Is there anything I can do to provide enrichment when I'm not at home or otherwise working? I'm a student and spend a lot of hours either at school or doing homework. I can't take my ferrets out as often as I used to and it's breaking my heart. I don't have a ferret room and letting them freeroam is out of the question for various reasons. Their playpen is a hallway that I have to block off and set up every time I take them out. Is there anything I can put in the cage for them?
I have a senior female (7-8 years) and a young male (1 year) and they've both un-litter-trained themselves so I can't put anything on the floor of their cage or it will get pooped on. I've been trying to get them back to using the litter box but I'm not making progress. I think my senior is doing it because of mobility issues and my young one is just following her lead. My young one also likes to eat rope so I can't have that in the cage. Right now they have towels, a hammock, and a toy. Sometimes they have a sleeping sack if I happen to have a clean one. The toy is stashed in the unused litter box...
My senior just sleeps all the time so I'm not too worried about her but my young one could really benefit from having something to play with.
As for toys in the cage, this varies from ferret to ferret. Since your younger one chews rope, it could be they are a chewer and you will need to keep a closer eye on other fabric items too, this includes their bedding now. Ferrets who show themselves to be chewers can often end up with a life-threatening blockage from chewing and ingesting bits of bedding or soft toys. We suggest using more resistant fabrics with them for bedding, such as denim. Unfortunately, that also limits what toys are okay, especially in unsupervised situations.
I do not have any chewers, so mine have soft toys and squeaker toys (some ferrets don't like these and can react badly), jingle balls, plastic bottles, crinkles, etc. Back when I cage-kept partially before mine got their room, I allowed jingle balls and plastic water bottles for toys in the cage, I did allow some others too but I don't feel they would be safe with your one that chews.
I'm not sure if you are aware, but all ferrets should never be allowed any rubber or foam items or toys containing them, nor any soft toys with plastic eyes or noses, or ones containing the little plastic beads inside (common in baby toys). Just a head's up.
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
Thankfully his chewing seems to be confined to ropes, super soft material, and tags. After removing the rope toys and cutting all of the tags off of the towels I haven't had any trouble beyond a single super soft blanket that I have also removed. He doesn't chew on the towels at all now. He does have some socks made of that soft material that he would chew on but he only seems to chew on them if left in the cage with them so he only gets to play with those in the play pen (he loves them).
I have taken a look at the litter box boot camp and have started incorporating the aspects of it that I can. I've been able to distract my female a couple of times while she was backing up and gotten her into the litter box. I'm going to look into hanging toys for the problem corners.