The Best Ferret Food — Reviews, Top Picks, and Buyer’s Guide

Last Updated : January 19, 2022
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You have three options when it comes to feeding your pet ferret:

1. You could become a hunter and catch live prey for your ferret every single day… but that would be difficult, time-consuming, and far too gruesome (at least for most of us).

2. You could feed your ferrets a raw diet made up of only fresh meat, organs, and bones…but that would be crazy expensive.

3. You could go down the most reasonable route and buy some high-quality commercial ferret food and then supplement it with all the raw meat you can afford and all the whole prey you can catch!

We, of course, recommend option three because it’s the only one that combines the dietary needs of a ferret with the monetary and time limitations of a modern ferret owner.

ferret licking food off their owners finger

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However, it’s up to you which one you pick — all three will make your pet ferret a happy camper.

But do us a favor and stick around for the rest of his article if you’re leaning towards purchasing commercial ferret food.

Why?

Because we’ve already done the heavy lifting of scouring the market and finding the nine best ferret foods for you. Plus, there’s also a detailed buyer’s guide to ferret food to benefit from.

Here is a quick list of the 9 Ferret Foods reviewed in this guide.

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.

Excited? Great, let’s ferret-lunge in and start by reviewing the best ferret food!

Our Top Picks for the Best Ferret Food of 2021

Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Digestive Support

Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Digestive Support

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Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Digestive Support is hands down the best dry ferret food on the market.

But what makes it our number one pick?

The fact that it’s an insanely high-quality ferret food that’s jammed with 90% meat content, probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, enzymes, and nutraceuticals.

And not let’s not forget to mention that this recipe was specifically created to help support digestive health and stool consistency in your pet ferrets, both critical factors in keeping your ferrets healthy and reducing the odors coming from their cage.

Manufacturers Specs and Features

  • Genetically Appropriate Diet With No Starch Ingredients
  • Unprecedented And Unequalled Meat Content, Including Organic. 62% Protein, And 16% Fat, Plus Other Important Nutrients
  • Supports Digestive Health And Desirable Stool Consistency. Has The Natural Flavor And Taste That Ferrets Truly Desire
  • Contains Probiotics, Prebiotics, Enzymes, Phytonutrients, Nutraceuticals, Natural Form Antioxidants, Vitamins And Minerals
  • Wysong Has Been A Leader In Pet Nutrition Since 1979

Pros

  • Genetically appropriate ferret food
  • Free from starch and grains
  • The first three ingredients are chicken meal, organic chicken, and chicken fat
  • 62% animal-based protein
  • Ferrets love the natural flavor
  • Few carbohydrates
  • Produced in the USA
  • Supports a healthy digestive system

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Its 16% fat content is at the lower end of the recommended spectrum — you should supplement it to ensure healthy skin (which you should do anyway, so it’s not a huge deal)
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Wysong Ferret Epigen 90

Wysong Ferret Epigen 90

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Wysong’s Ferret Epigen 90 is just that good — it takes home both the gold and the silver medals in our ranking!

This silver medal-winning variation is slightly different from our choice for best ferret food because this one doesn’t contain all the same “digestive health support” ingredients that distinguish the other Wysong product.

This indicates this version is slightly more concentrated and nutritionally dense, which isn’t a problem for most ferrets unless they have an ultra-sensitive digestive system.

This simple Ferret Epigen 90 also contains more fat (18% compared to 16%) and is a tiny bit cheaper.

Manufacturers Specs and Features

  • The first extruded dry diet/kibble ferret food that is Starch Free (Epigen does what "Grain Free" pet foods only pretend to do)
  • Ferret Epigen 90 is a unique, nutritionally-dense pet food. When introducing for the first time be sure to follow the instructions detailed on the product label
  • More closely resembles the food your ferret is designed to eat. Has the natural flavor and taste that ferrets truly desire
  • Is replete with all the critical food elements Wysong was first to put into pet foods – probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, phytonutrients, nutraceuticals, natural form antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Rich in omega-3's and other essential fatty acids

Pros

  • 90% meat with 62% protein content
  • Starch-free and grain-free ferret diet
  • Rich in omega-3’s and other healthy fat acids
  • Made in the USA
  • Wysong is a trusted leader in the pet nutrition industry
  • Produced with real chicken

Cons

  • Slightly cheaper than the digestive support variation, but still pricey
  • Its 18% fat content is still on the low end and needs to be supplemented with raw foods
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ZuPreem Premium Daily Ferret Diet

ZuPreem Premium Daily Ferret Diet

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ZuPreem Premium Daily Ferret Diet is a dry ferret food that keeps costs reasonable without compromising on nutritional values and great tasting flavor.

