Can Ferrets Eat Fish? [Benefits/Risks]

Can Ferrets Eat Fish

Ferrets can eat fish in small quantities. They are a rich source of protein, omega 3-fatty acids, and other essential nutrients.

However, fish is not a regular part of their diet, so it’s better to give them in moderation. Too much fish can cause upset stomach, smelly poop, and other health problems.

Read to learn more.

Can Ferrets Eat Fish?

Yes, ferrets can eat in small quantities.

This is because fish is not a natural part of their diet. 

A small amount of fish won’t likely harm your ferrets, but it can cause stomach upset if they have enough of it.

Also, eating fish can cause an unpleasant smell in their poop and fur, so if your ferret smells awful, it’s because of fish.

Besides, fish doesn’t provide all the nutrients needed for their survival, so it’s an incomplete source of nutrients.

Lastly, fish contains mercury which can be toxic for ferrets. 

Therefore, fish can be given only as a treat once in a while, but it shouldn’t consider a substitute for their regular meal.

Is Fish Good For Ferrets?

Fish can be good if fed in small quantities.

They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamins, mineral, and other essential nutrients.

Also, fish contains a lot of protein which is good for ferrets; however, it shouldn’t replace their regular meaty diet.

In the wild, ferrets mostly eat the meat of land animals like rabbits, mice, chickens, or even snakes and not fish.

So, fish is not a regular part of their diet, but it can be a great addition to their diet along with other meat products.

Remember, too much fish is not good for ferrets; it can cause an upset stomach and other serious health problems like pancreatitis.

Thus, fish can be given as a treat only and not as a substitute for their entire meal.

Do Ferrets Like Fish?

Not really!

Ferrets usually eat chicken, rabbit, mice, turkey, etc.

They don’t usually eat fish.

Fish has a musky smell, so the chances are that ferrets will refuse to eat them.

However, some ferrets may like the taste of fish while other dislikes it.

It all depends on your ferrets.

Ferrets are picky when it comes to their food. 

It’s important that you feed them a variety of meat in the early stage of their life because it’s hard to change their eating habit later on.

If your ferret likes fish, it’s good, but never force them to eat anything they don’t want to.

Fish contain a good amount of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but they are still not healthy for ferrets, so it’s good for occasional treats only.

Why Ferrets Shouldn’t Eat fish?

Ferrets shouldn’t eat fish for various reasons.

In the wild, ferrets eat a vast range of meat, including chicken, rabbit, birds, rats, snakes, etc.

They are land animals and usually hunt what they get in the dry area. However, ferrets sometimes get into the water and eat fish as well.

But fish is not a regular part of their diet. 

So, it can cause an upset stomach if they have too much of it.

Remember that fish doesn’t contain all the nutrients needed for your ferrets for a healthy life.

Another problem with fish is that it causes your ferrets to have an awful smell in their poop and fur that makes your house stink.

However, fish is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Therefore, fish can be a great addition to your ferret’s diet, but it shouldn’t consider a substitute for their meal.

Can Baby Ferret Eat Fish?

Baby ferrets can eat fish, but it’s not recommended!

This is because the digestive system of a baby ferret is not fully developed, so feeding fish might not be a good idea.

Baby ferrets have a sensitive digestive system, and feeding fish might cause digestive issues and other health problems.

They should only be fed high-quality meat like chicken, rabbit, turkey, rat, eggs, etc.

Therefore, it’s best to avoid fish at this stage, focus on a high-quality, meat-based diet, and gradually introduce fish and other food items.

Raw Or Cooked Fish, Which Is Best For Ferrets?

In short, raw fish is best for ferrets!

Ferrets are obligate carnivores, and they usually eat a meat-based diet.

In the wild, ferrets hunt down their prey and eat almost everything, including raw meat, organs, bones, and other edibles.

So, it’s obvious that raw fish is more suitable for them.

For ages ferret’s digestive system has been developed to digest raw materials only.

Raw meat contains more nutritional benefits than cooked. However, cooked fish can be fed to ferrets in small quantities, but it’s not recommended.

