What popular pets should not be kept with ferrets? - Oxbow Animal Health (2023)

Escritor: Haley Pearson |the modern ferret

If you're a ferret owner or considering adopting a ferret as a pet in the near future, you've probably already answered important questions like "Are ferrets good pets?" and "Is it a ferret to me?" Now you may be wondering if you can safely house your ferret with other pets. The short answer is: it depends.

There are many pets that new owners are surprised to find unsafe to house with or around their new ferret. With the wide variety of pet options available, it's best to evaluate each species individually to decide whether or not letting them directly interact with your ferret is a safe option.

In addition to sharing my personal experience with ferrets over ten years, in this article I will answer:

  • Why do ferrets get along with some animals and not others?
  • Can I house my rabbit and my ferret together?
  • Can I house my ferret and rodent together?
  • Will my reptiles get along with my ferret?
  • Can my ferret be friends with a bird?
  • What should I do if I already have these pets?

Why do ferrets get along with some animals and not others?

Answering this question is a great place to start when it comes to understanding which species are safe to have around your ferret and which are not.

Contrary to popular belief, ferrets aremaidenRodents They are not closely related to other small animals found in pet stores, such as rats, mice, hamsters, and guinea pigs.

Instead, ferrets are more closely related to predatory animals like dogs and cats (in general). That's why it's important to provide a species-specific, high-quality, low-fiber diet of animal origin like that of the Oxbow.Essential food for ferrets.

More specifically, ferrets are part of the Mustelidae family and are related to otters, badgers, and wolverines. It is important to note that each of these animals are predators. While your ferret may seem harmless, it actually evolved to hunt. This greatly narrows down the choice of a safe furry companion for your new housemate!

What popular pets should not be kept with ferrets? - Oxbow Animal Health (1)

Can I house my rabbit and my ferret together?

In the wild, rabbits live in burrows and spend their lives foraging for food such as grass, flowers, vegetables, and other plants. As prey, rabbits also spend a lot of time hiding from potential predators such as foxes, dogs, cats, birds of prey, and wild weasels (to which the house ferret is closely related).

Historically, even domesticated ferrets have been trained to hunt rabbits, another indication that a friendship between the two is unlikely.

For these reasons, housing ferrets and rabbits together is a big "no."

Can I house my rodent and my ferret together?

Like rabbits, rodents spend their lives wary of predators like your ferret. Think hamsters, mice, chinchillas, and guinea pigs. Just the smell of urine is enough to trigger a predatory response in your ferret.

During my personal experience with ferrets, a mouse entered my house. He found a large cardboard box and got stuck in it. When my ferret followed the enticing "rodent smell" and jumped into the box as well, a series of rapid displays of predatory instinct ensued. It didn't take long for my once "gentle and docile ferret" to act like a skilled hunter.

As you can imagine, ferrets and rodents are also a 'no'!

What popular pets should not be kept with ferrets? - Oxbow Animal Health (2)

Will reptiles get along with my ferret?

The short answer is "no," but the reasons vary. Reptiles come in all shapes and sizes. There are nano chameleons that are 0.5 inches long and Argentine black and white Tegus that can grow almost five feet long! This means that some reptiles (both snakes and lizards) are small enough for your ferret to hunt, while others can grow so large that they decide to hunt your ferret.

I have personal experience of the effect that the smell of a ferret has on a snake. Years ago I had a friend in my house who took great care of my first ferret, Moose. He hugged him, scratched him, rocked him, and let Moose sniff and examine his shoes and socks. Essentially, Moose left his scent on this friend of mine.

Later that same day, that same friend visited another person with a pet snake. He said that his behavior was quite impressive and unusual. A snake he claimed "never bites" was curious about my friend's shoes, socks, and calves.

After thirty seconds of intensive investigation, the snake pounced on my friend's lower leg, bit him, and quickly broke free. Both my friend and the snake were fine. However, it was a valuable learning moment.

Just as my ferret had previously responded to the scent of a rodent, the snake in question was triggered by the scent of a ferret.

Since ferrets and reptiles have different needs for food and housing, it wouldn't make sense to keep them together. Definitely skip this matchmaking choice!

Can my ferret be friends with a bird?

Like reptiles, birds come in all shapes and sizes. And, like lizard variations, there are small birds like finches (which can trigger your ferret's predatory instincts) and much larger ones like cockatoos and parrots. These larger birds can easily injure your ferret with a single bite from their incredibly strong beaks.

While it may seem like a good "unlikely friendship," this guy may be unlikely for a reason! It is best to keep these types of pets as far away as possible.

What if I already have one of these pets?

If you already have one of these pets in your home, it is necessary to house them in separate cages and it would be ideal to even house them in separate rooms of the house. If possible, I would also recommend putting them in separate rooms.cornersthe house to keep them as far away as possible.

Also, don't let your ferret look into the quarry's private space (even if it's not there), as a ferret can leave its scent on the cage and surrounding accessories.

For a predator, the smell of urine and body oils from the prey can trigger the hunting instinct. However, if the prey detects a predator nearby (and in its 'safe space', no less!), it can cause unnecessary fear and stress.

What popular pets should not be kept with ferrets? - Oxbow Animal Health (3)


In an ideal world, all of our animals would be able to play well together. In real life, however, there is a distinction between predator and prey for a reason. Some animals are just not meant to be friends.

It is important to keep ferrets away from things they may want to eat, and it is important to keep your ferret away from thingsellaI would try to eat. At the end of the day, we want to give our pets the best life possible, and sometimes that means keeping them safe and separate.

What popular pets should not be kept with ferrets? - Oxbow Animal Health (4)

About by author:Haley Pearson is the founder ofthe modern ferret, a global social media community dedicated to celebrating ferrets and educating new ferret owners. His YouTube channel has almost 60,000 subscribers and he has a Tiktok account with more than 900,000 followers! Haley lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her rescued ferret, Elijah. When she's not making YouTube videos about ferrets, Haley loves to serve at her local church.


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