What To Expect About General Ferret Mayhem

The fourth in a "what to expect” series about ferret behavior, and this entry stresses the need for ferret-proofing your home.

Ferrets seem to seek out and appear in unexpected places. Via Jillian Northrup/Flickr

By Mary Van Dahm

Ferrets are mischievous by nature. If they can get into it, onto it, under it or over it, they certainly will! That is why ferret-proofing your home is so important. It not only keeps your belongings safe, but your ferret safe as well.

Problem 1: Climbing Under Appliances

Ferrets like small dark places to hide. Unfortunately this can be dangerous if the spot is in or under one of your appliances. Ferrets have been known to fall through holes in walls where plumbing or gas lines go through. Many ferrets have also been burned, electrocuted or severely injured in encounters with appliance parts. The best rule of thumb is to keep your ferret out of your kitchen and laundry areas.

Problem 2: Squeezing Under Doors

Ferrets can fit into amazingly small spaces. They have very flexible skeletons and can fit through a space that is only 1 inch high. Closing the door to a room that you don’t want your ferret in may not be enough. You may have to put weather stripping under the door — even under inside doors — to help keep your ferret out of taboo places. Placing a Plexiglas barrier across the door also works. Just make sure it is at least 25 inches high or your ferret will get over it.

Problem 3: Clawing At Screens

Many ferrets have made their escape by clawing through a window screen. Get some heavy-duty metal screens and reinforce your regular window screens with it. Even if you don’t have any furniture near the window for your ferret to climb up on, a determined ferret will find a way to get to that window.

Problem 4: Climbing Drapes

Some people believe that ferrets don’t climb; as a general rule, most don’t, at least not like squirrels climb. Many ferrets have been able to pull themselves up on coarse fabric and have been found on top of drapes, on shelves in closets and in pockets of coats hanging on hangers. The best way to avoid this is to keep your ferret’s nails trimmed, keep your closet doors closed (check the space under the door, though!) and pin up your drapes out of reach while your ferret is out to play.

Problem 5: Getting Under Cabinets

Your cabinets may look solid, but quite often by the kick boards there are holes that lead under the cabinets in your kitchen and your bathroom. Take the time to run your hands along there and board up any holes you find. These spaces can often lead to holes in the walls, which can lead to a fatal fall for your pet.

Problem 6: Stealing Your Stuff

You no longer have any stuff. It now all belongs to your ferret! Make it a habit of putting your things up out of harm’s way when you come home. This is for the safety of your ferret and the stuff it might steal.

Problem 7: Chewing On Things

Many ferrets like to chew on soft rubber and plastic. This may seem like harmless fun until you realize that a ferret’s intestine is only as big around as a soda straw, and plastic and rubber don’t break down in your ferret’s stomach. In fact, quite often these items react with the acids in the stomach and swell up causing a blockage that can be fatal if it is not surgically removed in time. I can’t stress enough the need to ferret-proof your home for even little things like rubber bands, pencils with erasers, hair bands, and many dog and children’s toys.

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And check out:
What To Expect About Ferret Digging, click here
What To Expect About Ferret Biting, click here
What To Expect About Litter Training Your Ferret, click here

See ferret behavior questions and answers, click here
See ferret veterinary questions and answers, click here

Article Categories:
Critters · Ferrets