FAQ - Fun and Games
Keeping your ferret entertained needn't be comlicated or time consuming, if you use your imagination, keep the games simple and pay attention to what your ferret enjoys doing.
Ferrets are like kittens, in that they have an overwhelming sense of fun and love to be active. Until very old or unless sick, they remain kitten-like in their behaviour and need to be challenged and stimulated.
When a ferret is happy it will often make a "dook" sound, which can range from a loud call to a soft clucking. They also have a habit of jumping sideways or backwards, falling over themselves and acting very strange. We call this the "war dance" and it is a sign that the ferret is having a great time!
Pairs of ferrets often wrestle and their playing can seem quite vicious at times! There is no need to be alarmed at the squealing and biting unless one ferret seems upset or scared and tries to run away or hide. Sometimes the one that plays the victim is the one that instigates the game in the first place!
Ferrets also like to play "the invisible game". If you see your ferret laying pressed flat on the ground, or sliding around on its belly you have two choices - pay attention to it, and possibly ruin the game by not realising that its invisible, or ignore it, and possibly ruin the game by not finding it when its hiding! Either way, you are probably better off playing with it, as an invisible ferret is only likely to be getting into mischief!
Ferrets will often leave their toys and treats in a hiding place for later, this will generally be under the lounge, under the table, in a corner, or in a cupboard. If you lose a set of keys, your wallet, a remote control or anything else valuable, check their favourite hiding spots, as its likely to be there!
Ferrets love to play with toys, and will often have a favourite. This can be handy to note if you are ever in the situation where your ferret goes missing. Teaching a ferret to respond to the noise of a favourite toy, whether it be a squeak, a bell or a rattle, and rewarding it with a treat when it comes can mean the difference between finding a lost ferret and losing it for good!
Cat toys are ideal though you need to be sure they don't have any small, removable parts or foam stuffing which might cause blockages if swallowed. Plastic balls, with or without bells, work well. Soft vinyl or rubber is okay, but not the spongy kind - it is too easily shredded and swallowed. Anything that you can hide treats in will also keep them amused.
Lengths of flexible pipe (like air conditioner hose) are especially popular as tunnels and can be tied into knots, wrapped around furniture or turned into mazes. They are also good for connecting various levels of the cage as an alternative to ramps or ladders.
You can find a range of toys in The Shop.
Ferrets are natural burrowers, so any game based on digging and tunneling is especially fun.
A box or tray filled with rice (raw, not the 'quick cook' kind as it can swell in their stomach and cause blockages) can provide hours of fun as the ferret digs and "swims" through the rice. You can also use foam bean bag beans (the large ones so they dont swallow them), shredded newspaper, plastic balls or even socks! Anything they can burrow though and hide under is great fun.
Although some ferrets dont seem to like water, others love it and can enjoy having a little pool to paddle in. You can teach them to dunk their heads and fish for raisins or other treats. Be careful when playing in water as ferrets tire easily and water (even just a few inches deep) can be a drowning hazard.
Attaching a toy to a string on a stick can give you a way to play with a hyperactive ferret without risking nips. Teasing the ferret to make it jump for the toy is a great way to tire a restless ferret out. Just be sure to let the ferret catch the toy every now and then as they tend to get upset if they dont win!
Plastic bags (with the handles cut off) make great toys for pairs of ferrets as they like to wrestle inside it or jump on each other from the outside.
You can also teach a ferret to walk on a lead,
We often have ferret races, cup tipping contests and other games as the Social Days.
If you have any suggestions for games we can put on the site, please let us know!