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Keeping your ferret happy and healthy

Here's what your ferret needs to stay happy and healthy.

An interesting environment

Ferrets are curious animals and they need to be able to play and explore.

  • Give easy access to space, food, water, hiding places and companions.
  • Create safe hiding places like tunnels and closed hammocks. This provides your ferret somewhere to hide if feeling scared or unsafe.
  • Give suitable toys that ferrets can explore
  • Provide plenty of opportunities to play hide and seek and space to dig holes.

Don't forget ferrets are predators, their home environment should be kept away from prey species.

Food and exercise

Ferrets also need:

  • Daily exercise opportunities to stay fit and healthy. Ideally daily access to a safe play area.
  • A well-balanced diet and interesting mealtimes - make them search for food by hiding it or using food toys.
  • A shallow water bath if they enjoy playing in water. Always supervise ferrets in water and ensure the water is shallow enough they can always get out. Never force ferrets to swim.


Monitor your ferrets closely every day. Be alert for any changes in their behaviour. Look for any signs of excessive aggression in the group. This could display as biting or dragging of another ferret.

Signs your ferret could be stressed

  • Hissing
  • Biting
  • Hiding
  • Screaming 
  • Fleeing

Any display of these behaviours could mean they're distressed, bored, ill or injured. Ask your vet for advice.

Remember, ferrets behave differently depending on their age, personality and past experiences.

Signs your ferret is in discomfort or pain include

  • Reluctance to move
  • Weight loss and anorexia
  • Trembling
  • Collapse
  • Crying and whimpering
  • Teeth grinding

Finally, your ferret needs kindness! Never shout or punish them, as they're very unlikely to understand and can become more nervous or scared.

If their behaviour becomes a problem, ask your vet for advice.

Find out more