Looking Good for Santa!

I need to take a break hence I stuff certain ferrets in a gift bag and leave them under the tree for Santa!  I have spent the whole morning changing litter boxes and putting fresh hammocks and blankies in all the cages.

Next on the agenda was nail trimming time! Nail clipping is easy so long as you have your trusty bottle of Ferretone.  I have a special Ferretone stained towel that I set on the counter. I dribble some Ferretone on the tummy area and while the ferret is busy taking care of his Ferretone addiction; I do the nails.  I used to sit on the floor and do it until I got fed up  chasing down the Ferretone bottle as it thumped down the hall behind a ferret; leaving an enticing trail that the other ferrets out playing were skidding through!

Now you would be thinking that bath time was next so that everyone would be sweet smelling for Santa.  The first year I had ferrets, I bathed them every 3rd month. Then I smartened up and to the ferrets immense relief I only give them a bath in the Spring when they are shedding their winter coat and again in the late fall when they are shedding their Summer coat. The bedding gets changed every second day or third at the very latest.  I stopped having itchy ferrets and my ferrets and home smelled much better.  The ferrets were over compensating the oil production when I was stripping their coats every 3rd month.  The oily residue from their coats is deposited on the blanket/hammock and that is changed often enough that the smell does not have a chance to make stinkies. ** To keep their bedding smelling fresh and clean always add one cup of Vinegar to the wash water. The vinegar sterilizes and deodorizes the bedding!

Back to wanting to let Santa have the brats.  I figured I was all done, litter boxes washed and refilled, fresh hammocks and bedding and everyone had a manicure – time for a well deserved cup of coffee. I ran downstairs to put the washing into the dryer. Upon my return (sob) I discovered Dwight, Snip, Ginger and Peaches rolling, yes, rolling in honey!!!  I do not know which one opened the pantry, I do not know which one pushed the honey off the second shelf or the little bugger that got the tuperware lid off; all I know is that I had four very sticky ferrets licking as fast as their little tongues could go before mommy took the honey away! Okay, I can understand licking the spilled honey, but weasel war dancing through it!!! That was done just to spite mommy!

So, I put all four in my soaker tub and let them play/get clean. Have you ever tried to towel dry your ferret?  Do you know what wet ferrets do? I had four psycho ferrets jumping and bouncing and – nuts how can you stay mad when you are almost peeing yourself laughing.

So, I have four very tired, fluffy, clean fuzzbutts all ready for Santa. I hear whispering coming from the shelter room. I think the others want to get in on the fun – they honey is now on the top shelf and I am heading off to Wal Mart to buy baby cupboard locks!

here are the 4 brats (no, I was too busy grabbing ferrets to take a picture of them coated in honey, these portrait shots will have to do)

Ginger and Snip looking so innocent

Ginger and Snip looking so innocent

Dwight - I live with 3 girls, who's idea do you think this was?

Dwight – I live with 3 girls, who’s idea do you think this was?

I'm an old, old lady, I would never be naughty (tehe)

I’m an old, old lady, I would never be naughty (tehe)

2014 Ferret Halloween Party

Human Games:

Musical Pumpkins

Witchy Ring Toss

Suck it Up Foamies

Ferret Games:

Best Begging Pose

Paper sack escape

Shape Shifter Escape

Ferret Costume Parade

Sock it to ya

The Ferret Party was a Howl!

The party started with Musical Pumpkins. There were some pumpkins that slid across the floor “accidently” and in the end Kevin was left standing on the last pumpkin!


Our next game was Paper Sack Escape to get the ferrets going. Each of the ferrets got stuffed into paper bags and on command the bags were placed on the floor. Some ferrets investigated the inside of the bag, one furry decided to go to sleep. Chantal and Kevin tied desperately to stuff their 4 ferrets; Oscar, Borshie, Fargo and Charlie all at the same time. With a little help they got stuffed! There was a nose to nose finish but Bella blasted out of the paper sack to win.


