Many ferret owners think of their pets as cute and cuddly animals that would not harm another creature but the truth, of these carnivores, is very different.
Ferrets are domesticated animals that have been bred for centuries to hunt small prey, such as rodents. They are natural hunters and will kill mice if they can find them. It is not necessary to keep ferrets in order to control the mouse populations in your home, but you may want one if you live on a farm or other rural property where there are no cats or dogs around.
Ferrets will kill mice
It is true that, if you don’t keep them properly, ferrets will attack and kill mice, but most domestic ferrets would not even consider eating a mouse they catch.
Ferrets have a strong desire to hunt, catch and kill small prey but often won’t eat what they capture and if your ferret does kill a mouse he will probably head off to look for another animal to kill.
Leaving you to deal with the dead bodies of mice.
Ferrets are natural hunters that seek prey
Ferrets, like cats and dogs, have an instinctive desire to hunt and kill prey animals such as mice and other rodents.
Given the opportunity, your ferret will chase mice and, if he catches them, will most likely kill them.
A ferret will also track down other small animals such as rabbits, birds and rats, all of which, to him are a source of food.
In many parts of the world ferrets are still used in areas where there are high rabbit populations.
The exits to the rabbit burrows are secured with nets and the ferret is allowed to enter the burrow, flushing the rabbits out to be captured by the nets and then disposed of.
Learn all about training and keeping ferrets
Should you let your ferret kill mice?
If your ferret has a free run of the house or outdoor area then you will find it difficult to prevent him from capturing and killing mice.
The biggest risk to your ferret, if he does catch a rodent, is that the prey could have ingested poison or some other thing that could be passed onto your ferret, with disastrous results.
It is also possible that a mouse could have some ailment or illness that could affect your ferret’s health if he eats it.
From a point of caution it’s advisable to prevent your ferret from catching and killing wild mice as much as you are able to.
Keep ferrets and small pets apart
Needless to say, if you have ferrets and pet mice or other small animals then you should keep them apart.
Make sure that they have secure and ferret resistant accommodation so that they don’t become lunch for your ferret.
This also applies to poultry such as chickens, ducks and turkeys, as, from personal experience, I can assure you that ferrets will attack and kill these birds.
Can ferrets kill rats?
Some rats can be as big as a ferret and even the toughest ferret can find itself in trouble when taking on a rat.
Rats can be really vicious and can harbour some awful diseases.
Although ferrets can kill rats I’d recommend that you use safer and better options such as traps, shotguns and using terriers to get rid of them.
Will ferrets kill mice?
The answer to this question is “yes.”
Ferrets are natural hunters and will kill mice.
They have been bred over the years, in captivity, to be more domesticated pets but they retain their instinctual hunting abilities when given the opportunity.