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Ferret-Proofing Your Home

Ferrets are mischievous and troublemakers. It is our job to make sure they are safe!

By Ashley BadgleyPublished 7 years ago 6 min read

Ferrets are curious as can be! Unfortunately, they are often too curious for their own good.

Importance of Ferret Proofing...

Ferret proofing is more than just making sure your ferret doesn’t make a mess of your house. It is to prevent accidental injury and expensive vet bills from occurring. Ferrets are curious as can be! Unfortunately, they are often too curious for their own good. I will be listing many potential hazards for ferrets and how to ferret proof them.

Get Down to Their Level!

Lay down on the floor and look around. See any holes larger than one inch? Your ferret can squeeze through that. Ferrets are flexible and determined. Think like a ferret... see how much trouble you could get into! Then one by one, eliminate the threats.

Sometimes, depending on your home, it is better to block off a room than to allow roam. Investing in a playpen such as the Marshall Ferret Playpen, can help make the ferret-proofing process easier.

The Living Room


Both reclining chairs and couches are a threat to a ferret.

Recliners are one of the biggest causes for accidental deaths for ferrets. Often ferrets climb up into the chair or couch and an unknowing human reclines the chair, crushing them. I have personally ditched all recliners in my home for my ferret’s sake. If you cannot get rid of your recliner, inform all in the household and all guests of the importance of not using the reclining function on the furniture while the ferret is out.

Rugs, Mats, Carpets:

Ferrets are often nicknamed “carpet sharks” for a reason! They love to tunnel and play underneath rugs. Be wary of any bumps in the mat and know where your ferrets are before stepping on the area rug.

Potted Plants:

You can give your ferret a safe place to dig in a homemade dig box or supervised area outdoors.

Being burrowing animals, ferrets naturally LOVE to dig! This means no potted plant is safe around them! Be cautious, some plants are poisonous and if your ferret decides to take a nibble, the consequences could be dire. Keep all plants away from ferret's reach.

Candles, Incense, and Essential Oil Burners:

Baking soda and vinegar are two safe deodorizers around ferrets.

We love these things to make our home smell wonderful! However, many essential oils are actually toxic for a ferret to breathe in.

Candles and Wax Warmers can get very hot and may burn your ferret if they get too close. The fumes from many scents can irritate a ferret's sensitive respiratory system.

If you plan to use one of these, make sure your ferret is in another room and air out the room before allowing him back in.

The Bathroom


Always keep the toilet lid down. As said before, ferrets are just too curious for their own good. There have been awful incidents where a ferret fell into the bowl and was unable to get out leading to drowning while the owner was out of sight. Make it a habit to keep it down.

Toilet Paper Rolls: (Warning for Graphic Image)

This is information from Massachusetts Ferret Friends, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

Toilet paper rolls are a dangerous object for our ferrets. Many ferrets, like the one below, have gotten stuck in them leading to vet trips or death. Please tear open your toilet paper rolls before discarding them.

Cleaners, Chemicals, and Medication:

Vinegar and Baking Soda can be used around ferrets as a safe and natural cleaner!

Keep all cleaners, chemicals, and medication locked away where your ferret cannot reach them to avoid ingestion or exposure to skin which can be deadly. I keep mine in the bathroom cabinets that my ferrets are unable to get into.

The Kitchen

Dish Washer, Oven, and Other Appliances:

Ferrets are small and can squirm underneath and in between appliances. They may get stuck! You can fashion plywood to fit in between these spaces and prevent them from traveling underneath them.

Never open or use an appliance when your ferret is roaming around. In a blink of an eye a ferret can get themselves in a bad situation.

Trash Can:

We throw away all kinds of things... Many that are harmful to ferrets. Make sure your garbage can is tall enough to where your ferret cannot climb in or knock over or is stored out of reach.

The Bedroom

Fold Out/Hide Away Beds:

Just like recliners, these can also be a large threat to ferrets being crushed. Avoid moving any of the parts when your ferret is roaming.

Other Hazards Around the House


Ferrets could drink the water which can have bacteria that may cause illness. If a ferret falls in they may not be able to get out. Make sure aquariums are far from ferret’s reach.

Air Conditioner and Heaters:

As with appliances, make sure that there are no gaps or spaces your ferret can get in/under. If you feel it is too difficult to ferret proof it, try a playgate around it instead.

Exercise Equipment:

They may have parts that could injure a ferret. If you can, avoid letting your ferret in the same room as the equipment and NEVER use them while they are around.


Always exercise caution when opening and closing doors. Speedy ferrets may get caught in a fast closing door.

Some doors may have a gap at the bottom wide enough for a ferret to slide under. Under Door Draft Stoppers may help to fix this problem, or use a gate on the other side.

Know where all your ferrets are when company enters and leaves the house. Ferrets can easily slip by and end up outside!


Keep windows closed while your ferrets are about. They will try with all their might to climb to a window and could fall out. It has happened several times and the ferrets are often injured from the fall.


Kits (baby ferrets) often like to chew on things, like puppies like to chew on shoes. This is because their teeth are growing and they are learning about the world. They seem to find that cords are fun to chew on! You can spray products like Apple Bitter or Fooey on the cords to prevent this. They both have an awful taste that will discourage them from chewing.If your adult ferret is chewing on cords, it is best to take him into the vet to see if he has any dental problems. Ferrets, unlike rodents, should not be chewing on non-food items.

Anything Small or Rubbery:

Erasers, ear phones, rubber bands, TV remote (rubbery buttons), beads, jewelry, small toys...

Anything you would not want a human infant to be holding that could be put in their mouth, it is relatively the same for ferrets. Blockages are common and very deadly for ferrets but can be avoided with making sure the ferret has no access the the dangerous objects.

Any Holes Wider than 1 Inch:

If there are any holes in your home that are wider than an inch, it is best to cover them up. Any hole a ferret can fit it's head into, it can fit the rest of it's body. Check underneath furniture, in the basement, behind appliances, and other places you may not even expect. Your ferret will find them!

Let's Recap!

  • Recliners
  • Couches
  • Area Rugs and Carpets
  • Candles, Incense, and Essential Oil Burners
  • Toilet
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Cleaners, Chemicals, and Medication
  • Dish Washer, Oven, and Other Appliances
  • Trash Can
  • Fold Out/Hide Away Beds
  • Boxspring
  • Aquariums
  • Air Conditioners and Heaters
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Doors
  • Cords
  • Windows
  • Anything Small or Rubbery
  • Any Holes Larger than 1 Inch
Every home will be different and have more or less that needs to be ferret proofed. Following a list like this one can help make the process easier and give you peace of mind while your ferret is exploring your home. Around the holidays we tend in to bring in many hazardous decorations. Remember as your bring new items into your home to keep your ferret in mind for his safety.

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