Yes, cats and ferrets can get along given a proper introduction and an after some time to get used to each other. They can even become great playmates. Cats and ferrets have their unique personality and temperament so you should have a good understanding of how and when to introduce a ferret to your kitty.
Can cats and ferrets get along?
Cats and ferrets can get along well and according to some sources, they can coexist well for at least 98% of the time. They both share some instincts and both are carnivorous but it will all still depend on each one’s temperament. They may play with each other and ferrets can tolerate a cat’s nuisances. However, pet experts recommend that play sessions should be closely supervised. Ferrets may tend to be a little tough on kittens so caution is advised.
How to introduce a ferret to your cat?
When introducing a ferret to your cat make sure that you are familiar with your pets and their temperaments. Try to make the introduction slowly. You can initially allow your cat to investigate the ferret while it is in the safety of its cage. It is also advisable to swap the ferret and cat to familiarize them with each other’s smell. You can do this by placing your cat in the room where you keep your ferret and by putting the ferret in the bed or sleeping area of your cat. Repeat this process for a few days until you can observe that they are both comfortable with each other already.
Since ferrets are playful they will tend to see the cat as a big toy that they can play with and will do antics such as hitching a ride on the back. They will also tend to initiate playtime by nipping the cat’s tail or toes. Cats may tend to be initially startled by a ferret’s antics and may tend to lash or bat at them. Closely observe the reactions of your cat and if she becomes aggressive separate them immediately.
You should closely supervise playtime for at least several months and leaving them alone may not be an option to consider early on. The more care and patience you put in, the more likely that a strong bond and friendship will develop between the ferret and your cat.
When should you not introduce a ferret to a cat?
Even though ferrets and cats can generally get along well it is not advisable to introduce the two animals to each other if there is a big age difference. Thus, you should not introduce a ferret to a kitten or a cat to a kit, a ferret baby. This is because both animals are carnivorous and an adult one may easily harm the younger one should the prey instinct kicks in. Even if they are just playing, the adult one can easily harm and break the bones of the younger animal.
Also, it is not advisable to introduce both animals if either one has an aggressive or possessive personality because they will simply not mix or complement each other. Pet experts agree that the key to a successful introduction is ascertaining when your current pet is or is not ready yet to welcome a new pet member to the household.
Reasons why ferrets can be good pets like cats
Ferrets, with a scientific name of mustela putorious furo, are the domesticated version of the European polecat and they belong to the same genus as the weasel. While the domesticated ferret only has one known breed it has a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns. The American Ferret Association recognizes 8 colors and 7 different color patterns of ferrets. The colors are albino, black, black sable, champagne, sable, dark-eyed white, cinnamon, and chocolate. The color patterns are mitt, blaze, panda, point, standard, solid, and roan while there are five extra patterns and these are bib, marked, masked, self, and stocking.
Here are the top reasons why ferrets can be good pets like cats:
1. Ferrets are cute, playful, and curious.
Ferrets have adorable and sweet faces with mischievous eyes. Females grow to 14 inches long and weigh from three-quarters to two and a half pounds. Males are larger and may grow up to 16 inches long and can weigh from two to three and a half pounds if they are neutered and can grow to four or more pounds if unneutered. They can be very playful and curious that’s why many people have taken an interest in them as pets.
2. They are sociable, affectionate, and friendly.
Ferrets are friendly and sociable by nature and pet experts recommend that you should have more than one ferret because they thrive more when in pairs. They are also affectionate which makes them adorable pets.
3. They are intelligent.
Ferrets have brainpower and they enjoy challenging puzzles and games. Ferret owners attest that these lovable animals are adept at problem-solving so if you intend to keep them as pets be sure to provide puzzle-based games and toys to them.
4. Ferrets are quiet and don’t need a big cage.
Ferrets do not make much noise and they just do so if they are injured or frightened. They also tend to sleep most of the day. These cuties are also small so they do not need a big cage. An ideal ferret cage is tall with multiple levels so it does not take up too much space in your home.
5. Ferrets are easy to feed.
There is a wide variety of pre-made ferret food that is now available in pet stores and online retailers. Ferrets require a diet of meat and animal products that are high in protein and fat but low in fiber and carbohydrates. Surprisingly, they can also eat wet cat food that is grain-free, high in protein and has no sugar, fish, veggies, or salt. Tips of raw chicken wings may be given as snacks. Kitten food is also a good food alternative for ferrets.
6. They can be litter-trained.
Like cats, ferrets can be litter-trained although not to the same extent and there may be instances of few accidents. But pet experts attest that ferrets may be fairly and reliably trained either inside or outside of their cages.
7. They are easy to exercise.
Ferrets are easy to exercise and this is due in part to their small physiques. They may also be taken for a stroll with the use of a ferret-sized harness and with a little training.
8. Ferrets have distinct personalities.
Just like cats, ferrets have their unique personalities and while some are cuddly others are also fairly independent. If you are considering getting a ferret for a pet, it is recommended that you meet and observe some pet ferrets first so you can have a clear idea of how their personalities vary and what it means to be a ferret parent.
Cats and ferrets can get along well with each other coupled with a good amount of patience and the proper introduction. Each one has a unique temperament and personality so compatibility should be ascertained. Most importantly, playtime sessions should be closely supervised to ensure that aggression may be prevented.