Ferrets naturally have a musky smell. Because of this smell, many people fear that having ferrets around may attract mice. This leads to questions such as whether mice like ferrets, whether ferrets are capable of attracting mice, whether mice and ferrets can get along and so on.
Do ferrets attract mice? The answer is ‘no’. Whereas ferrets do have a musky smell, it is not of the type that is capable of attracting mice. As a matter of fact, far from attracting mice, the smell of ferrets is more likely to deter mice and rats from showing up.
It is important to remember that in nature, the relationship between ferrets and mice is that of predators and prey. So for ferrets rodents like mice and rats are potential food. This being the case, the mice have evolved to be sensitive to ferrets’ smell.
And once they detect it, they know that there is a potential predator around. Consequently, mice are likely to stay away from any place where there is even the slightest hint of a ferret around.
In this article, you will find the answers to “do ferrets attract mice” and other related questions.
Do Ferrets Attract Rodents?
Sometimes, people will broaden the do ferrets attract mice question, and actually ask whether ferrets attract rodents (generally). First of all, it is important to point out that ferrets are members of the weasel family. So they are not rodents, as some people mistakenly think. This answers the frequently asked question, on are ferrets rodents or felines. So they are neither rodents nor felines. On the contrary, the ferrets are members of the weasel family.
So, being weasel family members, do ferrets attract mice and other rodents? The answer is a resounding no. Far from attracting mice and other rodents, ferrets actually tend to keep them away. That is because for ferrets mice rats and most other rodents are prey. And for the mice, rats and other rodents, the ferrets are predators.
Ordinarily, prey won’t be attracted to predators. Instead, prey animals do all they can to stay away from predators. And this is exactly what we see with regard to ferrets and rodents.
So ferrets don’t attract rodents. On the contrary, the slightest whiff of a ferret tends to keep most rodents away.
Do Mice Like Ferrets?
People who pose the do ferrets attract mice question typically want to know whether, in the first place, mice like ferrets. So do mice like ferrets? The answer is a resounding no. Mice don’t like ferrets. Instead, mice fear ferrets.
The very presence of a ferret anywhere is likely to make a mouse very uncomfortable. And this is why ferrets mice control works so well. The basis for the ferret mouse control is in the fact that mice fear ferrets badly.
One may even argue that mice fear ferrets more than they fear cats. This is because the mouse knows that it can always evade the cat by running into its hole. Because the cat is a much bigger animal, it can’t follow the mouse right into the hole. But the dynamics of a mouse vs ferret chase are rather different.
The ferret, being a smaller and more agile animal, is able to chase the mouse right into its hiding hole. For this reason, the ferret may be scarier (to the mouse) than the cat.
Do Ferrets Attract Mice?
Ferrets don’t attract mice. On the contrary, ferrets scare mice away. When a mouse senses that there is a ferret around, it takes this as a danger signal. A mouse is unlikely to continue hanging around a place where it knows there may be a ferret around.
The people who pose the do ferrets attract mice question typically do so on account of the musky odor that ferrets have. So they get the impression that the musky odor in question may attract mice. But rather than attracting mice, the odor actually scares them away.
In fact, it is worth mentioning that the very reason people started domesticating ferrets was to keep mice away. And more often than not, a mouse doesn’t even need to see an actual ferret to start planning its escape. Just getting a whiff of the ferret’s scent is usually enough to get a mouse running for its dear life.
Ultimately, we can assert that ferrets don’t attract mice. They scare them away. Yet you sometimes find a computer user making use of a ferret mouse pad, without appreciating the irony of the whole thing.
Do Ferrets And Mice Get Along?
Another question that may come up alongside the one on do ferrets attract mice is whether ferrets and mice get along. And the answer is a resounding no. Ferrets and mice don’t get along. The ferrets always want to kill the mice. The mice are always scared of the ferrets. So there is simply no way that these animals can get along.
This has implications, if you happen to keep mice (or other types of rats) and ferrets as pets. It means that you need to keep them as far away from each other as possible. This is not just about keeping them out of each other’s sight. Rather, it is about ensuring that they are so far from each other that they can’t even detect each other’s scent.
Do Ferrets Chase Mice?
Someone who poses the do ferrets attract mice question may also be interested in knowing whether ferrets chase mice. So, indeed, do ferrets chase mice? The answer is yes. Ferrets do chase mice. And remarkably, when ferrets decide to chase mice, they normally take the chase right up to its logical conclusion. This means that even if a mouse runs into a hole, the ferret will follow it right there.
So ferrets do chase mice. It is not even something they need to learn. Chasing mice is hardwired in their brain. It is instinctual for a ferret to chase a mouse.
