Two Pet-Ferret Matters – Climbing on the Cage and Covering the Ferret Cage

I’d like to discuss two matters concerning pet ferrets in this post.

The first is ferrets climbing on their cage. This behavior is perfectly normal for ferrets. Rikki and Possum are constantly climbing on their cage, especially Possum, my male panda ferret.

The cage I have for my two ferrets is a small- to medium-sized three-level cage. To get fromFerret Cage and Pet Ferrets the floor to the first level, my ferrets make use of a tube. Then, to get to the second level, they have to go up a spiral slide. And to get to the third level, they go up a ramp.

When I first got Possum, he refused to use the tube or the slide or the ramp. He would just climb up the side of the cage to get to each level. After a couple of months, he finally started using the tube, slide, and ramp. But even then, when the mood struck him, he would still – and still does – climb up the cage to get to the level he wanted.

Rikki (my older female albino ferret), on the other hand, climbs the cage only when she’s bored and wants out. But this is okay – it’s just the nature of ferrets. They love to climb.

Now, the other thing I’d like to talk about is covering your ferrets’ cage at night.

Covering the ferret cage is actually up to the human parents of the little fuzzies. You can choose whether or not you want to put a cover over your fuzzy babies’ cage at night.

I, personally, don’t cover my ferrets’ cage at night. I don’t have any real reason why I don’t do this – I just don’t.

I you do choose to cover the ferret cage in order to make the cage dark, hoping that your pet ferrets will sleep quietly through the night . . . just be aware that this is not going to happen.

Nope. If your fuzzies want to have a midnight romp, they will do it – whether their cage is covered or not.

That’s why I always try to get mine out their cage for several hours each day. Ferrets play extremely hard for a few hours, and then they sleep the rest of the time. The idea is that they will play and get tired so they’ll sleep longer at night. Sometimes it works – sometimes not.

Covering the ferret cage also depends on where you live and whether your ferrets live outside or inside. My fuzzies are inside pets, and my house is fairly warm in the winter and cool in the summer. So I don’t see a reason to cover up my ferrets’ cage at night.

Ferret BookTo cover or not to cover – it really is up to you.

Pet ferrets, being the ornery, independent little critters they are, will climb on their cages and will sometimes keep you awake at night, covered or not.

Cleaning a Ferret Cage with “Helpful” Ferrets

Guest Post by Michael Hearing

Last winter my wife was gone for about two weeks. We live in a fairly remote rural area, and she was snowed out. So it fell to me to take care of her two pet ferrets, Rikki and Possum. I found it a lot harder than she led me to believe.

Oh, giving them food and water and letting them out to play weren’t much trouble (well, thatFerrets in Pirate Ship Bed is, except for finding them and getting them back in the cage afterward). The headache-causing chore was cleaning litter boxes and cleaning the cage. And the biggest problem was that her ferrets are so very, um, “helpful.”

A cage-cleaning session would usually go something like this . . . 

  1. I get out the litter scoop and the plastic bags for the soiled litter and set them beside me on the floor.
  2. I next take the ferrets out of the cage and let them run loose.
  3. I reach for the scoop and bags – and find them gone. The ferrets – most often Rikki, Karen’s albino ferret – have fallen back into thievery and taken my ferret cage-cleaning tools.
  4. So, at this point, I stop my ineffectual efforts and retrieve the bag and scoop from under the bed.
  5. I begin scooping out the poop and clumped litter and then TRY to dump the scoop’s contents into the plastic bag – but most of it goes on the floor. Why? Because of the unwanted “help” I’m getting. Rikki and Possum – because they are ferrets and so incorrigibly curious and inquisitive (but maybe “nosey” is a better word) – keep putting their little ferret feet and ferret noses onto the scoop and into the bag’s mouth.
  6. So I get about a thimble full of litter into the bag and the rest on the carpet. And the next (unplanned) step in the cleaning process is vacuuming.
  7. Now, it’s time to clean the cage. So I get out my supplies – spray bottle containing cleaning solution, paper towels, and small trash can – and arrange them around me on the floor.
  8. I spray the floor of the cage with the cleaning solution and then reach for the paper towels. But guess what? There are no paper towels. So I dive back under the bed to retrieve them from where the “helpful” ferret thieves have stashed them.
  9. So, I’m finally able to give the cage a first wiping down and then deposit the dirty paper towels in the trash can.
  10. And then when I turn back to the cage, there sits Possum (who at the time was young and more than a little chubby) in the middle of the cage floor I need to clean. And he doesn’t want to move. I finally manage to get him so I can continue cleaning.
  11. I spray the cage again for a thorough cleaning, wipe it down, and reach for the trash can. But it’s not there. It has been turned over, and the contents scattered all over the floor.
  12. So I pick all that up and try again and again and – well, you get the picture.

