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.

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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.

 

Good News (Maybe) for Ferret Owners in New York City

New York pet ferret

 

For 15 years, ferrets in New York City have been living in the shadows, outlawed under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who famously told a ferret fancier that “this excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness”.

 

Now there’s a bit of hope for the slinky creatures. Years of lobbying by ferret owners has finally landed an audience in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, which says it could hold a hearing by the end of the year on a measure to make ferrets legal once again.

“Why would you ban ferrets?” asks Candace Lucas, who has owned ferrets for about 25 years and currently shares her Manhattan apartment with six-year-old Tink. “How is a ferret any different than having a dog or a cat? Why would a ferret be something that would create any kind of problem?”

Ferrets are legal in most of the US but are prohibited in California and Hawaii and in some municipalities, including New York City for the stated health department reason of “vicious, unprovoked attacks on humans”. Backers say ferrets don’t attack unless they have been starved or abused.

Read the full story here.

 

Stopping Your Pet Ferret’s Biting – Early

Ferrets, just like dogs and children, need to be taught the basics of good behavior early in their fuzzy lives. They don’t come into the world knowing what you want them to do and howMale Panda Ferret Marshall you want them to act. So you need to start early and be consistent and persistent.

Baby ferrets tend to explore their brand-new world with their mouths. They also bite and chew to lessen teething pain. That’s why a mature carpet shark, if she isn’t trained out of this behavior, can be pretty aggressive when it comes to biting.

So here a five tips to help you train your fuzzies not to bite and nip . . .

Ferret Toys Book1. Give them lots of hard rubber chew toys. This way your ferrets take out most of their chewing urges on the toys – instead of your fingers.

2. Deal with a nip/bite immediately. Scruff your ferret – that is, grab him firmly with thumb and fingers by the loose skin on the back of the neck – and say loudly and firmly, “No!” or “No bite!” You can also follow this with loud hissing, the sound a mother ferret uses to scold and discipline her kits.

3. Do not reward the kit for biting. If, for example, you’re already holding your baby fuzzy and he attempts to bite, don’t turn him loose to play. Rather, put him in prison – back in the cage – for punishment.

4. Never hit your ferret. Violence and aggression only engender more violence and aggression. Your ferret could also interpret hitting as a sign that you want to play even harder. Hitting is usually ineffective and can result in even worse behavioral problems down the road,Getting Started with Pet Ferrets

5. Be consistent. You may think it’s cute to get your little fuzz ball all worked up and watch him play bite your hand. The thing is, though, he won’t know that biting at other times and with other people isn’t acceptable. So be consistent in your efforts to teach him not to bite – teaching him that you won’t tolerate this behavior at any time.

Train your fuzzies early on not to bite and nip, and you and they will get along just fine.

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

Ferret-Adoption Time – Ferret Shelters Filling Up

This time of year, ferret shelters are filling up, which puts a strain on limited resources. So if you’re thinking about a first or another pet ferret, now is a great time to consider ferret adoption. Below is an excerpt from a news piece that proves the point . . .

As usually happens, the Greater Chicago Ferret Association (GCFA) finds itself with an oversupply of ferrets by November (currently, 93 in a shelter that considers its cages full at 60). This overpopulation of mustelids puts a stress on all the shelter’s resources: volunteers; funds for medical needs, food and litter; and time: time for ferrets to get out for play as well as volunteers to cover giving basic food and cage-cleaning care.

Why the fall surge? Some surrenders come from students going away to school and unable to bring their pets along or people that suffer sudden allergy onset with the closing up of homes in cold weather.

The continued economic downturn, with its job losses, foreclosures, and moves to no-ferret housing account for many others. Sadly, a large number of ferrets come in as “no longer wanted” pets; from people “upgrading” to prettier and younger pets; or as strays, dumps and “trash can ferrets.” Yes, people dump live animals in dumpsters. Sometimes tied in plastic garbage bags!

So, to give the shelter’s ferrets reason to be thankful by the upcoming holidays, GCFA offers a combined membership and adoption incentive this month of November. With the tagline of “Don’t just buy a ferret, adopt some love,” GCFA offers a members-only Free Adoption Event this month.

Read more here.

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”

 

Homemade Ferret Toys – 2 Ideas for Happy Pet Ferrets

Pet ferrets have two favorite activities – sleeping and playing. But as much as our fuzzies likeAlbino Ferret Playing with Favorite Ferret Toy their sleep, play time is what really makes them light up. And that means toys. Lots of toys.

Keeping your ferrets supplied with plenty of new, stimulating toys can get pretty expensive. So here are a couple of ideas for homemade ferret toys that your woozles will likely enjoy.

Tennis-ball Toy
You will need:
1 tennis ball
Box cutter
Strong rope or cord (any length)

Directions:
1. Use the box cutter to cut a hole through the tennis ball.
2. Thread the rope or cord through the tennis ball.
3. Tie a knot at one end of the rope, large enough that the rope won’t slip out of the ball.
4. You now have a teaser toy to use with your ferret.
5. Inspect the ball and the rope regularly and replace as necessary.

Pillow Toy
You will need:
Scraps of fabric (at least 4 inches by 4 inches)
Scissors
Cotton batting
Jingle bells (optional)
Needle
Thread

Directions:
1. Lay a fabric scrap onto a flat surface.
2. Lay a second fabric scrap on top of it.
3. Cut the two layers so they match in shape (whatever shape you choose).
4. Sew together all but one side of the shape.
5. Turn the shape inside out.
6. Fill with cotton batting and jingle bells.
7. Sew the remaining side securely.