This is because; it’s difficult for ferrets to process or digest cooked meat which leads to upset stomach, diarrhea, or even blockage.

Lastly, if you are feeding fish to your ferrets, it’s important to remove all the bones and small spikes as they can be a choking hazard.

How Often Can Ferret Eat Fish?

Ferrets can have fish 1-2 times a week.

If your ferret is already eating a well-balanced meal, fish can be a great addition to their diet.

Fish contains a good amount of protein, omega 3-fatty acid, and other essential nutrients, which are important in a ferret’s diet.

But it should be given in small quantities because too much fish can harm your pet.

However, not all ferrets like fish due to its unpleasant smell, so if they eat, it’s good but never force them to eat anything they don’t like.

What Type of Fish Can Ferrets Eat?

Fish is not a natural part of a ferret’s diet. But it can be a great addition to their diet along with other high-quality meat.

However, not all fish are safe for them.

Ferrets can eat oily fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon occasionally, but you should eat fatty fish like oysters or eel.

Is Salmon Good For Ferrets?

Salmon can be a great addition to your ferret’s diet. 

Like most seawater fish, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential in a ferret’s diet. 

Moreover, fish contains a high amount of protein which is excellent for ferrets.

Therefore, salmon can be highly beneficial if given in small quantities once in a while, but by no means it should be considered a meal.

Always opt for raw and fresh fish without hesitating; ferrets are capable of digesting raw meat without an issue.

Lastly, avoid canned tuna as they contain a high amount of sodium and preservatives, which can be harmful and life-threatening in some cases.

Can My Ferret Eat Tuna?

Yes, tuna can be fed to ferrets. They are highly nutritious!

Tuna is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and other essential nutrients.

So, they are the perfect treat option for your ferrets. 

In fact, many commercial ferret foods contain fish. 

But it should be given only as a treat because fish is not a staple part of their diet, and too much fish can upset their digestive system.

What Should I Feed My Ferrets?

Ferrets are obligate carnivores which means they must eat meat for their survival.

In the wild, they eat almost everything they can catch, but this is not the case with domesticated ferrets.

Regarding a balanced raw diet, ferrets should be fed a ratio of 70-80% muscle meat, 10% raw bones, 5% liver, and 5% other secreting organs.

For example, chicken, turkey, and lamb are great for ferrets.

Things that can be fed to ferrets:

Raw Meat:

Meat is the primary food source for ferrets. Chicken meats are an excellent and cheap protein source for ferrets.

Minced beef, turkey, lamb, and pork are a great addition to their diet as well. And the best part is that it provides all nutrients that ferrets need. So it can be a staple part of their diet.

Commercial foods are also a great source of protein, fat, and essential nutrients. They are easily available in most pet stores, and the best thing is that is can be given as a meal.

Organs Meat:

Ferret’s diet should have 10%- 15% percent organs meat. Organs such as the liver, heart, and kidney should be included in their diet.

You can serve these organs raw as a whole or simply cup them into small pieces to make it easier for your pet to chew them.

This might sound gross, but ferrets must eat them raw and not cooked.

Also, whole prey makes a perfect treat option for your ferrets.


Insects can also be a great treat option for ferrets. 

They are full of protein and easy to digest in their stomach as well.


Eggs are an excellent source of protein, fat, and amino acids. They make the best treat option for your ferrets. 

Eggs are also easy to feed and can be given raw, boiled, or scrambled without oil.

Although eggs are high in protein, fats, and amino acids, it should be fed in moderation. Too much egg can be harmful to your pet.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, ferrets can eat fish in moderation. They are highly nutritious and healthy for ferrets.

Ferrets are obligate carnivores and usually need a diet high in protein, fat and low in carbohydrates and fiber.

So, fish perfectly fits in the occasional treat option but not more than a few times a week.

Too much fish can lead to an upset stomach and might cause an unpleasant odor in their poop and fur.

Therefore, if your ferret is eating a healthy diet, fish can be a great addition along with other meaty food, e.g., raw meat or kibble.

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