Great Ideas for Homemade Ferret Toys

Here are some great ideas for inexpensive ways to keep your pet ferrets entertained and stimulated from ferret-world.com.

Possum, My Male Panda FerretHomemade ferret toys are a great alternative to the toys you can buy at stores. These can help you to save a bit of money.

Toys are very important to keep your fuzzy stimulated when out playing. However, all ferrets are different and will find different things interesting (just like humans). Each ferret has its own individual personality and with that come their own individual likes and dislikes.

So if you have a lot of ferrets, then sometimes it can be hard to cater to all their needs. The more time you spend with them and the more you bond, the more you will know about your ferrets and what they want to play with.

Ferrets are great because most of the time they will create their own homemade ferret toys. For example, they can take a liking to your clothing and tunnel through it or steal it.

Homemade ferret toys come in many shapes and forms but always remember to supervise you fuzzbutts during play. You don’t want them swallowing something that their not supposed to ( it can get stuck in their tiny intestines).

Read entire article here.

*     *     *

Ferret ToysWe ferret owners are all a little “crazy” when it comes to our fuzzy kids. Just as we do for our human children, we want the best, most-stimulating toys we can afford for our pet ferrets. But how do we wade through the thousands of choices and the many manufacturers. And where is the best place to get ferret toys? And what about homemade toys?

These are the questions this little book, Ferret Toys: Keeping Pet Ferrets Happy, will answer. You will find out:

* How to choose ferret toys wisely, both ferret-wise and money-wise
* How to choose toys that will engage your ferret’s senses and keep him active and interested
* How to know whether a toy is safe for your ferret
* The top ferret-toy manufacturers
* The best places to buy ferret toys
* How to create inexpensive and fun homemade ferret toys (with step-by-step directions)
* How to take care of your ferret’s toys so they will last longer and be safer

While you’re at it, be sure to check out Karen’s more comprehensive book on ferret care, ferret health, and ferret toys: Getting Started with Pet Ferrets.

 

Some Ferret Resources

Panda Ferret PlayingHere are a few ferret resources to help you with both general and specific information, as well as in the case of a ferret emergency.

1. American Ferret Association, Inc

888-FERRET-1

afa@ferret.org

www.ferret.org

2. The Ferret Council Ferret Emergency Response, Rescue & Evaluation Team (FERRET)

EMERGENCIES ONLY: 860-906-8798

info@ferretemergency.org

www.ferretemergency.org.

3. Ferret Health Advancement Department, Michigan State University

ferrethealth.msu.edu

4. International Ferret Congress

ferretcongress@ferrectcongress.org

www.ferretcongress.org.

5. Support our shelters

ferretshelterfund@supportourshelters.org

www.supportourshelters.org.

Also, you might check out our 2 in 1 Ferret Book.

 

New “2 in 1 Ferret Book”

A New Ferret Book that Includes Both Getting Started with Pet Ferrets and Ferret Toys – With Updated Information and New Material

New Ferret BookHere’s a brief description:

So you finally got that pet ferret you’ve been wanting. But now what?

Ferrets do make great pets. They are fun, quirky, lovable, playful, mischievous, and entertaining little critters. But they also require a commitment on your part. You will need to invest time, money, and energy to take care of your woozles properly. Reading our 2 in 1 Ferret Book will aid you in preparing and getting outfitted for your ferret journey – especially the ferret-cage and ferret-readiness checklists.

And then there are the toys – most likely lots of them. Just as we do for our human children, we want the best, most-stimulating toys we can afford for our pet ferrets. But how do we wade through the thousands of choices and the many manufacturers. And where is the best place to get ferret toys? And what about homemade toys?

This book contains our two top-selling ferret books with new additional material. 

Our new 2 in 1 Ferret Book will give you the basics of ferret care and the low-down on ferret toys. It’ll also save you some money – always a good thing this time of year.

Happy Holidays!

 

How Would Pet Ferrets Train and Manage Their Humans? Take a Look . . .

Our Humorous Little Ferret Book is Finally Here – A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human.

Here’s the description:

So you really think you “own” your pet ferrets and that they live in “your” house? Well, think A Ferret Manualagain – because it just may be otherwise. And that’s exactly why we’ve written this humorous little book, “A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human.” It examines ferret training and ferret care from a ferret’s-eye point of view. Here’s what you’ll get . . .

