Do Ferrets Need a Running Wheel?
Just like most pets, ferrets are also playful and active animals. That’s why they need enough space and time to use their energy well. These little lovely pets also need you to make them feel wanted and appreciated.
Spending time with your ferrets will create a strong bond and trust between you and your pet. It will help you get close and even understand their behavior and habits, especially when they are active.
Watching your ferrets scamper and dash from one place to another can make you consider getting a big running wheels. But, do ferrets actually need a exercise wheel?
No, ferrets don’t need running wheels to keep themselves busy and active. Instead, they need plenty of out of the cage time as explained below:
Keeping Ferrets Active
While running wheels work well for pets such as hamsters, they may not be of much help to ferrets. As a matter of fact, your ferrets won’t like or even appreciate them in the same way that other pets do. Also, most of these wheels may not be big enough to accommodate your pet ferrets.
Ferrets are always busy and jumpy most of the time. So they are less curious to use a running wheel as a way of keeping them occupied during their free time.
On other hand, your ferrets might get intrigued if you place a running wheel in their cage. If need be, they may start playing with it rather than playing on it.
This is contrary to what you would expect when providing your pets with toys to keep them occupied. How do you ensure that your ferrets are having the best time of their lives?
It is important to ensure that your pets get enough exercise. Therefore, you should facilitate good exercise to help them lead a healthy life.
Through exercise, ferrets and other pets are likely to get in shape in addition to having their little minds stimulated. You can walk them within your compound or let them run around as you watch them.
Alternatively, you can allow them to climb or jump whenever they are outside their cages. For the walking, you will need a nice harness for each ferret. The harness will make your walking not only enjoyable but safe for both you and your ferrets.
With patience, persistence, and determination, you can use a harness to train your ferret to walk beside you as part of their keep-fit routine.
2. Out of Cage Time
A better way to ensure that your ferrets enjoy their time when awake is to get them out of the cage. Confining them in their cages all day long is not a good idea. It might even affect their health if you don’t allow them to spend a few hours outside.
The out of cage play time will help them reconcile with reality as they get used to their new environment. Bear in mind that these little adorable pets are mischievous, intelligent, and playful, so they will need something to keep them busy.
A minimum of 4 hours a day is enough to let them enjoy some free time out of their cage. You can even break this time into 1-2 sessions for good results. One of the sessions must entail a one-on-one play, petting, cuddling, or any other interesting activities.
Taking them out of the cage at specific times will enable them to explore their surroundings. However, you should never leave them unsupervised at any given time.
3. Multi Level Cage
A ferret’s cage acts as a perfect home for these little pets. It is a place where they should feel comfortable and safe all the time. With multi-level cages, your ferrets will have the best time of their lives.
Such a design of a cage promotes their healthy activities including exercise. Most of these structures comprise at least comfort shelves and safety ramps among other features that make ferrets active when awake.
A multilevel cage is a better option for you if you don’t have enough time to take your ferrets out of the cage to play outdoors.
4. Ferret Toys
Ferrets love toys and will spend endless hours playing around with them. Some of the most commons toys these adorable pets like include:
- Ferret balls for exploring and hiding.
- Small trampolines for jumping or bouncing.
- Tubes for hiding in or tunneling through.
- Chew ferret toys for gnawing when bored.
These toys cost an arm and leg but they are worth it when it comes to enticing your ferrets. However, you can as well use other toys at home if the above-mentioned toys are out of reach. All you need to do is to ensure that every toy is safe for your pets.
Occasionally you can allow your ferrets to swim as part of the exercise. Ferrets possess both biological and physical ability to swim without any problem. The domesticated ones do so to cool off and also to enjoy in much the same way that other pets do.
Most pet ferrets swim due to what is known as the “syndrome hypothesis of domestication”. If you have a swimming pool at home you can let them cool and keep themselves fit by swimming while you watch.
6. Ball Pit
A typical ball pit comes with 35 plastic colorful balls for your ferrets to play with. This is an interactive toy designed for one or several ferrets.
It has two openings for your ferrets to tunnel through while playing. Each ball pit provides endless entertainment for your pet ferrets and you.
7. Digging Box
Digging boxes for ferrets are actual boxes or special containers filled with some materials for the pet ferrets to dig in. These boxes play a significant role in helping your little pets to satisfy their natural desire and habit to dig.
Most importantly, these boxes help your ferrets to overcome their anxiety, provide some form of enrichment, prevent destructive digging, help them shed their old coat, and lower their natural body odor. To add to that, digging boxes provide your pet ferrets with many hours of entertainment.
You don’t have to give your ferrets running wheels to exercise or stay active. Instead, you can help them lead a fulfilling life by introducing them to various activities. Make sure they are safe every time you allow them to engage in different activities at home.