New Ferret Safety and Poop-Proofing Your Pad

Getting a new ferret can be one of the most exciting things to happen to a home in a long time. Ferrets are simply unique pets that have a lot of creative energy when awake, and tend to be quite playful, if not outright social. Ferrets have been known to enjoy playing their version of tag, going for a walk, or even hanging out in your backpack.

One of the most exciting things about getting a new ferret is simply discovering what idiosyncratic little tendencies they will have. Of course, it’s not all play. There are some basic ferret care issues to be covered. But, fortunately, there are some tips you can employ that will help ease the transition into caring for your new ferret, so the two of you can spend the bulk of your energy on play time.

Here are my top tips for breaking in your new ferret. If you can get that little guy or gal litter box trained as quickly as possible, that will obviously help. The good new is that consistency pays off, and most new ferrets get trained to use it most of the time rapidly. It’s really not uncommon to find them to be a clean as cats. However, you’ll avoid disappointment if you simply come to expect a periodic accident. Simply have them begin running loose in a small bedroom or even the bathroom. If you do this right after they have eaten or awakened, then there is a good chance they will have to “potty.” If you simply place them in the litter box after some free time, you can encourage them to do it there, and this can become a bit of a routine until they get the hang of it on their own.

The upshot is that you can readily train your new ferret with a bit of behavioral training. For example, just give them a treat if they use the litter box. Make it a good experience for them. They’ve just relieved themselves, and now they are getting a reward to boot. This is always better than punishment. The tendency is to ignore the issue and try to punish them for the occasional accident when it occurs. But, a reward for the desired behavior will pay bigger dividends. Plus, you do not want them to become scared of you. Instead, you want them to want to play with you.

Keep in mind that you will have to examine your home for things your new ferret can get into. They can get acclimated at first in the cage, but soon will be let out into the surrounding area. They do not always understand the hazards of chewing on electrical cords and things like that, so you will have to pick up to keep them safe. You’ll also want to protect your valuables as well.

When you “ferret proof” your residence, remember that your new ferret can get into some pretty small spaces. If you just think about what a mouse could get into, then safeguarding the place on that basis should suffice. Because they are so low to the ground and like to sneak around and investigate, you’ll do best if you crawl around to try to experience your home from their vantage point. Only then can you really consider all potential hazards. Of course, don’t overlook the fact that they are climbers.

By Laura