So, you’re thinking about getting a new ferret. These wonderful cuddly little pets can bring real joy into a household. But when you consider the cost of a good quality ferret cage for your little one, you’re wondering if it is really worth it.
It’s true that ferrets have come from the wild, and in their natural habitat, they do not need the confines of a cage to keep them safe and healthy. However, when ferrets are living in a human habitat, they can be exposed to an untold number of dangers that you may not be totally aware of. We take the benefits of our own habitat for granted but what appears to us to be seemingly innocuous, can pose a real danger for a ferret.
Because of these potential dangers, it is important for your ferret to have a completely safe environment where they can roam free as if in the wild, but not be put in harm’s way. Yes, home bred ferrets need a cage and here are some reasons why:
1. Ferrets Need Space
Yes, ferrets need a lot of space to move about the house and as long as the area where they are has been ferret-proofed, there is no reason why they can’t. The problem is that ferret-proofing your home is an ongoing job. It is not something that you can do once and then forget about it. Ferrets can be very ingenious and therefore, when they are free to roam in one area, they will inevitably want to move beyond those confines. They will find ways to get around your barriers and escape to discover new adventures beyond their limitations. A cage is the best way to keep them in areas where you know they will be safe. They can still run free when you are available to supervise their time of exploration.
2. It Gives Them Security
You might think that ferrets don’t like the confinement of a cage, but that would be wrong. Even in the wild, they will seek out shelter that will offer some level of protection from predators that may be in the area. Ferrets usually sleep for long periods of time, quite often they will sleep 16 – 20 hours in a single day. They would be unable to get that kind of rest if they didn’t feel safe in their environment. As long as your cage is set up properly, they will have no problem going back to it when they are finished with their playtime. A cage gives your ferret a comfortable and calming place to rest without worry. This will contribute to their overall health and disposition.
3. It Keeps Your Home Neat
Ferrets are just like little children when at play. They explore to their heart’s content and are not even remotely aware of the mess they leave behind. They will play with the object of their attention until something a little more interesting comes their way, leaving whatever they had before in their wake for you to clean up.
4. Ferrets Can Get in a Good Exercise Routine
Ferrets need a great deal of physical activity during their waking hours. A well-equipped multi-level cage allows them to scurry up and down as much as they like. In the process, they get an excellent workout that will naturally keep them healthy and happy. This is especially true if your cage is equipped with tunnels, hideaways, and toys to keep them fully occupied while inside.
5. It Gives Them a Sense of Ownership
Ferrets are fiercely territorial. Like other pets, ferrets will mark their territory with urine and oils from their skin. This is a common behavior of ferrets in the wild. You won’t have this problem if your ferret has already been spayed or neutered, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t see their home as their own dominion. They will also show possessiveness of their food and toys as well. By keeping them in a cage, you fulfill that natural sense of ownership. It becomes their domain and territory for which they can fulfill their inborn instincts to have a place they can call home.
6. It Makes Training Easier
It is much easier to train a ferret if they are taught within a confined space. When potty-training a ferret, they will learn the designated spot for their litter box much faster than one who is allowed to roam free. Ferrets who spend too much time roaming about your house are more likely to leave unpleasant little surprises in every corner they can find. Ferrets are creatures of habit and once they get used to going in one spot, they will faithfully return to that spot every time they need to. The same is true of their eating habits as well.
7. They Are Less Likely to be Bored
It may seem to the contrary, but ferrets are less likely to be bored when they are in their cage. They soon learn that they can actively play and run free when they are out and will see their cage as a place for rest. When they are free, they will make much more use of the time than when confined. Even if they are given the same old play areas when they are allowed to roam free, they will see each new excursion as a whole new adventure that they will use to the full. They are very much like humans in this regard. They appreciate more of what they have because they didn’t always have it.
8. Ferrets Really Love It
Surprisingly enough, ferrets really do love being kept in a cage. They do not think like humans and feel confined or suffocated by the restriction. As long as you make sure their cage is equipped with everything they need, they will always want to go back to it. It gives them a sense of security and ownership that they can really relate to. It is a domain where they can commit to a routine that they can feel comfortable with.
That being said, it is important for ferret owners not to go to the extreme when it comes to caging their pets. Ferrets in the wild have their own habitat where they can feel safe and secure, but they still want to go out and explore the world. Ferrets still need a safe place outside of their cage to explore every day. It is recommended that they have a minimum of four hours a day outside of their home, and at least half of that time should involve human interaction.
The time out of their cage gives you enough time to clean up their home and restock it with needed supplies. They will appreciate it more and you both will be happier for it. You can think of the ferret’s cage in much the same way you think of a dog’s kennel. Once they are used to it, kennels are a great way to keep the dog safe and out of mischief when you’re away from the house. However, if you’ve ever kept a dog in a kennel all day, you know how anxious they are to get out, even if it is just for a little while.
The key to successfully caging your ferret will depend on just how much you put into giving them a nice home to live in. If it is properly equipped, comfortable enough for them to enjoy the long hours of sleeping, and stimulating enough for them to keep entertained when you are away from home, their cage will be more than a place of confinement for them, it will also be a place where they can relax, play, and enjoy for the rest of their lives. To do that, however, you need to take great care in creating the proper cage set-up for your little guy.