What are good toys for ferrets?
What kind of toys do ferrets like? What are some good inexpensive ones that will keep my ferrets happy?
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The first thing to keep in mind is that every ferret is different. Some really love toys, some prefer to play with other ferrets, others prefer to play with their human companion. The ones who like toys will have different preferences - stuffed animals, rubber toys, tunnels, dig boxes.
That's why variety is so important! The more toys you have the more likely it is that your ferrets will find something they like. But of course you don't want to spend too much money on toys if you're not sure what they'll like.
If you want to find toys that were made specifically for ferrets and support small businesses, check out the ferret marketplace! I've aggregated toys from every ferret shop I can find on Etsy. Here's a random sampling:
Just a few of the many ferret toys we have!
Some of the best toys you can get were not intended for ferrets at all. Things for toddlers are usually safe because they won't have small plastic parts that can be swallowed.
- Toddler-safe stuffed animals
- Toddler shoes - most ferrets love to dig in and stash their human's shoes. One way to appease them (and to give them something clean) is to buy some cheap toddler shoes! Just make sure there are no buttons or other small parts they could ingest.
Cat toys can be great for ferrets too, although I'd avoid anything with catnip.
- Interactive toys like this treat puzzle toy - this is the first place my ferrets check when they get out of their cage because they know I've hidden treats there!
- Balls for cats - anything with a jingle is usually fun for them
Things that aren't really toys
Of course, some things that weren't intended to be toys at all work well!
- Cardboard boxes - especially long narrow ones that can be used as a tunnel
- Plastic dryer duct hoses - don't use the Marshall tunnel. It's expensive, and poor quality, and will start to fall apart quickly. You can get a much sturdier dryer duct hose at any home store for much cheaper and it will last longer.
- Dig boxes - simply buy a plastic bin and fill it with something fun to dig. I recommend pinto beans because they're larger and easy to clean. You can also use cornstarch packing peanuts, rice, or even dirt. No matter how deep your bin is, some of the material will be dug out, so expect a mess.
- A dish washing pan - flip it upside down and many ferrets love to get underneath and "turtle". Just make sure it has a curved lip (most of them do) so that they get air underneath and can get out when they're finished.
- A bowl of water - most ferrets will have fun digging, diving, or knocking over a bowl of water. Just make sure you have something underneath it so it doesn't spill on your floor
Toys to avoid
Some toys to avoid.
- Dangerous digging materials - if you use a dig box, make sure not to use styrofoam packing peanuts. Get biodegradable ones made from corn starch. You can find these at any office supply store. Try running the peanuts under water - if they dissolve, they are safe. However, some ferrets will still attempt to eat these. While it won't kill them like styrofoam would, it's not great for them to consume a lot of cornstarch either.
- Also make sure not to fill your dig box with instant rice. If that is ingested it will expand and can also cause blockages.
- Anything that can close without any breathing holes.
As long as you are supervising the play time, and store them out of reach when play time is over, these toys can be used with caution:
- Plastic bags - a lot of ferrets like to play in these, but many will also chew on them. Be careful with anything that is soft and easy for them to chew.
- Rubber ducks - the same thing applies to anything that is soft rubber.
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