Can Ferrets Eat Tuna – Is It Good For Them?

As carnivores, ferrets in the wild can eat anything they like. But as a careful owner, you have to ensure healthy eating habits. So you may wonder, can ferrets eat tuna?

Yes, ferrets can eat tuna fish. It’s a good option to provide necessary nutrients. Ferret’s digestive system can process meat food. Still, you should feed a small portion of tuna fish. Excessive amounts can upset the digestive system. And it will be best to serve ferrets raw tuna fish.

Can Ferrets Eat Tuna?

Can Ferrets Eat Tuna

You have to be mindful of the foods you give to your pets. When it comes to ferrets, their diet is very specific and you should be careful about it.

If you’re considering treating your ferret to some tuna, then do so with caution and in moderation. You can offer fresh raw tuna as a treat, but ensure that your ferret already receives a well-balanced diet, including meat, eggs, and specially formulated ferret food.

Tuna provides protein, but it may not offer the ideal nutritional benefits for ferrets. Most canned tunas contain high levels of seasoning and salt, which are not suitable for ferrets. The chemicals and unnatural ingredients in canned goods can also contribute to dental problems for your pet.

Some ferret owners use canned tuna sparingly as a treat, usually once or twice a month. Although it can be enjoyed by ferrets, it’s not the optimal source of nutrition. If you decide to give your ferret tuna, offer small pieces rather than the entire can.

Ferrets have unique nutritional requirements different from cats, so don’t treat them like a cat. They are meat-eaters, and their diet should consist of ample protein and fat.

Avoid adding salt or seasoning when preparing meat for your ferret, and refrain from feeding pre-cooked cold meats. Always provided a regular diet of raw and fresh meat for your ferret’s overall health.

When introducing tuna for the first time, observe your pet’s reaction. Some ferrets may react negatively or develop a distinct odor in their feces. Pay attention to your pet’s response to ensure it agrees with their digestive system.

Is Tuna Fish Good For Ferrets?

Tuna is one of the healthiest fish options available. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, tuna brings a lot of health benefits like anti-inflammatory properties and improved cholesterol levels. The omega-3 content is also helpful in preventing conditions like arthritis and heart disease.

Tuna’s culinary versatility adds to its appeal, as it can be prepared in various ways – steamed, grilled, fried, or even served raw.

For optimal health, a ferret’s diet should include a minimum of 20% fat, 36% animal protein, and 3% or less fiber. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure a constant supply of water for your ferret.

Tuna emerges as a favorable choice for your ferret’s diet due to its high protein content, packing a substantial 28 grams of protein per 100 grams of tuna. Ferrets thrive on a high-protein diet to maintain optimal health.

How Often You Should Feed Tuna To Ferrets?

You should give tuna to your ferrets as an occasional treat. It should not be a regular or primary part of their diet.

Due to the potential drawbacks and the fact that tuna alone does not provide all the essential nutrients ferrets need, you should limit tuna intake. You can give tuna to your ferrets once or twice a month.

When offering tuna, make sure it is fresh, raw, and feed them in small quantities. Always monitor your ferret’s reaction to any new food, and if you notice any adverse effects, discontinue the treatment immediately.

Also, incorporating a variety of other protein sources and a balanced ferret-specific diet is essential.

Can Your Ferret Eat Canned Tuna?

can ferrets eat canned tuna

If you’re considering incorporating canned tuna into your ferret’s diet, it’s a definite no. While occasional consumption of raw tuna is somewhat acceptable, opting for canned tuna can have more adverse effects on your furry friend’s health.

Before adding canned tuna to your shopping cart, it’s crucial to consider a few factors. Aside from the potential unpleasant smell it may cause in your ferret, the significant amounts of preservatives found in canned foods are not conducive to the well-being of these small animals.

Canned tuna contains flavors and seasonings that should never be part of a ferret’s diet, such as the high sodium content, which is extremely unhealthy for them.

Ferret’s digestive system can’t process certain types of fish. Tuna, being a saltwater fish, can also be high in mercury, which is harmful to ferrets and can lead to mercury poisoning.

Tuna, especially canned tuna, is not nutritionally balanced for ferrets and leads to health issues if included as a regular part of their diet.

Even if you plan to treat your ferret with canned tuna, it should only be in tiny amounts. Keep a close eye on any undesirable changes in your ferret’s body, and if you notice any, discontinue giving canned tuna immediately, even if it’s an infrequent indulgence for your pet.”

Why Tuna Isn’t an Ideal for Ferrets?

While tuna is a meat source, it’s not a staple in a ferret’s natural diet. Technically, ferrets don’t typically consume fish in the wild. As a result, their bodies may not effectively process tuna to extract the essential nutrients they require.

Still, ferrets can digest tuna more efficiently than plant matter, but it doesn’t make it a suitable or beneficial option for them. There are many drawbacks like:

1. Digestive Mismatch: A ferret’s body isn’t naturally prepared to digest tuna or any other fish. Since tuna doesn’t provide complete nutritional requirements for ferrets, the potential risks outweigh the benefits.

2. Health Concerns: Overconsumption of tuna can lead to health issues for your ferret. Large quantities result in intestinal blockage and, in severe cases, contribute to irritable bowel disease, posing a potentially fatal threat to your small companion.

3. Contaminated Waters: The origin of the tuna matters. If the water from which the tuna is sourced is contaminated, harmful chemicals can become part of the fish. If your ferret consumes contaminated tuna, it can have adverse effects on its health.

4. Unpleasant Odors: Even in small amounts, tuna consumption by your ferret is likely to result in unpleasant-smelling feces, creating a nuisance for you as the owner.

5. Stinky Fur: An unintended consequence of allowing your ferret to eat tuna is the potential for stinky fur. This aspect adds to the drawbacks of including tuna in your ferret’s diet.

6. Low in Calories and Fat: Tuna falls short in providing the necessary calories and fat for ferrets. With only 1.3 grams of fat and 132 calories per 100 grams, it doesn’t align with the high-fat diet ferrets require. Ferrets, with their fast metabolism, rely on a diet rich in fat for the substantial energy they need.


To ensure the optimal health and well-being of your ferret, it is best to stick to a diet specifically formulated for their needs. Ferrets can eat tuna but feed them in small quantities and moderation.

Commercial ferret foods are available that provide the necessary nutrients and balanced diet that ferrets require. These foods are formulated to meet their unique dietary needs, including the right balance of protein, fat, and nutrients.