Clubhouse ferret food chart

This is based off the original More Dooks food chart which is no longer online.  I have kept her original wording on many of the instructions with slight adding of information by me (in red).  Such as the disclaimer about PEAS linked to bladder stones.  Links have been added to the manufacturer’s website where available.  Ingredients verified October 2018.  Not all cat foods are listed.

Summary
This chart mathematically rates dry ferret, cat, and kitten foods. 
Keep in mind that it is impossible to determine the exact quality or meat content of a food from just the information that is required to be on its label. The best we can do with the bit of information we get is approximate (or look at foods that provide meat content claims). 
This chart rates foods by assessing the amount of protein and fat they contain, and then scoring the quality of their main sources. It also penalizes high amounts of carbohydrates (such as vegetables and sweeteners). 
Animal Protein: This is a protein-based ingredient from an animal source: the main requirement in a carnivore diet.
Fruit: Fruits may deliver useful vitamins, but they're high in sugar (very bad) and they're not a part of the ferret's natural diet. They shouldn't make up large portions of the food, but are usually okay to see low down in the ingredients list.  
Vegetable: This is not a natural part of a ferret's diet, and may not be not well digested. A small amount of vegetables is typically needed to bind meat together in kibble, and vegetables are sometimes used to provide needed vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, vegetables are often added in larger amounts as 'filler' to reduce the ingredients cost for the manufacturer, so watch out for how high up on the ingredients list they appear.  NOTE – Peas have been linked to bladder stones hence why they are notated in RED on the chart.

The Exact Math (feel free to skip if you're lazy) 
We award equal points to both protein and fat being as high as possible. Each percent that is in the food earns 0.51 points. The first 6 ingredients are rated on a weighted scale (meaning points are more greatly affected by ingredients that are higher on the list): 

+6 for the first ingredient, +5 for the second, +4 for the third, +3 for the fourth, +2 for the fifth, +1 for the sixth 
Named meats and meat meals. Named animal fats or oils. 

+3 for the first ingredient, +2.5 for the second, +2 for the third, +1.5 for the fourth, +1 for the fifth, +0.5 for the sixth 
Unnamed meats, meat meals, fat, or oils. 
Named by-products and digests. 

0 points awarded 
Unnamed by-products and digests. 
Flavoring, plant oils, supplements, and anything else not listed. 

-3 for the first ingredient, -2.5 for the second, -2 for the third, -1.5 for the fourth, -1 for the fifth, -0.5 for the sixth 
ALL vegetables and fruits. Grains/corn/wheat will not be punished beyond other vegetables unless someone can find substantial proof that they do more harm than potatoes. I've spent a lot of time trying with no luck getting results. 

-4.5 for the first ingredient, -3.75 for the second, -3 for the third, -2.25 for the fourth, -1.5 for the fifth, -0.75 for the sixth 
Vegetable proteins (to roughly reverse the points they awarded for elevating the protein level) 

-12 for the first ingredient, -10 for the second, -8 for the third, -6 for the fourth, -4 for the fifth, -2 for the sixth 
Sweeteners (sugars that provide no nutritional benefit). 

This criteria seems to be quite effective for scoring the vast majority of foods, but do keep in mind that some foods with a very limited ingredient variety may score a bit lower than they "should". 

The Score 
All Foods are given a ranking in points, and point ranges are divided into tiers. 
Green Tier: Excellent Foods that a ferret can thrive on.** These all have a minimum of 40% protein. Most of them are grain-free and provide a promise of at least 75% animal ingredients. 
**note that Epigen cat/dog is an exception that has excellent protein levels, but does not contain enough fat for a ferret to thrive on (it is 11-12% fat) and is thus recommended as a treat or 'mixer' only. (Wysong should be mixed)
Blue Tier: Solidly good foods. Most of them meet a ferret's basic requirements for protein and fat and do not include any meat by-products. 
Orange Tier: A ferret could live on these foods, but I would not expect them to thrive. I would recommend switching or mixing with a higher quality food. 
Red Tier: Foods that I would NOT consider to be suitable for a ferret. (pink)

Important Tips

·  If you're entirely new to ferret nutrition and would like a crash course to help understand our logic, visit our Ferret Nutrition for Newbies page.