Your ferret now has a new toy. Inspect the pillow regularly to make sure the seams are secure. Repair and restuff as needed. The jingle bells should be no smaller than 2 inches in diameter to avoid a choking hazard.

Excerpted from Ferret Toys: Keeping Pet Ferrets Happy, where you can find many more tips and ideas for making fun, inexpensive homemade ferret toys.

Welcome to the Family – New Ferrets

On Tuesday, August 14, Rikki and Possum got a new brother and a new sister.

Loki (boy) and Baby (girl) are both black sables. Loki is eight months old, and Baby is fourLoki - New Pet Ferret months old. They are such sweethearts!

I got them from a friend who couldn’t keep them anymore. She approached me about taking Baby (I called her Baby because I hadn’t come up with a name for her yet) because she knew that I have two ferrets already and that I’m a softy when it comes to our little fuzzies. Of course, I couldn’t say no.

When my friend brought Baby, the cage, and all of her paraphernalia to me and we were getting it all out of her car, Loki jumped out of the car. It surprised me that she still had Loki. She informed me that the woman who was going to get Loki couldn’t take him after all. So my friend was going to see if any of the pet stores would take him.

When I found that out, I went and sweet talked my husband so that he would let me take Loki. I had to do a little bit of arguing too. But he finally saw the light and gave in.

Now I have four little fuzzies. And Rikki and Possum just love having two more playmates.Luna - New Pet Ferret, Black Sable

I’m also not calling Baby “Baby” anymore. Her name is now Luna.

I owe a great big Thank You! to one of my  blog readers. She is the one who suggested the name Luna. I won’t mention her name, but she knows who she is. So, thank you again for suggesting the name Luna. It fits her perfectly.

Welcome to the family Loki and Luna!

Ferret Training – Harness Training Your Pet Ferret

Just like our human children, our fuzzy kids need fresh air and sunshine to be in their best health. It’s a good idea, then, to get your pet ferret outdoors as often as you can. But keep in mind that ferret SAFETY comes first. And a good way to ensure your ferret’s safety when Panda Ferret Playing in Ferret Toy Tunnelshe’s outdoors is by keeping her on a harness and leash. This will allow her freedom of movement while still keeping her close enough for you to ensure safety.

In the beginning, though, ferrets dislike wearing a harness because it is unfamiliar to them. But, still, that harness is important for them to wear whenever you take them outside. So you need to train them to accept and wear. Here’s how:

  1. Start when your ferret is very young (around 10 weeks old).
  2. Put the harness on your ferret. (Offer a treat if he doesn’t keep still while you put the harness on.)
  3. Let your ferret wear the harness for five minutes or so. Offer a treat and then remove the harness.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 every day until your ferret starts to feel comfortable in the harness. Gradually increase the amount of time he wears the harness.
  5. When your ferret seems to be comfortable with the harness, attach the leash (lead).
  6. Let your ferret run around the house freely with the harness and lead for a few minutes each day (similar to Steps 2-4). Monitor your ferret to be sure the leash does not get caught in furniture, doors, etc.
  7. When your ferret seems comfortable with the lead, hold the lead but let the ferret lead you.
  8. Gradually, start to use the leash to guide your ferret where you want him to go. Offer a treat each time he follows your guidance.
  9. When your ferret seems comfortable with a leash and harness, take him outdoors for short walks. Allow your ferret to explore safely, using the leash to direct him away from dangers. Lengthen your walks and extend your ferret’s range as appropriate.

Note: Always bring water and treats with you when going outside with your ferret. Make sure all your ferret’s vaccines are up to date, and do not take your ferret outside in temperatures below 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C) or above 78 degrees F (26 degrees C). Most ferrets enjoy playing in snow, but if you let them do so, be sure you can rescue them from deep drifts.

Ferret Odor Revisited

If you’ve owned a pet ferret for any length of time, then you’re no doubt acquainted with your pet’s distinctive, um, ferret odor. A ferret’s unique scent can sometimes be a problem for new owners of pet ferrets. Fortunately, you have a few options if you dislike having a “stinky Ferret Odor Solutionslinky.”

First, keep in mind that a ferret’s scent is simply a natural part of its existence. Ferrets, being related to skunks, have scent glands located near the anus (although a pet ferret doesn’t use her glands for defense the way a skunk does). Usually, these glands are removed when the ferret is quite young (generally at the same time it is being spayed or neutered). And if you got your ferret from a pet store it has most likely been “de-scented.”

But in some countries removing the scent glands is considered to be abusive and therefore not performed. If you are adopting a pet ferret from outside the US, be sure to find out whether the animal has been de-scented.

If your pet has not been de-scented, he may release a distinctive (and pretty strong) musk-like odor when excited, afraid, or angry. But once your ferret has calmed down, the smell usually dissipates fairly quickly.

Removing the scent glands will eliminate most of the musky ferret odor. It may recur, however, if you don’t take care of your ferret properly. And this happens because ferrets have oil glands that also emit a musky odor.

While it may seem counterintuitive, you should NOT bath your ferret frequently to control this ferret odor. Too much bathing will actually make the problem worse because frequent baths will wash away the natural oils that actually help protect your fuzzy’s health. Bathe your ferret no more than about once a month.

(Also be aware that a persistent, strong ferret smell could signal that its teeth and/or ears could use some cleaning.  If the problem persists after you’ve thoroughly cleaned these areas, you should take your pet ferret see her vet.)

Now, while most ferret owners adjust to their fuzzies’ unique “odor,” other members of the family often do not. Family (and friends) may complain about this smell. But not to worry – this ferret odor can be controlled (though not eliminated entirely) quite easily.

You can control pet ferret odor with a product called GoodBye Odor for Ferrets. I use it because it works – and I wouldn’t be without it.