly this is wet kitten food. But be aware that cat food may only be used as a supplement. There is not enough protein and fat included.

You could give it as a treat – not as their regular diet!


Sometimes, our pets will stop liking the food they have been eating for some time and may need something new to get back on track.

If this turns out not to be the issue at all, it may be worth looking into other sources of illness like parasites or even cancer.

If nothing else seems likely, talk with your vet about blood tests because many options are available for diagnosing ferrets!

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