Do Ferrets Scare Mice Away?
So far, we have established that ferrets don’t attract mice. Thus, the answer to the question on do ferrets attract mice is no. But this brings up another interesting dimension: are mice scared of ferrets? And the truth of the matter is that ferrets do scare mice away. That is because mice view the ferrets as predators. So they want to stay away from them as much as they can.
Even a big mouse is still likely to be scared of a relatively small ferret. You will never encounter a mouse hunting ferret. It is always the other way round: of a ferret hunting a mouse. So the moment a mouse sees a ferret, it sees a predator. And then it immediately recognizes that it is potential prey. Therefore the mouse gets scared (and rightly so).
Will Mice Leave If They Smell A Ferret?
The answer is ‘yes’. Mice will typically tend to leave a place, once they detect the smell of a ferret. This is because to a mouse, a ferret is a very dangerous animal. Therefore the smell of a ferret is a very unpleasant one to a mouse.
From the mouse’s perspective, the smell of a ferret is a deadly one. The mouse knows that if it waits to see the actual ferret, it may be too late then. So it leaves when it still can: upon detecting the ferret’s smell.
That therefore answers the question on do ferrets keep mice away? The answer is ‘yes’. So effective at keeping mice away are the ferrets that simply detecting a ferret’s smell gets the mouse running for dear life. This also buttresses the answer we gave to the question on do ferrets attract mice. So we see that rather than attracting mice, the ferrets actually scare them away very fast.
Can Ferrets Eat Mice?
Wherever there are discussions on the relationships between ferrets and mice, this question usually arises: can pet ferrets eat rats or mice? In fact, the question on can ferrets eat mouse meat is more common than the one on do ferrets attract mice.
So, indeed, can ferrets eat mice? The answer is yes. Ferrets can eat mice. In the wild, mice are among the things that ferrets like to hunt and eat. Even in captivity, ferrets do still show the desire to hunt down mice (and eat them) whenever they can.
One may then ask: why do ferrets eat rats and mice? And the answer is in the fact that ferrets are obligate carnivores. This is to say that there are certain proteins they need which they can only get from meat. And among the animals they hunt down in order to get the meat they need are the rats and mice in question here.
Another question may come up at this point: do ferrets attract mice and then proceed to kill them the way geckos seem to attract insects before proceeding to kill and eat them? And the answer seems to be no. Ferrets don’t attract mice.
What they seem to do is chase the mice they happen to encounter, kill them and proceed to devour them. So they don’t attract and then ambush the mice. Instead, they take the initiative, chase the mice down, kill them and proceed to eat them.
Can You Give Mice To Ferrets?
This may be a key question, if you happen to keep ferrets as pets. Typically, someone will ask: can my ferret eat mice? In fact, some of the people who pose the do ferrets attract mice question may turn out to be folks who keep ferrets as pets. So they seek to know whether mice can be an attractive food to the ferrets.
The truth of the matter is that you can give mice to ferrets. Ferrets find mice meat attractive. Ideally, these need to be mice you have caught using a trap.
You shouldn’t give mice you found inexplicably dead to your ferret. Such mice may have been poisoned, and eating them could harm the ferret.
Most experts on these matters seem to be in favor of only giving you ferrets mice as treats, rather than dietary staples.
One may then wonder: can ferrets eat frozen mice meat? And the answer is yes. Ferrets can eat frozen mice meat. You just need to ensure that you thaw the meat (to room temperature), before presenting it to the ferret.
Are Mice Good For Ferrets?
In the wild, mice are among the animals that ferrets prey upon. Mice meat is nutritious to ferrets. And mice meat is safe for ferrets. Therefore, considering the fact that the mice meat is both nutritious and safe for ferrets, we can conclude that it is ‘good’ for them.
Will A Ferret Get Rid Of Mice?
A ferret can be quite effective at getting rid of mice. This is because, firstly, a ferret can chase down and kill mice. But over and above that, the very scent of a ferret around can scare mice away. Therefore even where a ferret doesn’t completely manage to eliminate mice, it will reduce their numbers drastically.
Final Verdict – Do Ferrets Attract Mice?
As we have seen, ferrets don’t attract mice. On the contrary, ferrets scare mice away. Mice view ferrets as ferocious predators. And more often than not, a whiff of a ferret’s scent (and not even the sight of the actual ferret) is usually enough to scare mice away.
Therefore if you have a particularly bad mice problem, which cats seem to be incapable of helping with – yet you also don’t want to make use of mice poisons – a ferret may turn out to be a very effective solution.