Ferret Care – Cage and Housing Requirements

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 30,097
    Pet Care Expert Robin Hochgerte discusses Cage and Housing Requirements for your pet ferret.

    Robin Hochgertel: I am Robin from FerretsFirst Rescue teaching you how to take care of your ferret. Now we are going to teach you how to prepare a home for your ferret.

    As you can see there are a variety of cages available. There is the wire based cage, there is the Super Pet cage with plastic shelves in, there is also the Ferret Nations in the back. Ferret Nations have become one of the most popular designed cages, because the doors open up to allow easy access.

    Lots of people though buy this cage here, because it affords their ferrets a variety of shelving and tubing and things like that. The most important thing to remember is you need enough room in the cage to house a ferret. This cage would house two ferrets. This cage would house two ferrets. You would need something larger for more than two ferrets.

    The drawbacks to a cage like this with wire shelving is that there wire shelving will hurt the ferrets feet. It's important that if you get a cage like this, that you keep the shelves covered either with some sort of bedding, maybe T-shirts or kind of piece of linoleum to fit over the wire shelf.

    All of these cages afford room, so that we can hang hammocks in the cage or put sacks in the cage, because they like that kind of bedding. They are historically burrowing animals, so they like the opportunity to crawl down inside things and hide. If you have a pocket hammie, then they will crawl down in there and sleep and the same thing goes for a sack. They can crawl right in there. So it's important to put some bedding in the cage, maybe line the bottom with T-shirts, so that can crawl under, have a hammie in there that they can hide in a sack.

    Water bowls should be the type that attach to the cage. This is an example of one type. You have to lock on to the cage, so your ferret can't take it and dump the bowl, which they love to do. Another type of feeder is the bin feeder. It attaches on to the cage and you can fill it just by opening up the top. The third kind of locking crock is this type. It has a screw on back, you put it between the bars and then you screw it in place.

    The ferret should have a water bottle that's large enough to hold at least 24 hours worth of water and should always be filled. When you place the water bottle on the cage, it should be placed at a height that the ferret can usually get to it. He shouldnt be laying on the floor to try and drink his water nor should he have to reach too high. This type of bottle is particularly nice because it has a wide mouth, it's easy to clean and easy to fill.

    Litter pans, as I mentioned before, should be square. The litter that ferrets should be given should be a newspaper or pellet consistency. This happens to be newspaper pellet. You can get pine pellets or you can get something called Sweet Scoop, but what you dont want to use is cat litter because cat litter is made of clay and ferrets being burrowing animals, will burrow into that clay. It will get up their nose and it will harden there.

    The other thing that's important for the litter pan is the clip. You will want to take the clip and attach the pan to the cage. Otherwise, your ferret will take great pleasure in dumping it. This will hold it in place, you just disconnect it, scoop it, put it back in and clamp it.

    Now where to locate your cage? You should keep your cage in a room that does not get too much direct light. Ferrets are burrowing animals, they come out of their burrows at dusk and at dawn. So they are exposed to minimal light. If you are living in an area that has no complete darkness, that has a lot of ambient light at night, its a good idea to cover your cage. That will provide them with the absolute darkness that they need.

    Now about the play area. Ferrets need 2-3 hours of play a day, but they need to play in a very safe area and it's important that you look at your room carefully and make sure that it's ferret proof. You want to make sure that there are no openings that the ferret can climb into. You need to remember that if they can get their head through a hole, they can get the rest of their body through a hole.

    Make sure that there is no cabinets that they can get into, get into toxic substances or get into drain holes. Make sure there is no overhang of your cabinets that they can climb up and under. Put up something, a board or any type of material to block them from getting between the refrigerator and the wall or to lock them from getting under the refrigerator.

    Be very careful with things like opening the refrigerator door. Ferrets are very curious. The minute you will open that door, they are going to want to put their head in there and look. You are going t shut the door and their head will be in there. So you have to be careful of that sort of thing, of opening ovens, of dish washers, dryers, anything that could possibly hurt your ferret.

    You want to make sure that your ferret proofed area is clear of any type of clothing or material on the floor, because you never know when the ferrets are going to go and hide in that material or that piece of clothing. You are going to walk through the room and tramp on it. It's been done by almost everyone.

    You are going to also make sure that there is no type of latex toys or little beads or anything small enough that a ferret can pick up and swallow or can chew a part and they love to chew a part latex. They will eat it and it will cause a blockage for them. So you need to make sure that the area is clear of all of that type of stuff.

    Next, we will talk about ferret toys.