Ferret Toys Keeping Your Ferrets Fit
A wide variety of ferret toys is necessary to keep your fuzzbutts healthy. Both mentally and physically. They need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy. And let’s face it, it’s loads of fun watching them romp around with a toy.
Luckily, ferrets aren’t all that picky about their toys. So this is where you can save some money. After all, owning ferrets isn’t exactly cheap.
You do want to make sure the toys you pick are safe though. Plenty of fuzzbutts have ended up at the vet after swallowing little pieces of rubber. Inspect all the toys regularly. If you see pieces are missing, replace it.
Cheap Ferret Toys
Keeping your fuzzies busy doesn’t have to cost you a lot. You can find cheap ferret toys at animal stores, but don’t overlook other stores as well (my favorite is Ikea).
As a matter of fact, they don’t have to cost you a cent. Here are a few toy tips that are free:
- Plastic bags: cut off the handles and never leave your fuzzies unsupervised when they’re playing with a plastic bag
- Paper bags: crackling paper bags are as much fun as plastic ones. Cut a few holes in them so they have multiple exits for extra fun
- Pants: have an old pair of jeans lying around? Why not donate it to your fuzzies. Cut a few holes in them and watch your fuzzies chase each other around in them.
- Packing peanuts: ever ordered something online? Chances are you received a cardboard box with whatever you ordered and packing peanuts. Well, leave the box and peanuts for the fuzzbutts. Hide some treats in there to keep them busy.
- Rice box: another variation of the packing peanuts. A little more messy though
- Sand box: even messier than the rice box, but hey, ferrets love to dig. So get the vacuum cleaner ready…
- String on a stick: I’m sure you’ve seen these cat toys where a feather is attached to a string on a stick. Build one yourself, my ferrets are happy simply chasing the string. You could also attach some food to the string and go on a ferret fishing expedition. Great if your fuzzies need some extra exercise.
- PVC pipes: left over PVC pipes from a DIY job make great ferret tunnels. You can build a huge labyrinth with these.
Commercial Ferret Toys
I have to admit, some commercial ferret toys are too cute not to buy. But if you’re on a budget, check out Ikea. Head over to the children’s department and have a look around, this is a great place to find a cheap ferret toy.
- Ferret tunnels: these are made of see through hard plastic. Fancier than PVC pipes because you can actually see your fuzzy run around. Personally, I don’t think the fuzzy will care all that much whether it’s see through or not.
- Noisy plastic balls: you can find these among cat toys, plastic balls that have a bell or other noisemaker inside. My fuzzbutts weren’t interested in the ball with bell that I bought them. They are completely obsessed with squeaky toys though. You’ll have to see which your furballs prefers.
Feeding balls: these are hard plastic balls with holes in them. You can put some kibble in them and then the ferret has to roll it around so the kibble will fall out.
Stuffed toys: when going for squeaky toys, I recommend getting stuffed ones instead of plastic rubbery ones. The rubber ones are no match for sharp ferret teeth and you don’t want your fuzzy to swallow small bits of rubber.
Baby toys: teething rings could be fun, and depending on your ferrets interest so could a rattle.
Chew toys: those are really more treats than toys, but they do give your pets something to do (besides hiding your keys). And they’re great for some hands-off ferret dental care.
Tents and houses: I’m sure you’ve seen ferret pictures of them in a tipi, car or even a boat. Adorable and fun. And a good place to take a nap when they’re tired of romping around.
- Dangling toys are great fun (like parrot toys), but you want to be extra careful with these and not let your ferrets play with them when you’re not around. You know how fuzzies are, full of mischief, unsupervised play with dangling toys is accidental strangulation waiting to happen.
Soft rubber and latex toys are easy to tear to pieces with sharp ferret teeth. Your fuzzy could accidentally swallow a small piece of such a toy, which could then cause intestinal blockages.
Cloth toys are safer than those of rubber/latex, but you still want to check them for loose threads.
How To Keep Your Ferrets Interested in Their Toys
The same way I rotate my dog’s toys, I also rotate the ferrets. They never have more than 3 different toys available at one time. Every couple of weeks I replace some or all of them for other toys. That is if Nibbler hasn’t gone and hid them somewhere I can’t reach…
Rubbing some food on old toys is another way to get your fuzzies interested again. Orange peel seems to be a very popular flavor, just rub the inside of the peel over the toy.