No doubt, one of the most important investments you’ll make after purchasing your new ferret will be the cage. This is the place where they will be spending the majority of their free time ,so it needs to be comfortable and well-designed to meet all of their needs. As you start to shop around for a new cage, you’ll probably be inundated with a variety of options.
A basic ferret cage can cost you as little as $80, but I can pretty much promise you that you will have additional expenses in getting it ready for your little one. The average price of a fully set up ferret cage will be closer to the $200 mark and higher, but make sure you shop around before making a final decision.
All cages are not created equal. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, each sporting their own unique features. So, it is important to look for the basics before you do anything else. While some pet shops will say that a cage is suitable for all types of small critters, it is up to you to make sure that it is suitable for your ferret.
Though ferrets are small in size, they cannot be caged in a small environment. Ferrets are unique. They are not like other small animals that can live in a simple cage with a limited amount of space. There are special considerations that all owners need to keep in mind when making their decision. You need to think beyond the obvious in order to get the right habitat for your cuddly little friend. If you would like more in-depth information on choosing the right cage, read our article on choosing the best ferret cage as the current article you are reading lightly touches on this subject.
Consider Cage Size
Whether you’re buying one ferret or several, cage space is going to be very important. Ferrets can sleep as much as 18 hours a day, but it’s the other six that you need to worry about. When awake, they are highly active and will be scurrying about their home with much fervor. The cage has got to be large enough to hold their food and water containers, bedding, a litter pan, and the toys they will be playing with and still have enough room for them to scurry back and forth across the floor.
That’s a tall order, and the amount of floor space you get will depend largely on how many ferrets you get. If you’re getting only one ferret, you will need a minimum of 2.5 cubic feet of living space in their cage. You must increase that number based on the number of ferrets you plan to have.
If you don’t have a lot of floor space in your home to accommodate a large cage, then consider getting one with several levels. It is the perfect way to give your pets more room without taking up too much space in your home, and your little guy will enjoy it even more.
Here are some examples of popular cages that provided a good environment for ferrets:
- Midwest Deluxe Ferret Nation Double Unit Cage
- Prevue 484B Deluxe Critter Cage
- Prevue Frisky Ferret Cage
- Kaytee Multi-Level Cage
Ferret Cage Materials
Ferret cages can be made from a wide range of materials which can have a huge say in its price, but you need to keep your ferret’s safety first and foremost in mind. Ferrets have very flexible bodies and can squeeze through some surprisingly small spaces, which often lead to painful injuries for them and added veterinary bills for you. Look for cages that have solid floors made from plastic or metal and try to avoid wire mesh floors. If you buy one with a wire floor, make sure that you cover it with a sheet of linoleum, carpeting, or some other type of permanent covering.
Cages made from wire provide other threats as well. It is not enough to have vertical or horizontal bars. They need to have both, with each square no larger than a ¼ inch wide. This will discourage them from making a risky escape attempt and give you peace of mind. All bars , especially metal ones, should be coated or made from a safe material to prevent them from chewing on them and getting toxic poisoning of some kind.
Larger multilevel cages come equipped with ramps and ladders. Make sure that these are not made from metal mesh. They can be uncomfortable for your pet to walk on and pose a risk of injury if their little claws get stuck in them while they are trying to climb up or down to another level. If you can’t find a cage with solid ramps, cover them with either linoleum tiles or a cloth, which are much more preferable to your ferret and easy to keep clean.
Ferret Cage Design
The cage must have good ventilation. Some people think that the best way to keep a ferret from escaping is to use an aquarium. While the idea may sound practical, these do not provide an adequate flow of ventilation for your pets. They also keep you from regulating the temperature inside their environment. Inside such a glass enclosure the temperature and humidity level could increase to a point that could be damaging to their health.
The cage design needs to be open enough so that they can get a good cross flow of air and have a better management of temperature. This will be most important during those long hours of sleep that they will need.
Ferrets are notorious for their curiosity and ingenuity. They may not be content even when confined to a good cage, especially if something outside has caught their attention. Your cage needs to have very secure door latches, because I can guarantee that if something outside is intriguing enough to them, they will do everything they can to get to it. That includes spending hours trying to manipulate the latches to the doorways of the cage.
Whatever cage you choose, don’t settle for a simple latch that can be manipulated just because it is cheaper than the better quality cage next to it. The ideal latch should secure the door very tightly. Don’t be afraid to test them out before you buy. Try to see if the latches can be opened or closed from the inside to see how difficult they would be to open. You’ll be glad you did.
Platforms for the Cage
Ferrets love to explore and platforms are a great way to divide the internal spaces of the habitat. Ferrets enjoy digging and flipping things, so make sure that anything you want to add to their environment, food and water bowls, litter boxes, slides, etc. can be secured or fastened to the sides of the cage. This will discourage them from trying to move them, flip them, or otherwise play with them. These are natural habits for ferrets, but they will eventually cause you more than your share of stress from having to constantly clean up.
Your goal in finding the right cage should be to provide them with the kind of freedom they need to satisfy their boundless energy and curiosity and keep them protected at the same time. A cage that doesn’t consider these factors will most likely pose a danger for them and cause both of you more than your fair share of stress and anxiety.
A ferret that is too confined will become depressed and anxious, which can threaten their overall health. The wide variety of ferret cages you will see will have a dizzying array of prices, but as long as you make sure the basics are covered, there’s a very good chance that your ferret will be happy with his or her new home. Beyond that, the extras you add to it will only enhance their enjoyment of life.