And that’s why it truly deserves this third-place finish!

We especially love that ZuPreem has formulated this ferret-friendly recipe with 40% protein and 20% fat by adding loads of fresh (never frozen) chicken and eggs.

However, despite its positives, the lower price tag means it still contains a few plant and grain-based ingredients that Wysong does without.

Manufacturers Specs and Features

  • MADE WITH REAL CHICKEN AND EGG PROTEIN. Formulated to be your ferret’s primary food.
  • UNIQUE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM. Ferrets have a unique digestive system that requires the right amount of protein and animal fat to keep up with their active lifestyles.
  • EVERYDAY NUTRIENTS. Filled with the important nutrients your ferret needs every day for good health.
  • MADE IN THE USA. Great-Tasting, Balanced Nutrition and Highly Digestible.
  • Ensure your ferret gets the quality nutrition he/she needs for a long and healthy life.

Pros

  • Excellent fat and protein balance
  • Fairly priced
  • Very well-reviewed product on Amazon
  • Highly palatable formula
  • Recommended by vets
  • Requires no supplementation (even though we support it anyway)
  • Free from corn

Cons

  • Lower levels of protein when compared to Wysong products
  • Wheat flour and potato protein are the second and fourth ingredients
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Wysong Ferret Archetype – Raw Ferret Food

Wysong Ferret Archetype - Raw Ferret Food

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Wysong is back again with their third entry in this blog post, and Wysong Ferret Archetype – Raw Ferret Food is the best food money can buy.

Adult ferrets love it. Baby ferrets love it. Ferret owners love that even their finickiest ferrets eat it without making a single fuss.

So then why is Ferret Archetype sitting way down in fourth place?

Because, unfortunately, it’s crazy expensive, and ordinary mortals can only afford to use it as a healthy supplement to a Ferret Epigen 90 Digestive Support-based diet.

But if you’ve recently won the lottery, definitely consider making this freeze-dried, raw meat product the central part of their feeding plan — it’s as close as you can get to a natural diet.

Manufacturers Specs and Features

  • Ferret Archetype, First And Foremost, Is Not Heated Above 118° Fahrenheit – A Wysong True Non-Thermal Freezedried Raw Product!
  • Starch Free And Meat-Based, And Thus Does Not Contribute To The Common Carbohydrate Glut Diseases In The Modern Ferret Community
  • Contains Meats, Plant Nutrients, Nutraceuticals, Prebiotics, Probiotics, Vitamins, Minerals, And An Array Of Micronutrients. Free Of Non-Nutritional Additives Used By Manufacturers To Create Color, Texture, Stool Consistency, Or Shelf-Life
  • Healthy Fats Are Naturally Protected Against Free Radical/Oxidation Degradation. High In Natural Protein And Fat Content. Feed As An Adjunct To Ferret Epigen 90 Digestive Support And Other Healthful Wysong Ferret Foods!
  • Wysong Has Been A Leader In Pet Nutrition Since 1979

Pros

  • Premium ferret food with 99%+ meat ingredients (and ferrets love to eat meat)
  • High in natural protein and fat content
  • Starch-free and very low in carbohydrates
  • Comes in three different formulas (rabbit, quail, and chicken)
  • Perfect for use as ferret treats
  • Contains trace elements of fruits and vegetables (and hence vitamins, minerals, and nutraceuticals) that would naturally be ingested by ferrets as they eat the organs and gastrointestinal tracts of whole prey animals

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Some packets contain a lot of crumbs that are difficult to rehydrate
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Higgins Pet Food Intune Ferret

Higgins Pet Food Intune Ferret

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Let’s phrase this as simply as we can:

Higgins Pet Food Intune Ferret is a good ferret food.

It’s a complete and balanced pelleted diet that you can confidently use to feed ferrets day in and day out. No need to worry about harmful grains or any artificial ingredients.

It’s packed with 40% protein (from four different sources, including chicken and sustainably sourced Alaska Pollock) and 20% fat, making it a perfect choice for these high metabolism critters.

