What are the best toys for ferrets?
As a ferret owner, you may have noticed that your ferret will make a toy out of anything, be that good or bad.
When bringing a new ferret home, it is important to ferret-proof your house carefully to avoid your ferret inadvertently turning dangerous items, such as plants, wires, and other dangerous objects into chew toys. Many ferrets will hoard anything they can carry in their mouth, so it is important to remove anything from reach that you don’t want chewed up or hidden.
However, you may be wondering what toys you should utilize to keep your ferret occupied that is fun and safe at the same time. This article will discuss the best ferret toys and what ferret toys should be avoided, as well as how to entertain your ferret without the use of toys.
Why Is Play Important For Ferrets?
Ferrets are incredibly active animals, though it may not seem that way at times. Ferrets sleep between sixteen and twenty hours per day, partially because of their wild ancestors. In the wild, ferrets sleep the majority of the day simply to avoid being tracked by predators. This instinct continues on for domesticated ferrets. Therefore, it is important to make the most of the bonding and playing time that you have with your ferret while she is awake.
Like humans, it is important for ferrets to have an outlet for stress, and this outlet is playing with humans, ferret siblings, or other furred siblings such as cats, dogs, and other playful animals. Having a variety of toys for them to play with and explore also helps to keep their inquisitive minds busy and reduce the mischief a bored ferret can get up to!
In order for ferrets to be healthy and happy, it is important to provide at least three to four hours out of their cage daily, preferably in direct contact with their humans and the best ferret toys to keep them company.
How To Play With Your Ferrets?
As any ferret parent knows, one of the most important and best ferret toys is their owners!
Of course, this is not to say that it should be acceptable to let your ferret chew on your feet or hands as a substitute for toys. Your ferret chewing on your limbs should be avoided and trained out as soon as you get your new furry friend. However, there are other ways to entertain your ferret without developing bad habits along the way.
Ferrets are natural seekers, so ‘hide and seek’ or ‘tag’ is a ferret favorite. Ferrets do not need much direction, and the love and attention they crave from their owners will easily result in hiding and chasing.
Many ferrets also love to experience the great outdoors. Ferrets should never be allowed outside without a harness or without a human that is familiar with their behaviors, as it is important to recognize signs of distress or anxiety. Ferrets can react negatively to new smells, sights, and sounds, so it is important to keep them calm so they can truly enjoy and experience the great outdoors. Harnesses can generally be purchased for less than $10 at many local and major pet stores.
Types of Best Ferret Toys
1. Tubes and Tunnels Are Favorite Ferret Toys
Tubes and tunnels are some of the best ferret toys that you can invest in, and they don’t have to be expensive. There are store bought tubes, such as the Marshall Thru-Way, which is entertaining for both you and your ferrets as you can see their antics while playing in the tube.
However, you can also utilize larger cardboard tubes, black flexible drainage tubes, or even drier vent tubes. These will keep your furry friends equally as entertained, and are more budget friendly.
It is important not to give them a tube so small they would be able to get their head stuck in, such as a paper towel or toilet paper roll tube.
2. The Best Ferret Toys Make Noise
Ferrets, with the exception of those that are deaf, tend to respond well to toys that make noise, either through balls or bells inside of the toy or with a squeaker. Therefore, some of the best ferret toys will grab your ferrets attention through noise and help keep them entertained for a period of time.
If you have a ferret who loves to hide under couches and other dark, enclosed spaces to take a nap, having a toy that makes a loud noise can help wake them up and get them moving without having to hunt them down.
3. Dig Box Is A Great Toy for A Ferret
As many ferret owners are aware, ferrets like to dig everywhere. In their food, in their litter box, underneath blankets, and against your feet to try to get your attention. To help relieve this need to dig and keep them entertained, invest in a dig box.
A dig box is one of the best ferret toys you can buy or make for your ferret. A dig box is one that is filled with balls, rice, beans, plastic easter eggs, sand or soil, or biodegradable starch packing peanuts, and often has holes on the side for easier access in and out. Your ferret can romp, run, and dig in the box, and will definitely keep them entertained.
Do not use anything to fill your dig box that your ferrets have a tendency to consume, and foam packing peanuts and instant rice can expand in their stomach and cause blockages. It is important to keep your eye on your ferret when they are enjoying their dig box as to ensure they are not consuming whatever the dig box is filled with.
4. Cat Toys Make The Best Ferret Toys
Many of the best cat toys are also the best ferret toys as well. Ferrets love balls, fur mice, and stuffed toys to wrestle with. Don’t worry too much about the color of your ferret’s toys – ferrets are mostly color blind except for red.
5. Other Ideas For The Best Ferret Toys
Ferrets are naturally very inquisitive animals, and love to explore new things. Introducing new things for them to explore is a great idea – plastic bags, cardboard boxes, old towels, etc., can sometimes make the best toys for ferrets! The key is to change your ferrets’ toys often – move them around your ferrets’ play area and hide them for a week or two before reintroducing the toys to your ferrets.
What To Avoid In The Best Ferret Toys
While the above toys are great recommendations for the best ferret toys, the truth is ferrets will find enjoyment out of many everyday items. It is important that anything your ferret is using as a toy is not toxic or contains parts that may become dislodged and swallowed. Ferret’s digestive systems are extremely fragile, and a major blockage in the intestines can result in illness, expensive surgery, and in severe cases, death.
For the same reason, it is also important to regularly inspect even the best ferret toys to ensure that there are no small parts, fabric, or plastic that have come loose potentially be swallowed. Throw away toys that are old or damaged, so you can ensure your ferrets always have the best quality toys to play with.
Ferrets are entertaining little creatures, and can find enjoyment in anything from a rolled up sock to a paper bag to furry cat toys and tubes. The best ferret toys are the ones that entertain your ferret, are not destructive, and are safe for your ferret without risking intestinal blockage or suffocation. Beyond that, there are few rules about what is truly the best ferret toy.