Can Ferrets Eat Ham? (Read This First!)

Can Ferrets Eat Ham

Technically, ferrets can eat ham. However, it should be fed in small quantities. Ham is processed meat which is not good for ferrets in large quantities.

They are high in salt, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients that can make your ferrets sick.

So, it’s recommended to feed high-quality meat only and avoid processed meat.

But it doesn’t mean ferrets can’t have ham at all; they can eat it but only as a treat once in a while.

Read to learn more.

Can Ferrets Eat Ham?

Yes, ferrets can eat ham in a very small quantity. Ham do contain protein, low in carbs, fat, and fiber which is good for ferrets.

But ham is processed food which is not something they eat in the wild.

They contain a large amount of salt, preservatives, and other ingredients that can be highly dangerous for ferrets.

If your ferrets eat ham in a large quantity, it can cause intestinal distress, such as diarrhea.

On top of that, ham contains nitrates which are highly dangerous and potentially life-threatening.

Thus, ham can be given to ferrets in small quantities as a treat, but by no means should it be considered a substitute for their regular diet.

Is Ham Safe For Ferrets?

Well, it depends.

A small bite of ham won’t likely harm your ferrets; however, avoid them in large quantities.

This is because; they are typically processed meat with added salt, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients to keep them fresh.

These ingredients are not safe for ferrets.

A lot of salt is used while processing the meat, which can cause an upset stomach resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

Additionally, ham contains nitrate, which can be really dangerous for ferrets as it can cause coma or even death in some cases.

So, it’s best not to feed ham to your ferrets.

Why Ferrets Shouldn’t Eat ham

Ferrets shouldn’t eat ham for various reasons.

Ham is a type of processed meat with added salt preservatives and other harmful ingredients for ferrets.

Usually, ferrets eat raw meat without any processing or added ingredients.

This is important because a ferret’s digestive system is habituated to eating and digesting raw meat for ages.

Raw meat contains taurine, and it’s an essential amino acid for these obligate carnivores. 

It’s necessary in their diet for cardiovascular and retinal health and proper growth and development of ferret kits.

Since ham is processed meat eating ham can cause digestive issues, blockage, and other health issues.

Also, the salt found in ham is too high for ferrets. Consuming excess salt will make them thirsty, leading to other serious illnesses. 

So, ham can be to ferrets in small quantities. Remember that moderation is the key; otherwise, it can hurt your pet.

And lastly, it’s important to choose high-quality ham since they contain a low amount of salt and preservative.

Ham For Treats Or Snacks

Yes, ferrets can eat ham as a treat!

Ham can be given to ferrets occasionally, either in snacks or as a treat. They contain a good amount of protein, which is still great as a treat or snack but not as good as eggs.

Keep in mind that ferrets usually eat raw meat, and their digestive system cannot efficiently process anything except raw meat.

And ham is processed meat, making it difficult for ferrets to digest meat. As a result, it upsets their digestive system.

When choosing ham, it’s important to get only high-quality ham; otherwise, it could lead to serious health problems.

If your ferret is eating ham for the first time, it’s good to start with a small bite, and if everything is fine, then you can often treat them this delicious meat.

However, if you see any signs of illness like upset stomach, flu, or excess water retention after they had ham, stop feeding it and take your pet to a vet.

Ham contains nitrate, and ham poisoning is a serious issue; it could lead to coma or even death.

Therefore, ham can be given to ferrets but strictly in a small quantity, or it would be best if you avoid them at all and opt for other healthy options like chicken.

What Meats Can Ferrets Eat?

In the wild, ferrets eat a variety of meats, including rabbits, chickens, rats, birds, frogs, and even snakes.

They typically need a diet high in protein and fats but low in carbohydrates.

Ham do contain a good amount of animal protein which is good, but still, it shouldn’t be a staple part of their diet.

This is because ham is a slice of processed meat that is not suitable for ferrets.

They should eat a raw animal meal, including bones, organs, tissues, and other edible matters.

But now, most ferrets are domesticated, so it’s important to mimic what they eat in the wild.

Here are the types of meats that ferrets can eat:


Poultry is the most popular meat eaten by ferrets. They are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.

The best thing is that chickens can be fed every day, and it can be a staple part of your ferret’s diet.


Lamb is another great option for ferrets. They are an excellent source of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

Since ferrets need a diet high in protein, lamb can be a great addition to their diet. However, lamb is hard to digest, so feed it in small quantities.


Eggs are the perfect add-on to their primary diet. They are the perfect mix of protein, fat, and amino acids, making them a great treat choice for ferrets.

Ferrets are strict carnivores which means they must eat a high protein diet. So, eggs can be fed to ferrets in moderation.

However, they still need raw meat, bones, and other secreting organs to fulfill their nutritional requirements.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, it’s ok to feed a small amount of ham to ferrets but not more than that.

This is because ham is a processed meat, and as you know, ferrets usually eat a raw meaty diet.

Process meat is loaded with salt, preservatives, and other ingredients that make ham more dangerous for ferrets.

Too much ham can cause several health issues like upset stomach, blockage, high BP, fluid retention, and so on.

Thus, feeding other types of meats like poultry, lamb, and turkey is better. These are excellent sources of protein for ferrets.

And for treats, you can go for eggs; they are high in protein, amino acids, and other essential nutrients, so they are the best choice for ferrets.

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