We then played Longest Begging Pose. Rosalie, Meeka, Sarah, Borshie, Oscar and Charlie had no interest in begging for Bandit treats or Ferretone thank you very much! We only beg at home.


Deb’s Molly has no pride and begs daily. His time of 4.3 seconds was the best time with Chantal’s Fargo at 3.6 seconds and Sharon’s Sarah coming in third with 2.42 seconds.

We let the ferrets have a break and the humans played Witch Hat Ring Toss. Sounds easy, right? Well some of us couldn’t even get one ring on the hat! Kevin, Adrienne, Zoe, Melissa all scored one ring so their names went into the hat and Melissa won.


We woke up the ferrets to play Pick a Hole. The long narrow box had 3 round holes; each numbered. The ferret was inserted into the box and their owner had to choose which hole the ferret would stick his nose out of. The results were hilarious and some of us should learn from this and never gamble!


Turnip and Radish (Zoe) Belle (Melissa & Dan) Zipper (Colleen) Meeka (Sharon) Oscar (Chantal & Kevin) were on the same page! Their names went into a hat and Zoe’s Radish won.


We decided to do the Costume Parade before all the ferrets decided they didn’t want to play anymore!


Sharon’s Sarah and Meeka came as road kill


Zoë’s Radish came as a bat, Turnip was a flower in a plant pot and Zoë looked lovely as a Cat-meow


Dan & Melissa’s old sweetie Belle wore Bunny Ears


Dan & Mellissa’s spunky Sara finally agreed to be the pumpkin but she was hoping for a frownie face


Bridget’s Bella and Jace joined forces with Bella as an M & M and Jace as a Candy Kiss


Colleen fought with her furries and sort of won when her boy Baby was finally turned into a baby and her little girl submitted to being Mrs. Skeleton


Deb’s Molly with his ongoing gender issues, rode in as Godiva on his pony

If I missed some ferrets it’s only because we were all laughing so hard, we forgot to take notes!



It was time for another human game – Suck It Up Foamies. We had a bucket of foam Halloween cut outs; skeletons, pumpkins, Zorro mask, witches and lots more. Some had sparkles on them (note to self remove the sparkly ones so we don’t kill someone next year) this game sounded so easy. Using a straw, suck up a foamy and move it to the bucket; moving as many as you can in 30 seconds. Most of us made 5foamies, Kevin and Melissa managed 8 foamies but our Danial using some real fancy toe dancing sucked up 9 foamies to win! Kevin won for most sparkles sucked down his wind pipe or so he hacked at us!


We ended our party with a nice quiet game. Put 4 homemade ferret socks on your ferret and keep them on for one second. You would think that pooped out ferrets would be too tired to keep yanking one paw then another pulling the sock off. Lots of laughter and some mild cursing and Kevin with one of their brood kept the socks on for one second! You all have one year to practice “socking” your ferret!


Andy and Adrienne had a huge pile of leaves for the furries to play in. Molly was the first to dive in!

There was a lot to eat with lots of contributions to the snack table. A special thanks to Andy and Adrienne’s son who saved Deb’s bacon when she forgot the pop. Rhys donated a 12 pack of Coke.

Overall, everyone had a great time and all the ferrets (and humans) went home totally played out!

Another use for Duck Tape……………

As a shelter mom for over 15 years, I sometimes puff out my chest and brag to my ferrets that I have outsmarted them and everything is ferret proofed! Ha Ha I snort at them.

God has a way of taking you down a peg even if it is only ferrets you are being smug with!

In my defense, I have a sinus headache today, but, really, that is no excuse for letting my guard down.

My mornings start with letting certain ferrets out to play.  The old ones come out first as they do a couple of tours and then find the most comfy spot to curl up and go to sleep. Everyone joins me in the kitchen for some Ferretone. *Ferretone discontinued in 2020, shelter is now using Salmon Oil cut with canola Oil.

The Ferretone bottle always leaks at little after you puncture that titsy bitsy tiny pin hole in the cap.  Ferretone does a lovely job of staining your clothes, so I have taken to wrapping a folded paper towel around the bottle;  securing the paper towel with an elastic.  I have done so for years.