Introduction – An Overview of Human Nature

Toys – Get What You Really Want

Meal Time – Make ‘em Get It Right

Litter Pans and Cage Configuration – Or the Power of Poop

Real Estate – Location and Size

The Annoyance of “Ferret Proofing”

Conclusion

Ferrets are unique pets and will often, as we demonstrate in this little book, make you see things in a unique way. Enjoy.

Here’s a sample:

So, you’ve finally acquired your very own human, have you? Good for you and congratulations! It sure beats being crowded together with a bunch of total strangers in a tiny cage at the pet store, doesn’t it? But . . . while this is a great accomplishment and a first step toward a happy life in a home of your own, your job is just beginning. You have a lot of work and a long road ahead of you.

First of all, humans aren’t really very teachable. But, then, there are very few animals as inquisitive and as intelligent as ferrets. That means training your human will require, in varying degrees as your unique situation demands, inventiveness, persistence, consistent application, and time.

Okay, let’s get started. 

 

Introduction – An Overview of Human Nature

Following are the four important truths about or principles of human nature that will form the foundation of our guidelines and rules for training and managing your human. Remember these and adapt your training tactics accordingly, and you should see some success in your human-training efforts.

1. Humans are basically lazy creatures.

The thing you need to keep squarely in mind at all times is that adult humans are lazy. They don’t sleep nearly as much as we do, but they are far less active when awake. They seldom run, they don’t hide under the bed, and they never get on top of the dresser and play among the knickknacks. Even human kits (“children,” I think they call them) usually don’t play as vigorously as ferrets, and I’ve never seen one do the ferret “war dance.”

Because they are lazy, then, and slaves to the law of inertia, humans are just downright hard to train. The difficulty lies in getting them to change a behavior. For some bizarre reason, they prefer the familiar and easy to the better course. And never forget that humans just aren’t as smart as ferrets. There’s really nothing you can do about that, though.

For a human, it takes a lot of effort to learn something new and change a thinking pattern and/or a behavior. That’s why they dig in their heels and resist change: because it takes effort. Ironically, though, humans often expend more energy resisting change, owing to their inherent laziness, than they would actually making the change. (But, remember, they’re just not all that bright.) So, one of the keys to successfully training and managing your human will be persistence. You will simply have to work at it assiduously until you’ve achieved the desired results.

Just don’t give up. Success could be right around the corner.

And here’s another sample:

Litter Pans and Cage Configuration – Or the Power of Poop

Never, ever underestimate the power of poop. But keep in mind, too, that with every power there are attendant dangers. Here’s what I mean.

We ferrets have our own peculiar and distinctive pooping preferences – especially when it comes to location. Your human, however, will have a hard time fully understanding this and grasping our uniqueness as pets. And, as a result, they just lump ferrets in with other pets – say, dogs* – and think that, like those other pets, we just stop and poop wherever we are when we get the urge. In addition, since your human really does believe he or she owns you, your human may try to determine for you where you should poop. But don’t fall for either of these poop-related fallacies.

Keeping in mind our four principles of human nature, work toward a cage-and-litter-pan configuration that suits you. For example, if your human does even a little reading, she will know that placing a small piece of your poop in a litter pan is supposed to encourage you to do your business in that pan. Sounds a little disgusting, I know, but just humor your human, and try to do a little pooping in that pan where the piece is. Hopefully, your human will also realize that we like to back into a corner to do our business and, knowing this, will have provided triangular-shaped corner litter pans. This will, of course, make it much easier to play along with your humans pooping plans.

If, however, you just can’t bring yourself to poop in the pan designated by your human, then it’s time to exercise the “power of poop.” Just find the spot in your cage where you’d most like to do your business and then start pooping there. Your human will then either move that pan to or buy another one to place in your preferred spot. Pretty simple, really.

But do be careful. If you don’t poop judiciously and strategically, you may find a whole floor of your cage covered with litter pans. And this, of course, would greatly decrease your play and sleep area. Even worse, if you don’t confine you pooping to only one floor of your cage, you may find litter pans cluttering all the floor areas. So . . . have a pooping plan.

