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Home > Ferrets > What Do Ferrets Like To Play With? 15 Great Options

What Do Ferrets Like To Play With? 15 Great Options

Ferret playing

If you’re looking for the perfect ferret toy to keep your furry friend entertained and happy, look no further! This guide provides an overview of some great toys that will provide hours of playtime fun. Whether your ferret loves squeaky balls or plush tunnels, there are plenty of options to choose from. Let’s make like a ferret and dig in!

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15 Toys Ferrets Love to Play With

1. Balls

Ping pong table tennis ball
Image Credit: HeungSoon, Pixabay

Balls are a classic toy choice for ferrets, promoting physical activity and satisfying their natural curiosity. There are a few specific kinds of balls that are fun for ferrets. Just make sure that any ball you give your ferret is not small enough for them to fit in their mouth and choke on.

Some ideas include:
  • Jingle Bell Ball:Lightweight plastic balls with jingling bells inside.
  • Cat Ball:Typically lightweight and easy for ferrets to bat around.
  • Tennis Ball:A small tennis ball can be great for playing fetch.

2. Tunnels

Tunnels cater to a ferret’s natural burrowing instincts, providing a fun space for them to explore and exercise. You can buy tunnels or make your own, but many ferret owners have tunnels running off of their ferret’s cage, all over the house.

You can buy fabric tunnels that are soft, flexible, and often expandable. You can make a DIY cardboard tunnel from repurposed shipping boxes, or can even use a plastic drainage pipe for a more durable option.


3. Squeaky Toys

colorful rubber squeaky toys
Image Credit: 976photo Studio, Shutterstock

Squeaky toys can stimulate a ferret’s interest, tapping into their natural hunting instincts. There are several squeaky toy options, including:

  • Squeaky Rubber Toy:Durable and does not contain small parts.
  • Soft Plush Squeaky Toy:Can be a hit with ferrets if robust enough.
  • Squeaky Ball:Combines the fun of a ball with the intrigue of a squeaky toy.

Just make sure that you replace the toy if the squeaker comes out so that your ferret doesn’t accidentally ingest and swallow it.


4. Cat Toys

Many toys designed for cats also work well for ferrets, offering a variety of interactive experiences. Feather wands encourage jumping and pouncing. Bell balls are fun for ferrets to bat around and appeal to a ferret’s keen sense of hearing. Laser pointers engage your ferret’s natural instinct to chase and pounce.


5. Small Stuffed Animals

Rattle toy for rabbits
Image Credit: Bowonpat Sakaew, Shutterstock

Stuffed animals can provide a fun outlet for a ferret’s playful energy and simulate social interaction. Make sure the stuffed animal doesn’t have anything on it that your ferret can chew off and swallow, including plastic eyes, ribbons, or anything like that. Small stuffed animals for babies are usually good choices. You can even DIY a sock filled with safe stuffing material.


6. Digging Box

A digging box caters to a ferret’s natural digging behavior, providing a satisfying and mess-free play area. Options include:

  • Commercial Digging Box:Filled with safe, diggable materials like biodegradable packing peanuts.
  • DIY Rice Box:A sturdy box filled with long-grain rice.
  • Sand Box:Filled with play sand, this can mimic a natural digging environment.

Make sure to keep an eye on your ferret when using the dig box so that they don’t ingest any sand or packing peanuts.


7. Hammocks

baby ferret sleeping
Image Credit: Irina Vasilevskaia, Shutterstock

Hammocks aren’t just for lounging—they can also provide a fun climbing challenge for ferrets. You can buy a commercial ferret hammock designed specifically for ferrets or make your own using an old T-shirt or other soft fabric. You can even buy a hanging tube hammock, a fun variation that combines a hammock and a tunnel.


8. Ropes

Ropes can serve multiple purposes in a ferret’s playtime, from tugging games to hanging toys. There are also rope chew toys made from natural fibers that are great for chewing or tug of war games.


9. Interactive Puzzle Toys

Young ferret examines the play box
Image Credit: Yasmins world, Shutterstock

Interactive puzzle toys can provide mental stimulation for intelligent ferrets. Treat-dispensing puzzle toys require your ferret to solve a puzzle to access a treat. You can also make a cardboard box with multiple compartments for hiding treats. There are even maze puzzles, a more complex puzzle that challenges your ferret’s problem-solving skills.


10. Paper Bags

Paper bags can provide a simple yet effective way to entertain your ferret. Large brown paper bags make a safe and fun toy for your ferret to explore and burrow in. You can also fill a paper bag with crumpled newspaper. Smaller bags can be perfect for hide-and-seek games.


