Panicking New Ferret Owner

by Nataly
(Moultrie, Ga, U.S.)

Okay, so me and my hubby will be getting two ferrets 7 months from now. We just moved to a new state starting over from scratch so we will be giving 7 months of preparation to ferret proof the house. Buying new ferret safe furniture included and a saving stash for any ferret medical emergency that may arise. We are fully aware of all the responsibilities and patience that comes with owning chaotic ferrets and are well prepared for that.

But reading all of these stories have made me obsessed with all the possible dead and lost ferret scenarios. There are possible dead ferrets everywhere. From drowned in toilet to stove electrocution. Suffocation in closet. Laundried. Unknowingly sat on. I’m even go in as far as having a door to my kitchen built and kept closed to keep ferret from kitchen. But I can’t stop imagining all possible and impossible ferret deaths. Even under fridge suffocated ferret.

I will be having the ferret playroom devoid of all furniture. Nothing but one room with a whole bunch of ferret toys and me in there at all times. I absolutely do not trust ferrets out of the safe room. Am I going too far? Should I relax a little? I am an at home wife. No kids, so ferret will be my only occupation other than the house. And the house is new so there are no holes whatsoever. The laundry is in a separate building so I do not have to worry about laundry vents.

So, am I going too far? I would like your response please, and any advice if possible. This will be my first time with ferrets. I did my research, would like some advice, please.


Comments for Panicking New Ferret Owner

Jan 26, 2011 Some Ferret-Proofing Tips
by: Lonny Eachus

You can’t anticipate everything. Things do happen. Don’t worry yourself to death over the 1 in 100,000 kind of accident. The best you can do is take some precautions and keep an eye out for trouble.Basic preparations:

Ferrets can get through just about any gap they can fit their head into, and they are very curious, so they probably will. You need to plug every gap in the walls that is bigger than about 1″. Also spaces, like between the refrigerator and cabinets. For vertical gaps like next to the refrigerator, I got some cheap pipe insulation foam (hollow polyethylene foam tubes about 2″ diameter) from the hardware store and stuffed those in the gaps on either side of the refrigerator.

Also check for gaps in and around cupboards, bookshelves, baseboards, etc. And while you are at it, make sure there is not a large gap UNDER your stove, fridge, or other appliances.

Check the gaps under doors. My bathroom door has an intentional gap at the bottom so the exhaust fan can pull in air… unfortunately it is also a big enough gap for my ferret to get through. I found a kind of weatherstripping I could put on the bottom of the door to reduce the gap.

My ferret Fred is very smart, and it did not take him long to figure out how to open my drawers and cupboards. So you need to make sure there are no holes behind the drawers or inside the cupboards, too. And needless to say I had to put child-proof latches on some of the cupboards.

He even figured out how to open the bi-fold door of my pantry. Now I have to keep something heavy in front of it because I have not found a good way to latch that kind of door closed. There aren’t any holes in there he could get stuck in but he can make a heck of a mess out of things.

Make sure any medicines, drugs, or chemicals are out of reach. Keep the medicines in a high or latched cupboard. Ferrets are small creatures and even a little bit of a medicine that is pretty much harmless to us could be fatal.

Reclining chairs are the #1 cause of accidental ferret death in the USA. They like to climb up inside, and you can imagine the consequences if somebody is in the chair and changes position. I have a large hide-a-bed sofa. I covered the bottom tightly with heavy muslin so my new ferret could not climb up inside it. That worked for about a week. Once he learned how to get up on the couch, he just crawled behind the cushions and went down inside from above. So yeah… if your ferrets are out running around you have to know their whereabouts before you sit down. That is just the nature of things.

My ferret does not chew cords, but some do. If you have a ferret or ferrets that chew on electrical cords, you can cover the cords with plastic tubing. They sell tubing just for that purpose at pet stores, but you can get it a lot cheaper at the hardware store. Just slit the tubing down one side and slip it over the cords.

I may have forgotten a thing or two but I think that covers most of it. I hope this helps.

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