Can Ferrets and Pet Mice Get Along?

Q: Will my ferret get along with my pet mouse? I have had my pet mouse for two years, and was just recently given a ferret by a friend who can’t take care of it anymore. I know ferrets are obligate carnivores – they only eat meat. I also know that ferrets eat adult mice as prey when they get the chance. But if I keep my mouse in a secure, locked cage all the time, in a separate room when my ferret is out, is there any chance my pet mouse will be killed or injured by my new ferret?

Answer: Your new ferret will kill your mouse eventually – you can count on that.

I’ll tell you a story: I had (and I say had because this story doesn’t end well) a parakeet, when someone gifted me their pet ferret. I did everything I could to keep the poor bird away from the domesticated weasel’s snapping jaws.

One day, when I was home, I heard the bird screaming, and flapping its wings from the closed room I had it in. In the span of about 2 minutes, the ferret crawled under the door, climbed the curtain where the bird’s cage was, and squeezed through the bars of the cage to kill my poor parakeet Blueberry. Chuck (the ferret) had the frantic bird in his mouth when I got there, and it was still alive. Due to the extent of its injuries, the parakeet had to be put down by our vet.

This is what will happen to your pet mouse – please don’t let an innocent pet mouse be killed. Ferrets (a predatory weasel) and mice (a rodent prey animal) can never get along. To stop your mouse from getting serious injuries, either give away the mouse, or the pet ferret, but never keep both pets in the same house together.

Ferrets are carnivores with a higher prey drive than a cat or dog. Because they can get into small spaces, you have to worry about your mouse’s safety more than with a cat.

Your ferret will (and it’s in a matter of time) squeeze under the locked door of the room your mouse is in, disable the lock, (or squeeze through the bars) on your mouse’s cage, and eat the mouse whole before you realize what’s happening. Ferrets are very clever, and get into everything they really shouldn’t.

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