Ferret Cage Setup: 7 Steps to Make their Ideal Habitat

ferret cage setup

Ferrets are playful, energetic, mischievous, curious, and whatnot. To be happy and healthy, they need safe and spacious cages. Their cage should be fun, functional, and stimulating. To provide them with a safe living space, you need to consider a few factors.

Do you have the necessary knowledge about ferret cage setup? Surely, you’re here to know everything including the size and layout of the ferret cage and the suitable location for the cage. We’ll also discuss what necessary items to stock in the cage and about placing toys to keep them active, occupied, and healthy. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that ferrets are messy, so you need to clean their cage regularly to make their habitat properly.

So, let me tell you the steps to make an ideal habitat for your ferret to satisfy his basic needs and keep him busy.

Step 1: Find the Righ Ferret Cage

right ferret cage for your ferret
Image credit: Couperfield, Shutterstock

Buy a Cage of at Least 3 × 2 × 2 ft for 1 Ferret

You should provide your ferrets with enough room to play, eat, sleep, and exercise. Remember that this is just the minimum requirement for the cage size. If you buy a cage larger than 3 × 2 × 2 ft, it’s even better, especially if you can’t let your ferret spend 4 hours outside the cage daily.    

And, if you plan to keep more than one ferret, you should increase each dimension by at least 6 inches for each additional ferret.

For instance, for two ferrets, the cage should be at least 42 inches (3.5 ft) long, 30 inches (2.5ft) wide, and 30 inches (2,5ft) tall.

Buy Cage Designed for Ferrets

To ensure the safety and health of your ferret, you should buy a cage designed for ferrets. Before buying a cage, check the bar spacing because the space between the bars should be 1 inch or less. Otherwise, your ferret may escape from the cage.

The Cage Must Have a Strong Door Latch

Select a cage with a study door latch to prevent your ferret from escaping. But you should check that the door latches when you close it. 

Avoid Cages with Wired Floors

The cage should have a stable, cozy floor. Don’t buy cages with wire flooring since they are unpleasant for ferrets to walk on and could cause their feet to become trapped in the wires. 

Cages with removable floor pans are a common feature of ferret cages, making cleanup easier.

Select a Cage with a Minimum of 2 or 3 Vertical Levels

For your ferret, pick a cage with at least 2 or 3 verticle levels so he can run from level to level using ramps. Remember that ferrets need exercise and running around keeps them busy. Also, a cage with 2 or 3 vertical levels has more space for dining, sleeping, and playing comfortably.

However, find a cage with at least 4 levels if you have 2 or more ferrets, and the elevated platforms must have sturdy flooring.

Step 2: Set Up the Cage in an Ideal Location

ferret drinking water from inside of the cage
Image credit: nike34, Shutterstock

After you pick the right cage for your ferret, you need to find the ideal location to place the cage in your home.

  • Choose a semi-active location in your home to set up the cage because ferrets are social animals and love attention. And you should avoid setting the cage in busy and loud areas to keep them from stressing and let them sleep peacefully. 
  • Make sure there will be lots of fresh air ventilation in the cage.
  • Ferrets are highly sensitive to temperature changes, so you should always maintain the location’s temperature between 50 to 75 degrees F ( 10 to 24 degrees Celsius). Never keep the cage under direct sunlight, particularly in warm weather. 

Step 3: Ensure That Food is Easily Accessible and Secure

Ferrets enjoy pushing and lifting their food bowls, leading to spilling foods. So, make sure the food and water bowls for your ferrets are stable and won’t tip over when you set them inside the cage. Along with that, you also need to ensure that food and water are easily accessible.

To solve both issues, select a location in the cage to place a heavy food dish. Choose a location on any of the levels to make a feeding area. To provide food, you can place a sturdy porcelain bowl or, even better, one that can fasten to the cage’s bars.

And for water, some ferrets, on the other hand, favor utilizing a side-mount water bottle, similar to what you would typically see for rabbits. You should attach multiple water bottles to the cage bars as your ferret will require a constant supply of fresh water, especially when he is running around.

You may also like: Do Ferrets Bite?

Step 4: Create a Comfortable Bedding for Your Ferret

ferret bedding inside the cage
Image credit: Couperfield, Shutterstock

Provide your ferret with comfortable bedding or a hammock to sleep on. You can easily buy a ferret bed or make one. During warmer weather, you can make a bed out of an old T-shirt. And for chilly days, you can use a fleece blanket or sweatshirt scraps to make a bed for your ferret.

Alternatively, you can buy ferret hammocks from pet stores and online, as many ferrets prefer these. But not all ferrets enjoy lounging in hammocks. So to be on the safe side, you can set up both a bed and a hammock.

Provide your ferret with a shelter or hiding place so that it can burrow whenever it gets scared or anxious.

Step 5: Choose an Odor-Controlling Safe Litter

When choosing a litter, you must consider other factors, along with the ability of litters to control the odor that comes from a pet’s bathroom area. If you choose the wrong litter for your ferret, it can lead to many serious health risks.

Low-dust options like those made from corn cob, wood pellets, or recycled paper are the best and most recommended litter for your ferret. Dusty litters irritate the eyes and nasal passages of ferrets. 

You shouldn’t buy the widely available clumping clay cat litters for your ferret because when wet, these litters can stick to ferrets’ paws and cause ingestion as they attempt to clean themselves up. And this clay accumulates in their stomachs over time, posing potentially fatal blockage.

You should also avoid using wood shavings. They may seem safe but often contain essential oils that evaporate when in contact with liquids harmful to your ferret.

Step 6: Add Lots of Toys

ferret playing with toys inside the cage
Image credit: AJStudio Photography, Shutterstock

Because ferrets are playful and active pets, you should provide them with lots of sturdy toys. 

  • It’s better to buy durable, high-quality toys that won’t break easily. You can buy tubes, hard plastic balls, and other ferret toys. And always check the toys and replace them if damaged.
  • Avoid giving your ferret any toys made of fabric or flimsy plastic and hanging toys with long strings to prevent choking hazards, especially when your ferret is left unattended.
  • Adding toys to the cage is not a substitute for quality time with your ferret. Every day try to engage actively and spend at least 2 hours with your pet.

Step 7: Keep the Cage Clean

You should always clean your pet’s cage and accessories to ensure good health.

  • Keep a few minutes allocated every day for some basic cleaning. You should clean the water bottles with a bottle brush, a food dish with mild soap, and clean water.
  • Remove any deposits from the litter, and replace it if it starts to smell or run low.
  • You should use mild disinfecting wipes to clean the flooring on all levels.
  • Do a thorough cleaning once or twice a week.
  • At least once a month, you should do a deep cleaning of the cage. You should Disassemble the cage to clean every crevice. When cleaning, try to keep your ferret in a ferret-friendly room; otherwise, place him in an alternate cage. Before putting the cage back together, give it 24 hours to dry.

Key Takeaways

  • Setting up a ferret cage requires a lot of consideration.
  • The bigger the ferret cage setup, the better it is.
  • Place the cage where there is enough fresh air, where the temperature is between 50 to 75 degrees F, and away from direct sunlight.
  • Provide food and water in a secured and accessible way.
  • To keep your pet busy and active, keep many toys in the cage.
  • Provide your ferret with a cozy bedroom where he will love to sleep and burrow.
  • You should be careful while choosing litter for your pet.
  • Keep your pet’s habitat always clean.
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