New Ferretone Bottle

New Ferretone Bottle

drip containment tools!

drip containment tools!

Ferretone bottle ready for use

Ferretone bottle ready for use

so, as I was saying, I have my seniors group out playing. Molly, Weasel, Finny, Mariko, Star, Rosie, Jnyx, JJ, and Bee or 9 fuzzbutts crowding around to have some Ferretone.  After an hour, everyone got put back to bed and I let out Dwight and his harem.  They came bouncing into the kitchen and I reached for the Ferretone bottle to give them all a treat.

The paper towel slid down the bottle; elastic gone!!! No,no, no  elastic causes blockages! Oh my God, 9 ferrets, which one ate it. Calm down, don’t panic!!! Scoop Dwight and his women and put them in the bedroom for now.

I am now back in the kitchen on hands and knees inspecting the floor. Please God, let me find the elastic, all of it or I will be dosing 9 ferrets with hairball laxative and praying over litter boxes.

Far corner, under the cabinet, eureka! The elastic and it’s all there; the broken ends match up! Deep breath, a few tears of relief and one heart attack avoided!

heart attack avoided, elastic is all there

heart attack avoided, elastic is all there

I use the Ferretone bottle 10 times a day at least.  How am I doing to handle the bottle without getting Ferretone all over me and my clothes? Light bulb comes on, secure the paper towel with something safer!!

Ferretone bottle duct taped up the wazoo

Ferretone bottle duct taped up the wazoo

The duct tape worked for a short while and then one day, slowly slid down! Damn, the oil loosened the tape.

Plan B, paper towel, elastic and then duct tape the bottle. The whole thing will stay on longer and when it does start to let go, the elastic is inside and can’t drop off without me knowing.

paper towel, elastic and duct tape over it all. Take that you drippy bottle

paper towel, elastic and duct tape over it all. Take that you drippy bottle

So, yes, I used duct tape.  I wonder if the company would like to know about my latest use of their product!

I went and kissed all my seniors and thanked them for not eating the elastic. Mommy owes them big time!

The Long Way Home

As a shelter mom, I hope that every adoption is perfect and that the ferret(s) are going into their forever home.

In reality, life can throw us curve balls and the adoption breaks down.  The MFA has a clause in the adoption form which states in part that the ferret(s) must be returned to the shelter if the person can no longer look after them. I check out Kijiji regularly for ferrets up for sale, I am checking to see if one of my adopted ferrets has shown up on Kijiji.

Approximately 2 years ago, two very special girls that I had adopted to a good home showed up on Kijiji.

Numerous attempts were made to the ferret owner to get him to comply with the legal adoption form he had signed.  I was finally told the ferrets were going to a family member. Even my offer of a full refund fell on deaf ears. I was heartbroken and dearly hoped that they were in fact going to a family member and would be well cared for.  I confess that it ate at me and I kept my eye open for them on Kijiji but I am not on the site every day.

About two weeks ago I was on Kijiji and I noticed two ferrets for sale. The ad caught my attention because these two girls were described as spayed but not descented! The pictures took my breath away.  They were my two special girls and they were back on Kijiji again! My heart broke to think how many times they had been passed from hand to hand.

To make a long story short, I contacted the ad and through e-mails I was able to prove that these special girls had come from my shelter and that I in fact had their mothers, these two girls were replicas of their mothers.  The couple had acquired them off of Kijiji but the girls had not settled in as they had hoped and they were looking to re-home them. This wonderful couple was gracious enough to give them back to me.  I made a donation in their name and purchased them to show that I would never re-home them.  These special girls were going to live out their lives with me and their mothers. This couple was rewarded with  two year free membership for their kindness, for being true ferret people and saying what was best for the girls was the most important thing!

There seemed to be some recognition when the mothers and daughters met.  However, one of the daughter’s Rico was not in good health. I suspected Cardiomyopathy and started her on Lasix.  The other ferret Yippy was a plump girl, bright eyes, good coat but she would come out and do the “flat” ferret.  Clearly all this re-homing over the last month had taken it’s toll on her.

