The Ferret Owners Manual

Digging Ferrets love to dig. Potted plants make great ferret fun-digs, not to mention”salad” out of your plants. You might try:

  • Putting your plants out of reach (good luck since ferrets are great climbers);
  • Putting medium-sized (3-6 inch) rocks on top of the dirt;
  • Cutting linoleum or wire mesh to fit around the stem and inside the pot and covering that with stones;
  • Giving up and buying plastic plants (this is the route we took after trying all the above).

A friend of ours tried to protect her prize plant by putting a bell on the ferret’s collar so she could tell if the ferret was in the living room with her plant. Like any good ferret, she soon learned to slip the collar, and in her “stealth” mode dig to her heart content. Undaunted, our friend put the bell on the plant. Since the plant normally didn’t do much walking on its own, she knew when she heard the bell, that her ferret was busily trying to inspect the roots.

Your ferret will quickly discover that there are “things” to see and do behind every closed door, and he will try his best to get in “there.” If you have carpet under the door they will try tunneling under the door. Of course this requires going through the carpet first. Plastic runners (available in carpet stores and some building supply stores) work well. Cut these about 6 inches wider than the doorway; notch the middle of the sides such that it fits between the door jams (sort of a wide, sideways figure “H”. I’d recommending tacking it in place so that your ferret can’t crawl under and start a tunnel from there. Another, more “formal” approach is to use oak thresholds cut and nailed firmly in place. These look good and are too hard for the ferret to dig through, but may not prevent your ferret from trying to dig just in front of the wood.

What if a door has a gap high enough for a ferret to fit under?  One of our tiny sprites taught us this trick.  She was always getting into the spare bedroom, a nominal  Ferret Free Zone.  I certainly didn’t want to replace the door, and stuffing things under the door just meant that she had to work a little harder, first removing the “things,” before she could get in.  Visiting the local home improvement store, I bought a piece of rectangular trim, narrower than the thickness of, and as wide as the door.  I popped the hinge pins, removed the door and tacked the trim to the underside.  It is invisable from the outside, and our littlest ferret could no longer squeeze herself under the door.


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