Can your rabbit and ferret play together? Read on to know more…
My friend and I were planning for a lunch outing. She has such a cute rabbit. And suddenly, I thought that since my ferret is an obligate carnivore, do ferrets eat rabbits?
If my friend’s rabbit and my ferret could get along, it would have been great. We could have all of our lunches together. So, the first thing after going home was to check out various sources to see if this was possible or not.
It is most of the time risky to keep ferrets and rabbits together. This is because ferrets are predators while rabbits are prey animals.
Let’s discuss in detail everything about ferrets and rabbits together.
Can Ferrets Eat Rabbit?
The answer to can ferrets eat rabbit is a big YES. Your pet ferret is a strict carnivore by nature. The main source of protein for the domesticated ferret is raw meat.
Rabbit meat is something that your ferret will relish. It will be a real treat for your fluffy pet.
Try putting whole rabbit meat overnight in your ferret’s cage, and we bet that by morning, it would all be gone. And you know who the culprit is to relish the whole rabbit!
Are Rabbits Nutritious for Ferrets?
Yes, rabbits being a meat product is very nutritious for your ferret. They prove to be a great source of edible bones and meat for your ferret.
You must fulfill the nutritional requirements of your baby ferret. A ferret diet should mainly consist of raw meat. You can include raw eggs, raw meaty bones, and rabbit meat in your ferret’s diet.
Ideally, a ferret’s diet should consist of 32 to 38% protein along with 15 to 20% fat. This nutritional need can be easily fulfilled by providing rabbit raw meat to your ferret.
You, as a ferret owner might wonder if it is healthy to give raw meat to your dear pet. However, you should be relieved that eating raw meat is their basic instinct as they are predators.
Raw diet fulfills all the nutrition requirements of your ferret. If you plan to give raw rabbit meat to your pet, make sure that you buy it from a reliable retailer. It is not advisable to catch the rabbit by yourself, as it might contain parasites.
However, you shouldn’t depend solely on rabbit meat for your ferret’s nutrition. Rabbit meat is comparatively lean, and hence in long run, it will fail to provide all the nutrition to your furry pet.
How to Feed Rabbits to Ferrets?
Now that you are aware that rabbit meat is nutritious for your ferret, the next thing that might come to your mind is how to serve rabbits to your ferret. You can serve them in several ways.
Another thing to note here is that some ferrets like the rabbit’s fur whereas some absolutely hate it. Hence, while calculating the amount of meat you need, you should take into consideration your ferret’s liking as well.
Below we discuss a few of them:
- Providing a Whole Rabbit Meat to Your Ferret
If you plan to give the rabbit meat fresh to your ferret, you can give him the whole meat without gutting it. If you have many ferrets, it might be possible that the meat is finished very quickly.
Also, you should take into consideration the weather conditions while serving rabbits to your ferret. If the weather is cold and you have many ferrets, you can serve the whole rabbits.
However, with just one ferret and a hot temperature, it is best to serve the rabbit meat in portions.
- Freezing a Portion of Rabbit and Providing Some to your Ferret
If you have a single ferret only, or ferrets who are not eating much, you should give a portion of rabbit meat to them. You can freeze the rest and provide it later on.
You might also consider gutting the rabbit and removing its intestine and bladder before freezing. This will lessen the risk of any side effects in your healthy ferret from tapeworm cyst found in some meat.
A pro tip from us: if you want to defrost your rabbit meat quickly the next time, try freezing it after removing off the rabbit’s coat and then freezing.
Rest all of the parts like heart, liver, etc. can be frozen.
- Adding on Some Taurine Supplement with the Rabbit Meat
Taurine is an amino acid nutrient that works as a neurotransmitter. It helps in the communication between the brain and the muscles in ferrets. Your ferret’s body is designed in such a way that they are unable to absorb and store taurine.
Hence, it is important to give them daily replacement of taurine.
Rabbit meat is lean meat, and hence it lacks the desired amount of taurine. You can try adding some taurine supplement with rabbit meat while serving it to your ferrets.
The thing to note here is that the rabbit’s heart is rich in taurine. So, ideally, if you want to avoid adding the supplement, you should give rabbit heart’s meat to your ferret.
You can skip the taurine supplement if you plan on giving just the rabbit’s heart meat for mealtime once a week to your ferret.
- Avoid Giving Cooked Rabbit Bones to Your Ferret
Wild ferrets who used to hunt in the wild would feed on raw meat. This is the ferret’s natural ability. However, giving cooked bones to your ferret is a big NO.
Your ferret will be able to easily eat the raw meaty bones. But, once you cook the meat, the bones will become hard. This will cause extreme discomfort and difficulty to your domestic ferret.
The sharp bone segments formed by cooking the meat may also cause damage to your ferret’s digestive system.
Some ferrets like to eat cooked meat too. So, you can cook the rabbit meat sans the bones and try feeding your ferret.
How to Feed Whole Rabbits to Ferrets?
If you plan on feeding the whole rabbit to your ferret, you will get all your answers here!
Usually, a whole rabbit will be sufficient for multiple meals. You need to portion the rabbit into small meal sized portions. These can be then stored in a freezer.
