No one likes to keep their ferret locked up in a cage or playpen all day long. After all, these little energetic creatures need to live up to their full potential; exploring, getting up to mischief and just being so darn cute in the process.
Unfortunately, this type of lifestyle can also be very dangerous for a ferret. They can easily get trapped in places that could cause them injury which can sometimes be fatal. So the question is: how do you give your ferret this type of freedom while keeping them safe?
The answer: buying or making a ferret proof gate. The great thing about ferret gates is that they allow you to block out areas of your house that you feel could be hazardous to your ferret while allowing them to run around freely in areas that you deem safe.
However, be careful not to believe that a ferret gate means leaving your pet unattended. You still have to keep a close eye on them because they will find ways to get themselves into trouble, even in places that you thought were safe.
Now, before you buy or make your escape proof ferret gate, you seriously need to consider the following points below:
How High Should a Ferret Gate Be?
It depends on the ferret’s age, climbing and jumping abilities. However, a good place to start is 29 inches or higher. One way to see what your ferret is capable of doing is by setting up a temporary ferret proof gate and then keeping an eye on whether your pet can scale it?
Wait a few days to make sure, because while a ferret might not be able to jump the gate on his first try, they will continue trying, and you will be surprised at how determined and capable a ferret can be.
Having the patience to wait it out will pay off as you won’t have to go through so much trial and error to setup the perfect ferret proof gate.
It’s Never High enough if there is Leverage
A typical mistake many new ferret owners make is underestimating the intelligence of a ferret. Besides being very determined, they are quite creative in finding ways to escape an enclosed space.
If you leave boxes or other types of objects that have some height close by, a ferret can use them as leverage to jump over a gate that might have been too high if they didn’t have access to those objects.
The Problem with Bars on a Ferret Gate
Some might opt to setup a ferret gate that has bars. While the idea might seem viable, there are potential problems that can arise.
If the bars of the ferret gate are spaced to wide apart, it is possible for a ferret to squeeze through without any difficulty. Not the solution you were looking for, right? Another problem is that the bars could spell danger for your ferret if the bars are wide enough to get part of the ferret’s body through, but not enough to get completely through.
This means your ferret could get stuck and potentially get injured while they frantically try to break free from the unintentional grip that the bars will have on them.
One of the main reasons why ferret owners might opt for ferret gates with bars is so that they can see their pets at all times; the ferret gate would be able to keep them away from mischief but also allow the owners to keep an eye on their pets from the other side of the gate.
There is a better solution, though. One that would keep them safely on the other side of the ferret gate will still having full viewing range of their ferrets. Read on.
Consider Installing a Climbing Proof Plexiglass Ferret Gate
Plexiglass is a great option. You can easily get your hands on them by going to your favorite hardware store or shopping online. Just be sure to get the correct measurements before you make your purchase
The nice thing about using Plexiglass is that it is transparent and has a smooth surface. The smooth surface is ideal because it makes it impossible for your ferret to gain any leverage if they try to run up the gate. It also ensures that your ferret doesn’t get injured in any way in the process as there is nothing sticking out of the surface.
The transparency is great because you will have full view of your ferret at all times, and your ferret will be able to see you on the other side as well, so they will never feel alone.
What Materials Should Be Used for Making a Ferret Gate?
Common sense applies here. Regardless of the material you choose for your ferret proof baby gate, always ask yourself if it can cause your ferret any type of injury. For example, if you will be using any type of wood to create the frame of the ferret pet gate, is there any chance that it can cause some type of splintering? Will your ferret try to chew on it?
It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use wood. Instead, think of ways to keep the wooden frames out of reach from your ferret. If you use Plexiglass, measure it to be large enough to cover the whole frame so that there is no way for your ferret to get to the wood or any other type of material you might decide to use as a frame.
Can I use a Baby Gate or Other Type of Pet Gate?
If you decide to buy a baby gate or escape proof gate that is designed for dogs or any other type of pet that is not a ferret, you will need to make some modifications. So, if these gates are in their original state, the answer is that this will be a big mistake.
However, many ferret owners have been very successful at making some modifications that make some of the best ferret gates I have ever seen. As long as you keep the tips mentioned in this article in mind, understand your ferret’s typical behaviors and never under estimate them, you will be able to do the same.
Practicality is Important Too!
This is where a lot of ferret owners make a mistake. They are too preoccupied with creating the best escape and climb proof ferret gate that they forget the practical side of it. When this happens, it is easy to become lazy, and this means not using the gate effectively. In the end, the ferret escapes because you wouldn’t be bothered.
For example, will it be easy to open and close the gate or would you need to climb over the get every time you need to pass through the entrance? If it is easy to open and close the gate, does it mean that your ferret will also be able to go in and out without any problem as well? So really, you need to find the perfect balance between a secure gate and a practical gate.
Should I Buy or Make a Ferret Proof Gate?
Currently, there isn’t any type of escape proof ferret gate sold on the market…at least that I am aware of. The two options that ferret owners have are to:
- Buy a baby gate or small pet gate and then modify it
- Build a ferret proof gate from scratch
This will also depend on your time and skills in handy-work. For me, the easier option would be to buy a baby gate or pet gate and then modify it. By doing it this way you already have most of the work done for you. The only downside is that there is less flexibility involved in the building process.
Regardless of the option you choose, make sure that the measurements are right for the area you will be installing the gate to block your ferret from entering. You might find that the measurements you need cannot be achieved by simply buying a baby gate or small pet gate, and therefore, you would have to build it from scratch.
To sum up, remember that your ferret’s safety is the most important point to factor in when deciding to install a ferret proof gate. Your goal is to ensure that there is no way your ferret can enter the out of bounds area, but you want to be able to enter and exit the area without any effort.
Your gate needs to be ferret-friendly as well. And lastly, never completely depend on your new climb proof ferret gate to keep your ferret out of danger’s way. You still need to be aware of what your little furry friend is up to at all times, as these guys will always find another way to get up to mischief.