Although ferrets sleep for up to 18 hours a day, they never seem to run out of energy when they are awake. They are curious, playful, fun-loving animals that require attention and time out of their caged habitat for exercise. Ferrets need both mental and physical stimulation, which you can offer by engaging in gameplay with your pet. Here are 10 fun games that your ferret would love to play with you and/or any other people in your household.
How to Play With a Ferret
The truth is that it does not take much coaxing to get a ferret to play. Ferrets will make games out of any situation that they find themselves in when they are feeling frisky. So, all it takes is free time, maybe an accessory or two, and a willingness to get silly with your ferret in order to enjoy a gameplay session with them.
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10 Games to Play With Your Ferret:
1. Engage in an Exciting Chases
Ferrets are fast and they like to run. So, why not teach your pet ferret how to play chase? Start by chasing your ferret as they run around the house. Once you catch up and “tag” them, encourage them to follow you around the house. When they catch up with you, turn around and chase after them again. Eventually, your ferret will get a hang of the game without any encouragement from you.
2. Go Tunneling
Most ferrets enjoy exploring tight spaces where their options are limited because they see the experience as a challenge. You may notice that your ferret gets excited when you put your covers over them on the bed and they must find their way out. To provide your ferret with excitement and mental stimulation, you can enjoy tunneling time together anywhere in your home. Just place a cardboard shipping tube, a box, or a paper bag on the ground, and put a small treat inside. Then, put your ferret inside, so they can explore and snack before finding their way out of the container and back to you.
3. Control a Stick Toy
You can use a stick toy made for cats to engage in play with your ferret. Ferrets love chasing after hanging feathers, balls, and toys. You can walk around your house with the stick toy in your hand and expect your ferret to follow you around, trying to get whatever is hanging from the end of the stick.
Image Credit: Couperfield, Shutterstock
4. Create a Maze
Challenge your ferret with a maze in the living room for extra excitement and mental stimulation during the day. Use cardboard boxes as maze walls, and place them in a way that creates multiple paths. One should be free of obstacles and take your ferret to the end of the maze, where a treat can be found. Place your ferret at the beginning of the maze, and encourage them to move through. Once your ferret gets started, they should have no problem finishing the maze.
5. Utilize Electronic Toys
Electronic toys like remote control cars and walking dolls can become fast friends with your ferret. Drive a remote-control car around your house, and watch your ferret chase it, jump on it, and try to wrestle with it. Your ferret will likely follow and try to engage with any electronic toys that you play with around it. Try different things to see how your ferret reacts to each one. Some may be more exciting, while others are more challenging.
6. Invest in a Trampoline
Believe it or not, ferrets are awesome at jumping on trampolines. If you put a small exercise trampoline on the floor, your ferret should go right to it and jump on. Once they’re on the trampoline, all it takes is a bit of movement to realize that jumping would be fun, and your ferret should be getting air in no time.
7. Start a Tug-of-War Fight
Just like dogs, ferrets enjoy engaging in tug-of-war occasionally. Gather a shoestring or a short, thin rope, then hold one end of the rope in your hand. Toss the other end toward your ferret until they grab on, then lightly tug on the rope until your ferret starts tugging back. You can win the game sometimes, but it is a good idea to let your pet win whenever possible!
8. Do Some Dancing
Sometimes, all it takes is a radio to get your ferret moving. When a song that you are listening to comes on, start dancing with your ferret in your arms. Once you are both feeling the rhythm, put your ferret down and encourage them to keep dancing with you. You might be surprised at how much your pet likes to wiggle their bodies and heads along with the music.
9. Make a Sandbox
Because ferrets love to dig, providing them with a sandbox to play in should ensure hours of adventure at any given time. Build a small sandbox in a large, caged habitat outside, and then introduce your ferret to the space. After investigating the sandbox, your ferret should jump inside and start digging away. Be aware that you will likely have to occasionally replace the sand as it gets dug out.
10. Play Peek-a-Boo
When you want to lounge on the couch, but your feisty ferret is making it impossible, engage in a game of peek-a-boo. You can play while hanging out on the couch and entertain your ferret without sacrificing your comfort. Just put your hands in front of your face, call your ferret’s name until you get their attention, then yell “peek-a-boo” as you uncover your face. This should excite your ferret and keeps their attention away from jumping all over you and disrupting your rest.
Try all the gameplay options listed here to see which your ferret enjoys the most. Aim for at least an hour of hands-on gameplay together every day to keep your beloved pet happy and healthy for a lifetime. Which of the games listed here interests you the most, and which do you think your ferret will prefer? Do you know of any games that ferret owners can try with their pets that are not listed here? Let us know your thoughts and recommendations in our comments section.