A panda ferret playing with a favorite ferret toy.
And there are many more to come.
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Ferrets love toys. We all know that. But what is your fuzzy’s favorite toy? Go on . . . guess.
Well . . . it’s you.
You’ve probably realized that for pet ferrets (as with children), play time is really work time. Ferrets learn a lot about their world when they play. For example, exploring games satisfy your ferret’s instinctive need for stimulation. Likewise hide-and-seek and chasing games hone a ferret’s predatory skills. Tug-of-war games fill a ferret’s need to conquer. Digging feeds a ferret’s tunneling instinct.
Just in case you didn’t notice, when your ferret is nipping at your shoes and your pants leg, it’s trying to tell you that it’s play time. It’s time to get down on ferret level and have a blast. Here are some great games you can play with your ferret.
Exploring Games for Ferrets
- Take your ferret for a “magic-carpet ride” by pulling it around on a blanket as it watches the world go by.
- Create a maze by lining up a multitude of boxes. Hide a treat inside and watch your ferret go.
- When your ferret is harness trained, take him for a walk outside.
- Twist a ferret-sized flexible hose into any configuration and let your fuzzy go wild.
- When you’re finished wrapping presents, let your ferret play with the left-over cardboard tubes and the scraps of wrapping paper. (But make sure your ferret doesn’t try to eat the scraps.)
Hide-and-Seek Ferret Games
- Hide a treat in a shirt, a shoe, or a blanket or in your ferret’s dig box.
- Fill an old suitcase (including all those nifty pockets), with toys and treats. Then let your fuzzies help you unpack.
- Wrap a “present” for your ferret by putting a treat inside a box and then wrapping it in old newspaper. Like anyone else, your ferret will love to get a gift.
- Chase your ferrets up and down the stairs, and let them chase you back.
- Let your ferret sniff a treat you’re holding in your hand before you toss it away. Then watch the chase. (This is especially fun to do with several ferrets.)
- Dangle something over your ferret’s head so it will “attack.”
- Play tug of war with your ferret. When it has a good hold on the towel or blanket, gently drag it around the room.
- Bat some ping-ping or tennis balls or cardboard tubes at your ferret and watch the reaction.
- Roll a ball of yarn toward your ferret and see what happens. (And if you have any readily accessible yarn balls, your ferrets will make a tangle of them anyway.) You decide whether you want to continue to hold the end of the yarn or not.
- Fill a box with Ping-Pong balls or even wads of newspaper (or both!).
- Loosely cover your fuzzy in several blankets and watch her work her way out.
- Hang a basket low from a plant hook (no more than two feet off the ground). Let your ferret climb in and help him swing back and forth.
- Stack some boxes or some paper cups, and let your ferret knock them down.
- Dance with your ferret. When she does her little war dance, mimic her moves.
- Lay a blanket loosely across your bed and gently place your ferret on it. Gently bounce your bed for a trampoline. (For even more fun, use a large sheet or blanket and add more ferrets.)
Of course, this is only a small sampling of all the possible home-grown ferret games your pet ferret can play with you. Who ever heard of a toy that could do so many things? What a bargain. Now, go see what your ferret wants to do with his favorite toy – you.
I’ve spent a good bit of money on toys for Rikki and Possum. Some they loved, and some they didn’t play with at all. So before you shell out your hard-earned dollars for the latest and greatest ferret gizmo, ask yourself these questions:
- What does this ferret toy do exactly? If it’s just another ball that makes noise, is it really worth the price (especially if the sound is irritating to you)?
- Is it designed with ferrets in mind? That cute chew toy may not be built to withstand a ferret’s strong teeth and claws. That stuffed animal may have fibers that could become lodged in your ferret’s digestive tract.
- Is this the best price I can find for this item? It really does pay to shop around. That internet bargain is not such a great deal when you add shipping, handling, and sales tax. That discount store may have exactly the same ferret toy you found in the pet store for a much lower price (or it may have a knock-off version by another manufacturer).
- Is there a good return policy? What if your fuzzy just doesn’t like the toy? What if the toy doesn’t do what it promises to do? A reputable dealer will offer you a refund if you return the toy (along with a receipt and the packaging) within a reasonable amount of time.
With that being said, here are a few of my top ferret-toy picks:
- Another ferret. Ferrets are social animals. They need plenty of company for their well-being. If you’re going to own a ferret, you may as well consider adopting one or two or more. Yes, it will cost more money, but a ferret with company is a happy ferret.
- A deluxe cage. Some people scoff at buying a ferret cage with all the “bells and whistles” on it. They think a cage is just a cage. But keep in mind that the cage is your ferret’s home. So a cage with tunnels, ramps, and multiple levels will keep your ferrets entertained during the hours you can’t be with them.
- Tube systems. Tube systems for ferrets and similar pets are great because they are specifically built for small animals. You know the tubes will withstand a lot of wear and tear. Many of them can be configured in a variety of ways and even twisted into corkscrew turns so you can entertain your ferret (and yourself) for hours. And most of them are ferret safe – but always make sure before you buy.
Choose ferret toys wisely, and both you and your ferrets will be happy.