When choosing a toy for ferrets, safety needs to be of primary concern. Ferrets often get themselves into trouble because of their tendencies to chew on things, explore different environments, and store things.
For that reason, you want to avoid buying any toys that have rubber parts to them, especially things like baby bottles and pacifiers. Ferrets love to chew on soft things, making rubber the number one cause of intestinal obstruction in these wily little animals.
Ferrets are naturally attracted to anything that contains milk, so you must avoid these kinds of toys whenever possible. Below is a list of ferret approved toys that will give them hours of pleasure without the risk of harm.
Balls: As long as they are not rubber balls, ferrets will have loads of fun rolling these around. Ferrets love those plastic balls with holes cut into them. You can buy these either in a large size or a small one. In the smaller balls, ferrets may love hiding little goodies inside the holes or just rolling it around the floor and chasing it.
Ferret balls can be kept inside or outside their cage; you can even take a string and hang them from the top of their cage and then sit back and observe their playful antics as they toss it back and forth.
Fabric Toys: Ferrets also love the playful little cat toys, especially those that are made with fabric. Dangle a few of these toys around their play area and they may be engaged for hours. Look for small stuffed toys that have something hidden inside.
Some ferret toys have little squeakers that make noise when they play. You might even find some that are covered with the crinkly material that they love. These give a more tactile experience and will keep them occupied for much longer than many of the other toys.
PVC Tubing: Another ferret favorite are the PVC tubes, but make sure you get them large enough for them to move through because you can bet, that’s exactly what they’ll do. You might see the tubing as a plumbing pipe, but your ferret will see it as a tunnel to explore.
Vinyl Tubing: Tunnels are probably a ferret’s favorite toy. In addition to PVC tubing, you can also find larger flexible tunnels made from vinyl. You can find these at any length, many of them stretching out as far as 20 feet. If they are situated around safe areas of the house, you’ll find that your pet will love going in one end and coming out in a completely different part of the house.
Rattles: Baby rattles or other noise makers are often very attractive to a ferret. They love to manipulate them in their tiny little paws and figuring out ways to make the unusual sounds.
Kong Toys: Kongs are clear balls with a hidden toy inside. While they are made of rubber, it is a very hard form of rubber that will make it difficult for the little guy to chew through. This is a super durable toy, but it bounces and moves just like a regular ball. If inside is stashed with an enticing treat, you might find that they will spend hours trying to figure out ways to get to it.
If you choose to buy a Kong, make sure you get the kind that is designed for ferrets and not for dogs so that they will be able to interact well with it.
Do It Yourself Toys
Unfortunately, many toys that you find at your local pet store can be quite expensive. When considering the high energy level, you know that the toys you purchase won’t last very long. Ferrets love to chew on things and before you know it, you will be replacing them with something else that is entirely new.
The best way around that is with DIY toys. Your ferret won’t care too much about what you paid for your toys, but will enjoy them for hours on end regardless of what they look like. You don’t even have to make a perfect toy; just think of one that is entertaining. So, if you want some immediate fun for your ferret, here are a few simple do it at home projects that we’re sure your little guy will absolutely love.
Sock Balls: You ever get those socks that have holes in them. They make perfect toys for the little ferret. You can use any old worn out sock or one that has mysteriously lost its mate. Put a little bell or noisemaker inside and tie it up with a knot and watch your baby go at it.
Cardboard Boxes: Ferrets see cardboard boxes with their dark insides like a cave or the hollow of a tree. Whenever you get a package or you have some old moving boxes on hand, using these to create a play area is a great way to keep your ferret entertained. You can cut holes in the sides so that they can scurry in and out from all sides and there’ll be no end to the fun. If you have a lot of boxes, you can connect them together to make a tunnel and they will be lost in there for hours.
Mazes: You can also make mazes for your ferrets to navigate. You can use an old dryer hose or some PVC pipes to form lots of twists and turns for them to explore. A quick trip to your local hardware store and a few dollars later and you’ll have an amazing maze they can try to navigate. Place a little tip in one corner and you’ve created an adventure that they will absolutely get lost in.
Ferrets are notorious for chewing, gnawing, breaking, and manipulating their toys. Whether you purchased the toys or made them yourself, always make sure that they are durable with no small pieces they could actually break off and swallow. Even when working with a toy that is considered to be safe, always monitor your ferrets very well to ensure that they don’t strangle themselves, swallow something and choke, or injure themselves in some other way.