My ferret really disliked the intestinal tract of any meat. Hence, even for the rabbits, we suggest that you clean and remove the intestinal tract and the bladder of the rabbit. Most of the ferrets become extremely fussy and picky. They will avoid eating these parts.
Another advantage that you will have if you remove the intestine and bladder is that it will prevent the leakage of the bladder and gut liquid contents in the meat. If the liquid content spills, it will cause odor and the meat will not last long.
Some rabbits might also be infected with liver fluke. Hence, if you are not aware of the health of the rabbit, to be on a safer side, you can remove the liver to prevent any side effects on your ferret.
You can also remove the fur of the rabbit. This is because most of the rabbits tend to have a lot of furs which might be difficult for your ferret to eat. Moreover, a rabbit without fur is easy to store and defrost.
Now, you might have a question that didn’t wild ferrets eat the rabbit with fur?
A simple answer to this valid question of yours is that wild ferrets usually used to prey on smaller rodents and birds. These small creatures had much less fur as compared to the rabbit that you plan on feeding to your ferret!
Can Your Baby Ferret Eat Rabbit?
Your baby ferret can definitely relish the rabbit meat. However, there are few precautions that you should take considering that their digestive system is not fully developed.
You should provide your baby ferret with proper ferret food along with rabbit meat. You should not rely solely on rabbit meat.
Moreover, always give your baby ferret raw meat. He will be able to consume the soft bones easily. If you cook and provide the meat, the bones will become hard and will have sharp edges. This might be dangerous for your ferret.
Another thing to consider is that baby ferrets will have a difficult time ingesting the big fur of rabbits. Hence, you should consider removing the rabbit fur and then providing the meat to your ferret.
Can Ferrets Play With Rabbits?
Ferrets and rabbits are extremely different creatures. While one is a predator, the other is prey.
It is not recommended that you let your ferrets and rabbits play together. There might be some exceptions where everything is hunky dory between the two pets, but that is a rare delight.
Even in the few cases where ferrets play with rabbits, the play is quite stressful for the poor rabbit. The ferret might enjoy riding the rabbit, which means he will chomp down the rabbit’s neck and ride on it, but this can be very dangerous for the rabbit.
The rabbit might get severely hurt or die just due to shock, stress, or heart attack.
In a nutshell, you should not allow ferrets to play with rabbits.
Can Ferrets and Rabbits Live Together?
Ferrets and rabbits living together? That’s a BIG NO. Owing to their predator nature, you can consider that ferrets and rabbits like arch enemies. Putting them together to live will put extreme pressure on both of them.
You should always refrain from putting them in the same cage. Your ferret might hurt the rabbit and in the worst case may even kill it. Your rabbit will always be under constant fear and stress while the ferret is around.
The ferret might bite or nibble hard on the rabbit’s skin, inflicting pain to your rabbit.
Another thing to consider is that the striking difference in both the pets’ food patterns. While ferrets are carnivores, rabbits are herbivores.
Similar to how harmful dog food is for your ferret, the rabbit food too will be extremely harmful. And similarly, ferret food will have adverse effects on your rabbit.
If at all you desperately want to keep both of them under the same roof, you should keep them on separate floors of your house. And keep in mind, your work is not done yet!
Ferrets being sneaky creatures, can easily sneak out. You should always keep a close watch on both pets, ensuring that none of them gets harmed.
Do Ferrets Kill Rabbits?
The answer to do ferrets eat rabbits is a big YES. Rabbits are playful little creatures. Whereas ferrets are predators by nature. Their main meal consists of meat.
It’s not wrong of you to think that how can a small ferret kill the rabbit. However, they certainly can do. All thanks to mother nature who created the ferrets this way. Ferrets have great assets like sharp nails and teeth for hunting.
Moreover, the predator instinct of the ferret gets alarmed merely by the smell of rabbits. Your pet ferret might not know that he can eat the rabbit, but he will most certainly try to chase the poor fellow,
The rabbit, being able to detect the ferret’s smell, will stress out. This stress might also lead to a heart attack in the rabbit.
Thus, the ferret can kill the rabbit or cause extreme harm to the rabbit.
FAQs on Can Ferrets Eat Rabbit?
1. What Animals Can a Ferret Kill?
A ferret can kill many animals and other pets that include rabbits, rats, mice, snakes, birds, bird’s eggs, insects.
2. What Human Food Can Ferrets Eat?
Ferrets can consume few varieties of human food like eggs in any form, baby food that is high in protein, and meats of various types. Raw meat is the best food for ferrets.
3. What Do Ferrets Eat as Pet?
Pet ferrets can eat ferret food that is high in meat protein content. Apart from that, you can also treat your ferret with eggs, either boiled or scrambled, frozen small mice, which are available at pet stores.
An obvious answer to Do Ferrets Eat Rabbits is a YES. You can provide your ferret with rabbit meat in a variety of ways. Your ferret is sure to relish the meat.
Rabbits and ferrets do not get along well, hence you should avoid keeping them together.
Thus, the next time a thought comes to your mind similar to mine, of taking your pet ferret with your friend’s pet rabbit, be prepared to monitor the two of them closely, of the poor rabbit might get harmed.