Did you just get a ferret? It’s time to start ferret proofing your home! You would not believe the small spaces these amazing creatures can fit into, nor the impressive heights they can climb given the right motivation. Ferrets can make phenomenal pets, but they also seem to have an ongoing competition to see how closely (and how often) they can flirt with death. In this article you will learn what motivates your ferret to get into trouble, and how to predict (and prevent) their next accident. Are you still considering getting a ferret? Take a look at our Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Ferrets. Let’s get started with the basics. What is ‘ferret-proofing’? Why is Ferret Proofing Important? Ferret proofing is similar to when a new parent has a baby and makes adjustments to a home to keep their baby safe (think removing furniture with sharp edges, covering electrical sockets, installing baby gates). When you ferret-proof, you do precisely the same thing but for a ferret. As you can imagine, ferrets have very different considerations than human babies! Think Like a Ferret Before you read our top considerations for ferret proofing, it is important to first get into the right mindset when bringing a ferret home. The first thing to ask yourself is ‘what are a ferret’s natural instincts?’. This will help you understand and predict what might need to be ferret proofed in your own home. Ferrets Love to Sleep in Darkness Ferrets can sleep 16-18 hours per day. In order to achieve deep, uninterrupted rest, most ferrets prefer to find a dark, quiet place to sleep. This can become a problem when your ferret chooses a hard-to-reach location like the back of a closet or inside a sofa. Look for small, dark places in your home to block off. Alternatively, make sure you provide a dark, quiet space for them that is safe (so they don’t go looking for a dangerous one). Ferrets Love to Problem Solve What may seem like an ordinary bookshelf to you, will actually look like the perfect agility course to your ferret. Though ferrets aren’t quite as agile as cats (they don’t land on their feet), they are just as determined. You’d be surprised how brave your ferret is, considering how truly clumsy they are. Try to think of how your ferret could make it from the floor to a dangerous shelf and break up the path. Ferrets Love Tunnels Ferrets love tunnels more than anything on the planet (in our experience) and if you don’t give them enough places to explore, they will find tunnels in your home. A rolled up rug makes a great tunnel. The place where your sofa’s seat cushion and back cushion meet makes a great tunnel. What are some dangerous places in your home that your ferret may use as a tunnel? Ferrets are Basically Liquid Obviously ferrets have very real muscles and bones but sometimes it would appear that ferrets can squeeze into just about anything! Ferrets can fit anywhere they can put their head through, so we recommend covering up any holes larger than a golf ball. Ferrets Love to Steal As we learned in The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Ferrets, the English word for ‘ferret’ is derived from the Latin word for ‘thief’, furonem. In fact, as I am writing this very article, my ferret is running away with a paint roller in his mouth (note to self: place on kitchen counter next time). Stealing random objects is basically your ferret’s full time job. He will never finish looting your home for anything that strikes his fancy. This could be anything from harmless pieces of kibble to dangerous items like chocolate or foam. The worst part? Your ferret will create something called a ‘stash’ or ‘hidey hole’ where he gathers all his belongings, and you may be unable to find it! Step one is keeping all dangerous items away from your ferret’s reach, and step two is locating your ferret’s hidey holes to check them regularly. Your Ferret is a Hunter The furry noodle in front of you may seem like the farthest thing from a born hunter, but don’t let their clumsy demeanor fool you! If given the chance, your ferret will attack any prey you bring into your home (think birds, hamsters, rats, guinea pigs, small kittens, lizards) so be careful! Did this article help you understand what motivates your ferret to get into all kinds of trouble in your home?