Friday, May 28, 2010

Ferrety Toys

Hiya folks! Can you believe it’s already Friday? Again? Isn’t it amazing how quickly time goes by, especially as you get older?

Well, since we’re all here together again, let’s talk ferrets.

Today’s topic is going to center around toys; ferrety type toys. Anyone who has ever owned a ferret knows that these curious little critters love to play. And not only do they love to play, they need to play. Because a bored ferret is an unhappy ferret. So, providing your fuzzy with a variety of stimulating toys is important; it’ll keep him entertained and happy. In addition, a ferret’s playfulness, bordering on clownishness, is one of its most endearing qualities because it can be extremely entertaining to watch them play.

But before you run out and stock up on toys, please remember that, although they will play with almost anything, not all toys are appropriate for ferrets. Toys for these little critters must be durable or else they will pose a safety hazard. One of the most serious threats to your pet is the swallowing of pieces of toys, which can cause intestinal blockage; something that can prove fatal. Do not allow your ferret to play with anything that he can chew to small pieces. Make sure they’re ferret-proof and that you inspect the toys regularly for wear and tear. Anything falling apart should be thrown out immediately.

Okay, let’s talk about toys. What do ferrets like to play with, you ask? Well, mostly with other ferrets. But with or without other ferrets to play with, they will need fun and stimulating toys. Now, there are an assortment of toys specific to ferrets at toy shops that you can invest in but most of them will prove to be pricey. I’m going to include some ideas for homemade play things for your little fuzzy.

1) A Box To Dig In

No doubt about it, fuzzies like to dig. So why not put together something for them that will satisfy that urge? Get a large cardboard box, carve out an opening that your fuzzy will use to get in and out of the box and fill it with shredded paper (not newspaper or anything that will leak ink). Introduce it to your pet and let the good times roll!

2) Tunnels

If you want to make your fuzzy really happy, give him some tunnels to race through. You don’t need to buy the ready made ones at the pet store, which are not very long and super expensive. Build your own instead. Head over to the hardware store and pick up some PVC pipes or dryer hose. Use them alone or attach a few together for a longer play tunnel. You can include boxes for more fun. Make a hole in a cardboard box and insert the pipe into the hole. Throw some toys into the box that your fuzzy can find when he ends up in there after running through the pipe. Make another opening in the box for your pet to be able to get out, or just so he can stick his head out to peek around.

3) Old Sweats

Don’t throw out those old sweatshirts and pants; give them to your ferret instead. Toss them on the floor and watch as your pet tunnels through them. He will also curl up and sleep on them after he exhausts himself with all that play.

4) Soda Bottle

After you’re done with the soda, don’t get rid of the bottle; clean it, add some marbles, river rocks, rice or anything that will make a little noise, place the cap back on and roll it toward your ferret. The noise will get his attention and he’ll end up pushing it around.

5) Cardboard Play Station

Boxes, boxes and more boxes! Gather as many as you can, connect them with tubes, fill some up with toys and set your ferret free to run and roam through them. You can even stack some on top of each other (with holes to allow your pet to go from one to the other) for even more fun.

6) Paper Bags

Ferrets are extremely inquisitive and will investigate anything new in their environment, especially when it’s noisy. So, crumple up a paper bag and toss it toward you fuzzy. The noise will get his attention and your ferret will run over to investigate. He may very well spend the next little while trying to get into the bag to see what, if anything, is in there.

7) Fun-Filled Socks

Take an old sock, insert a toy that jingles into it, tie a knot at the opening and introduce it to your pet. He’ll have a lot of fun fighting with the sock as he tries to get to the toy.

8) Plastic Bags

I couldn’t tell you why, but ferrets get really excited when you give them plastic bags to play with. Maybe they like the noise the bags make or the fact that they can crawl into them. Or both. In any case, if you have some plastic bags (the bigger, the better) around the house, give them to your fuzzies to play with. But make sure to stick around to prevent suffocation. Take the bags away if you won’t be around to supervise.

9) Pillow Cases

Fill up a pillow case with crumpled paper, the noisier the better, and give it to your ferret. He will love jumping on top and rolling around on it.

10) Balls

Ferrets seem to really like balls, especially the types that bounce around. Pick up some ping pong balls or small beach balls that they can roll around the room. Bounce the balls up and down now and again to make it more exciting for your pet.

Those are just a few ideas to help you get started. Ferret toys don’t have to be expensive; just use your imagination and build your own. Most homemade toys are very easy to put together. Just make sure that they’re sturdy and safe for your little fuzzy.

Now, let’s warp up with the furry tribe.

What’s up Bailey?

I know, I know. I’m sorry. I’ve been really busy, so I’ve fallen behind on some things. I’ll get to it soon.

Clair, don’t torment poor Nacho!

Nacho, you have anything to say.

What?! No way, Nacho! You can’t play with the birds!

[They’re driving me crazy!]

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