Cats and ferrets?

We have two highly active housecats, a couple of years old each. Genetically unrelated, they chase each other around a lot but don’t seem terribly affectionate. oth are highly attached to, and affectionate with us

Am considering a ferret pup (or whatever they young ones are called).

Am concerned about cat jealously, fighting and danger to any of the animals.


Don’t know for sure, but my gut feel says it’s not a good idea. I think the cats would come off the worse for wear. Ferrets can be vicious things.

My cat an ferrets did not get along well at all, but mostly the cat avoided them at all costs.

I wouldn’t ever leave them alone together, but that’s just my opinion.

Now the dogs were a different story. The shih tzu treated them like brothers and my old mutt treated them like…well…grandchildren!

Baby ferrets are kits. And odds are that the cats will never ever voluntarily go near the ferret. For reasons I can’t fathom, the eight or so cats we had who lived with our 3 ferrets over the years were terrified by them. At most they would sneak up to the cage wide-eyed, and watch them sleep, but bolt as soon as the ferrets stirred (the bravest cat would occasionally try to steal their food, though). When the ferrets were out, the cats would hide. Even so, we watched very carefully to make sure one of the cats didn’t suddenly feel brave and lash out at the scary ferrets.

The only exception to this was the cat who was a kitten when we got the first kit. They played together until the cat got much bigger and lost interest.

I don’t think the cats will be affectionate to the ferret, but I’m not sure that’s your aim anyway :confused:

It’s a really tough call. Some cats and ferrets get along; some don’t. Ferrets require careful, patient nip-training, as ferret skin is tougher than that of humans or cats, and they nip each other in play, so they will expect to do so with you as well. They require a fair amount of training - saying “no!” and the equivalent of time-outs, mostly - to break them of this habit, and even then, they might get forgetful when overly excited.

I had friends who had two wonderful cats and a rambunctious ferret (and a big stupid dog). The ferret loved to play and antagonize the other animals, especially trying to make them chase him. But the black cat fled in fear or hissed whenever the ferret came hopping around her, and the tabby went out of her way to avoid the ferret, occasionally trying to swat at her with a paw if the ferret got too close. I might worry that cats with claws could also do some damage to a ferret if they managed to get a good swat to their face (especially their eyes), or somehow pounced down on them. But typically, cats will keep their distance if they can help it.

Alll good input - thanks. Most websites relating to ferrets claim there will be no problem. But we are concerned about domestic harmony and would niether like to see a ferret with no playmates, nor a threatened or ‘offended’ cat.

[/Get Fuzzy reference/] Bucky Katt has all sorts of trouble with his ferret neighbor. He even lost a tooth getting outsmarted trying to snare the thing with some bologna on a string.

Don’t think your ferret will have feline playmates. Good luck ferret-proofing. I’d love to have a fettet but my cats and Mr. SCL would not be happy with me.

It’s unlikely that your ferret will be running free, especially as a kit, so that the cat and the ferret have time to get to know each other. While some may disagree, I feel it’s best to have one ferret-proofed room, and to keep the ferret in there. Ferrets cannot have the run of a house, like many cats. My two ferrets are confined to their spacious cage about 18-20 hours/day, and have the run of my home office at other times (preferably when someone is present). If you think that cats sleep a lot, wait until you see a ferret. Plus, unlike the cat, ferrets stay asleep.

You will have to socialize the two, and hope that they click. This includes, as Ferret Herder noted, nip-training.

Some other, unasked for advice: Do not use clay or clumping cat litters for ferrets. For best results, use a recycled paper litter, such as Yesterday’s News, or a wood pellet litter. Yesterday’s News cat litter works, although the same brand’s ferret litter is better as it’s less dusty.