What Do Ferrets Like to Play With

Ferret Resting On Hardwood Floor
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Ferrets love to play so providing them with safe toys is a must but what are their favorite types of toys? Anything that a ferret can climb in, on or through as well as carry around in their mouth are fan favorites so you have a lot of options to choose from. Read on to see what homemade toys you can source, what toys last the longest, what toys you won't easily lose under the couch, and what items may not be safe for your ferret.

Homemade Ferret Toys

You don't have to spend a lot of money to give your ferrets some fun toys. Plenty of items around your home can be used second-hand as ferret toys or even made into a custom toy if you feel like being a little crafty.

  • Cardboard tubes - Empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls are fun for a ferret to roll around and find hidden food in.
  • Wadded up balls of paper - Simple yet fun for a ferret to pick up or push around.
  • Empty plastic bottles - If you can securely seal them shut, you can even put small stones, coins, or marbles inside them to make some noise otherwise you can hide food in an open, empty bottle or simply roll and spin the bottle around the room for your ferret to chase.
  • Fleece fabric scraps - If you want to make your ferret something, consider tying or sewing a soft toy hammock together using fleece fabric pieces.
  • PVC pipe - By connecting large pieces of PVC pipe, you can create your own custom ferret tunnels.
  • Paper bags and cardboard boxes - Leave some paper bags and cardboard boxes lying around and fill them with shredded paper for your ferret to play in.

Long Lasting Ferret Toys

Ferret like to chew on certain materials, especially soft rubber and latex, but hard plastics are very durable and long lasting. Additionally items made of fleece last a long time and also provide a little comfort to your ferret.

  • Hard plastic toys- PVC pipe and other hard plastic ferret tunnels are nearly indestructible, especially when compared to the slinky-like tunnels that can be purchased. Other hard plastic toys, such as those that are marketed for cats, are also long-lasting options for ferrets.
  • Fleece toys - Fleece is a very durable fabric for ferrets and is a great material to make plush toys and hammocks out of. It also doesn't develop dangerous loose threads over time like many fabrics often do that can get wrapped around your ferret's feet and toes.

Ferret Toys That Aren't Easy to Lose

Some ferret toys are small and are easy to lose under appliances, furniture, and other small spaces in your home. If you're looking for a toy that perhaps isn't as easy to lose, opt for something a little larger. Some good options include:

  • Ball pits - Plastic colorful balls are larger than some ferret toys and are fun for your ferret to play in when they are placed in a large plastic storage container or kiddie pool for a homemade ball pit. The ball pit balls are readily available to purchase in bulk but ferret ball pits can also be purchased as a package.
  • Play tubes or tunnels - These are large, slinky-like or solid tunnel toys that your ferret can run in and through are nearly impossible to lose. They do however take up a good amount of space and can be difficult to clean.
  • Large fleece stuffed animals - These toys are more compact than large tubes or a ball pit but are still usually too large to disappear under a cabinet. Your ferret may carry them around and sleep with them but if they are large enough, they won't get lost.

Safety Concerns for Ferret Toys

Ferrets are mischevious and curious so they can easily get themselves into trouble. Because of this, any toys you give your ferret need to be safe. The following items should be avoided:

  • Soft rubber or latex items -These are commonly used to make squeaky toys for dogs but other toys and household items may be made of this material, too. TV remotes are a common item that gets its soft buttons chewed off by a sneaky ferret. These small pieces can be easily swallowed by a ferret which can cause a serious obstruction.
  • Cloth with loose threads - If your ferret has access to blankets, hammocks, stuffed toys, or other items that can develop loose threads you should either remove the loose strings or keep that item away from your ferret. Strings can be swallowed and cause digestive problems or they can get wrapped around your ferret's feet and cut off the circulation. Fleece doesn't develop loose threads like some other fabrics so this is one reason why it is so popular with ferret owners.
  • Sharp edges and points - Broken plastic, metal cages, and other things can develop sharp edges or pointy pieces that can seriously injure your ferret. Be sure to check your ferret's play area for anything that might poke your furry friend.

If you are unsure about the safety of the toys you want to give your ferret, bring them in to your next vet visit to see what your vet thinks about them. They can help you determine whether or not the toy poses a safety concern to your ferret and will help prevent a potential injury from an inappropriate item.

Article Sources
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  2. Gastrointestinal Obstruction in Small Animals. Merck Veterinary Manual.