·  While we believe that high quality kitten foods are ferret-suitable, there are also people who don't. If you're not comfortable feeding cat food, don't do it. You can scroll down to the bottom of the page to disclude cat foods or change the chart's scoring system. (sorry I did not modify the chart to be sortable)

·  DON'T feed only one food. If the formula ever changes and your ferret is picky, you will be really stuck. Pick 2 or 3 foods and mix them or rotate. (this cannot be stressed enough!)

·  Whole prey or raw meat is the very best diet, I recommend checking it out before making any decisions. (look up “holistic ferret” on a search engines or Facebook)


Points

Name

Protein %

Fat %

Fiber %

1st ingredient

2nd ingredient

3rd ingredient

4th ingredient

5th ingredient

6th ingredient

58.33

Wysong Ferret Epigen 90

62.00

18.00

3.00

chicken meal

organic chicken

meat protein isolate (pork)

chicken fat

gelatin

natural flavors

56.56

Wysong Archetype (chicken) (powder)

44.00

36.00

0.50

chicken

chicken Organs

ground chicken bone

natural flavor

taurine

organic blueberry

56.33

Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Digestive Support

62.00

16.00

5.00

chicken meal

organic chicken

chicken fat

beet fiber

meat protein isolate (pork)

apples

53.67

Natures Variety Instinct Raw Boost Duck

41.00

22.00

4.00

duck

turkey meal

chicken meal

Menhaden fish meal

chicken fat

peas

53.41

Go! Fit and Free

46.00

18.00

1.50

chicken meal

de-boned chicken

de-boned turkey

duck meal

turkey meal

salmon meal

53.13

Orijen Regional Red

40.00

20.00

3.00

deboned beef

deboned wild boar

deboned goat

deboned lamb

lamb liver

beef liver

52.13

Orijen Cat & Kitten

40.00

20.00

3.00

deboned chicken

deboned turkey

whole eggs

atlantic flounder

whole atlantic mackerel

chicken liver

51.92

Natures Variety Instinct Raw Boost Chicken

43.00

20.00

3.50

chicken

chicken meal

turkey meal

Menhaden fish meal

peas

chicken fat

51.66

Wellness CORE Kitten

45.00

18.00

3.00

deboned turkey

turkey meal

deboned chicken

chicken meal

peas

herring meal

51.09

Acana Cat Grasslands

35.00

20.00

4.00

deboned lamb

deboned duck

whole eggs

lamb meal

catfish meal

goat meal

51.09

Acana Cat Meadowlands

35.00

20.00

4.00

deboned chicken

deboned turkey

chicken liver

chicken meal

catfish meal

turkey giblets

50.42

Natures Variety Instinct Original Rabbit

40.00

23.00

3.50

rabbit

turkey meal

menhaden fish meal

chicken fat

peas

white fish meal

47.61

Chicken Soup for the Kitten Lovers Soul

36.00

22.00

3.00

chicken

chicken meal

turkey meal

chicken fat

cracked pearled barley

white rice

46.85

Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten

36.00

20.00

3.50

deboned chicken

chicken meal

menhaden fish meal

chicken fat

brown rice

barley

44.93

Eukanuba Kitten

36.00

24.00

4.57

dried chicken

dried turkey

maize

animal fat

maize grits

dried whole egg

44.36

Merrick Back Country kitten recipe

42.00

15.00

3.50

deboned chicken

chicken meal

turkey meal

potatoes

peas

salmon meal

44.36

Drs Foster and Smith Ferret

38.00

20.00

2.50

chicken meal

brown rice

chicken fat

dried egg product

lamb meal

salmon oil

43.86

Merrick Perfect Bistro Grain free kitten recipe

41.00

17.00

2.50

deboned chicken

chicken meal

turkey meal

dried potato

peas

natural pork flavor

43.62

Crave kitten with protein from chicken

41.00

18.00

3.00

chicken

chicken meal

pea protein

chicken fat

split peas

fish meal

43.59

Fromm Game Bird Recipe

35.00

18.00

