Ferrets love playing around and they have huge amounts of energy. They either sleep or get into the funniest situations while playing. And since they’re so energetic, they tend to get into lots of dangerous situations if you’re not paying attention to them. This is why it’s important to choose their toys carefully and keep an eye on them while they’re playing.
You have an extremely wide range of toys available for your ferrets. There are toys made from expensive materials but there are also lots of toys made for ferret owners that are on a budget. More than that, you can get creative and make most of the toys yourself.
In this article, we’ll talk about all the toys your ferret can play with and what toys they should stay away from.
Types of Ferret Toys
When looking for toys for your ferret, you need to keep in mind that you need to get something that the ferret will find entertaining but won’t get hurt by that toy. This is why some toys should only be used under your supervision. It’s also ideal for you to supervise them every time they play as you never know what they might get themselves into when you’re not looking.
There are lots of store-bought toys designed specifically for ferrets and you can find them at any exotic pet shop or in online stores. Ferrets are becoming more and more popular as pets, which is why you can find lots of products made specifically for them that a decade ago you couldn’t find.
If you know what your ferret should play with and what it should avoid, you can also start making your own toys from old objects around the house. This includes socks, old clothes, empty cardboard boxes, etc. All you need is a good imagination and you won’t ever have to spend money on ferret toys ever again. But it all depends on your time and budget.
1. Plastic Balls
Some of the most common ferret toys are simple plastic balls. They’re widely available almost anywhere as these toys can be used for cats and dogs as well. You can simply throw them around and let the ferret chase them all over the room. They’ll also roll the balls by themselves and keep occupied for quite some time.
Ferrets are incredibly smart and you will quickly start noticing that they will start piling the plastic balls together to reach something that’s on a higher shelf. But they still love to chew a lot so make sure you’re only getting balls that are very durable. If some of the plastic balls have serious biting marks on them, you might want to only let the ferret play with them under supervision.
If the ferret swallows any plastic bits it can end up choking and you might have to rush with it to the vet. You can opt for a safer alternative, which is wicker balls that are extremely cheap but safe to be torn apart.
2. Squeaky Toys
A good way to let your ferrets act on their natural hunting instincts is by getting them a few squeaky toys. They love them just as much as dogs or cats and they will be kept busy for a long time. You can get teddies or dog squeaky toys and keep an eye on the ferret while it plays with them.
When the ferret finally makes its way to the stuffing or rubber, it’s important to be around to make sure it doesn’t swallow anything dangerous. And if you have a small child, make sure you’re keeping their toys completely separated. This is because the ferret can get angry if it gets its favorite toy taken and the child can get very upset if the ferret ruins their favorite squeaky.
The reason why entertaining toys are extremely important is that otherwise, the ferret will turn its attention to your couch and other important things around your home. They’re very good at creating chaos.
3. Ferret Balls
One special toy that is specifically made for ferrets is the ferret ball. It’s a lot bigger than your ferret and it has various entrances that your ferret can use to get in and out of the toy. If you get a ball that’s extremely big, you can fill it with smaller balls (that are not a choking hazard) and watch the ferret burrow and play around.
These work best when they’re combined with a good set of tunnels that gives the ferret a whole play area that will keep it occupied. You can also find large hamster balls that are called “exercise balls” and some ferrets really love them as well. But some ferrets might hate it so don’t be discouraged if yours prefers other toys.
Ferrets love climbing into things and getting into the most narrow spaces they can find. This can be very dangerous, which is why it’s important to make sure the toys you provide are big enough to fit your ferret even when it’s a bit chunkier. This way, you can be sure it will never get stuck while playing.
When ferrets play with rattles, it’s a matter of 50-50% chance of having a good time or ending in the hospital. This is why you should only let your ferret play with a rattle under your supervision. Don’t leave the ferret alone with it even for a few minutes, especially if it’s made from a material that’s very easy to break.
Rattles can help ferrets stimulate their brain and they absolutely love playing with them. More than that, they find the noise very interesting and will keep investigating until they find the source of the rattling. This should mean that the ferret will be busy playing and avoid misbehaving. However, the moment the ferret cracks the rattle and whatever makes the noise makes it out, your ferret will try to eat it and end with a very serious choking problem.
Split the ferret toys into two categories to make sure nothing happens when you’re away. The first batch should contain the toys your ferret can play with at any time, and the second one should include only the toys it’s allowed to play with under your close supervision.
5. PVC Pipes
In the wild, ferrets take over tunnels made by other animals and live in them. And in captivity, they absolutely love the tunnels that can be made from PVC piping. More than that, the best thing about making these tunnels is that they’re incredibly easy to make and there are countless combinations you can try. You can find the pipes and bends from pretty much any D.I.Y store.