And so it went, time after time, until my wife FINALLY was able to come home and rescue me.

Karen thinks the best solution for ferret-challenged people like me is to get the Ferret Nation cage. With it you can close off one section, thus protecting yourself from “helpful” ferrets, while you clean the other section. And this sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

My Little Escape Artist

One of the things you will learn when you become a proud parent of a ferret is that ferrets are great escapees. My female albino ferret, Rikki, should have been named Houdini.

I have to make sure that the cage doors are securely locked when Rikki and Possum are in it. If I don’t, they (and especially Rikki) will soon be out of it.

I keep my ferrets in my bedroom because I thought that would be the safest room for them – andFerret Escaping one they couldn’t get out of. But, boy, was I wrong!

I was coming home from a friend’s one day when I got a call from my husband. He called to tell me that he had just got home and found Rikki in the kitchen eating out of the dog’s food bowl. I just about panicked. No one had been home but the dog. And we never leave them in the same room together.

When I got home I checked Rikki to make sure she was okay. I then tried to figure out how she got out of my bedroom – but I couldn’t.

So I got her out of the cage and turned her loose in my room again.  I closed the door as usual and then took a seat on the couch across from my bedroom door . . . and waited.

And guess whose head was sticking out from under the door within a few minutes. Yep, it was Rikki’s. Then her body followed her head. And she was soon exploring the T.V. room.

Now, I have to stuff notebooks under the door to keep her in my room. And my husband has toFerret Escape Artist figure out a more effective way to block under the door, one that doesn’t look as tacky as the notebooks.

I have had Rikki for one year and eight months. And this was the first time she had ever done this. So never underestimate your ferret.

By the way, if you’re looking for a ferret name, you just might try Houdini. No matter your ferret’s color or personality, Houdini will always fit.

A Welcome to The Ferret Zone and a Brief History of How I Came to Have Pet Ferrets

Since this site isn’t really about me, I’m going to kick things off by introducing you to my two lovable ferrets – Rikki and Possum.

Rikki – My Rescue Ferret

Rikki, whose name comes from Kipling’s children’s story “Rikki Tikki Tavi,” is a femaleFemale Albino Ferret albino ferret. (I found out later that a ferret is only very distantly related to a mongoose.) Rikki is the one who started my love affair with ferrets. (My husband even took to her soon after I found her and brought her home.) Here’s how it happened (although my husband still raises an eyebrow when I tell this story).

I found Rikki at work one cold, wet December night. When I went out to my truck during my break, I spotted a white object on the ground by the front tire. I couldn’t, at first, tell what it was. Then it moved. And I thought: “Oh, crap! It’s a white rat.” Then, the “rat” started walking toward me, and I realized it was a white ferret.

She was soaked through and cold and, apparently, had nowhere to go and no one to go home to.  So I scooped her up, dried her off, and took her home. (I did do my best to locate her owners.) And that is how my life with ferrets began.

After a couple of months of observing her eating habits, I finally decided that Rikki is a fairly old ferret. Now, she won’t eat unless I soak her food in water. But she has energy and is never still. One of her favorite activities is “helping” me make my bed.

Possum – My Adopted Marshall Ferret

I got Possum, a male panda ferret, about a year after I found Rikki. He is a playmate to Rikki and both a joy and a trial to me.

After having Rikki for about a year, I began to feel very guilty about not being able toMale Panda Ferret Marshall give her the attention she needed (because of work and family and all that). So, in early November that year, I put on my brightest, most-fetching smile and in my sweetest tones asked my husband for an early Christmas present. And he said, “We’ll see” – which was close enough to “Yes” for me.

So in a few days we set off to our local pet store to find Rikki a “baby brother.” I took Rikki with me so she could help me pick out her “brother,” but she couldn’t make up her mind. Right away, she got along well with both candidates. So I decided for her – and it turned out that I made a very good choice.

I really wanted a sable ferret, but they only had two panda ferrets. So I named my new ferret Possum. When he was young, he really did look a lot like a fuzzy-tailed possum.

Possum is a Marshall ferret (and so is Rikki). You may have heard bad things about Marshall, but Possum was healthy and happy and full of life when I got him. Marshall ferrets are spayed or neutered and de-scented when you get them. The females have one small dot tattooed in their ear, and males have two dots to identify them as Marshall ferrets.

And that’s how I adopted two ferrets and became an irredeemable ferret lover. If you have any stories like these, I would love to hear them.