Today Yippy is back to being a normal ferret in that she will run through the tubes and hide the stuffies.  She will not go far from Rico and when Rico puts herself to bed, Yippy will drop everything to go and cuddle up next to her.  Because of Rico’s heart issue I could not follow through with my plan to have the mothers and daughters in the same cage.  That is my long range plan once I have Rico stable.  I do let them all out together for short periods of time to interact.  I am very worried that should I loose Rico to heart failure, Yippy may follow with a broken heart! I really want her to have a strong connection with her Mom and Aunty.

As of today Rico is holding her own.  The fluid is gone from her abdomen but she is not eating much.  I have started her on duck soup and that is not going well.  I have to balance forcing the duck soup with her heart issue!  Fortunately Rico loves Ferretvite and I am hoping the Ferretvite will stimulate her appetite.  Rico is really not doing well so folks, please send your prayers her way.

Sadly, my Rico lost her battle before I could finish this post, rest in peace sweet baby. I got to hold you and love you – you came home.

Ginger & Snip, the moms

Ginger & Snip, the moms



Ferret Proofing

One of the most important things you can do to safeguard your ferret is to ensure there is absolutely no way for them to escape to the outer world or into openings in your home.

Unlike cats and dogs, ferrets are unable to survive on their own and generally die within a few days without human intervention.

If your ferret should happen to escape, you should be prepared to bring their favorite squeaky toy, treats and possibly another ferret in your search for him. The odds are not with you, but it is possible, see a recent news report of two lost ferrets recovered in the forest after four day search.

In addition, you should always have a recent photo of your ferret(s) which you could use to produce fliers to help identify him as a house pet, many people do not realize ferrets are domesticated!

Domesticated ferrets can be very social and all around awesome

Hanging out

Don’t underestimate the abilities of a ferret, they are more than capable of getting into or under the smallest of openings and able to move heavy things outs of their way. Ferret proofing is not a one time job, it is a constant endeavour that our monsters prove time and again.

Equally important is to ensure there is nothing dangerous or poisonous (especially house plants, ashtrays and potpourri) within their reach as ferrets are more than capable of jumping and climbing to get to items that catch their attention. As a side note ferrets love to dig through the dirt of your favourite houseplant, so for the sake of keeping your place clean and the plant safe, these are better left out of reach.

Common household items that are usually over looked in protecting your carpet shark are; the buttons on your remote control which they can swallow, parts of a toy they can chew off and swallow and the infamous styrofoam packing peanuts. All of these items can cause serious life threatening health problems (blockage requiring surgery) to a ferret which can easily be avoided.

Due to the size and endless curiosity of the ferret, they will always find new ways and new territories to explore. Prior to bringing home your baby it is vital to their safety and well-being that there be no openings they can get into or under.

The best way to accomplish this is to lay on the floor in every room and search out spaces, openings, etc. they can get into and close them up. This applies to cabinets which they can open, you certainly don’t want your ferret to come into contact with any dangerous chemicals, so child proofing is strongly recommended.

As previously mentioned, ferret proofing is not a one shot deal, you will always need to keep an eye on your ferret as they show you new territory they can get in to. The following list is a good starting point for ferret proofing, but is not totally comprehensive. You will need to watch your ferret carefully in your own home to truly identify all the ways you need to ferret-proof your home!

1. Appliances

Restrict access to laundry and kitchen if possible. If not, block off around appliances (fridge, stove, dishwasher, washer, dryer, freezers) so that ferrets can’t get under them or into the workings (e.g. where the motor or wires are located). My girl Bandit used to somehow get into the drawer under my stove and stash toys there. Also double check for hiding ferrets before turning appliances on or shutting their doors.


Laundry baskets

Double check the laundry before putting in washer or dryer.

3. Dryer vents

Secure the dryer duct, watch for chewing into the duct or your ferret may use it to get outdoors or into the dryer.

