Keeping your ferret entertained is easy. You’ll have hours of fun with your fuzzy just by using things you probably already have around your home.
Boxes, sheets, old shoes – you name it, and your ferret will probably love playing with it. There are some important caveats:
- Do not give your ferret anything that would not be appropriate for a child under the age of three. This includes rubber squeaky toys, cardboard tubes and toys with small parts that can break off.
- Watch out for metal items containing brass, cadmium, lead, and/or zinc, which can be deadly to ferrets.
- While toys for large dogs are generally okay because they are intended to withstand a big dog’s strong teeth, toys for smaller dogs (including rawhide chew toys) and for cats (especially those containing catnip) are not recommended.
- Lastly don’t give your ferret a toy that you would regret losing forever. For example, your car keys or your favorite pair of socks would not make good toys. Keep them out of your ferret’s reach.
That said, here are some fun homemade toys for your ferret.
- Old shirts and linens. All you have to do is lay a sheet or a T-shirt on the floor and watch your ferret scurry in and around it. Even better, lay the items on top of your ferret. If you dare, put your ferret on your unmade bed. Then make your bed. You’ll never see such enjoyment. Do not use shirts that have a lot of extraneous trim, such as bows or laces that could come off when chewed.
- Old shoes. If you have some old work shoes or athletic shoes that you don’t mind sacrificing, they would make great toys for your ferret. If you think they’re too stinky to use, even better. Somehow, ferrets love the scent.
- Tubing. If you’ve recently had some plumbing work done in your home, you’ve hit the jackpot. PVC tubing, dryer vents and the like make ideal playgrounds for ferrets. Put them together into a maze and you’ll keep your pet entertained for hours.
- Old purses and backpacks. Your ferret will enjoy making a nest out of these items. You may soon find they used the many nooks and crannies as hiding spots for their loot.
- Golf or ping pong balls. These make ideal toys. You can put them in socks to play tug-of-war. You can put them in a sturdy box to be batted around. Tie a string around one and dangle it in front of Fuzzy. Or, you can just let them roll around loose to see what your ferret does with them. (Be sure they don’t become a tripping hazard for your human companions.)
- Boxes. Just like little children, ferrets are often more amused by the box than the toy that came in it. Use any sturdy boxes you have lying around and build a maze. Cut holes in them and align them so your ferrets can go in and out and up and down. Link them together with PVC tubing for a fun tunnel.
- Ferrets love to dig and you can make some great free homemade toys with items they’ll love to scrabble through. Find a sturdy box and pour in some oatmeal, rice, fallen leaves or even some snow. Hide a toy or a treat inside for them to find. You can do the same if you take them outside to play: Make a pile of leaves and watch your ferrets scurry. (Make sure they are securely on a leash or you may have a tough time coaxing them back inside.)
If you don’t mind a little mess, you can always fill a dishpan with water and let your ferret splash it around. If you leave some floatable items around, your ferret will likely make its own raft. The games it will come up with will entertain both of you.
Your ferret’s favorite toys will be even more fun if you get in the act. Try hiding a treat in your shirt pocket and watch your ferret try to find it. Or, set your ferret on a piece of carpeting and drag it around the room. A favorite game is to put a ferret in a pillowcase and then sitting back to watch the fun. If you give the pillowcase a very gentle shake, the fun expands.
Ferrets love to pounce. Anything you can dangle in front of it with a piece of string will be a fun yet cheap homemade toy. You can use a feather, a piece of tinfoil, a bell or even just the piece of string. Or, watch your ferret encounter a yo-yo or a remote-controlled car in action. (Do not leave those items where your ferret can get to them unsupervised, however.)
Sometimes you don’t need any toys at all. Play tag with your ferrets or just chase them around the room. Just spending playtime with you is the best homemade toy of all.