*(Note: It’s often the case that humans have other pets, dogs more often than not. And, owing to their innate lack of intelligence and tendency not to observe well, your human will sometimes want you to be friends with a dog way before the dog is ready. So . . . be careful when this happens. Avoid both teeth and crushing paws. If a dog does get too rough with you, don’t bite in self-defense – the dog will likely bite back. Instead, run and hide under the nearest low piece of furniture – and stay there. Your human will see your behavior and be more cautious about introducing other pets after that.)

 A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human – we think it’s a fun little read.

What is a Ferret?

Panda Ferret in Plastic DrawerFerrets, because they are meat eaters, belong to the Carnivora order, as do dogs and cats, wolves and lions. As we move further down the classification line, we see that ferrets belong to the Mustelidae (which means loosely “weasel” or “mouse killer”) family, and this makes them remotely related to badgers, sea otters, wolverines, and polecats. So far, then, it seems our pet ferrets, our favorite fuzzies, are in the company of some pretty tough (and perhaps stinky) critters.

Next, we find ferrets in the genus putorious, a Latin word that means “stench.” (Just think of the word “putrid.”) Then, they are in the species called furo, which come from furis, which means “thief.” Big surprise, huh?

So, taxonomically, a ferret is . . . a weaselly, mouse-killing, smelly thief. But pet ferrets aren’t really very closely related to weasels, and most of them don’t kill mice (unless they are fed a whole-prey diet). They are, however, incorrigible thieves, so that part’s pretty accurate.

This description, though scientifically sound, doesn’t really tell us much about what this creature we love really is. So . . . just what IS a ferret?

Well, first off, a ferret is a small, elongated, long-whiskered bundle of energy – when it isn’t sleeping, which is most of the time. It is a creature that when active (which, again, is only about 6 hours a day) is furiously playing – running, jumping, hiding, chewing, stealing. Or not . . . because it may be asleep. A ferret, then, is a seeming contradiction – a living paradox.

Second, a carpetshark possesses the attributes of several different animals all bundled together in one lovable package. It displays, for instance, the zany playfulness of an otter. (Just think of otters in all the Disney shows we watched when we were kids.) It has the sneakiness and curiosity of a cat – which, just as with cats, can get a ferret into some less-than-ideal predicaments. And a ferret is like a dog in that it often engages in hilariously entertaining (to us) and embarrassing (to the ferret) antics.

Finally, on a more serious note, ferrets are great pets – but only for those willing to make the necessary investment. For just like people – and they are a lot like humans, too – they require vaccinations and regular medical check-ups, as well as a quality diet, to remain healthy. They need their own living space and quality sleeping quarters. They have to have scheduled play times and lots of chances for socialization with both you and others of their own kind.

Pet ferrets are, in short, members of your family. And here are a couple of our picks in ferret-care books for tips on how to keep your paradoxical, multi-faceted, furry family members healthy and happy . . .

Ferrets for Dummies by Kim Schilling

Getting Started with Pet Ferrets by Karen Hearing

 

Getting Rid of Ferret Odor with GoodBye Odor

GoodBye Odor for Ferret-Odor Control – A Must Have Ferret Product

So I was gone to Colorado throughout the month of October. The purpose of this trip was to GoodBye Odor for Ferret Odorhelp out my older son and his wife during and right after the birth of their third child, my fifth grandchild. (They were really hoping for a son, but got another, a third, daughter instead.) And I left my four ferrets in the care of my husband for nearly five weeks!

Actually, though, he did a good job. He fed and watered them daily and cleaned the cage regularly. And when I got home, my fuzzy babies were healthy, happy, and sassy – and ready to get out and spend some play time with me. So I really have no complaints there.

But what he didn’t do was order needed ferret supplies on time.

And that means that shortly after I got back home, we ran out of GoodBye Odor. Then, we hit a bit of a tight money spot and had to postpone ordering for a couple more weeks. The ferret smell let me know daily that we had run of this product that I consider essential for ferret care.

But now we again have some GoodBye Odor for Ferrets – my husband can be a good boy at times – and the ferret smell has subsided substantially. The difference between before and after was markedly noticeable. I just can’t say enough about this product, and I absolutely refuse to run out again.

