Ferrets have a knack for making us feel guilty when we put them in their cage. One of my ferrets, Toby, was always trying to ” break out”. He would climb up to the top door, grab the bars in his paws and push and shake the door, trying to open it.
However, for their protection, ferrets should be kept in a ferret cage, enclosure, ferret-proof room or area when not being supervised. But how much time should a ferret spend in and out of cage?
A ferret’s cage not only acts as their home—a place he should feel comfortable in—it is also a place to keep him safe. There are endless dangers around your home—wires, appliances, cleaning supplies… It’s simply not safe to permit your ferret to roam free without supervision. Even if you think you have ferret-proofed your home, there is no limit to what a ferret can find to get into. For example, one time, two of my ferrets worked as a team to dig a hole in the bottom of my box spring. They decided it was a good place to store their toys. They could have easily got caught in the springs or otherwise trapped in there. When you are away from home or unable to keep an eye on your ferret, keep your ferret in his cage or other designated ferret living space. For information on suitable ferret enclosures, see ferret cages for more info.
A Ferret’s Living Space
If you have the space and decide to convert a walk-in closet or spare room into a ferret enclosure, make sure that it is just that—a ferret enclosure. It is important that this room has nothing but ferret-safe toys, soft bedding, a litter box, food, water and a cage (if desired). This room needs to be ferret-proofed as well. You need to make sure there are no small openings your ferret can get into and nothing she can chew (such as cords or knobs). See this article on ferret proofing for more info.
The ferret’s living space should be temperature controlled, with the temperature kept in their comfort range of between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Ferrets cannot tolerate temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Much Time Should a Ferret Spend In and Out of Cage?
Ferrets should never be left alone–whether in a cage or room– for an extended period of time. They are social creatures and need exercise, affection, and human companionship to remain happy and healthy. Ferrets can easily become bored and even depressed if they don’t have enough interaction. Having 2 or more ferrets helps to keep each other company, but it is no substitution for human interaction and playtime out of the cage.
According to The American Ferret Association, ferrets need a minimum of 4 hours out of their cage, every day. This time does not need to be in a 4 hour block. It is actually better to break up this time into several 1 -2 hour sessions. Not all 4 hours need to be spent with human family members, but at least 2 of the hours should involve one-on-one play, cuddling, petting or other enjoyable activities.
Although ferrets may act like kittens, they are more like dogs when it comes to the need for human companionship. The more time you spend with your ferret, the happier she will be. Plus, chances are you will be happier too. It’s hard not to smile when an adorable little ferret is dancing around you!
Your comments are welcome!