Making your ferret a home

Ferrets do need daily playtime outside of their cages, but they usually still spend a fair amount of time in their cage. A large, well designed cage is a necessity.

Some features to look for are; solid floors and shelves (wire mesh is hard on the feet, although you can cover with a towel), balconies, and ideally solid ladders. Multi-level cages are nice, but depending on the arrangement of the levels, falls are possible. Get extra shelves or use hammocks to make cages safer as needed.

You should purchase and set up your ferret’s cage prior to bringing them home, the cage will serve as “home base” for your new pet and should be ready and waiting upon his arrival. Below are some pointers for setting up your pet’s new domain.

Comfort Counts – There are many options out there in terms of the type of material from which your cage will be built. Metal, plastic, and various forms of wire or mesh are a few that come to mind (wood is not recommended).

**Manitoba Ferret Association has used cages for sale**

In choosing the best type of cage for your ferret, consider how easy it will be to clean. Will urine and food odors seep into the material and be impossible to scrub away? Does the cage offer easy dismantling or removal and replacing of each level so that you can clean all the nooks and crannies?

Ferrets aren’t known for their neatness, and will make messes in places you have only imagined.

If you choose a wire or mesh cage, be sure to provide adequate bedding, old blankets, towels and clothing work fine. The goal is to make sure that the pads of your ferret’s feet are not injured or sore as a result of walking around on wires or mesh all the time. Wire or mesh-type cages do have the advantage of allowing you to purchase the types of litter boxes and food dishes that can be hooked to the side of the cage, making it harder for your ferret to overturn them.

Arrange your ferret’s cage so that each “function” has a designated place. Setting up a safe and comfortable home for your new companion will help him feel right at home. You wouldn’t want to live in an unclean house, and neither does your ferret! A clean cage is essential to your ferret’s overall well-being.

Accessorize – Equip your ferret’s cage with the following:

1. Litter pan, or pans, depending upon the number of ferrets in the cage and how stubborn your pet is regarding “potty training.”

2. Dish that holds a good amount of food and is difficult for your ferret to overturn. Heavy dishes or those that can somehow be hooked to the side of the cage work best.

3. Large bottle or second dish that holds plenty of fresh water, keep the water near the food.

4. Area designed especially for sleeping, with either extra bedding or a hammock or two. Ferrets love to curl up in hammocks to sleep, but will also enjoy comfy hideaways such as the leg of an old pair of your sweatpants.

5. Do not keep toys in the cage. Your ferret may chew the toy & cause itself a life threatening blockage

Part of responsible ferret ownership is cleaning your ferret’s cage regularly. This includes scooping litter, wiping down the cage, washing bedding, and other daily or weekly tasks. Because your ferret’s cage is a relatively small living area, it’s very important to make sure that any mess is cleaned up promptly.

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