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How to Ferret-Proof Your Home
Ferrets are some of the most energetic, lively, and playful pets that you can own! While they do sleep for a good majority of the day, they spend most of their waking hours running around and playing. To help their ferrets get as much exercise as possible, owners allow them to roam about either a designated room or the entire house.
This exploratory freedom makes ferret-proofing an essential part of ferret ownership. It’s important to remember that ferrets are very inquisitive creatures that love to chew, explore tight spaces, and access the inaccessible.
Ferret-proofing your home isn’t something that you do once – it’s something you always need to consider when playing with your ferrets. You always need to keep an eye on them and look out for any dangers that you may have previously missed.
Below are some very important points to consider when ferret-proofing your house.
The Designated Ferret Room
One of the best strategies to give your ferret safe freedom is designating an entire room as the “ferret play room”. This is a room that’s 100% ferret-proofed where you can simply close your ferrets in and let them play around freely without any worries.
Typically, this is the room that contains the ferret cage and all of the supplies. This is optimal as the ferrets can simply enter and exit their cage as needed, all without you being in the room to let them in and out.
This doesn’t mean that you can simply ignore your ferrets, though. You’ll want to check up on them at least once per hour to make sure that they’re doing okay and haven’t discovered a flaw in your ferret-proofing.
Keep Ferrets in the House
There have been numerous cases of ferrets managing to find their way out of the house and into the outdoors. This is almost certainly a death wish for the ferret, so you need to make sure that this never happens!
Ferrets can easily tear through window screens, so all windows should be shut tightly. They will also try and dart out of a door when it’s opened, so inform all house guests that they should be on the look-out for ferrets when they’re coming and going.
Other small portals to the outdoors are areas of opportunity for ferrets, such as openings around plumbing or vents.
Block Off Appliances/Cabinets
For some reason, ferrets love to explore the insides of appliances and cabinets. They quite easily gain access to the insides and are then free to wreak havoc and chew on any wires or exposed hardware. Once inside of these places, the ferrets will likely come out on their own, but it can be a long and difficult process to coax them out.
It should also be noted that ferrets love to play in laundry baskets, so it’s essential that you check any laundry loads before running them through your washing machine or dryer.
Before using any large appliances, you should make it a habit to first verify the location of your ferrets before flipping the switch.
Also, see if it’s possible to secure mesh or some kind of panel in front of holes in cabinetry or appliances. Your ferret will likely alert you to every single instance of these holes, so keep an eye on them as they explore your house for the first few times.
My ferrets seemed to be crazy about furniture. They’d love to climb underneath and inside of couches and chairs, stashing some of their favorite ferret toys in areas where I couldn’t reach them.
This is all fun, but it can be quite dangerous. Furniture with moving pieces could result in a fatal accident if a ferret is inside of it. Additionally, if a ferret finds its way under a cushion or mattress before you sit down, you could have a flat ferret on your hands.
Avoid having recliners or rocking chairs in your house if possible. Before you sit down, always check the furniture for a ferret either under the cushions or inside the mechanisms.
Keep Anything Edible Inaccessible
As stated, ferrets will chew on just about anything. It’s very common for a ferret to develop intestinal blockage due to bad foods that they’ve eaten. Ferrets eat a variety of different things when given the option, such as foam, rubber, Styrofoam, and small plastic bits. They can also ingest toxic items such as medications or cleaners.
It’s essential that you keep these items well out of your ferret’s reach. Go around your house and thoroughly observe everything that’s ferret-accessible. Ask yourself if your ferret would be able to bite off a chunk of it or ingest it in some way. If it’s possible, don’t risk it. Hide it away so that your ferret can roam worry-free.
Quick Ferret-Proofing Checklist
This is a great starting point for ferret-proofing your house. You’ll want to make sure that each of these areas is completely safe for your ferret to be around. This list isn’t entirely comprehensive, but it covers most of the large bases.
- Air ducts
- Box springs/mattresses
- Cracks or openings in cabinets, walls, and floors
- Cracks underneath doors
- Easily-accessible high places (bookshelves, tables, etc.)
- Electrical components
- Laundry baskets/machines
- Open stairs
- Recliners/rocking chairs
- Small miscellaneous items
- Toilets/other standing water
- Various other small spaces
Zach David is a life-long pet owner and enthusiast. He was born into a family with a dog named Murphy, and since then has owned several dogs, mice, ferrets, fish, geckos, and a cat. This experience has given him the knowledge necessary to help others become excellent pet owners on his website Beyond The Treat with detailed gear, care, and training guides for all kinds of pets.