How to Play with A Ferret?
The reason why ferrets are such popular is that they nearly never cease to entertain their owner.
Apart from their social and playful demeanor, they are smart and active little creatures. A ferret loves getting love, and attention from their owners and that’s when they do best.
Keeping your ferret happy is very important since that’s how they thrive in life. Bond with your pet by interacting with them on a daily basis. So, make sure you are setting time aside from your busy schedule to play with your little creature.
Training Your Ferret
Here we will talk about how you can train your ferret.
1. Teaching Him to Climb Stairs And Run Through Tunnels
Place small steps and tubes in obvious places your ferret is bound to come across. For example, his cage. To encourage his progress, you can use treats to entice him. You can also use a clicker. It is merely a training device used to capture your pet’s attention by the clicking noise.
Help him associate the sound of a clicker as a sign of acknowledgment and immediately following it by a treat as a reward for a job well done.
2. Playing Chase
You will find that your ferret loves chasing you around. Chasing helps your ferrets bring out their natural hunting instincts but exercise it in a more controlled environment. Ensuring that you are in a room with all the doors closed so that he cannot run off, chase after your little ferret. Help him chase you in return.
If you find that your ferret keeps nipping at your ankle, you might want to run around with a blanket instead and let him chase the blanket instead of you.
3. Practice Walking with A Leash
You can find leashes with a harness for your ferret in your local pet store or even online. Make sure to get the H shaped ones that wrap around the upper body instead of the neck only.
Wrap the harness around your ferret securely but not too tightly that it squeezes him. Practice indoors at first before treading outside. Once you think that your ferret is used to the harness, take him outside for 10 to 15 mins.
Make sure to keep him away from other animals while outside. Simply tug him aside, or even pick him up if you see that any other animal is being too aggressive towards him.
4. Remember to Reward Them For A Job Well Done!
Always love and appreciate your ferret. And to acknowledge their good behavior, reward them with either store bought treats or something from its regular meal. This way they will know that they are appreciated and will help encourage them to do more.
5. Play with Your Ferret Every Day
Most importantly, you will have to play with your bud regularly. Below are some sort of suggestions in this case;
(a) Get An Exercise Pen
If you feel that there is no safe place in your house for your ferret to play and roam around, then get him an exercise pen. This will give them their own personal space to do whatever they want. You can also throw in some toys for them to occupy themselves with.
(b) Let Them Free Every Day
If you have your ferret stuck in its cage all the time, then he will become lazy and overweight. It is important for them to roam around freely and have enough playtime to maintain a healthy life. Four hours every day should be ideal.
(c) Interact With Them Every Day
With them being the social creatures that they are, it is important that they get enough interaction with their owner. You should play and interact with them for two hours every day.
Keep reading to learn more about the games and toys you can play with your pet.
Fun Games to Play With Your Ferret
As they are very social creatures, social interaction is very important for ferrets. They need to know their owners and that they are well taken care of. Make sure to set aside some time for your ferrets. Listed below are some fun games to play and bond over.
1. Play Tag!
Ferrets are energetic little creatures and love playing tag and chase. They are good at it too! Once you have them running around the room, they will pass by you in a blur.
You should teach and encourage them to play tag chase. Have them chase you and once they catch up, turn around and chase them back. Tag them and have them turn around and chase you back. Go about it a couple of times until you both are tired. If they can master this game, it will quickly become a fan favorite.
2. Find the Toys Challenge
Unbeknownst to you, your little ferret is a little explorer! Often send them in a toy hunting mission and see how entertained they are. Take a medium or large cardboard box to start with the toy finding challenge.
Fill it up with either packing peanuts or even shredded paper works. Chuck in some of your ferret’s favorite treats and toys and send him hunting.
3. Let’s Go Ferret Fishing
Some of the cat’s toys work really well with ferrets. Toys such as a ball or a feather hanging from a stick by a thread can help bring out your ferret’s pure animal hunting instincts. Drag the feather along the floor to grab its attention, then lift it out of reach and watch him try to catch it.
4. Make A Maze
Apart from being energetic and social, ferrets are extremely intelligent and love a good challenge from time to time. You can choose to either get a ready-made maze kit intended for small animals or make one of your own with stuff lying around the house.
You can use cardboard boxes, tubes, and other objects to create obstacles, placing them in a manner that creates a maze. Hide treats and toys randomly and let your ferret loose inside. If you choose to do so, you can time him. Spice things up by moving things around and adding more challenges.