6.00

duck

duck meal

pea protein

turkey

dried whole egg

peas

43.15

Kaytee Fortified ferret diet

42.00

20.00

3.00

chicken meal

poultry by products meal

pea flour

poultry fat

turkey

ground flaxseeds

42.89

BLUE Wilderness Kitten

40.00

20.00

3.50

deboned chicken

chicken meal

pea protein

tapioca starch

menhaden fish meal

chicken fat

42.63

Nutro Wild Frontier kitten (from makers of EVO) chicken

42.00

18.00

3.00

chicken

chicken meal

pea protein

chicken fat

split pea

potato protein

42.44

Totally Ferret Turkey Venison and Lamb

35.00

20.00

1.75

turkey meal

dried egg product

brown rice

poultry fat

catfish meal

rice flour

42.35

Marshall Premium Diet also known as Ferret Crunch

38.00

18.00

3.50

chicken organs

chicken

chicken by-product meal

corn meal

dried beet pulp

brewers dried yeast

42.12

BLUE Wilderness Chicken

40.00

18.00

4.00

deboned chicken

chicken meal

pea protein

tapioca starch

menhaden fish meal

chicken fat

41.61

Earthborn Holistic Primitive

40.00

18.00

3.00

turkey meal

chicken meal

peas

chicken fat

pea starch

pea protein

41.58

Marshall Select Chicken Formula

36.00

18.00

4.00

chicken

chicken organs

chicken by-product meal

corn meal

dried beet pulp

brewers dried yeast

41.13

Zupreem Premium Ferret

40.00

20.00

3.00

chicken meal

wheat flour

chicken fat

potato protein

chicken

dried egg product

41.13

Zupreem Grain-Free Ferret

40.00

20.00

3.00

chicken meal

sweet potatoes

chicken by-product meal

chicken fat

potato protein

potatoes

41.07

Solid Gold Touch of Heaven

36.00

18.00

3.00

chicken

chicken meal

turkey meal

sweet potatoes

pea protein

peas

41.07

Halo holistic kitten food - chicken

33.00

19.00

5.00

chicken

chicken liver

dried egg product

dried peas

dried chickpeas

soy protein concentrate

40.62

Wellmess Complete Health Grain Free Kitten

40.00

18.00

4.00

deboned chicken

chicken meal

peas

chickpeas

chicken fat

ground flaxseeds

40.59

Nutro Natural Choice Kitten

36.00

19.00

4.00

chicken

chicken meal

pea protein

chicken fat

brewers rice

whole brown rice

40.58

James Wellbeloved natural ferret food

36.00

19.00

3.00

turkey meal

ground whole wheat

turkey fat

fish meal

turkey gravy

potato protein

40.11

Natural Balance Ultra kitten formula

38.00

20.00

3.00

chicken

chicken meal

pea protein

peas

chicken fat

brewers dried yeast

40.08

Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor kitten

36.00

18.00

4.00

deboned chicken

chicken meal

tapioca starch

Peas

menhaden fish meal

chicken fat

40.08

Evolve Kitten Formula

34.00

20.00

4.00

chicken

chicken meal

ground brown rice

rice flour

chicken fat

dried egg product

39.83

Fromm Kitten Gold

34.00

20.00

3.50

duck

chicken meal

pearled barley

white rice

salmon meal

chicken fat

39.35

Totally Ferret Active Show Pet

36.00

22.00

1.50

chicken meal

Rice flour

dried egg product

chicken fat

wheat flour

ground corn meal

39.09

Natural Balance LID High Protein Chicken Cat food

37.00

18.00

4.00

chicken

chicken meal

peas

pea protein

chicken fat

brewers dried yeast

38.61

AvoDerm Kitten

36.00

22.00

3.00

chicken meal

chicken fat

ground brown rice

ground white rice

peas

dried egg product

38.54

Hill's Sciene Diet kitten healthy development

38.00

25.00

0.80

chicken

brown rice

wheat gluten

chicken fat

egg product

whoel grain oats

38.15

Solid Gold Indigo Moon

42.00

20.00

3.00

chicken meal

potatoes

canola oil

peas

chicken

ocean fish meal

38.07

Authority Kitten (Petsmart brand)