I usually buy the 32 oz. pump bottle because it costs less than buying the smaller bottles and I don’t want to buy the big jug. I just add it so my fuzzies’ water – about 9 pumps to a 20 oz. water bottle – and the smell that some people find offensive is kept to a very low level. My babies don’t even seem to notice that I’ve added it to their water. It simply works.

My husband is now aware – after some “encouragement” on my part – that he has to order GoodBye Odor when I tell him it’s time. It’s a pretty good arrangement all around.

Getting Started with Pet Ferrets: Your Guide to Happier, Healthier Pet Ferrets

Ferret Toys: Keeping Pet Ferrets Happy

A Ferret Manual

Here’s an excerpt from our soon-to-be-released little book titled A Ferret Manuel: How to Train and Manage Your Human. It’s a humorous, ferret’s-eye view of the often comical relations between humans and pet ferrets.

So, you’ve finally acquired your very own human, have you? Good. Good for you and congratulations! It sure beats being crowded together with a bunch of total strangers in a tiny cage at the pet store, doesn’t it? But . . . while this is a great accomplishment and a first step toward a happy life in a home of your own, your job is just beginning. You have a lot of work and a long road ahead of you.

First of all, humans aren’t really very teachable. But, then, there are very few animals as inquisitive and intelligent as ferrets. That means training your human will require, in varying degrees as your unique situation demands, inventiveness, persistence, consistent application, and time.

Okay, let’s get started.

Introduction – An Overview of Human Nature

Following are the four important truths about or principles of human nature that will form the foundation of our guidelines and rules for training and managing your human. Remember these and adapt your training tactics accordingly, and you should see some success in your human-training efforts.

1. Humans are basically lazy creatures.

The thing you need to keep squarely in mind at all times is that adult humans are lazy. They don’t sleep nearly as much as we do, but they are far less active when awake. They seldom run, they don’t hide under the bed, and they never get on top of the dresser and play among the knickknacks. Even human kits (“children,” I think they call them) usually don’t play as vigorously as ferrets, and I’ve never seen one do the ferret “war dance.”

Because they are lazy, then, and slaves to the law of inertia, humans are just downright hard to train. The difficulty lies in getting them to change a behavior. For some bizarre reason, they prefer the familiar and easy to the better course. And never forget that humans just aren’t as smart as ferrets. There’s really nothing you can do about that, though.

For a human, it takes a lot of effort to learn something new and change a thinking pattern and/or a behavior. That’s why they dig in their heels and resist change: because it takes effort. Ironically, though, humans often expend more energy resisting change, owing to their inherent laziness, than they would actually making the change. (But, remember, they’re just not all that bright.) So, one of the keys to successfully training and managing your human will be persistence. You will simply have to work at it assiduously until you’ve achieved the desired results.

Just don’t give up. Success could be right around the corner.

2. Humans are incorrigible creatures of habit.

This truth about human nature is tightly bound up with the first one above. Because humans are lazy, they are also creatures of habit. They tend to keep doing the same thing the same way over and over because – well, because it’s just easier for them that way. It will take a lot of effort on your part to get your human to do something in a new and different way.

But the good news in all this is that once you’ve trained your human to engage in a certain behavior, your work is usually done with respect to that particular thing. Your human will keep doing whatever-it-is out of habit without thinking about it. While this aspect of human nature makes training your human quite a bit of work, it does mean that managing a behavior once inculcated is fairly easy.

Suppose, for example, you don’t like the food that your human has been giving you. You can’t, of course, just tell your human about it – she can’t speak our language. (Again, keep in mind that humans aren’t as clever as we are.) But after you’ve put in the necessary training effort (using some choice training tactics I’ll get to in a little bit), most of your work will be done. When your human learns to buy the kind of food you like best, she will keep doing it simply out of habit, even if she forgets the reason she started doing it in the first place. Once trained, humans are generally pretty easy to manage . . .

And here are links to our other ferret books:

Getting Started with Pet Ferrets

Ferret Toys: Keeping Pet Ferrets Happy

“Danny and Oliver: A Ferret-Rescue Tale”

 

Making Sure Ferret Toys are Safe

Pet ferrets, of course, love their sleep time, but play time is what really makes them light up. And that means ferret toys – and lots of ‘em. But you need to make sure the toys you get forA Collection of Ferret Toys your favorite fuzzies are truly ferret safe.

