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Environmental Enrichment for Ferrets

Download Ferret Care Guide – PDF

Peter Fisher, DVM

Reviewed and updated by Marc Kramer, DVM May 2014

  • Fill a large Tupperware container with uncooked rice (long cook variety), and let the ferret dig.
  • Give ferrets a Superchew Edible Toy (Marshall Farms Pet Products, www.marshallpet.com) available through online pet stores.
  • Offer toys made for cats – fishing toys, bell toys, plush toys, and plastic balls.  Regularly wash and exchange the toys to maintain interest.
  • Drill holes in flowerpots, and turn them upside down for exploration and to conceal treats for discovery and creative thinking.
  • Use remote-control cars; some ferrets love to chase and “kill” the car.
  • Provide tubing and boxes in which the ferret can crawl or hide.  Run tubing behind furniture and in various other places to keep the ferret stimulated.  When multiple ferrets are out, tunnels make great play areas for mock “battle” games.
  • Fill a bathtub with 2-3 inches of water and add toys that float.  Drape a wet towel over the side so the ferret can crawl in and out as it pleases.
  • Place ping-pong balls inside the enclosure for entertainment.
  • Offer whole mice (pre-killed or frozen/thawed) as a food item.  These are excellent nutritionally, provide enrichment, and some ferret owners use them as part of the regular diet.
  • Offer food in foraging toys.  There are a number of excellent food-foraging toys made for dogs that are suitable for ferrets available on the market now.
  • Buy wicker baskets (un-painted ones) and let the ferret take them apart.