Ferrets are highly intelligent and providing a variety of toys is a great way to keep your slinky friends busy and happy. But what toys are best for these inquisitive, mischievous little carnivores?
Posted: 15 January 2018
Anyone who has ever had ferrets will know that they are smart little creatures. Erika Matulich PhD, a ferret-owning marketing professor at the University of Tampa, Florida, states: “If you consider problem solving as intelligence, as many animal behaviourists do, then ferrets rank above cats and dogs, and into the range of small primates.”
This is why ferrets need plenty to do to occupy their curious, questioning minds. Providing a range of toys is a good way to provide your clever little mustelids with the challenges and stimulation they need.
While ferrets will play with almost anything, it’s important that they don’t get their little paws on anything hazardous. For example, chewy, squeaky dog toys are not recommended as they are easy for ferrets with their razor-sharp incisors to tear to bits, swallowing slivers of plastic and squeakers in the process.
Recycling can take on a whole new meaning when you have ferrets. That old cardboard box can become an intriguing den if you cut a couple of wriggle-size holes in it and place something tasty such as some Burgess Ferret Nuggets hidden in an old sock inside it. A tatty, worn out, rather stinky walking boot? It will make a great hidey-hole to pop out of. A cosy jumper that’s past its best? Your ferrets will love tunnelling through the sleeves. Faded, fraying pillowcase? Stitch some sturdy rope to it, attach each end to the sides of their cage and it becomes a hammock for your ferret chums to clamber on.
Hard plastic balls, particularly with bells inside them, will provide hours of paw-patting fun. Toys designed for human babies, such as rattles and teething rings, should survive some serious ferret investigation. Small, soft toys (with squeakers or noise makers safely enclosed inside) are great fun to wrestle and roll around with.
Of course, there are all sorts of ferret toys to buy, so you can introduce new items and swap toys around to keep things interesting. No doubt, each ferret will have their favourites! Here’s our pick of top five ferret toys to try out with your wriggly pals:
1. Little Battle Buddy
Tested by the company’s very own tough hob Teddy, the Little Battle Buddy will survive dragging, shaking and wrestling. Constructed from tough, durable, fabric, the Battle Buddy contains a squeaker and even floats in water.
Price: £4.07, available from Ferret Couture
2. Animal exercise ball
This brightly-coloured, sturdy plastic ball contains a bell to encourage your ferrets to jingle all the way for hours on end.
Price: £1.50, available from Pets at Home
3. Rainbow Rattlers
These colourful toys make a gentle rattling sound and are just the right size and shape for carrying off to the stash. For supervised play only.
Price: £1.56, available from Ferret Couture
4. Ferret Activity Tunnel
Made from a soft, easy clean fabric, this tunnel will encourage your pets’ natural instincts for tunnelling and hiding,
Price: £3.99, available from Pet Planet
5. Batty Butterfly
These batty buddies are attached to a glittery stick with a jingly jangly bell. Perfect for bouncing and chasing. For supervised play only.
Price: £2.99, available from Ferret Couture
REMEMBER to check all of your ferret’s toys regularly for signs of wear or chewing and throw any worn toys away – even if they are your ferret’s favourite.
PLEASE NOTE: Prices are a guide and subject to change
Sources: cypresskeep.com, thespruce.com, ferret-world.com