Most people get so excited to go buy a ferret and bring him or her home, that they forget this crucial step -”ferret proofing” their homes! Ferrets are wonderful pets as I have said before, but they are very curious and some have destructive habits. Spending a few days getting your ferret housing in order can save you a lot of time and hassle later.
Ferret Housing: Holes! – Anything bigger than 4 inches square. Especially holes that can lead into an heater or appliance of any kind – washer, drier, refrigerator, etc. You can block openings with mesh like chicken wire, just make sure it is securely attached. Be sure to check for holes that lead into your walls near the floor boards. Check the interior of closets and cabinets (check under sink near pipes) as well – ferrets are perfectly capable of getting inside these.
Ferret Housing: Upholstery – Ferrets will rip a hole in the mesh cloth lining the bottom of a box spring and the underside of your couch (also underneath the seat pillows.) In both cases you will want to block access. You can replace the flimsy fabric, take the feet off your couch, or add a layer of well secured wire/wood with holes drilled in it. Just make sure that whatever you add allows the normal flow of air as otherwise your bed and couch will not be able to compress as designed.
Ferret Housing: Cabinets and drawers with dangerous objects inside – no open chemicals. You can try child proof locks but many people find these will actually open a little bit before they catch, allowing your ferret to sneak inside.
Ferret Housing: Plants – Some house plants are poisonous if consumed.
Ferret Housing: Anything your ferret can try to eat – plastic shopping bags, paper, electrical cords, small objects, anything chewable…many of these kind of items will appeal to your ferret but can result in harm – poisoning, electroshocks, or indigestible blocks in the digestive system.
Ferret Housing: Water – full bathtubs, buckets of water, open toilets, etc. Ferrets can climb in but most cannot climb back out.
Remember, the key to successful ferret ownership is learning how to keep your ferret safe and protect your home and property from unintentional destruction. Ferrets are very smart and curious. Ferrets also have an unbelievable to get into just about any small space – in fact ferrets are prized vermin hunters for this very reason! Unfortunately, ferrets have no way of knowing that they just ate something harmful for them or valuable to you. This is why taking the time to “ferret-proof” your home can be very valuable.