Grains and starches are common in kibbles due to how they are made and can increase the risk of developing a serious pancreatic cancer called insulinoma.
Insulinoma causes abnormal increases in blood insulin, leading to dangerously low blood sugar, which leads to nausea, lethargy, and life-threatening seizures.
At the GCFA we feed our "Low Carb Mix" which is a mixture of 4 different foods:
- Ziwipeak chicken (air-dried raw for cats)
- Instinct Ultimate Protein duck (cat kibble)
- Oxbow Ferret Essentials (ferret kibble)
- Wysong Epigen 90 with Digestive Support (ferret kibble)
All of these foods can be found on Chewy.com. Additionally you can find most of them in retail stores:
- Ziwipeak - specialty stores like Kriser's, Bentley's Pet Stuff
- Instinct - Petco, Petsmart
- Oxbow - Petco, Petsmart
- Wysong - online only
This mixture is pricier than common ferret foods like Marshall, Zupreem, Kaytee, Wild Harvest, Higgins inTune, Sunseed, etc. However, it will give your ferrets much better long term health and help you to avoid expensive vet bills later in life. If you can afford it, it's worth it.
If cost is an issue, you can remove the Ziwipeak, or even feed just a single food on this list (Wysong sometimes causes digestive issues so we'd recommend Oxbow if you need to limit yourself to one food). This will still be a much healthier option than low-quality kibbles.