5. Make Use of Remote-Controlled Toys
As simple as it might seem, it most probably slipped your mind. Buy small remote-controlled toy cars that are intended for kids. On a flat surface, run it around your ferret. Have him chase the car until he catches it.
You can turn the tables and have the car chase the ferret as well. If your ferret love playing chase, play tag with him with the toy car to change things up a bit.
See Also: How to Prevent Ferret Bites?
6. A Pillow Fight
Take a very lightweight and soft cushion to play a round of pillow fight with your ferret. To initiate a game, let the cushion fall gently on your pet ferret. Pick it up and move it away from him.
If you think your ferret would just sit by and let you get away with it, you are wrong! Watch him as he dives right in to fight back the pillow from you and reciprocate!
7. Trampoline Time!
If you own a trampoline, give your ferret a chance to play once in a while. Rest assured, he will enjoy it as much as the next kid. Carry your ferret to the middle of the trampoline and help him feel it bounce by pushing down lightly near him.
Give him a second, he should get the hang of it soon enough. Watch him take over and bounce with all its might.
Since ferrets are energetic creatures, they will love this activity. Just make sure to supervise if your trampoline is too high off the ground. Ensure that your ferret is safe at all times and isn’t at risk of falling and hurting himself.
8. Tug of War
Above all else, ferrets are persistent, and they won’t shy away from getting what they want. Making them perfect for a good and friendly game of tug of war. You can use any old rope and entice it by dangling it around his face and wait for him to grab on. Just prepare yourself to be defeated!
Be careful of their sharp teeth though!
9. Play Catch
As with any other pet, ferrets find playing catch very fun. As smart as they are, they catch up to the rules of almost all games pretty easily. Throw a ball and encourage them to bring it back to you.
10. Dance the Night Away!
Ferret owners are most likely to be familiar with the dooking war dance which is mostly seen when their ferrets are excited or very energetic. You can just as easily join in with them and see their face light up with wonder!
11. Bath Towel
Place your ferret on one end of a big bath towel and grab on to the other end of the towel. Making sure you are on slick flooring, drag the towel around. This should be a fun ride for your ferret but be sure not to go too fast that he falls back.
12. Play Bowling with Your Ferret!
Arrange some soft toys in exchange for bowling pins. Lie your ferret on his back a few feet away from the arranged ‘bowling pins’ and gently slide him towards them. Keep in mind that this needs to be done on slick flooring.
Most ferrets might not like this game but if your ferret does, he will surely coming running back for a second round.
13. Catch the Blanket
This is another fun challenging game that your ferret will surely love. Spread a big blanket on the floor and place him on it. Hold on to one end and move it quickly up and down to create ripples throughout. The ripples will entice him and encourage him to hop around and grab on to whatever is underneath.
14. Escaping in The Grocery Bag
Making sure to use a paper grocery bag, place your ferret inside and close the opening lightly. Your ferret will shuffle around inside and make his way to the opening and come out.
In the process, he will slap around the bag creating the crinkling noises that the love. It should take about 15 minutes or so for the ferret to come out completely.
15. Follow the Squeak And Hide
Dig out one of his favorite squeaky toys and tie it securely with a long thread. Squeak it around the house until your ferret comes and finds you. Holding on to the end of the thread, dangle the toy above him until he catches and hides it somewhere. That’s where the string comes in handy. It will help you find it from wherever it’s hidden.
16. Tubular time
If you have more than one ferret, you might often find them playing this amongst themselves. If not, you can actually join in and play along with them.
Basically, when your ferret goes through one end of their tube, your job is to get to the other side and catch him. He will run back to the other end to avoid you, and you do the same.
17. Hide the Goods
This game is a lot similar to the ‘find the toys challenged’ mentioned above, except this time there are no toys or box involved. As you already know, ferrets love ‘stealing’ things that aren’t theirs to take. This game will help them steer clear of more valuable things of yours.
Wrap bits of bubble wrap and grocery bags and secure them tightly with tape. These will pose as real-life items around the house. Store them in sight of your ferret so that they are easily intrigued.
18. Chase the Ping Pong
This is very simple. Just let your ferret have the time of his life with a ping pong ball. They absolutely love chasing them around the house and is a fun way for them to burn some energy. You can also let your ferret and the ping pong ball loose in your empty bathtub.
How to Get Them To Play With You?
To entice them in a fun little game, you will have to imitate the actions of a ferret. Start by getting down on your knees and hands, and lightly bounce your fists on the floor, making forward movements as if you are pouncing on them.
