Ferrets are sociable and friendly animals. You will notice your ferret initiating play with you whenever you let him out of the cage. After all, they rely on us for everything which leads to a strong bond. However, to maintain this bond, you must show your ferret attention.
You can do this through various methods including training sessions and play. Now, as I have previously mentioned, you must keep your ferret in a cage. It is the easiest method to keep him from escaping. However, you must set aside some time every day to get him out of the cage and play with him.
In this article, I will guide you on how to show your ferret attention as well as some of the tricks to teach your ferret. So, why is it important to give him attention even though ferrets do not become neurotic?
Why must you give your ferret attention?
While ferrets are calm and less needy, they still require human companionship. At the end of the day, you will be his favorite creature. Now, should you deny him your attention, your ferret will likely get bored or even depressed.
Most people will go for a ferret because they are easier to manage, even for people living in apartments or work every day. However, you might forget one fact about these adorable creatures. They are sociable and quite playful!
Should you fail to provide the needed attention, you may notice unusual behavior with your ferret. For instance, some become quite uninterested in everything you do. This is contrary to normal ferret behavior.
Lack of attention
Lack of attention can also make your ferret quite insecure about his surroundings. Remember that playing and spending time with your pet only strengthens your bond. Without attention from both parties, it is going to be impossible to form a strong bond.
On the other hand, an unhappy ferret might appear confused. Some will avoid using the litter box, even after you have litter-trained them. You will also find him running around aimlessly and frantically. This could happen especially during the first few days in your house.
Additionally, a ferret that feels insecure will sleep with their favorite toys. It could be a sign that he feels lonely and probably unattended to. Some ferrets will get so upset and even refuse to eat. If so, you need to show him that he is loved by playing and engaging with him.
If you adopted an abused ferret, they will need more attention than others. I suggest that you spend more hours playing and training your ferret.
Now that you understand the attention needs for a ferret, do you still want to go ahead and adopt one? Let us focus on their character and find out if a ferret is a pet for you.
Do ferrets need constant attention? Should I adopt a ferret?
When looking to adopt a pet, it is only fair to consider your lifestyle and that of your proposed pet. You must be flexible enough to make time for your pet among other needs. Given their attention needs, do you think you should get a pet ferret?
To determine the answer to this question, you must understand the ferret character. What are they like to have around in the house? One thing for sure is that these pets are extremely friendly.
Your ferret will want to join you in whatever you are doing. At the same time, ferrets are funny, mischievous and quite playful. Therefore, I insist that you must give your ferret attention to keep him from acting up.
While ferrets can be nocturnal, they tend to sleep a lot especially if they do not have much to do.
Problems associated with loneliness
The amazing thing is that ferrets will rarely suffer from separation anxiety. Note that I am not ruling out the possibility but then again these creatures are not as neurotic as cats or dogs. This makes them a great pet to keep, especially for people who have to work and live alone. Your pet ferret is going to be okay, for as long as he has something keeping him busy, for the entire day.
What’s more? Ferrets are quiet animals and therefore you will not have any trouble with your neighbors about excessing vocalization. Your neighbor may not even know that you keep a pet in your house.
And because ferrets live in cages, they are easier to manage. Your pet ferret will not keep destroying your furniture but he might steal your keys and hide them.
If you are a new ferret owner, I advise you to refrain from outdoor exercises. Their mischievous nature makes them escape artists. I mean, you do not want to lose your ferret outdoors. It puts their lives in danger as they could be preyed on by larger animals.
How to show attention to your ferret
Having understood the nature and character of ferrets, showing attention to them must be in your daily schedule. But how exactly do you show him attention?
As with every other pet, you must keep your ferret busy. Purchase several toys for your ferret to play with, even when you are away from home. These might include tunnels, food dispensing toys or even stuffed animals.
Your ferret is going to fall in love with his toys. Most of them tend to be very protective of their favorite toys. Now, tunnels make good toys because he gets stimulated as he explores around.
Understand that ferrets are burrowers and therefore tunnels will provide the stimulation he requires.
Besides, ferrets also enjoy squeaky toys that will attract their attention. These are also great for training, which we are going to discuss later on in this article.
Ferrets also enjoy digging, as I suggested above. You may get a sandbox for him to dig whenever he feels like. Because your ferret will spend most of his life in his cage, I urge you to buy different types of toys and also watch out for the damaged ones.
As with dogs, your pet ferret will also enjoy playing with a ball. This is an exciting idea because you can join in and play with him. After all, you remain your ferret’s preferred toy. He will enjoy chasing the ball and rolling it on the floor.
Play with your ferret
While buying toys is an essential part of paying attention to your ferret, you must also set aside some time to play with your ferret. As I have mentioned above, this is going to be the best way to engage and bond with your ferret.
For this reason, you must also remember to buy toys that you can play together. Above, I mentioned that a ferret will enjoy chasing around his ball.
Other games that you can play with him include tug-of-war. You can purchase the tug or use a towel in its place. Use the squeaky toy to get your ferret’s attention. Raise the tug above his head and he will grab it in his mouth.
Let him pull and pull back gently. This is a stimulating game for your ferret. Also, you can let him chase you around a ferret-proofed area of the house. They love this game and it is both mentally and physically stimulating.
Tricks to train your ferret
There is no better way to show attention to your ferret than spending some quality time with him. However, since we cannot just chill on the sofa with them, training them a couple of tricks is always a good move. Furthermore, everyone wants a pet who can learn a few basics.
Without much hesitation, I am going to outline the two basic pieces of training that are exciting to both you and your ferret.
The ‘beg’ for treat command
This is one of the common commands most ferret owners go for. It is a courteous way of requesting a treat. An untrained ferret will jump up and down while trying to grab the treat from your hands. If you want to change that, then roll up your sleeves and let the training begin.
This is a basic and very simple command to train. You need to hold a treat in your hand and place it just right above his head. The smell of the treatment is going to get his attention. As he tries to reach the treat, raise it a little higher until he sits on his hind limbs as you tell him to ‘beg’.
Only then can you present the treat for your ferret as a reward. Also, you may use verbal praise to positively reinforce this trick. You will need to repeat this for a couple of days until he can beg for a treat on your command.
Train your ferret to roll over
The ‘roll-over’ trick is a little difficult than the ‘beg’ command, in terms of training. It could take you a couple of weeks before your ferret learns how to roll over on your command. The important thing is to remain consistent and patient during this process.
To begin training, ensure that your ferret is lying down. Hold a treat and show it to him while slowly moving it to the side of his head. Now, some ferrets stop here. You could have his attention all along until he has to turn his head too much and you lose him.
To avoid such, I insist that ferret owners train their pets on how to roll over in stages. If he won’t keep following the treatment, it is time to reward him. Offer him the treat for turning in the first place.
Then resume the training until he turns all the way. Use the phrase ‘roll-over’ as soon as your ferret starts turning his head. Repeat the whole process until your ferret learns how to roll-over.
Getting a pet means you now have one more responsibility in your life. Even though ferrets are calm but it does not mean that they do not need our attention. You must set aside some time to play with your ferret as well as bond with him.
We have looked at some of the most engaging games you may engage in with your ferret. The goal is to provide mental and physical stimulation. At the same time, you must provide as many toys as you can to keep him busy when he is not sleeping. Failure to show attention to your ferret could lead to a bored and unhappy pet.