34.00

20.00

3.00

deboned chicken

chicken meal

brewers rice

corn protein concentrate

chicken fat

ground corn

38.04

Marshall Senior

34.00

17.00

3.00

chicken organs

chicken

corn meal

chicken by-product meal

dried beet pulp

oatmeal

37.39

Royal Canin Mother & Babycat

32.00

23.00

3.60

chicken by-products

chicken fat

brewers rice

corn

wheat gluten

fish oil

37.25

Go! Sensitivity and Shine (limited ingredients)

31.00

15.00

3.50

de-boned duck

duck meal

whole dried egg

peas

pea flour

tapioca

36.62

Purina Pro Plan Dry Kitten Food

41.00

18.00

3.00

chicken

brewers rice

corn gluten meal

chicken by-product

animal fat

soybean meal

36.58

Sunseed Vita Prima Sunscription Ferret Formula by Vitakraft Sun Seed

38.00

15.00

5.00

chicken by-product meal

porchine meat and bone meal

brewers rice

corn gluten meal

ground wheat

poultry fat

36.54

Whole Hearted grain free cat food

34.00

16.00

4.00

chicken

chicken meal

peas

chickpeas

chicken fat

flaxseed

36.40

Hill's ideal balance natural chicken & brown rice recipe kitten

35.00

24.00

0.60

chicken

brown rice

chicken meal

pea protein

brewers rice

chicken fat

36.02

Merrick LID Chicken

34.00

14.00

4.00

deboned chicken

chicken meal

chickpeas

peas

chicken fat

salt

35.30

Go! Daily Defense Chicken Recipe

32.00

20.00

2.50

chicken meal

deboned chicken

whole brown rice

whole white rice

oatmeal

chicken fat

35.13

Taste of the Wild Rocky Mtn Feline Venison/Salmon

42.00

18.00

3.00

chicken meal

peas

sweet potatoes

chicken fat

pea protein

potato protein

35.07

Iams Proactive Health Healthy Kitten

33.00

21.00

3.00

chicken

chicken by-products

ground whole grain corn

corn grits

corn gluten meal

dried beet pulp

34.58

Kaytee FortiDiet Pro Health Ferret

35.00

20.00

3.00

poultry meal

poultry by-product meal

brewers rice

poultry fat

dehulled soybean meal

ground wheat

34.13

Mazuri Ferret

38.00

21.00

4.00

poultry by-product meal

ground brown rice

dehulled soybean meal

porcine animal fat (BHA)

spray dried animal blood cells

poultry fat

33.57

Sheppard & Greene Ferret Food by Kaytee

35.00

20.00

2.00

chicken meal

ground rice

corn gluten meal

chicken fat

ground corn

dried whole egg

33.51

Iams Healthy Naturals Chicken recipe

33.00

15.00

3.00

chicken

chicken meal

brewers rice

ground whole grain sorghum

ground whole grain barley

fish meal

33.06

Kaytee Fiesta Ferret

34.00

19.00

3.00

poultry meal

poultry by products meal

breweres rice

ground wheat

dried egg product

poultry fat

32.49

Canidae under the sun grain free kitten food

30.00

16.00

3.00

Chicken meal

peas

garbanzo beans

chicken fat

dreid whole eggs

chicken

32.00

Blue BASICS indoor adult cat food

30.00

14.00

6.00

deboned duck

duck meal

pea protein concentrate

tapioca starch

peas

canola oil

31.83

Path Valley Farm ferret food

34.00

20.00

3.50

poultry meal

poultry fat

cooked corn

soy meal

porcine blood meal

wheat middlings

31.05

Totally Ferret Complete

35.00

18.00

2.00

chicken meal

wheat flour

corn meal

chicken fat

brown rice

cooked potatoes

28.31

Meow Mix Kitten li'l nibbles

36.00

15.00

4.50

chicken by-product meal

brewers rice

corn gluten meal

ground yellow corn

soybean meal

beef tallow

26.06

Purina Kitten Chow

40.00

13.00

3.00

poultry by-product meal

corn gluten meal

brewers rice

soy flour

animal fat

wheat flour

19.92

Wild Harvest Daily Blend

30.00

8.00

4.00

poultry by-product meal

ground yellow corn

brewers rice

corn gluten meal

chicken fat

dried beet pulp

18.92

Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition diet

30.00

8.00

4.00

poultry by-product meal

groundcorn

brewers rice

corn gluten meal

poultry fat

dried beet pulp