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A suitable environment for ferrets

Environment logo © RSPCA publications and brand 2010

 

Ensure your ferret has a suitable place to live 

 

White ferret © iStockphoto

Ferrets need:

  • A safe, secure, hazard free environment. Ensure they can’t access anything harmful (e.g. poisonous plants, electric wires) - they like exploring and mouthing/chewing objects.
     
  • Well ventilated, dry and draught free housing that’s an appropriate temperature. 15 - 21°C is ideal. 
    - Living in a draughty, damp, poorly ventilated or dirty environment may cause suffering and illness. 
     
  • A large enough living environment. Ferrets are very agile and lively and need lots of space to explore, play and exercise to stay happy and healthy.
    - In a suitable enclosure, your ferret should be able to perform a range of behaviours, e.g. foraging, playing, hiding and resting, marking territory, grooming.
     
  • The size and temperature of anywhere they are left (including vehicles) to be appropriate. 
     
  • A secure, safe place to rest and sleep, e.g. a T-shirt, hammock or sleeping box. Plus safe, dust-free bedding. Ferrets sleep/rest up to 20 hours per day. They’re most active at dusk.
     
  • Regular access to a suitable toilet place, e.g. a litter tray separate to eating/sleeping/playing areas. Ferrets can be toilet trained.
     
  • Enough supervised daily exercise time, in safe and secure surroundings.
     
  • Appropriate and safe things to explore and play with to prevent boredom and suffering, e.g. toys, tunnels. 
     
  • A shallow water bath if they enjoy playing in water - some do, but it depends on the individual. Always supervise (ensure it’s shallow enough so they can always get out) and never force them to swim.
     
  • Water bowls, food bowls and toilet areas cleaning as needed (at least daily). Clean your ferret’s housing, play and resting areas as needed (at least weekly.
     
  • To always be transported comfortably and safely. Putting familiar smelling items in the carrier and the new environment can help them feel at ease.
     
  • Enough space and resources e.g. toys/beds/hiding places, if one or more ferrets live together. 
     
  • Someone to care for them (ideally in their familiar home) and meet all of their needs when you’re away.