I recently adopted to ferrets, once brought home the only interested they had was scratching at my door. Immediately losing any interest they had in their toys. They'd occasionally play with the toys, but I usually have to instigate it I'd let them out to a smaller part of my house, with door closed, they scratch at that. Anything they believe they can get into or under, they scratch at. I had to put my bed on the floor because of the digging, yet they still force their way through the sides, no matte how tight. I put some plastic carpet runner along where they were prone to scratch, they bite and scratch at it or around it. I've been forced to have them free roamed completely in my room, for they scratch inside their cage, biting/chewing items inside and the bars (and me). It's to the point were I might have to remove everything in the cage (it's almost bare) and my carpet. I've had them for three days I'm really not sure what to do, I don't want to get rid of them or hurt them, but I don't want to tolerate the scratching either. I let them roam completely through the house for a bit under supervision I have a dig box for them, but I am making them other one. I'll soon be ordering more toys as well. I expect this to get worse however. Of course, I was expecting some digging (since they are 8 months old), but not this bad Is there anything else I can do, please let me know?
I have a hole in my boxspring where i put my bed on floor. Also the sides are shredded from them trying to get on the bed. So I just keep them out. Oh and when they do dash in there ---it is a big game when you try to get them LOL. My husband has put a little piece of thin panelling that slides under the door to keep them from scratching the carpet into a puff ball in corners at door. Previously, I had a piece of vinyl anchored there.
I'm really not sure what to do, I don't want to get rid of them or hurt them, but I don't want to tolerate the scratching either.
Evidently ur ferrets are really bored. If you cannot tolerate them scratching, do give them more time out. They bore with toys --- mine do not play with toys---but they do like carrying them places and stashing them. They would rather investigate a box with a hole in it---- and after that, well it's----I have been there and done that. They r extremely curious critters that is why they like trying to go places that they have not been. When weather is nice, maybe a walk outside to investigate. Ours like to go in the fireplace log box, investigate closets, shred toilet paper, knock things off little side tables---things like that:)
If you do not have the patience or time---it is ok to find them a home. Try to get someone that has owned ferrets before. Newbies sometimes are enthralled over their cuteness and their uniqueness but then.....
If you do decide to let them free roam, please watch closing dishwasher and refrigerator doors. I have the refrigerator that has big chest freezer on bottom---will never buy one of those again. I have to ask hubbie does he see the ferret, or I am down on my hands and knees checking under it as mine likes going under there when I open it. I have interacted with mine with a cat toy chaser, misting them with water from a spray bottle. Just little things.
Post by caitmonster on Feb 9, 2021 12:02:40 GMT -5
Hey, welcome to the forum. We're glad to help with any questions so feel to ask.
Ferrets are burrowing creatures and, like abbeytheferret said, intensely curious about getting into anything and anywhere they can. It can be frustrating, but it's just their nature, so it's on us to adapt as we can. It's not something you can train out of them, merely redirect. Dig boxes are great for that; you can fill them with long-grain rice, beans, pasta, pingpong balls, and/or shredded paper, just to name a few. Tunnels and boxes are also very popular.
If they're tearing at their cage, they're not tired enough to settle down. 4 hours out of the cage should be the absolute minimum--the more you can provide, the better. Especially at their age, they're little dynamos. I started taking my guy for walks when he was a few months old--he was simply exhausting otherwise. He'd go over a mile every single night!
Do you have harnesses for them? You'll want to snug them down enough that they can't twist out of them (but not so tight they can't move comfortably, of course). Letting them sniff and dig outdoors is great stimulation for them, plus extra exercise for both of you.
Thanks for the advice! They do completely free roam my room all day/night (with me here as well), with the cage open if they wish to go in, they aren't forced in They have areas they can explore, with boxes and smaller areas and such, but I suppose they'd rather scratch at small crevasses and at objects they can't get under I would love to take them outside, but I fear it might be too cold for them (I don't want them to get hypothermia or anything, maybe I can bring some snow in) I'll try and create more dig boxes, since I have two, but the only occasionally go in one I have suspected boredom which is was I plan to buy more toys (and rearranging my room once I have the carpet removed) I truly don't wish to rehome them, I just wish I had more ways to keep them entertained, I don't have all the money in the world, but I'd do anything to help them have fun
Post by caitmonster on Feb 9, 2021 17:59:53 GMT -5
Awesome, yes sounds like you've done your due diligence. I will tell you that closed doors are the personal nemesis of every ferret (Rocky will come RUNNING if he hears the bathroom door shut and dig at it incessantly until we let him in), so hopefully you're able to suitably protect your carpet, etc.
Ferrets can handle cold temperatures pretty well--if it's around 32 F or higher where you are, feel free to take them outside and see how they do. They'll let you know if they're uncomfortable, or else happy to stay out and explore. If it's below freezing, just exercise your best judgement... of course, it depends on the individual ferret, too--big chunkers with lots of fat can handle more than petite ones.
Post by Corvidophile on Feb 9, 2021 18:06:29 GMT -5
More cheap games for them are towel/blanket rides, just drag them across the floor and if they fall off you can toss the towel/blanket over their head so they have to tunnel their way out. You can also give them bag rides, pop them in a sack and lift them up and down, swing side to side, let them down so they can get out, then pick them up in it again if they dive back into the bag.
