Last time, we talked about commercially produced ferret toys. Some of them are great, and some aren’t so good. And you can easily sink a small fortune in toys for your fuzzy friends – sometimes almost as much as you can for your children’s toys. But are there any alternatives?
Of course there are. Just as small children can play for hours with a cardboard box, your ferret will be content with a few small items you may already have lying around the house. There are plenty of items you can get for free (or nearly free) that will give your ferret hours of fun:
- Squeaky toys. Most dollar stores have a pet section where you can find a large assortment. As long as the toy is made of sturdy plastic, your fuzzy will have a great time using it to make noise and play fetch or hide and seek.
- Balls. Whether they are large or small, soft or hard, all ferrets love to have balls to bat around and chase.
- Dangling toys. Ferrets love to bat at something dangling in front of them. Plus, you can use such ferret toys to teach them to walk on a leash. All you need to do is to put the leash and harness on your ferret and then dangle the toy in to coax it to walk. Before you know it, you’ll be going for a daily stroll together.
- Old clothing, blankets, and/or towels. There is hardly a ferret around who doesn’t love to burrow under an old comforter or T-shirt. With a little effort, you can convert these items into a sleep sack or hammock, which is not just a bed – it is a favorite ferret toy.
- Cardboard boxes. I took a medium-sized cardboard box, closed up both ends, and cut a ferret-sized hole in one end near the bottom. And this has been one of Rikki’s and Possum’s favorite toys for many months. (Just make sure the box is free of any toxic materials, and test to make certain your ferrets can’t chew off small bits and ingest them. Ferret safety first, always!)
If you don’t have these ferret toys lying around the house, you can probably find many of them at rummage sales or thrift stores for very low prices. Before you buy, make sure to inspect them to ensure they will withstand your ferret. When you get them home, wash them thoroughly before handing them over to your ferret to avoid passing along any germs or bacteria.
But don’t forget your ferret’s favorite toy – you!