So you made the big decision to buy a ferret. Trust me, they are loads of fun. Ferrets are like having a three year old that never grows up. But before you let that little ball of fur run around to get to know his new surroundings, there are some steps you need to take to ensure that your ferret is safe while playing and exploring. This article will discuss tips on ferret proofing your home, so that when your ferret is in play mode, he or she will remain safe.
When you bring your ferret home for the first time, you want to make sure you set up the cage. This cage will be your ferrets sanctuary when the ferret needs some downtime, or when you will be away from the home. REMEMBER, ferrets cannot be left along caged for long periods of time as discussed in a previous article. After you have the cage properly set up, food and water in place, You are now ready to ferret proof.
FLOORS AND FURNITURE
First place to start is your floors. Make sure everything small is picked up off the floors. Ferrets have an instinct to hoard everything they can get in their mouth. Some objects are not so good for them to have because ferrets swallow objects that could virtually get stuck in their intestinal tract, because ferrets cannot pass items through their intestinal tract like humans or other animals.
This quickly turns into an emergency surgery situation. Once all your floors are clear of any objects, pull your furniture out and repeat the process. Vacuum the furniture also because small objects get lodged in the crevices furniture on a regular basis.
ESSENTIAL FERRET PROOFING ITEMS
Every ferret owner should have a few simple tools and items on hand for quick ferret proofing fix-up. These items are cheap, as well as easy to find at any department or hardware store.
Stiff Cardboard -for blocking off small holes
Duct tape – to secure the cardboard
Thin flat wood-to use under doors with a large gap at the bottom
Towels- to temporarily block off doors with a large gap at the bottom
WALLS AND CLOSETS
Ferrets love to explore closets for hours and hours. The only problem with closets is that they can be damaged by piled up boxes, debris Etc. Walls that have holes pose a threat to ferrets because ferrets have an amazing talent at getting into very tight spaces. Some sources state that ferrets (particularly females) can fit through a 1-inch by 1-inch hole.
The rule of thumb is this: If a ferret can fit their head through, he or she can probably fit his body through. This is where the cardboard and tape come in. If it’s not a visible hole in the wall (For instance a hole that plumbing goes through, or a wear and tear hole in a closet Etc.) This is where the duct tape and cardboard come in. Just cut the cardboard to fit, and then duct tape the cardboard all the way across the cardboard,
So the hole is completely sealed.
Ferrets have been known to crawl under doors with a gap of no more than 3 inches from the floor. Rule of thumb for doors: If you can fit 3 fingers under the door using the side of your hand, chances are you should ferret proof it. For a temporary fix, simply take a rolled towel, and secure it under the door. Your ferret will discover how to get past this eventually, so be sure to watch your ferret to see how long it takes for them to figure it out.
For a more permanent fix, you can use the flat wood cut to fit your door, then use a nail gun to secure.
KITCHENS AND LAUNDRY ROOMS
This is my opinion, based on experience that ferrets should never have free reign in the kitchen or laundry rooms. First, there is just too many crevices to fix with plumbing holes, and dangers lurk for a ferret that comes to close to an oven that’s turned on. I recommend that a gate be bought specially made for ferrets, or you can one yourself. Simply get a normal baby gate and cut a piece of plexi-glass or 1″ thick plastic to fit inside the gate. use a strong adhesive glue on the inside to secure the plexi-glass or plastic.
Improvising these tips now, will ensure your ferret has a safe and happy haven to play in for years to come.