But you should keep in mind that they might not be too affordable, which means you will have to spend a bit of money if you want to make a large warren for your ferrets. If you only have one or two ferrets, it’s actually better to make a smaller warren but to keep changing its shape every few weeks. This keeps their minds occupied and they won’t ever get bored of the PVC pipes.
You might get scared at first when you notice that they like to play a game where a ferret starts from one end of the tunnel and the other from the other end, and they start running towards each other until they bump into one another. But don’t worry, this might look rough but they’re just playing and it’s a very common thing among ferrets.
The only thing you need to make sure of is that the tunnel is large enough for the ferret to run through without getting stuck. Make sure the tunnel is a bit larger than what your ferret normally needs just in case the ferret gets chunkier over time.
6. Cardboard Boxes
One thing ferrets have in common with cats is their love for cardboard boxes. You can use tape and make various structures and let the ferrets have fun in a much cheaper PVC piping system. It’s also very fun to put everything together and ferrets will love whatever you come up with.
Another great usage of cardboard boxes is to fill them up with something and let the ferrets have their fun in these boxes. You can fill them with packing peanuts, rice (just make sure to tape the other end), toy balls, small balls made of newspaper, etc. The ferrets will burrow and play a lot in these boxes. They will also make a mess so keep that in mind.
If you notice that the ferrets start tearing the cardboard boxes apart instead of playing with what’s inside, keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t choke while taking everything apart.
7. Cat Toys
There are lots of cat toys that are completely safe for ferrets. Just make sure there’s nothing made of weak plastic that the ferret can easily tear apart and choke on while chewing. Toys made of durable plastic are usually the best way to go as teddies can also pose as a choking hazard if the ferret eats the stuffing when you’re not around.
Fleece toys and balls are excellent for ferrets as this also allows them to carry the toys around. And if they suddenly disappear, look for their secret stash. That’s also where you might find everything else that magically disappeared while the ferrets were roaming the home.
While some toys are great for ferrets, don’t ever use toys that contain catnip. Ferrets won’t like the catnip and they will react very differently than cats. Some ferrets even end up showing some strange effects after consuming catnip.
8. Socks and other small clothing items
You don’t always have to spend money on getting a toy that your ferret will like to play with. Ferrets are active but are easy to entertain. You can make all sorts of toys from your old socks and other clothing items. This includes balls, teddies, toys that can be hanged in the cage, etc.
Ferrets are also known as big thieves and if you tend to lose socks around the house, they will probably found them before you even realize you lost a sock. And this is when you need to check their stashing place again.
Before you’re letting the ferret play with your clothing items, or before you make toys out of them, make sure to wash them very well. You should also only use a detergent that is for sensitive skin and follow the ferret closely for the first few days after it begins playing with the new toys. If the ferret shows any signs of allergies, take the toys away immediately and take him to the vet if he doesn’t get better quickly.
9. Ropes with knots (for dogs)
A popular toy for dogs is the rope with knots. This is a rope that has various knots and when the dog grabs one side of the rope, you need to keep tugging from the other side. Many pets find this very entertaining, and this also includes ferrets. Just make sure you’re a lot more gentle with your ferret than with your dog.
These toys can be either bought or made at home from old clothing items. All you need to do is cut a long piece of fabric and start making big knots here and there so the pet can grab from anywhere it wants. And just like dogs, two ferrets can find this toy very fun and they will try to get it from the other. Make sure they don’t end up fighting over it.
What kind of toys do ferrets like to play with?
Ferrets love tunnels more than anything. But they also love almost any kind of toy that they can tear apart. This is why they should only play with toys that are durable and safe to be torn apart without hurting the ferret.
These energetic creatures are also known to burrow any chance they get, which is why they will also love cardboard boxes filled with various things. It’s important to keep changing their toys so they will always keep their attention on their new distractions and not on your expensive sofa.
They don’t like being stopped while they play and they will get very squirmy in your hands if you’re trying to get its attention or groom it. So make sure you always have a toy they like so they can turn their focus on that and let you groom them.
Do ferrets need chew toys?
Ferrets need to chew raw bones or get their teeth regularly cleaned to make sure they don’t develop any dental problems as they get older. But when it comes to chewing toys, they should be heavily avoided as anything can pose a serious choking hazard for these small creatures.
It’s best to use raw bones or kibble as a way for the ferret to take care of its teeth. It’s better than to risk accidentally choking on plastic or anything similar.