Bandit loves tunnels so I hung a few around their playroom


4. Air ducts

Ensure your ferrets cannot get into the heating/air ducts or they might get stuck, injured, or end up outdoors.

Boxspring mattresses

Securely cover bottom with heavy fabric or wood to prevent ferrets from climbing into the boxspring.


Recliners & Rocking chairs

Always make sure your ferrets are no where near the mechanisms when using recliners or rocking chairs, best bet is not to use them when your ferrets are out.

7. Couches & Chairs

Secure the bottoms to prevent ferrets from getting under and up into the furniture. Also check under the cushions before sitting, to make sure a ferret isn’t napping under them. Bandit essentially created her own city inside my first couch, as I lived alone it was easier to monitor where she was before sitting down, but always be aware.

Using slipcovers will prevent ferrets from burrowing into the cushions. Periodically check couch cushions, furniture, and pillows for signs of chewing.

8. Small spaces

Make sure there are no small spaces through which your ferret could get out of the house or into the walls. Remember, if they can get their heads into a crack, their bodies can usually follow. Especially check around cupboards, plumbing, ducts, doors, etc.

Turnip made a home in a hole under the cupboard

Stash hole

9. Under doors

Watch for large spaces that ferrets can get through. To prevent ferrets from trying to dig out through the carpet under doors, you can place a plastic chairmat (can be trimmed to fit), thin plexiglass, or linoleum under the door.



Make sure any accessible windows are closed when ferrets are out. Ferrets can easily bite through window screens.

11. Toilets

Drowning danger!! Keeping ferrets out of the bathroom is safest overall, but again you never really know, it is best to keep toilet seats down at all times.

Standing water

Similar to toilets, a sink, tub, or even bucket of water poses a drowning risk.

Boys exploring the sink

Boys exploring the sink

13. Cleaning supplies

Most cleaning chemicals are toxic or dangerous to curious ferrets. Keep strictly out of reach.

Ferrets actually enjoy the smell and sometimes taste of soap! Make sure to keep soap and soapy water out of reach of your monsters.

14. Cupboards

Most ferrets will easily get into your cupboards, you can invest in the magnetic type of child proofing locks for cupboards (most of the plastic locks allow the cupboards to open a bit, which is enough for most ferrets to get in).

15. Electrical cords

Just be aware of all cords in your home, some ferrets enjoy chewing. None of my ferrets have given me a problem with this but there are some out there, so always monitor accessible cords and remove any damaged cables.

16. Houseplants

As mentioned above house plants can be annoying to continue cleaning up after, as well as dangerous for your ferret if they try to eat. Do not keep poisonous plants (ferrets will dig in the soil and might chew the plants) and always research when getting a new plant  if they are poisonous to ferrets.

17. Knick-knacks

Make sure breakable or delicate items are out of reach, and there are no heavy items that might fall or be pulled over onto your ferret. Ferrets are basically children, they like mess, noise and getting into what they shouldn’t.

Things like foam, soft rubber or plastic, styrofoam, sponges, rubber bands, pen caps, cotton swabs, fabrics, and so on should be kept out of reach or in separate areas than ferrets play. Remote control buttons are also a favorite target.

18. Bookcases & High Tables

Ferrets like to climb up anything and everything, but often can’t climb down due to their poor eyesight. However often ferrets then try to jump down, even from heights, make sure there is no high furniture to get stuck on.

19. Open railings

Around stairs, balconies, etc. Their poor eyesight might lead them to believe they’re not that high up.

20. Garbage

Securely cover or keep out of reach, this is one of their favourite things to ‘dig’ in.

21. Fans, Space Heaters, Candles, Fireplaces

Keep ferrets away from these to the best of your abilities.

22. Toys

Check periodically to make sure they are not being dismantled and eaten.

Toy time!

Toy time!

Ferret-proofing is an ongoing task, rather than a one-time chore. No matter how thoroughly you ferret-proof, you should still carefully supervise your monsters as you never know what they might try to get into next!

Keep an eye on what your ferrets want to get into, and make adjustments as necessary.