Cats are aggressive creatures, and they have a natural hunting instinct. So it is quite common that they pick up a fight of tending to hunt down animals smaller than their own. But it is quite the opposite in the case of ferrets.
Cats get along quite well with ferrets and make good company for each other. The maximum number of times ferrets and cats coexist very well. But there is a little chance that ferrets get a little savage around cats, especially kittens. So it is best to keep kittens away from ferrets.
Do cats and ferrets get along?
Ninety-nine percent of the time, cats and ferrets get along very well. Ferrets like playing with cats and vice versa. It is out of the way for a cat to make friends with any smaller animal than it provided its dominant and aggressive nature.
Cats generally tend to hunt animals like rats, mice, birds, or other small animals. But in the case of ferrets, cats show a more calm nature. The reason behind this is that both cats and ferrets are natural predators.
They both have sharp claws and teeth, which helps them hunt down their prey. Also, they are not afraid to defend themselves when they feel attacked. They both showcase the same habits and have almost the same lifestyle. That is why cats and ferrets get along quite well.
How to introduce cats and ferrets?
The most vital thing to be taken care of when you introduce two new pets is not to be left alone without supervision. If they are left on their own without a proper introduction, either one or both may end up in a disastrous situation. The best is to introduce them when both of them are babies. Here are a few other steps to follow to introduce a cat and a ferret.
Introduce them safely
It would be best if you acknowledged that introducing a cat and a ferret for the first time can be a little bit stressful for both. It is advised that you stay close to the animals so that you can intervene if a fight is induced.
Your main motto should be to let those animals get used to each other’s scent first. You can do this by keeping the ferret in a cage first and then letting your cat sniff around. If the cat shows any sign of hostility, then cut the interaction between them to figure out that an aggressive attitude is unacceptable.
Continue this process until they know that there cannot be fights, and they start getting comfortable around each other. This essential step decides the strength of the relationship. This step ensures that the cat and the ferret will be friends or be enemies.
Allow them to interact
Once they start getting used to the scent of one another, you can slowly begin to bring them together without the ferret’s cage. Try to hold either the cat or the ferret very gently, and do not let go until they are done sniffing and exploring each other’s pheromones. Both cat and ferret are very inquisitive.
Withdraw either the cat or the ferret from the scene immediately as soon as there is any sign of aggression. Continue this exercise until the cat and ferret get friendly with each other and can get along without affecting the other. So let them explore each other’s aura and be accustomed to the new member slowly.
Give them some space
Now you can take a step ahead. Instead of holding one animal now, could you put it on a leash, preferably the cat? When one is on the leash, bring in the other, let them sit together in a room, and discover what they like and don’t. This way, they cannot dart away even if they are scared.
Allow them to find a connection, a way to communicate. Let them play around with each other. But it would be best if you did not leave that place. Stay nearby to prevent any dangerous situation. Playful paws and bites are okay but don’t let them turn into something big.
Never leave them unsupervised
All the above stunts are to be done under strict invigilation. Ferrets are very bold and do not hold back fighting even if the opponent is bigger and stronger. They will never fail to use their sharp teeth and claws against a cat if they don’t feel unharmed near them.
At the same time, cats are also very feisty and can put up quite a show. You don’t want any of them to get hurt. It would be best to keep each interaction short and then gradually increase the duration only when comfort in the air increases.
Don’t leave them alone until the tension in the environment completely comes to zero level.
The cat and the ferret might be getting along well in the beginning, but aggression can build up with time. Hence it is best if you keep them under observation all the time. Sometimes, the risk persists even if it looks like there is no harm left to happen.
Spay and neuter both ferrets and cats
Often hormones lead to more aggressive behavior in both the animals. To prevent such aggression amongst the animals, you can get them neutered before introducing them.
This reduces the territorial instincts and reduces the chances of fights and violence. Take the consultation of the vet before you take this major step.
Can a cat kill a ferret?
A house cat can easily kill a ferret. But a cat and a ferret cohabit very well, and their behaviors are quite alike. They have the same sort of temperament and hunting nature. But that doesn’t mean that cats will not harm ferrets.
Cats can injure ferrets with one bite. But it is most likely the single bite will not kill the ferret. A ferret does not run away like other prey, and the cat doesn’t find it tempting.
A ferret always puts up equal competition to the cat. It fights to its best ability and does not accept its defeat easily. It is best to keep away cats and ferrets until they reach a level of comfort.
What to do if cats and ferrets don’t get along?
A ferret and a cat rarely don’t get along, given their similar dominant behaviors. But that is not very impossible. A cat and a ferret can decide to show fits at each other and end up in fights.
Now, if you have tried all the ways to keep them from fighting and yet they are in a constant argument, then you have to be prepared to keep them separated forever.
The following points could be beneficial:
- Arrange for separate places for the cat and the ferret. Build up the things essential for both the animals so that neither comes into each other’s territory.
- Ferrets are very intelligent creatures and take no time to figure out how to unlock their cage. Make sure that the locks of the cage are inaccessible to the ferrets.
- Be available to both the cat and the ferret. Making them feel neglected is the last thing you would want.
- Keep making efforts to reunite them but only under strict supervision to prevent any mishap.
- Also, for future reference, you can consider introducing a cat and a ferret as newborns so that they learn to grow up with each other and face no problems.
- You can also bring in special trainers who can help you resolve the enmity between your cat and ferret.
- If you are a working person, consider hiring someone who can look after the feisty beings when you are away.
- You can also install cameras inside your house wherever necessary to keep track of the cat’s and the ferret’s behavioral progress.
A cat and a ferret friendship seem to be unexpected, but it is quite fascinating that they coexisted quite well. Remember not to be more inclined towards one making the other jealous. It takes up lots of patience and effort on your part.
Jealousy is the least important factor if you want to resolve the tension. But if they get along well, then voila! Both ferrets and cats are tough animals, but if you are vigilant about your introduction sessions, you might end up with two animals loving each other and becoming best friends.
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.