Area of Concern
Appliances—washers, dryers, stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators
Exposure to electrical wires and moving parts, as well as entrapment inside a machine. Ferrets have been known to fall asleep in the laundry and end up in the washer or dryer. They also have crawled into refrigerators and stoves while the door was open and been trapped inside.
Seal all holes larger than 1 inch. Lower appliances to the floor and block access from all sides. Always check inside refrigerators, dishwashers, and stoves before closing the door or running the appliance. Examine clothing before placing it in the washer or dryer. If possible, restrict access to the laundry room at all times.
Entrapment, leading to starvation and dehydration
Seal all holes larger than 1 inch where ductwork passes through a wall or floor.
Enclose railings or restrict access to only the lower level of the home.
Use a plastic wire protector. Apply bitter-tasting spray to discourage chewing behavior.
Open doors or doors with gaps
Access to outdoors, where the ferret may become lost or injured
Locate and possibly restrain ferrets before opening doors. Attach a door sweeper or weather stripping to the bottom of a door with a gap.
Exposure to cleaning supplies, medications, and other toxic materials; entrapment
Secure doors using sturdy, childproof locks. Seal any openings between the cabinet and floor or baseboard.
Falls; access to outdoors
Ensure screens are free of tears and fit securely. Because ferrets can tear holes in screens, it is best to keep windows closed.
Crushing injuries when position is changed; entrapment in wires or clamps
Remove from home or modify to a stationary chair.
Couches, overstuffed chairs, rocking chairs
Suffocation or serious injury from being sat on; being killed by chair rockers
Supervise ferrets around couches, chairs, and similar furniture. Staple a carpet protector or sheet pulled tight to the underside of the couch, or consider replacing it with a futon. Inspect cushions before sitting.
Possible poisoning hazard
Remove from the home or place out of reach. (Remember that ferrets are excellent climbers.)
Box spring mattresses
Possible crush injury when someone lies on the bed
Staple heavy fabric pulled tight or a plastic carpet protector to the bottom of the box spring.
Crush injury while hiding or tunneling underneath
Remove rugs or be careful when walking on them.
Spongy, chewable household objects, including pencil erasers, balloons, Styrofoam, rubber bands, door stops, and tennis shoes
Intestinal blockage, choking
Keep items out of reach of ferrets, either locked up or in areas that they cannot reach. Do not overlook waste in trash cans. Keep phone numbers for your local veterinarian and poison control hotlines accessible (ASPCA Poison Control Center, 888-426-4435; Pet Poison Helpline, 855-764-7661).
Bathrooms—toilets, bathtubs, sinks
Keep toilet lids down, and possibly use a child lock. Do not leave tubs or sinks filled with water unattended.