11. Empty Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard_Pixabay
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Empty cardboard boxes offer a simple yet effective way to entertain your ferret. They are great for playing hide-and-seek or filling with other toys. You can connect several smaller boxes together for a fun maze. Add holes, windows, or doors to a box for added intrigue.


12. Baby and Bird Toys

Some baby toys and bird toys can be suitable for ferrets. Often these toys are free from parts that can be dislodged easily so that they aren’t much of a choking hazard. But as always, supervise your ferret to make sure they are safe while playing.


13. Teething Rings

SodaPup Nylon Diamond Teething Ring

Teething rings can provide a safe and satisfying outlet for a ferret’s need to chew. Baby teething and rubber teething rings made for small pets are often safe for ferrets to chew on as long as they don’t contain liquid. You can also use a frozen wet washcloth for a soothing chew.


14. Homemade Toys

Homemade toys like knotted towels or crumpled paper can provide lots of fun for ferrets. Here are a few homemade toy ideas:

  • Knotted Towel:A sturdy towel knotted in several places.
  • Crumpled Paper Ball:Simple and effective.
  • DIY Sock Puppet:A fun interactive toy that can be easily made at home.

15. Bell Toys

Bonka Bird Toys Bellpull Bird Toy

Toys with bells inside can be particularly engaging for ferrets. Bell balls contain a small bell that jingles when moved. Hanging bell toys can be attached to your ferret’s cage.

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Why Do Ferrets Need Toys?

Ferrets need toys to stay mentally and physically healthy. Toys play a crucial role in the well-being of ferrets, as they help to meet their instinctual needs in a safe and controlled environment. By offering opportunities for exploration, toys stimulate a ferret’s innate curiosity and intelligence. They mimic the complexities of the natural world, keeping your pet mentally agile and engaged.

Play

Play is another essential aspect of a ferret’s life, and toys can help facilitate this. From balls to stuffed animals, toys can provide countless hours of entertainment and physical activity, which are vital for a ferret’s overall fitness and well-being. Toys encourage ferrets to run, jump, and wrestle, thus promoting cardiovascular health and muscle tone.

Ferret couple posing for portrait in studio
Image Credit: Couperfield, Shutterstock

Hunting

Hunting is an inherent behavior in ferrets, and toys can satisfy this instinct. Items such as squeaky toys or feather wands can simulate prey, engaging your ferret’s natural hunting instincts. This not only provides mental stimulation but also allows them to practice their hunting skills in a safe and harmless way.

Chewing

Chewing is another natural behavior that can be satisfied by toys. Teething rings or rubber chew toys can offer a safe outlet for this need, helping to keep a ferret’s teeth clean and healthy. It’s important to ensure these toys are durable and free from small parts that could pose a choking hazard.

champagne ferret on a carpet
Image Credit: Couperfield, Shutterstock

Climbing

Lastly, climbing is an instinctive behavior in ferrets that can be encouraged through the use of toys. Items like hammocks or rope toys can provide opportunities for climbing, satisfying this natural urge while also aiding in the development of coordination and balance.

Tips for Safe Ferret Play

  • Supervise your ferret at all times when playing with toys. This will help ensure their safety and also prevent any destruction of the toy.
  • Check for signs of wear and tear on the toys regularly, as sharp teeth or claws can quickly break down flimsy materials. Discard any damaged toys right away to prevent accidents and choking hazards.
  • Make sure any bell toys are securely closed, as loose parts can easily be swallowed by a ferret.
  • If you’re creating homemade toys, only use non-toxic materials that are safe for your pet to ingest if they accidentally swallow them.
  • Avoid using objects with small pieces or sharp edges, as these can cause cuts or become choking hazards.
  • Don’t use toys designed for larger pets, as they may contain parts that are too large for a ferret’s small mouth.
  • Avoid giving your ferret toys with feathers or strings attached, as your ferret can get tangled in them and cause injury.
  • Be mindful of the size and shape of the toys, as ferrets can get stuck in tight spaces or swallow small items.
  • Keep all toys and materials out of your ferret’s reach when not supervised, as they may chew on or ingest something dangerous if left alone.
  • Introduce new toys slowly to make sure your pet is comfortable with them and won’t be overwhelmed by too many options.

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Conclusion

Ferrets need stimulation because they’re smart enough to be naughty when they get bored. With a little creativity and mindfulness about safety, you can turn everyday items into exciting toys for your ferret. Remember, the best toy for your ferret is often your interaction and engagement. So, spend quality playtime with your pet, introduce new toys slowly, and always supervise their play. In the end, the joyous prancing, dooking, and war dancing is sure to keep both you and your ferret entertained for hours on end!


Featured Image Credit: Liliana_Cantu, Shutterstock

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