Monday, January 16, 2012

Ferret Proofing

Ferret proofing is important to keep your ferret safe. Many first time ferret owners have been surprised by their ferret showing up on top of the bookcase, in a dresser drawer, or outside of their cage.

A ferret can get their head through a hole that is about one inch the rest of their body will follow. A fifty cent piece is about 2 inches in diameter and can be used as a reference when ferret proofing your home.

Ferret proofing is a three step process.

First child proof this is just the start.

Second puppy/dog and kitten/cat proof this helps to insure a safe environment for your ferret.

I have said before my boys Manny and Marcuz only get to play in one room of the house because of its age and the fact we have Trixie, the bloodhound, and Boyd the cat and they all need supervision when playing together.

Now for the third step which is even more in depth then the first two steps.

The first place you need to check is your ferret’s home. Is it secure? You might be surprised to find that your industrious little fur ball is able to slip between the door and that taught spring with no problems. I had that problem with my little girl Gweny. Fix by using the clip end of leash to secure the spot your ferret escapes from but don’t ever think that it is secure.

I had to use two clips on either side and in the middle of the door before I was able to keep Gweny from escaping. I should also say her cage was the kind that had the small squared wire like that on a rabbit cage.

The boy’s cage is a large dog crate with the bars being about ½ inch apart neither is able to slip through the bars but they are able to slide the latch to the side. Again finding a way to make it so I am not greeted by one of them scratching on my bedroom door was a challenge until I found a type of connector that wraps around the bars of the cage and the latch handle.

Next is the door to the room. If it doesn’t latch securely a ferret can and will work at getting the door open. To a ferret, the grass is greener on the other side. Again, I found an easy fix by adding a hook and eye set up to the door. The boys can scratch, paw, dig at the door but it will not swing open. I just have to remember I’ve latched it that way before leaving the room.

Cords draw a ferret’s attention almost as fast as socks and they will climb, pull, and chew on them, which can lead to disastrous results. Unfortunately not all cords can be put up out of the reach of a ferret so coat them generously with Bitter Apple unless you have a ferret who loves it as I did.

James loved sour tasting stuff my fix was a diluted hot pepper spray. The use of cord hiders will work with some ferrets but some will try to find a way to get the cords out of them.

Recliners, couches, and wheeled chairs can be deadly to a ferret. Many ferrets have lost their lives due to crush injuries because they were in, under, or near these pieces of furniture when an unsuspecting human rocked, sat, or moved.

High spots seem to be the siren’s call for ferrets and they can climb if determined enough and they don’t have any depth perception. Try to eliminate ways your ferret can access higher places and be on alert for them climbing stuff.

This is just a start of ferret proofing and it is an ongoing event for any ferret owner. I have said it before and will say it again.

Ferrets are the perpetual two year-old and kitten that never grow up rolled into one tiny body and are constantly looking for new challenges.

Have a Chittering Good Day,



Nikkole said...

This was very informative! I remember when we first ferret proofed our house before getting our fur kids. The biggest problem still seems to be the couches. Our boy, Lu doesn't seem to care about getting under the cushions. He'd rather just jump and lay on it. However, our girlie Bella is ALWAYS trying to find a way under the cushions. Since one of our couches is a pull out sleeper, we really have to supervise them when they're out. Another problem we have is since we have a big screen floor TV, we had to put pillows in between the back of the TV and the wall to keep the kids from reaching the cords behind the TV. I honestly think it's worse than child proofing since they are so small and can get into virtually any small space. Very good post though! :)


Kim Clune said...

Oh dear. I know my dogs and cats are all too clever at giving me the slip. I can't even imagine how much more crafty a ferret can be!