Manufacturers Specs and Features

  • Made In The USA With No Artificial Colors, Preservatives Or Flavors
  • Omega-3 And Omega-6 Fatty Acids Promote Skin And Coat Health, While Vitamins C And E Support Immunity
  • Calcium And Phosphorus Help Encourage Strong Teeth And Bones
  • Crafted With Sustainably Sourced Alaska Pollock
  • Grain-Free With No Peas Or Meat By-Products

Pros

  • Nutritionally balanced levels of protein and fat
  • Includes four quality protein sources: chicken, eggs, Alaska Pollock, and turkey
  • Completely grain and gluten-free
  • Fortified with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics
  • Manufactured without the use of artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
  • Proudly made in the USA

Cons

  • Tapioca and potatoes (a.k.a. starch) show up in the first five ingredients
  • Chicken and turkey are only included as chicken meal and turkey meal
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Marshall Premium Ferret Diet

Marshall Premium Ferret Diet

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Marshall Premium Ferret Diet is the most popular type of ferret food globally, which probably has something to do with it being recommended by the world’s largest breeder of these adorable carnivores.

Odds are that your ferrets were fed Marshall Premium Ferret Kibble before you knew them!

Being so widely used among breeders has the added benefit that most pet ferrets think this is one of the best ferret foods by taste and texture. There are no surprises here; Marshall’s probably reminds these cat snakes of their first gorging sessions and being happy-go-lucky kits.

However, it’s not all positive — cornmeal is the fourth ingredient in this pelleted food, and that’s a recipe for weight gain and gut disease. But at this price point, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a kibble without plant-based ingredients.

To end on a positive note, we should mention that an alternative flavor  (with herring and codfish) is available if you have picky ferrets or you’d like to add a bit of seafood into their diets.

Manufacturers Specs and Features

  • REAL MEAT FOR REAL CARNIVORES: Great-tasting, balanced nutrition that is highly digestible with Chicken as the first ingredient! Ferrets have a unique digestive system that requires the right amount of protein and animal.ifestyles.
  • VETERINARIAN RECOMMENDED: A respected team of veterinarian's, nutritionists, and ferret experts developed Marshall Premium Ferret Diet. Its high protein content and ideal balance of essential amino acids make it the perfect diet.
  • GENETICALLY APPROPRIATE DIET: 38% crude protein, 18% fat and only 3.5% of fiber supports digestive health and desirable stool consistency with the natural flavor and taste that event he pickiest ferrets truly desire.
  • FEEDING DIRECTIONS: Formulated to be your ferret's primary food, feed free choice and limit the number of other foods and treats to 10% of your ferrets diet. Remove old food and replenish with new food daily. Always provide clean, fresh water.
  • INGREDIENTS: Chicken by-products (organs only), Chicken, Chicken by-product meal, Corn meal, Dried beet pulp, Brewers dried yeast, DL-methionine, L-lysine, Choline chloride, Sodium propionate (a preservative). Ingredients continued in Description.

Pros

  • Premium ferret food with 99%+ meat ingredients (and ferrets love to eat meat)
  • High in natural protein and fat content
  • Starch-free and very low in carbohydrates
  • Comes in three different formulas (rabbit, quail, and chicken)
  • Perfect for use as ferret treats
  • Contains trace elements of fruits and vegetables (and hence vitamins, minerals, and nutraceuticals) that would naturally be ingested by ferrets as they eat the organs and gastrointestinal tracts of whole prey animals

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Some packets contain a lot of crumbs that are difficult to rehydrate
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Kaytee Premium Ferret Food With Chicken

Kaytee Premium Ferret Food With Chicken

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If you’re on a tight budget, there’s no better option than Kaytee Premium Ferret Food With Chicken because such good quality at such low prices is a total steal!

And you know you can trust Kaytee, as they’re one of our favorite ferret food brands as well as a leading player in the budget section of the small animal market.

This premium (yet budget) food contains an excellent blend of natural, highly-digestible protein sources — think real chicken, turkey, eggs — and tastes fantastic, at least according to the ferrets we interviewed in the making of this guide.

