Can Ferrets Live in a Cage?
Ferrets require plenty of room to run around, while at the same time needing an intimate sleeping environment. Hammocks and fabric hutches make great beds; ferrets can even be trained to use litter boxes!
Avoid toys made of foam or rubber as these could be swallowed and cause life-threatening gastrointestinal obstructions. Furthermore, ensure the areas they explore are ferret-proof.
Ferrets require ample room to play, roam and explore, so a cage that is too small or otherwise inappropriate can cause stress, boredom and self-destructive behaviors such as chewing and biting. When purchasing a ferret, look for one specifically designed for them as other cages such as those designed for hamsters, gerbils or birds may not provide enough ventilation or space for free play.
Ferret cages should measure at least 2 feet by 4 feet by 3 feet to accommodate multiple ferrets, bedding (such as clean towel or blanket), food bowls, water sources and litter pan. Furthermore, these enclosures must provide secure containment as ferrets can often find ways to escape their confines.
Assemble a cage with multiple doors so you can access all parts of it for cleaning purposes with ease. Make sure the doors are sturdy and always close them securely – using a latch rather than just hook or handle would be more secure, plus binder clips or rat traps could serve as extra latching devices –
Your cage should feature multiple levels, and offer spaces to hang hammocks or fabric huts as sleeping quarters for your ferret. Animal-safe fabrics like cotton should be used; materials like muslin or cedar may harbor bacteria and emit toxins that could harm their health.
Ideally, keep your ferret’s cage away from loud noises and busy areas like kitchens, living rooms, or home offices to minimize stress levels for him/her. This is particularly important if you own multiple ferrets as they need time together when not outside playing.
An ideal location for keeping a ferret cage is in a quiet part of your home, away from children and other animals who may be too rough with its inhabitants. All holes that lead to inaccessible areas should also be blocked off, including those on cabinets and drawers where ferrets might hide. Finally, ensure its cage is not directly beneath a wood stove as this will decrease insulation needs significantly and allow more than adequate air circulation in its environment.
Ferrets are extremely active creatures that need regular exercise. At least four hours each day should be spent outside their cage, and more if possible. You should train them to walk on leashes so they can explore the house, yard and larger ferret-proofed area while under your supervision. Their play areas should include cardboard boxes, paper bags, PVC tubes and bedding made up of shredded T-shirts or towels; ferrets love crawling into these objects using scent, hearing and sight – even though their eyesight may not be so keen.
Ferrets require frequent feedings due to their short digestive tracts and have an increased metabolic rate, so regular fresh water should always be available – therefore having a water bottle designed specifically for ferrets with locking latch and splash-proof feeding area is crucial for their wellbeing. Furthermore, keeping food and a sand/dirt litter box within their cage are necessary as ferrets have natural instincts for digging.
Always ensure the cage is placed in a cool, shaded location away from direct sunlight and drafts, as ferrets can suffer heat stroke easily. A solid floor is best as ferrets may develop pododermatitis (swollen feet with sore bottoms) from prolonged contact with wire mesh floors. Wood chips or sawdust should also be avoided to avoid potential gastrointestinal blockage in their system.
Electrical cords from light fixtures and fans should be covered to prevent ferrets from chewing through them and becoming tangled up, leading to potential fire hazards. Any furniture or heavy appliances which provide shelter for ferrets should also be removed, along with any draperies which they might pull on or become stuck in.
Ferrets belong to the mustelidae family (which also includes otters, stoats and weasels) and are natural hunters and pest controllers. As part of this family they can be found both roaming freely in nature as well as being kept as domestic pets; female ferrets are known as jills while male ferrets are called hobs; young are called kits. When adopting one make sure it is legal in your region as well as having enough space.
Ferrets do best in cages with bars no more than an inch apart, large enough to allow for sleeping, eating and playing as well as providing adequate litter box area. Some owners also opt for wooden hutch-type enclosures; either option works just fine.
Remember that ferrets can be naturally curious creatures and adept escape artists, so make sure that all holes – in both furniture and walls – are sealed up to prevent your furry friend from running off. They also make great chewers who enjoy biting through foam and rubber objects to access food sources – this could lead to expensive surgery procedures or even death of the animal.
Keep your ferret engaged by providing hard plastic toys, specifically hard-sided ones designed for ferrets. Doing this will prevent boredom which could lead to depression and other problems. Fabric, thin plastic or wood toys pose potential choking hazards while many hard-plastic toys designed specifically for ferrets can be found both online and at pet stores.
Lighting for ferrets is often neglected by new owners. Studies have revealed that ferrets with inadequate light levels develop adrenal tumors, dry skin and coat issues and other health concerns if provided inadequate illumination. Therefore, it’s recommended that owners give their ferret a level of illumination that would make reading comfortable for human readers.
Keep in mind that your pet requires at least four hours a day outside its cage for exercise and mental stimulation, if possible. If this time cannot be allocated, consider purchasing a larger cage which allows it to roam freely from room to room.
Ferret cages should provide plenty of room for sleeping, eating and playing activities. Furthermore, solid floors such as concrete pads or linoleum should be utilized since wire mesh floors may cause pododermatitis (swollen feet and sores). Newspapers or wood shavings as bedding should be avoided as these may harbor bacteria and cause respiratory tract irritation; for optimum results opt for clumping litter, cedar bark mulch or cypress mulch instead.
Cages should measure at least three feet wide, three feet deep, and two feet high, with bars spaced no closer than an inch apart and featuring a secure latch system. If placing the cage elsewhere than its designated room, make sure the door remains shut to ensure an area conducive for ferret-proofing – although you might start by just covering around the cage itself.
Ferrets are notorious climbers and love to explore dark places, so it’s essential that any areas where they might hide or sleep be blocked off. Ferrets can make themselves at home in couch and chair foam, under mattresses or closets and drawers. Ferrets may even chew holes through walls, cupboards and ductwork leading to potential intestinal blockage, so all holes should be sealed shut before ferrets cause problems.
Ferrets are adept jumpers who may escape from single-level cages; therefore it is ideal to place the cage in an area with high ceilings for optimal results.
As with humans, ferrets should not be exposed directly to sunlight as this will help them remain cool and comfortable as well as help prevent heat stroke. If the cage is located in an overly hot room, using a fan pointed directly at its cage may help circulate air more effectively. Due to their natural hunting instincts ferrets will enjoy toys such as paper bags, cardboard tubes, clothing items or hoses resembling hunting tools as well as burrowing materials like towels or blankets that mimic nesting materials; latex toys should be avoided since these may lead to gastrointestinal obstruction or obstruction in later years.