What Do Ferrets Hunt?

Ferrets are curious and playful animals that have been kept as pets for centuries. Despite their domestication, ferrets still retain their natural instincts to hunt and explore. But what do ferrets hunt?

Many people assume that ferrets only prey on small rodents like mice and rats, but their hunting habits are actually much more diverse than that. In this article, we will explore the various types of prey that ferret hunt in the wild and how these instincts translate to their behavior as pets.

What Do Ferrets Hunt?

What Do Ferrets Hunt

Ferrets are carnivorous mammals that hunt small animals, such as rabbits, rats and mice. They have a strong sense of smell and an instinctive drive to hunt and capture their prey.

In the wild, ferrets will use their agility to chase down their prey. They can also dig tunnels and burrows to access underground nests of rodents. Once they corner their prey, they use their sharp teeth to kill it quickly.

In captivity, ferrets may not get the opportunity to hunt live animals. However, they can still satisfy their predatory instinct by playing with toys that mimic the movements of small animals or by chasing after a toy on a string.

You can check the below list to have a clear idea about what ferrets do actually hunt specially in the wild.

  • small mammals
  • small animals
  • rodents
  • rabbits
  • mice
  • hedgehogs
  • possums
  • ground squirrels
  • birds
  • insects
  • snakes
  • reptiles
  • fish

Is A Ferret A Predator or A Prey?

Ferrets are predators by nature, but they do not typically hunt for their food. They are carnivorous mammals that feed on small animals such as mice and birds.

In the wild, ferrets will catch and eat whatever they can find, including insects, eggs, and other small creatures.

Domesticated ferrets usually do not hunt for their food as they are fed pre-prepared meals.

However, if given the opportunity to hunt, a ferret will happily take advantage of it. If you have pet rodents or birds in your home, it is important to keep them away from your ferret to ensure their safety.

In general, ferrets are considered to be predators rather than prey due to their hunting instincts and carnivorous diet. However, when kept as pets they rarely need to hunt for their own food and can live comfortably in captivity with the right care and nutrition.

Are Ferrets Aggressive Animals?

Ferrets are not typically considered aggressive animals. In fact, they are often known for their affectionate, playful and curious personalities. However, like any animal, ferrets can become aggressive if they feel threatened or scared.

It is important to socialize your ferret from a young age and provide it with plenty of opportunities to play and explore in order to help prevent any potential aggression.

Ferrets may also display aggression when they are in pain or feeling unwell. If your ferret suddenly begins exhibiting aggressive behavior, it is important to take them to the vet to ensure that there isn’t an underlying medical issue causing the behavior.

In short, ferrets are not considered aggressive animals but like any pet, it is important to be aware of their behavior and needs in order to ensure that they remain happy and healthy.

Will A Ferret Hunt Other Pet Animals?

Ferrets are carnivorous animals and, as such, they are naturally inclined to hunt other animals. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will hunt other pet animals in the home.

Ferrets have been domesticated for centuries and can be trained to behave in certain ways. If a ferret is raised around other pets, it is unlikely to hunt them since it would not have been exposed to the instinctive behavior of hunting these animals.

It is important to note that ferrets may still display predatory behavior towards small animals, such as mice or birds, even if they have been raised around them.

When introducing a ferret into an environment with existing pets, it is best to supervise their interactions closely and provide ample space for each animal. It is also important to train the ferret not to exhibit aggressive behaviors and discourage any attempts at chasing or pouncing on other pets.

How to Keep A Ferret with Other Pet Animals?

Keeping a ferret with other pet animals can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to ensure that you take the necessary steps to keep everyone safe.

First, it’s important to understand the temperament of both your ferret and any other animal you plan on keeping in the same space.

While ferrets are generally social animals, they may not get along with other pets – especially cats and dogs – so it’s important to introduce them slowly and carefully. If possible, set up separate areas for each pet so they can all have their own space.

It’s also important to make sure that any pet-proofing measures you take also apply to your ferret.

Ferrets are very curious creatures and can easily get into trouble if they have access to small spaces or items that could be hazardous. Make sure that anything potentially dangerous is out of reach, and supervise your pet when he is interacting with other animals in the home.

How to Train A Ferret Not to Attack Other Pet Animals?

Training a ferret not to attack other pet animals requires patience and consistency. The first step is to make sure the ferret is properly socialized as a young animal. This means exposing it to a variety of people, animals, and situations so it learns how to behave in different environments.

Once the ferret has been properly socialized, you can begin training it not to attack other pets. Start by teaching it basic commands such as “sit” and “stay.” These commands will help the ferret understand what behavior is expected of it. You can also use positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise when the ferret behaves correctly around other animals.

Finally, if your ferret does exhibit aggressive behavior towards other animals, try to distract it with toys or food. This will help redirect its attention away from the other animal and focus on something else instead. With patience and consistency, you should be able to train your ferret not to attack other pet animals.


At last, ferrets are naturally born hunters with a keen sense of smell and agility that makes them effective at catching prey. They had been used for hunting in different countries and then domesticated for centuries and are often kept as pets. However, it is important to understand that they still retain their hunting instincts and need proper care and attention to thrive.

Ferrets hunt a variety of animals including rodents, rabbits, birds, and even insects. It is essential to provide them with appropriate toys, playtime, and a balanced diet to keep them healthy and happy. Whether you own a ferret or not, knowing what they hunt can help you appreciate these fascinating creatures even more.