Manufacturers Specs and Features

  • Specifically Formulated To Meet Your Ferret'S Nutritional Needs
  • High Protein Food, 42%
  • Contains Real Chicken
  • Grain And Gluten Free
  • Rich In Fat To Support A Healthy Skin And Coat

Pros

  • Affordable food for your ferret
  • Tasty formula and texture
  • Balanced with 42% protein and 20% fat
  • Grain and gluten-free
  • Contains taurine
  • Supports dental health

Cons

  • Pea flour is the third ingredient (and it’s linked to bladder stones)
  • You risk receiving this food with a significant quantity of crushed or powdery bits
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Kaytee Forti Diet Pro

Kaytee Forti Diet Pro

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Guess what? It’s already time for another Kaytee ferret food, Kaytee Forti Diet Pro.

Before we describe it, we need to congratulate Kaytee on being the only other brand (apart from the world-conquering Wysong) to place more than one food on our list. No easy task.

Now back to the ferret food:

This Forti Diet Pro is aimed at ferret owners that don’t want to spend a fortune to keep their ferret healthy, happy, and active for many years.

It has above-average ingredients, but don’t expect the very best because, at this price point, Kaytee can’t do more. So don’t complain if that doesn’t work for you; just upgrade to a more premium option.

Manufacturers Specs and Features

  • Larger, Crunchy Pieces Supports Dental Health Through Natural Chewing Activity
  • Prebiotics And Probiotics To Support Digestive Health
  • Specially Formulated For Ferrets
  • Easy To Feed

Pros

  • Great price
  • Developed by nutritional experts
  • Large, crunchy ferret kibble that’s great for chewing and dental health
  • Fortified with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants
  • Corn-free
  • Prebiotics and probiotics support your ferret’s digestive health

Cons

  • Not the healthiest option due to the presence of rice, soybeans, and wheat
  • Comes in a small three-pound bag
  • Some owners mentioned that it increased the smell of their ferret’s waste
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Sheppard And Greene Adult Ferret Food

Sheppard And Greene Adult Ferret Food

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The last kibble on our list of the best ferret foods is Sheppard And Greene Adult Ferret Food, 4 lbs.

You should strongly consider this food for your ferret if you’re struggling with stinky feces and runny poops. This blend can help reduce these two problems and provide you with a better-smelling ferret cage (and home).

But despite this odor-controlling power, we don’t advise you to use this as your ferret’s only food source as it’s unfortunately too high in carbohydrates to be used on its own.

The best plan of action is to feed Sheppard and Greene’s in conjunction with Wysong’s Epigen 90 and fresh raw meat as a way to cut down on unpleasant number twos and make cohabitation far more pleasant.

Manufacturers Specs and Features

  • Real Chicken Is The First Ingredient
  • Promotes A Healthy Immune System
  • Reduces Shedding And Minimizes Hairballs

Pros

  • Minimizes litter box odor
  • Approved for combating diarrhea
  • 36% protein and 20% fat
  • Chicken is the main ingredient
  • Abundant in omega-3’s and omega-6’s
  • Reduces shedding and hairballs

Cons

  • Ground rice is the second ingredient
  • Corn is the third and fifth ingredient
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Buyer’s Guide to the Best Ferret Food

Are you looking for a bit more guidance?

We completely understand. You can never know enough about your ferret’s diet, especially if you’re determined to give your furball a balanced diet filled with quality ferret foods.

And that’s why we’ve pulled together this ferret food buying guide as a little extra section. It covers six FAQs many ferret owners have as they navigate the tricky waters of proper nutrition.

Happy reading!

P.S. If you want to learn even more about ferret diets, then head over to our complete guide to ferret nutrition once you’re done here.

What Does the Ideal Ferret Diet Look Like?

Ferrets thrive if you feed them a varied diet composed of the following foods:

  • Fresh or frozen whole prey animals (i.e., mice or chicks)
  • Raw meat (i.e., fresh chicken meat or turkey neck)
  • Cooked meat (i.e., ferrets eat rabbits, chickens, game birds, minced beef, or lamb)
  • Raw organs (i.e., offal or chicken livers)
  • Raw animal bones
  • Dry food pellets for ferrets
  • High-protein kitten foods
  • Cooked or raw eggs (but only as treats)

But what about the things ferrets should never eat? Can you tell me more about those too?

Good thinking! Here’s a shortlist of the foods you should never give to a ferret:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables (linked to health issues like bladder stones)
  • Bread, crackers, and other grain-based foods (due to indigestible complex carbohydrates)
  • Beans
  • Dairy products
  • Salt
  • Processed meats (i.e., bacon)
  • Candy, chocolate, or anything else sugary

N.B. Many ferrets eat fish, but since it’s not a type of food their ancestors would have eaten in the wild (they’re terrible fishermen), we suggest you experiment cautiously with seafood and only feed it to them if they like the taste and it doesn’t cause any unpleasant ferret smells.

