Fun-loving ferrets need exactly the right accommodation to keep them safe and happy. Find out how to create a dream home for your smart, slinky friends...
Posted: 09 February 2020
When it comes to designing the perfect animal pad, where do you start? The first thing to think about is how to create a home that will enable the residents to act naturally and just do what they like to do. With ferrets, you’ll need to cover off a whole mixture of activities and behaviours:
So, once you’ve established the basics, it’s time to get to work on a ferrety des res.
Outdoor enclosures that combine a well-ventilated and well-insulated indoor section with attached run offers your ferrets constant access to lots of space and activities. This arrangement should also maintain a natural ferret-friendly temperature of 15-21°C all year-round (although you may want to add extra insulation during the coldest days of winter).
Animal charity Wood Green has a great solution for creating the perfect ferret home:
DID YOU KNOW?
Ferrets can also be housed happily indoors. Choose an extra-large 'explorer' cage ideally placed in a separate room of your house. This area will need to be thoroughly ferret-proofed to ensure that it’s free from electric cables and plug sockets, poisonous plants and gaps out of windows or into walls. Once safe, your mischievous mustelids can enjoy a daily burst of supervised free-range time with you.
The inside of your ferrets’ home needs to combine:
Ferrets are messy with food and water so creating a splash-proof corner with some acrylic bathroom splashbacks will make cleaning up easier, along with newspaper under their bowls to soak up spillages. You can also encourage your ferret friends to explore and forage by scattering some of their daily portion of nuggets around their accommodation for them to seek out.
These clever little carnivores are generally very clean and you can train them to use a litter tray – so you don’t need to line their enclosure with any sawdust or bedding. Ferrets like to go to the toilet in one area, called a ‘latrine’. Once you’ve established the spot they’ve selected, put a litter tray there as this will encourage them to use it. Ferret litter trays are normally triangular, so they fit snugly into a corner. They have two high sides to keep everything inside. Fill the tray with a wood pellet litter – never use clumping cat litter. A daily spot clean, a weekly wash of bedding and hammocks and a monthly deep clean with a pet safe cleaner will keep everything fresh and hygienic.
After a mad burst of activity, some cosy nooks to snooze in will be required – ferrets rest and sleep for up to 20 hours a day. Provide a selection of napping spots such as soft hammocks, a nesting box filled with dust-free bedding (don’t use shredded paper or straw) and some fleecy blankets – ferrets love to make nests in them. Giving a range of options enables your ferrets to enjoy a solo siesta or a cuddle with a friend. Sweet dreams!
THE MERITS OF FERRETS Like a cat, most ferrets can be trained to use a litter tray. Like a dog, they’re playful and can even be taken for walks on a lead. They also like to sleep for up to 20 hours a day. Could ferrets be the perfect pets for you?
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT YOUR FERRETS' DIET Ferrets are strict carnivores with a high metabolic rate who like to eat little and often and enjoy foraging for their food. Here’s how to help them get the most out of the nutrition they need...
FERRETS AND THEIR COATS OF MANY COLOURS Dogs, cats and rabbits come in lots of breeds, but ferrets come in just one. However, they do have a wonderful range of colours and patterns, with no two ferrets sporting exactly the same striking coat
Sources: woodgreen.org.uk, rspca.org.uk, pdsa.org.uk, pfma.org.uk