If you see them getting riled up, then place your ferrets next to one another, or on top, to entice them in a playful wrestling match. You can also entice them by running your hands down their tunnels, drawing their attention there. Trust me; they won’t be able to resist.
A sure sign that they want to play with you or want your attention, in general, is when you find them tugging on your pants or jumping around in front of you. Don’t deprive them of your attention as it ensures that they have a happy and healthy life.
Safe and Fun Toys For Your Ferret
You have to be extra cautious and ensure that you are only providing your ferret with safe toys. Swallowing and choking on small parts is a big hazard, so check for any loose parts in any of the toys you’ve given him.
- Any toy made of hard plastic! You will mostly find that some toys made for cats make the perfect fit.
- Balls made of plastic or soft fleece can be a huge hit too. You might also want to try out noisemakers or any balls with bells inside of them.
- You will also find large balls made specifically for ferrets with holes so that they can climb in and out.
- Paper bags and cardboard boxes
- Ferret tubes are a huge favorite, but you can also luck out with normal PVC pipes.
- Anything that rattles. Try mobiles and teething rings intended for babies
- Play tents, houses, and hammocks
- Dangling toys. Make sure to supervise when in use
- Soft toys like small stuffed animals
Toys You Should Avoid
As already mentioned above, never give ferrets small toys that they can swallow and evidently choke on. Don’t give them anything with loose parts, or parts that can eventually break off easily. Basically, avoid dog toys that are made from latex or soft rubber.
What you would want to do is rotate the number of toys for the little critter in his cage so that it doesn’t get bored. This will also help distract the ferret from snooping around your things.
10 Toys Your Precious Little One Might Love
Ferrets are playful creatures, so you have to keep their lives interesting while also making sure to keep them safe. Take a look at the list below to find durable toys that won’t risk your pet.
1. Marshal Super Thruway
It is common knowledge that Ferrets have a fascination towards tubes and tunnels. The Marshal Super Thruway is a see-through tunnel, made of vinyl, and can expand up to 20 ft.! Just supervise to ensure that the vinyl is not being chewed on by the ferrets.
2. Kong Ferret Toy
The Kong is more commonly known by dog owners, but there is a version for your pet ferret too! Made of rubber, this sturdy toy has a hollow inside and bounces in an unpredictable direction. Can be used as a great distraction for your ferret.
3. Super Pet Shake, Roll, and Rattle Toy
This is a pack of three bouncy rubber balls in a variety of colors. Each of the balls makes a different noise and have paw cutouts so that it is easy for your ferret to grab on to.
4. Marshall Pull N Go
Shaped like a variety of animals, this toy has a string that you can pull to make it vibrate, and a bell inside that rings out.
5. Super Pet Crinkle Tunnel
This toy brings together two things your ferret loves together, crinkly noise and a tunnel. The tunnel is about two feet long with a hole in the middle for peek-a-boo.
6. Marshall Ferret Interactive Teaser
If you are looking for a more interactive toy to play with your ferret, then this is the one for you. This toy consists of a furry ball and a small bell attached to a string that you can wiggle around grabbing the attention of your pet.
Just make sure that after playtime you keep this away from your ferret’s reach as it may pose as a risk for your pet.
7. Marshall Tumble Toy
Measuring just about 6 inches, this fleece toy is perfect for your little ferret to grab and play around with. The fact that it contains a bell and makes a crinkly sound is a bonus for them.
8. Marshall Pet Octo play
This is a multi-functional toy in the sense that it can double as a cozy place for sleeping and sports tunnels for play time. The tunnels are adorned with holes towards the end and one in the middle, making it perfect for playing peek-a-boo with your special critter.
The body of the “octopus” is made of soft fleece and measures 10 inches in diameter. Attached to the body are 5-foot-long tunnels posing as the limbs of the octopus.
9. Marshall Sport Balls
You will find miniature versions of balls played in every sport imaginable,and they are the cutest thing ever! Starting from soccer to tennis balls, you should easily come across a pack of two. These balls are made of fleece and often have a bell inside them, making them fun to carry around!
10. Super Pet Ferret rail Playground Kit
This is a very cool playground kit that your pet is sure to love. While you can add on components to the kit, it really isn’t necessary as what comes out of the box is more than good enough. It contains a Bubble Wave tee, and four Bubble Wave Elbows, a Roll about ball along with six connectors.
Ferrets do not need much to be happy. All they want is your love and attention. Hence, show affection openly and set aside some time from your busy schedule just for them. They are incredibly smart and friendly animals, and they help make your life just a tad bit better!