A ferret can be an unexpected choice for a family pet, but they are loads of fun and can be quite affectionate with their owner.
Hello, my name is Jennifer and I’ve owned two pet ferrets. Technically, they were my ex-boyfriend’s but I got the two dogs, the cat AND the ferret in the break-up.
That was an interesting drive from Colorado to back home in New York.
When the first ferret passed away from old age, we went to Petco a few months later to look at dog toys and came home with a pet ferret.
I named him Jack the Friendly Ferret because I like alliteration and Jack Deveraux is my favorite character on the soap Days of Our Lives. I’m not great at naming pets.
While I’ve had two pet ferrets, I realize that I wasn’t exactly sure whether they need chew toys or not. So, let’s explore this topic together to find the answer.
1. Are ferrets rodents?
A: No! Ferrets are in the same genus as weasels. They are also cousins to skunks and otters.
Ferrets can be slightly discerning to look at until you’ve spent some time around them. Their fur is very rough to the touch, but they enjoy being petted.
2. Do all ferrets smell?
A: Ferrets can stink! There are two different sets of glands in ferrets that emit a musky odor for different reasons.
Like their cousin, the skunk, ferrets have anal glands that release a scent when the ferret is frightened or alarmed. The scent is meant to scare off any threats.
Ferrets also have oil glands on their face that secrete a similar odor, but the odor can be diminished slightly by spaying or neutering your ferret.
If you have a ferret as a pet, you will get used to the scent after a while.
3. How long do ferrets sleep every day?
A: Ferrets typically sleep between 14 to 18 hours every day! They are most active at dawn and dusk.
Ferrets are usually housed in cages and they love hammocks that they can bury themselves into for sleeping (hence the term, “ferreting away,” meaning “burrowing.”)
Speaking of cages, ferrets are litter trained and routinely cleaning their litter can help reduce odors.
4. What is the lifespan of ferrets?
Ferrets can have lifespans of 7 to 10 years.
How to Play With a Ferret
Ferrets can be quite the biters when they are playing. Very similar to cats nipping your fingers when you pet their tummies.
If you don’t want your ferret to play-bite you, there are other games you can play to bond with your ferret, here’s a few ideas:
– Drag a towel or blanket on the floor and let your ferret try to catch a ride
– Buy a ferret tunnel to set up in your living room. Ferrets love to burrow
– Take turns chasing your ferret and letting him chase you
– Ferrets can chase ping-pong balls or cat toys
Do Ferrets Need Chew Toys?
Ferrets love to chew on things, so it is important to make sure any toys you buy are safe from the pieces being broken off and digested by your ferret.
If you allow your ferret to roam free around the house, be sure to remove any hazardous objects, such as remote controls with buttons and plush toys with eyes and ears.
Some ferrets like to chew on cloth, so cloth toys should be used with caution and only when supervised. Therefore, to answer the question, chew toys can be a great idea for ferrets!
Hard ball-shaped toys are better for ferrets. However, strong, durable chew toys and treats can be given to ferrets under direct supervision.
Here are 5 chew toys available for ferrets:
Best Chew Toys for Ferrets
1. Marshall Pet Products Pop-N-Play Ferret Ball Pit Toy
Each side has a hole in it for the ferret to tunnel in and out of the pit.
A Velcro tab lets you attach the ball pit to furniture to avoid tipping over.
The ball pit is designed to encourage your ferret to exercise in a fun environment! I mean, who doesn’t love a good ball pit!
Whilst they’re not directly “chew toys” the balls can be replaced if destroyed.
2. Marshall Bungee Ferret Toy, Assorted Colors
This bungee ferret toy attaches directly to the cage, to provide your ferret with a fun toy to chew on!
As I noted above about the dangers of plush toys, this toy doesn’t have removable eyes or other parts, making it safe to be left in the cage when you’re not home.
A nice added feature, is the attached bungee cord, which will bounce the toy around whilst your ferret plays with it!
3. HDP N- Bone Ferret Chew Treat
They are entirely digestible and safe for ferrets.
Not only are they fun for your ferret, they also offer health benefits!
They are all natural and aid in removing tartar, which helps to keep their gums and teeth healthy.
My dogs get approximately 3 treats when I leave the house; why not give ferrets treats, too?
4. Marshall Pet Turtle Tunnel
This pet tunnel allows your ferret to use its natural burrowing instinct in the safety of your living room.
This is an interactive toy that lets you play along with your ferret.
Just look at that cute little ferret hiding in side that adorable toy!
You can also hand wash the toy, so if it gets a bit dirty, no worries, you can clean it.
5. Marshall Ferret Sport Balls Asst, 2-Pack
One is shaped like a baseball and the other like a tennis ball.
Bring out your ferret’s athletic side with sports balls for chasing.
Even if your ferret isn’t the “sporty type” they may still enjoy playing with these awesome toys!
Having a ferret as a pet may not be everyone, but if you’re looking for a unique, adventurous low-maintenance pet, give ferrets a try.
They are quite smart and can be trained. In the movie Along Came Polly, the character Polly has a pet ferret that is seen frequently and is even on the movie posters.
With the proper training, maybe you can also train your ferret to walk on a leash, as Polly has her ferret trained!
Ferrets are playful and generally very quiet pets. They sleep the majority of the day away in their hammocks.
Their litter boxes are typically placed in the cage with old newspaper lining the bottom of the cage.
When I had Jack the Friendly Ferret, I would clean his litter box and cage at the same time, letting him scamper free around the room. I’d usually find him burrowed a blanket.
If you have any comments or questions, drop them below!