Can Ferrets Eat Catnip? Herb Alert!

animal, ferret, mammal

Is Catnip Safe for Your Ferret Friend?

Have you ever wondered if our little ferrety pals could have a sniff of catnip? You might think, since catnip is safe for cats, it should be fine for ferrets, right? But hold on! It’s not quite that simple. While catnip isn’t toxic to ferrets, it doesn’t mean it’s a good treat for them. Let’s get into why it might not be the best idea to share this famous feline herb with your slinky pet.

The Trouble with Catnip and Ferrets

Now, even if catnip is not a big no-no, it could still brew some trouble for your whiskered friend. Here’s the scoop: catnip affects cats thanks to a special ingredient that acts on their happy receptors, but ferrets? They don’t get the same kick. Their bodies and tummies react differently to what they eat compared to cats. Plus, if a ferret eats a bunch of something as weird (for them) as catnip, it might twist their tiny tummies into knots—not literally, but you get the idea.

What Happens If a Ferret Tries Catnip?

Picture this: your curious ferret sniffed out some of that stashed-away catnip and had a nibble. They probably won’t start hopping around like a cat would. Instead, they might get an upset tummy or act a bit off. If you see your ferret being lazy, not eating much, or looking like they’re not feeling great after finding the nip, it’s possible they’re feeling the effects of their little experiment.

Yummy and Safe Snacks for Ferrets

Now, we’ve talked about catnip and its mismatch with ferret diets, so what are some yummy and safe snacks they can munch on? Ferrets are carnivores—meat is their jam. Stick with treats like cooked chicken, turkey, or even special ferret treats you can find at the pet store. Always pick high-protein, meaty goodies, because that’s what their bodies are built for.

Keeping Catnip Out of Paw’s Reach

Like keeping cookies away from kids, the secret to keeping catnip away from your ferret is to stash it high up or in a latched drawer—somewhere your nosy buddy can’t sneak into. Sometimes ferrets act like little ninjas, so you’ve got to be smart about hiding things. Also, if you’ve got a cat and a ferret, make sure your cat’s catnip toys are kept in a cat-only area where your ferret doesn’t play.


So, to wrap this up: catnip and ferrets are a combo that’s better to avoid. Even if ferrets won’t turn into superheroes after a whiff of catnip, they might not feel too hot. Always choose safe, ferret-friendly treats instead. Taking care of a pet is a big deal, and part of that is knowing what’s best for their tummy. Your ferret may not thank you with words, but their healthy, happy dances will say it all.