Ferrets are incredibly fun animals that have a ton of energy and the only thing that outdoes that energy is their curiosity. This is why it is crucial for your to Ferret Proof your house. Especially if you want your ferret to remain YOUR ferret or an ALIVE ferret. I know that is kind of harsh but it really is the way the cookie crumbles when it comes to our fur babies.
Ferret Proofing your house is crucial and we will discuss some things you may not have considered when preparing your house.
Main Thoughts On Ferret Proofing
Safety: You ferret proof your house for safety purposes first. Reducing the amount of items or areas your ferret can go that would potentially cause physical harm. This can include things like:
- Make sure laundry is in an area the ferret can’t get. They love to sleep on clothes and this is an easy way for them to drown (very easy to not notice a ferret in the load that you just threw into the washing machine).
- Make sure cables are covered or out of reach. Ferrets have strong teeth and they don’t mind biting things. Last thing you want them to do is bite through a electrical cable and get zapped or killed.
- The undersides of your furniture will be hiding spots for your ferret. Be sure the lining on the bottom is solid (no tears or rips) as it is common for a ferret to get into the cushion of a recliner or sofa. We also stapled some plastic over the lining to ensure it was extra strong and protective against ferret intrusions.
Escape: Ferrets are clever. They can fit in areas that you never would have imagined. They also will find their ways to anything in the house they want if they have enough time. This means that you could easily find your ferret on top of the cabinets in the kitchen if you aren’t careful.
- Laundry Hoses / vents: Your ferret will find the exhaust tubing that goes from your dryer. Your ferrer will try to enter said tubing and end up in either the dryer or the wall. If your ferret survives either one of those it WILL escape to the outside world through the exhaust vent. Take this into consideration. We just blocked off the laundry room as a whole from ferret access.
- Screened Windows: I live in the south so my windows stay closed and my AC stays on full blast. BUT, if you live somewhere that the weather is more agreeable to the windows being down (or maybe you like sweating your butt off non stop) please make sure your screens are solid with no rips and fit properly. I would pay close attention to your weasel too in order to ensure they don’t “modify” the screen for their escape pleasure/
Seriously, never underestimate a ferret and their ability to get wherever they want. This is only rivaled by their ability to get WHATEVER they want as well. Ferret proofing is an evolutionary process as well. No two weasels will follow the same process or behavior. Ferrets also evolve over time. Consider it a “getting smarter” process if you will. So know that Ferret proofing never stops. These animals require pretty constant attention if you want to give them house access. Obviously, we recommend house access because no one wants to be in a cage all the time.
Be Prepared to Lose Items
Ferrets are little pack rats. They will take whatever they find that interests them. So if your keys, or your favorite envolope opener, or whatever else goes missing I would suggest checking your Fuzzie’s favorite stashing place. More times than not this is where you will find that missing sock, key ring, kids pacifier, etc.
The below excerpt is from Ferret Universe. They cover some of the main areas (some of which were touched on above)
Some of the Main Areas for Concern are as Follows:
Under your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. There is usually a gap that your ferrets can easily get into, and there could be an opening in the wall you are not aware of. You can easily purchase thin wood and screw it into the kick plate on the bottom. All cabinets should be secured using child proof locks, to avoid any accidents, and exposure to cleaning chemicals. The best locks that I personally have found are the magnetic one which Doctors Foster and Smith carries, as unlike the other ones, there is no give for the ferret to squeeze through, or force the doors open.
Carefully inspect your washroom area, ferrets are notorious for crawling under the washing machine and finding their way up into the machine. This is extremely dangerous as ferrets exposed to the inner mechanics of the machine, can easily get stuck and injured. Ferrets have also been known to get into the dryer hose, walk through the tube and find their way to the outside or get stuck within walls. When accessing your washroom, the best way to prevent any dangers with 100% certainty is to ensure all the ferrets are either in their cage or secured in a room.
Always ensure there are no tears in them and they are fitted securely. Keep in mind ferrets scratch, so it is definitely wise to keep your windows closed while the ferrets are about.
Under or behind the refrigerator, oven, dishwashers, doors, etc.
BEFORE running the dishwasher or turning on the oven, ALWAYS check inside thoroughly and ensure no ferret made their way in. Always keep the door or room to your washer/dryer off-limits to your ferrets at all times, as they are more than capable of climbing around underneath and inside which could have a tragic ending. Refrigerator and ovens need to be lowered to the floors so no ferret can get underneath, as well as have all sides blocked from access. If you have doors that have a large enough opening for a ferret to crawl under, you can add a door sweeper or weather stripping to keep them out. You might also consider adding a carpet protector in front of your doors, as these little fuzzies love digging, especially in front of closed doors (they think if they dig long enough they’ll find a way onto the other side).
Beds, couches and recliners
A box spring is an extremely dangerous place for a ferret, that will surely lead to tragedy. An easy way to combat the problem is to staple a sheet pulled tight or a carpet protector to the bottom of your box spring. Recliners are great to have, but if you’re going to own a ferret it really has to go or be modified. A ferret can get caught in the moving parts, clamps etc., without you realizing it. Fortunately, it is easy enough to convert a recliner into a stationary chair. Couches/sofas posses another problem. To keep your fuzzies from getting into your couch from underneath, follow the same suggestion for your box spring above. If you have ferrets that dig their way through the cushions on top, you can try using a throw cover, but be prepared to join the majority of ferret owners who are now futon owners. Another point to keep in mind is if they get under your couch which is low to the ground, they might decide to use a corner as their litter box. Always inspect the sofa cushions, ferrets are notorious for getting under or into them. They can easily get caught/suffocate, or get seriously injured if sat upon. If possible keep them away from sofas, recliners, chairs, etc.
Some ferrets love to chew on wires, which is obviously quite dangerous. To help avoid this situation, you can try and keep all the wires together and utilize a plastic wire protector which the wires will run through. Another option to try is to spray or apply bitter apple spray or gels to the wires as the taste will usually discourage this behavior.
If you live in a split level home and your ferrets are allowed full access,open railings can present a big hazard to your ferret. You can either restrict your ferret only to the lower level by using a Plexiglas guard, or you can purchase fiberglass or Plexiglas sheets to intertwine between the spindles to protect your fuzzy from going/falling through.
- Source: Ferret Universe
Topics: ferret proof your house, ferret proofing, ferret proofing for your ferret