When hot weather arrives, it is very important to make sure your pets do not overheat. Ferrets are prone to heat stress. Temperatures over 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (29 to 32 degrees Celsius) are too hot and overheating and heatstroke is a serious risk for these animals. Every effort should be made to keep your ferret's cage at a safe and comfortable temperature. The ideal temperature for them is in the low 70-degree Fahrenheit range.
Cooling the Room
If you live in a climate where heat (or humidity) is a problem, consider air conditioning. If central air conditioning isn't feasible, invest in a room-sized air conditioner (if window mounted, make sure there is no room for the ferret to escape). Check and make sure the cool air or the vents are not directed right onto your ferret cage. Also, keep in mind that power outages are also common during heat waves, so have a backup plan in case the power does go off and your air conditioning stops working.
Fans and ceiling fans can help circulate the air. Just be careful that they are out of reach of curious ferrets. Again, make sure that the fan is not directed right at the ferret cage.
Other Cooling Methods
There are a number of ways that can help your pet ferret stay cool, including:
- Wash empty plastic bottles (inside and out) and remove labels. Fill nearly to the top with water (leave room for expansion) and freeze. Wrap frozen bottles in a towel and place in the cage. As the water thaws, the condensation on the bottle will make the towel cool and damp so your ferret can lay on it.
- If your ferret chews on plastic, you can freeze a block of ice and just wrap the ice in an extra-absorbent towel.
- Let your ferrets splash in cool shallow water the tub or a small pool.
- If you have room and don't mind a bit of a mess while you are gone, place a frozen bottle of water with the cap off in a clean shallow pan and leave it in with your ferrets. Put a couple of thick towels around to contain the splashes.
- A gentle misting with water can cool down your ferrets.
- Put some ice cubes in a dish; your ferrets can play and keep cool too.
If you will be away from home for a while, use a back-up in case the power fails and the air conditioning goes off. The frozen water bottle method works well for this; simply put one in the cage before you leave when the temperature or humidity is dangerous.
- Make sure your ferrets' cage is not placed in direct sunlight from windows or skylights. Check throughout the day since the sun's angles will shift.
- Check that all windows have secure screens. Ferrets can easily escape if they see an opportunity.