I'm sure many of us have experienced the trial-and-error that comes with alleviating ferret boredom. I know I sure have! They are such intelligent little creatures with *very* short attention spans.
I currently have three ferrets, and am lucky enough to have a spare room which I've turned into the "ferret room" where they free-roam 24/7 (but it's totally fine to use a bedroom for this and to cage them while you're sleeping if need be). Mine *do* have a cage, but it's only used when I'm going to be away from the house for an extended period of time (which is almost never, lol). In the ferret room, there's a kiddie pool filled with rice, a "fort" made out of a short cat tower, a ball pit, boxes, several tunnels, and many other toys. My ferts *do* play with their toys, but they also get bored of them pretty quickly some days.
What works for me is allowing them to have supervised free-roam time in the rest of the (ferret-proofed) house. They get about 3-4 hours to explore the whole house (minus the kitchen) every day, even longer these days now that I'm taking my college classes virtually. They chase me and each other, and they *love* the towel game. They tire themselves out and almost always go back to their room and fall asleep when they're done playing.
I know it can be frustrating trying to find a time for free-roam that works for a busy schedule, but don't give up, you'll figure it out! Young ferrets like yours are especially hard to keep entertained, and they tend to be more destructive than older ferrets. The bottom line is that the more free-roam time they are provided, the less bored they will become and therefore the less destructive they will be.
Last Edit: Feb 9, 2021 21:11:59 GMT -5 by brittanyb
Owned by 3 fuzzbutts: Huck, Finn, and Oliver 🐹🐹🐹 Indentured servant to Gracie the feline. 😺
Mine doesn't play with many toys either, but he does stash them. So I take his toys out from his stash spot for him to re-stash again. lol
He likes boxes with a hole in it for him to run into. I just scratch on the side of the box and he runs in and scratches inside the box. Then I stick my hand in the hole and tickle him.
He also likes bags to play in and I tickle him from the outside of the bag. He also has a long tube/tunnel that I drag around the house and he likes to run into it. Then I put the tube down and he runs out and I grab the other end and pull it around and he runs back into it. I also pull the towel around too. I also use a shoe box tied to a string. He likes the rides.
He would rather play with me then his toys.
Now keep in mind your ferrets are still young and haven't learned yet not to bite so hard. So try to keep the toys between the ferrets and your fingers. lol I tickle my ferret a lot and he does bite me but not hard because he has learned not to bite hard when he was little. When he would bite me hard, I would get up and leave him and not play with him. He didn't like that much and learned to play nice. Others use the sin bin for when their ferret bites them and doesn't want that behaviour and they are placed in this sin bin for a couple of minutes.
Post by silentdook on Feb 11, 2021 13:10:29 GMT -5
Do you have any tunnels for them to run through? I buy ducting off Amazon, (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MDUGEXE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1) but the black irrigation tubes from any big home store work nicely for less. Having a tunnel helps satisfy their natural instinct to burrow.
Taking them outside is something you might want to ease into, it's a big, noisy and scary world out there, so just carrying them around on the harness might be a good start. Harness them indoors first to make sure they can't wriggle out (I prefer the Infinity or Figure 8 style over the two strap buckled style). Once they are ready to explore the ground, be very watchful and ready to pick them up if you see loose dogs around. Also be mindful of any distemper outbreaks in your region if they aren't vaccinated, and in summer, keep heart worm prevention up, for it is fatal to ferrets and takes only one bite from an infected mosquito, and stay on grass if you live in a hot area, asphalt and concrete burn little paws even when it doesn't seem that hot to us.
Jessie estimated 05/2018, adopted 08/14/2018 Doc, estimated 5 yo, adoption in 2019 Wyatt, now estimated 7 yrs+, adoption in 2019 Pooka, foundling 09/2019 est ~4 mo at time
DIP: Trouble my first 1988-1999, Bonnie & Clyde, Bandit, Sweetums, Loki, Biddy, Blondie, Minky, Sadie, and Josie
Hi, I wanted to update, since I guess my ferrets are relapsing They've been doing well for the last couple weeks, and I was pretty optimistic about that, but unfortunately, they've fallen back into some old habits, and starting new ones. One that's particularly concerning is one of my ferrets has taken up bar biting. Neither are forced nor locked in there cage at any time and are completely free roamed in my room, however, I do suspect boredom. I would think that playing with them more would help simmer the problem down a little bit (and as much as I would like to take them outside, I'm paranoid about infections/bugs, things like that), but I suppose they've taken up biting as well. My one ferret, when I got her, was not much of a hostile biter (like she knew how to play bite), but now when I walk around or something, she runs directly to my feet/legs, she'd lick then bite, I have to remove myself, I can't tell if it's a play bite, because she isn't drawing blood (she'd start to lightly thrash with a good grip), but it's definitely uncomfortable she's just been developing strangely destruction behaviors, with aforementioned bar biting and pulling/chewing at my clothes Need another round of ideas, thanks! ^^
Post by Corvidophile on Mar 1, 2021 15:02:44 GMT -5
Do you feed gizzards? They can be a great chew toy to lessen the want to bite bars. Toy rotation is also good, make some of their toys disappear for a few weeks and then bring them back out again and they’re like new!