Below are a few guidelines for making sure your ferret’s toys are suitable and safe:

  1. Make sure the ferret toys you purchase are specifically designed for ferrets. Ferrets can chew through dog or cat toys in seconds, thanks to their sharp teeth and strong jaws. This means it’s possible for them chew off and ingest small bits of these toys and ingest – which can lead to choking and/or intestinal blockage.
  2. Ensure that the toys are free of small decorations that can be chewed off and swallowed. This includes ribbons, bows, jingle bells, buttons, etc. As a general rule, ferret toys and toy attachments should be at least two inches square to avoid the possibility of  the toys or their parts being swallowed.
  3. Make sure all ferret tunnels and nesting holes are at least four inches in diameter so your ferret won’t get stuck.
  4. Likewise, make sure all ball toys are at least two inches in diameter so your ferret won’t choke on them.
  5. Avoid toys made of cardboard, rubber, foam, plastic, Styrofoam, and wood chips. Also avoid easily chewable fabric, including socks, hosiery, drawstrings, etc. Use only the starch packing peanuts – and NOT Styrofoam packing peanuts – if you want a ferret dig box.
  6. Carefully examine your ferret’s toys at least once a week. Replace any loose stuffing, and repair any torn seams. Discard any plastic toys that have cracked or have loose parts. Clean any toys that have become stained, and use plain water so your ferret won’t ingest anything toxic.

Also, if your pet ferret seems to have lost interest in a favorite toy that is still in good shape, clean it and then put it aside in a hidden place for a few weeks. When you bring it out again, your ferret is likely to see it as a brand new toy.

More Ferret Training – Litter-Box Training Your Pet Ferrets

Teaching your pet ferret to use her litter box is essential for her health. It keeps the rest of the cage and play areas clean and feces free. It also goes a long way toward building a good relationship between your ferret the rest of the household.

Litter training pet ferrets begins with getting the right litter pans and the right ferret litter. Ferrets like to back up into a fairly tight space (usually a corner) to do their business. So I suggest using a triangle-shaped corner litter box with two high sides and a lower front side for easy entry. You also need to use a quality dust-free litter. I’ve tried several kinds of cat litter but none of them was really satisfactory. I’ve finally settled on Critter Litter, and I and my ferrets (Rikki and Possum) are very happy with it.

As with any animal or person, it is best to start potty training a pet ferret when he is is young. It can be done at any age, but it just takes a little more work and little more time with older ferrets. When you introduce your ferret to his new home, notice where he poops and place the litter box there. (Ferrets tend to poop several times an hour, so it won’t take long.) Some people find it helpful to put immovable objects in every corner of the cage except the one for the litter box. If possible, place a small piece of poop in the box for a visual and olfactory cue.

As you get to know your ferret, you’ll soon learn the signs that indicate she is about to poop. When you see her backing into a corner, for instance, be ready. Try to get her into her litter pan before she does her business. If she does it in the pan, reward your ferret with a treat for a job well done.

Also, place your ferret in the litter box when he first wakes up because this is a common time for pooping. Also, at the end of playtime, set your ferret on the litter box and wait. If he uses it, offer a treat. If he doesn’t, withhold the treat. (You may need to be careful, though, because some ferrets are good at faking it.) Within a few days, your ferret should get the idea.

It might not seem very pleasant, but get in the habit of examining your ferret’s feces. A change in the color, texture, or frequency may signal a health problem that needs to be addressed. (Getting Started with Pet Ferrets has a helpful section on this.)

My male panda ferret has proven to be quite “stubborn” when it comes to litter training. So, I’ll soon buy another ferret litter pan. That way, there will be one for every corner of the lower level of the cage and one for each of his favorite corners in my room. Sometimes, you justPanda Ferret in Litter Pan have to do what you gotta do.

It may take some time for a ferret to learn to use a litter box, especially if the kit was removed from its mother before she could train it to do so. So just be patient. Never hit your ferret when he makes a mistake. Above all, never rub his nose in an “accident.” (Your ferret could breathe in some of the fecal matter and get sick from it.)