Similar to cats, ferrets are what’s known as obligate carnivores. This means that they must have meat to survive, and they only eat meat. All of their nutrition comes from once-living creatures. As such, they need diets that are very high in protein and fat, but low in carbohydrates and fiber. This means no vegetables, no fruits — just meat!
One option is to catch food for your ferret each day. Of course, you’ll probably run out of time and accessible, catchable creatures pretty quickly, which is why high-quality commercial ferret food exists!
But we don’t want to feed our ferrets just any old food. We only want to feed our ferrets the best foods that will satisfy all of their nutritional requirements. That’s why we set out to find the best ferret foods on the market, which we will share with you in the following eight reviews.
A Quick Comparison (updated in 2022)
|Best Overall||Marshall Premium Ferret Food||
|Best Value||Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Ferret Food||
|Premium Choice||Wysong Epigen 90 Dry Ferret Food||
|Marshall Select Chicken Formula Ferret Food||
|Kaytee Fortified Diet with Real Chicken Ferret Food||
The 8 Best Ferret Foods
1. Marshall Premium Ferret Food – Best Overall
Ferrets need a lot of protein, which is why the Marshall Premium Ferret Food is guaranteed to have no less than 38% crude protein. There’s also at least 18% crude fat, providing the nutritional building blocks that your ferret needs to stay in good health.
For your convenience, this food is available in small and large quantities from seven pounds up to 35 pounds. Beware, it’s a bit expensive for the quantity and you can find other foods for cheaper, though they may not be as high-quality.
One thing we really liked about this food is that it’s great for ferrets of all ages, starting at six weeks. If you’re feeding it to young ferrets without full teeth yet, you can even mix this food with some water and turn it into a paste.
To ensure that your ferrets are getting all the nutrition they need, this formula is both vitamin and fat-enriched. Plus, our ferrets all seemed to enjoy it. There were other foods that they just weren’t interested in, so making sure they’ll actually eat a particular food is pretty important!
All in all, we think this is the best ferret food of 2021.
2. Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Ferret Food – Best Value
With a minimum of 35% crude protein and one of the lowest prices we’ve seen for ferret food, the Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Ferret Food might just be the best ferret food for the money. Aside from protein, it’s also packed with 20% crude fat, providing plenty of nutrition for your ferrets.
Of course, nutrition is about more than just fat and protein. That’s why the Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro food includes probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids. They’ll help ensure your ferrets’ coats stay healthy and luxurious while providing the nutrients they need for heart, eye, and brain health.
The biggest complaint we had about this food is that it only comes in a tiny three-pound bag. If you have just a single ferret, this might last you a little while. But if you have several, expect to be ordering more almost as soon as it arrives!
One important factor to always consider when purchasing pet food is whether or not your pets will actually eat it! Luckily, our ferrets did seem to enjoy this food. We weren’t sure because it’s so cheap, but it did pass the ferret taste test!
3. Wysong Epigen 90 Dry Ferret Food – Premium Choice
When grain-free isn’t going far enough, the Wysong Epigen 90 Dry Ferret Food goes one step further with a completely starch-free ferret food. This is especially important because ferrets derive all of their nutrition from meat. For that reason, this food is made with an impressive 60% protein, providing the essential nutrition your ferrets need.
There’s no question, this is an expensive ferret food. But if you want to keep your ferrets at full health, then it’s a superior choice. It’s got far fewer carbohydrates than any of the other commercial ferret foods we’ve seen, providing enough protein and fat for proper nutrition.
Because it’s so high in protein and low in carbs, this food more closely resembles a ferret’s natural food regimen. Plus, it’s got 16% crude fat, ensuring that your ferrets are getting plenty of calories. But not just any calories — the right calories. That’s why it helps keep your ferrets so healthy; it mirrors their natural food intake.
Despite the high price, we think the Wysong Epigen 90 is one of the best commercial foods you could feed your ferret, which is why it’s our premium choice pick.
4. Marshall Select Chicken Formula Ferret Food
Did you know that ingredients are listed in order by the amount of each that’s in any given food? Since chicken is the first ingredient listed by the Marshall Select Chicken Formula Ferret Food, that means that it’s the most prevalent ingredient in the formula. You’re also guaranteed a minimum of 36% crude protein, ensuring that your ferrets are getting plenty of meat in their diet.
Some ferrets have a difficult time with hard foods. Others seem to just dislike them. But this ferret food is much softer and crumbles when you touch it. That makes it very easy for them to eat and it seemed to attract our ferrets.
Considering the small quantity you get in a bag, we think this food is overpriced. Several other brands offer similar nutrition content and ingredients for less. Plus, this mix is only available in a very small bag. If it were a bit more reasonably priced and came in larger quantities, the Marshall Select Chicken Formula Ferret Food might have cracked our top-three.
5. Kaytee Fortified Diet with Real Chicken Ferret Food
The Kayte Fortified Diet with Real Chicken Ferret Food is one of the cheapest choices we’ve seen. It’s only available in small-quantity bags, but it’s priced reasonably for the amount you get.
Of course, price takes a backseat to quality. Luckily, this food still has some great nutrition. It’s got a minimum of 42% protein and 20% fat, meaning that it’s providing plenty of animal-based nutrition for your ferret’s health. To that end, this formula is completely grain-free. It’s low in carbohydrates overall, which we always want to see in a ferret food.
We had just one serious complaint regarding this ferret food — some of our ferrets just didn’t like it! Granted, they can be picky eaters from time to time. Still, several of them made it clear that this food wasn’t something they preferred.