What Are the Nutritional Requirements of Packaged Ferret Food?

Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means that they need to consume a diet primarily made up of meat (raw or cooked), raw organs, and raw bones. They also thrive on kibble made from the same base ingredients.

Their ideal dietary requirements are:

  • Meat protein (circa 30%-40% of their diet)
  • Fat (circa 15-30% of their diet)
  • Phosphorus
  • Amino acids
  • Vitamin E
  • Calcium
  • Very little to no sugars, carbohydrates, and fiber

Please note these down and always check a ferret’s food label for these nutrients before you buy it.

How Often Should I Feed My Ferret?

Ferrets have high metabolisms and short digestive tracts, which means they have to consume many small meals.

You should aim to feed them at least every three to four hours to ensure they’re constantly digesting food and getting steady access to the essential nutrients they need.

What happens if you forget to feed your ferret or choose to feed them more sparingly?

They could quickly develop low blood sugar (known as hypoglycemia), which could cause a host of avoidable health problems, particularly if you own an aging ferret.

So it’s pretty much mandatory to pay close attention to the clock and keep their plates full!

However, if you’re low on time or need to leave the house for extended periods (say because you’re working), we advise you to leave them with plenty of pelleted commercial ferret foods in their bowls, so they can snack while you’re out.

But don’t try this with whole prey or raw food, as it’ll spoil if your ferret decides to save it for later.

Pro tip: Ferrets rarely overeat despite having constant access to food. Nevertheless, cut their portion sizes if you notice your overindulgent ferrets gaining too much weight.

Can Ferrets Eat Cat Food?

Yes, you can feed your ferret high-quality cat food as long as you follow these two pointers:

  1. Buy premium cat food (like Solid Gold - Indigo Moon - High Protein & Grain-Free  or ORIJEN Dry Cat Food ) as cheaper options aren’t suited to ferrets (or cats either) because they contain too many grains and vegetables.
  2. Pick kitten food over adult cat food if you can because it’s higher in both protein and fat levels.

However, we advocate feeding your pets with species-specific commercial food as these products have been specially formulated to contain the balanced nutrition ferrets need to live long and healthy lives.

Can a Ferret Eat Dog Food?

No, definitely don’t feed your ferret dog food.

If your ferrets eat dog food, they’re at risk of developing severe health problems that could lead to unnecessary suffering and even death.

Why?

Because dogs and ferrets, despite both being domesticated for millennia, have different nutritional requirements. Dogs are omnivores, and ferrets are obligate carnivores, meaning that the grains and vegetables present in dog food are harmful to our lanky friends.

Can I Feed My Ferret Human Food?

It depends on what types of human foods you’re thinking of, as we’re omnivores that consume a wide variety of meals.

But to make a long story short, only feed your ferret the following foods:

  • Fresh or frozen whole prey animals (not something you’re likely to be regularly eating)
  • Fresh raw meat, organs, and animal bones (ditto)
  • High-protein kitten food (ditto once again)
  • Ferret food pellets (ditto a third time)
  • Cooked meat (finally something you can enjoy as a family)
  • Cooked or raw eggs as treats (another shared treat)

Keep everything else that’s in your cupboards far, far away from their tiny paws.

Closing Thoughts on the Best Ferret Foods

We’ve reached the end of this blog post, and it’s time for a well-deserved break. ⛱️

We’re planning on taking our ferrets out of their cage and frolicking a bit to unwind. We recommend you do the same. ☺️

But before you relax (and forget everything you’ve learned today), spring into action and get your playmates some of the best ferret food around!

Feel free to pick any one of the nine products featured in our ultimate ferret food list, as they’re all solid choices that your pets will love chowing down on.

Need more advice?

We’ll say this — if we were in your place, we’d do the following:

1. Order one of the top three pelleted foods.

2. Add Wysong Ferret Archetype - Raw Ferret Food  to our carts as a special supplement.

3. Head over to our local butchers to buy fresh meat, organs, and bones twice a week.

If you settle on something similar, we’re 100% certain your ferrets diet will be fit for a king. 👑🐾🍖

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