6. ZuPreem Grain-Free Diet Ferret Food
This entirely Grain-Free Diet Ferret Food from ZuPreem is packed with probiotics for improved digestive health. But that’s just one benefit it can provide your ferrets. It’s also got a minimum of 40% crude protein and 20% crude fat.
Though it’s listed as grain-free, that doesn’t mean that this food is devoid of carbohydrates entirely. In fact, the second ingredient listed is sweet potatoes! That means that out of all the ingredients in this formula, sweet potatoes are prevalent in greater amounts than any other ingredient except chicken meal.
For the amount of food you’re getting, this product is overpriced. It doesn’t have any special ingredients and whole chicken isn’t even the first ingredient. And it only comes in small bags, so if you like to stock up on a lot at once or have multiple ferrets to feed, it’s probably not a great option.
- Related Read: Can Ferrets Eat Dog Food? Is Dog Food Safe for Ferrets?
7. Sheppard and Greene Adult Ferret Food
Since the first ingredient in the Sheppard and Greene Adult Ferret Food is chicken, you can rest assured that your ferrets will be getting plenty of healthy animal-based food with this formula.
Thanks to the antioxidants and other essential nutrients that are packed into this food, it made a noticeable difference in our ferrets’ coats. They became fuller, softer, and all-around more luxurious. But that wasn’t even the best benefit.
After a few days on this food, our ferrets’ cage began to stink less. Their excrement wasn’t producing the same foul odor that we were used to from feeding them other foods. Plus, they seemed more consistent with less runny stools than what we’ve seen using other commercial ferret foods.
But those benefits don’t come cheap. This is one of the most expensive ferret foods we’ve seen. Despite the positive changes we saw with this food, it’s still got more carbohydrates than is healthy for ferrets. It’s also much lower in protein than some other formulas we’ve seen, which would be fine if it weren’t so expensive.
8. Mazuri Ferret Food
Available in five-pound and 25-pound bags, the Mazuri Ferret Food was our least favorite of all the formulas that made this list. But that doesn’t mean it has no redeeming qualities. For example, this food is loaded with probiotics to promote gut health.
According to the label, this food contains less than 15% starch. It was surprising then when we noticed that brown rice is the second ingredient, meaning it’s the second most concentrated ingredient in the mix! Since ferrets are obligate carnivores and don’t do well with carbohydrates, you can see how this presents a problem.
But it’s not just carbohydrates that plague this ferret food. They also used low-quality protein sources. Poultry by-product meal is listed as the first ingredient. Not chicken, but a by-product meal of chicken.
Considering the low quality of the ingredients making up this ferret food and the high volume of carbohydrates, we think it’s very overpriced and can’t recommend it for any ferret.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Ferret Food
Now you’ve seen quite a few different ferret foods, but how can you pick the right one? Let’s take a look at the most important considerations in this short buyer’s guide to help make the decision easier for you.
Choosing A Commercial Ferret Food
At first glance, all of these ferret foods might seem similar. But if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that there are some glaring discrepancies between them. By comparing the following traits of each ferret food, you’ll be able to tell which ones are best for your ferret’s health and which ones should be forgotten.
As obligate carnivores, ferrets derive all of their nutrition from animal sources. This makes protein their number one commodity. They need copious amounts of protein in their diet.
Some of the best foods we’ve seen have protein contents as high as 60%. Lower-quality foods tend to be much lower, generally below 40% crude protein. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that a food with higher protein content is automatically better.
- Related Read: Can Ferrets Eat Eggs? Are Eggs Safe for Ferrets to Eat?
The other main nutrient that ferrets will get from consuming animal-based foods is fat. They need quite a bit of it as this is their main source of energy, not carbohydrates. You’ll want to find a food with a minimum of 15% crude fat to ensure that your ferrets are getting plenty.
Carbohydrates are not good for your ferret. Ferrets don’t need carbohydrates. In fact, their digestive systems can’t even process these foods. For this reason, you want to look for ferret food with the lowest concentration of carbohydrates.
Be careful with terms like grain-free. This doesn’t mean carbohydrate-free since there are carbohydrates that aren’t grains.
One way to quickly gauge the quality of any ferret food with a glance is to read the ingredients list. They’ll be listed in order from the highest amount to the lowest, so whatever ingredient is listed first is the most prevalent ingredient in the formula.
Look for foods that list whole animal sources as the first ingredient, like chicken. Also, avoid foods that list carbohydrate sources as main ingredients, such as sweet potatoes.
We love our ferrets, which is why we wanted to find the best commercial food for them. Not satisfied with low-quality budget foods that are comprised of mostly filler material, we were searching for high-quality food that’s packed with the protein and other nutrients our ferrets need. We’ve already compared our favorites in the previous eight reviews, but we’re going to reiterate our recommendations to ensure they’re at the forefront of your thoughts.
The Marshall Premium Ferret Food was our favorite overall. It’s made from fresh meats and it’s safe for ferrets of all ages. Plus, you can get it in quantities of up to 35 pounds.
For the best value, we recommend the Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Ferret Food. It’s got 35% crude protein at a minimum with probiotics and omega-3 as well. More importantly, it’s affordably priced and ferrets seem to like it.
Looking for the cream of the crop? Then try the Wysong Epigen 90 Dry Ferret Food. This formula is packed with an impressive 60% protein to more closely resemble a ferret’s natural food regimen. Moreover, it’s completely starch-free, so it has fewer carbohydrates than any other commercial food we’ve seen.
For more reviews on Ferret gear, check out these posts:
Featured Image: Artsiom Petrushenka, Shutterstock