We all know that ferret proofing is very important for your ferrets safety. The health of your ferret is in your hands as far as keeping your house a safe place for them to play. There have been lots of serious health problems and deaths when ferrets do not have the proper supervision or when a house is not properly ferret proofed. And when you think your home is ferret proofed they will find something to prove you wrong. Ferret proofing is an ongoing learning process so let's try to inform ferret owners to the best of our knowledge what we know.
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.
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). 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.
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.
Air ducts - ensure your ferrets cannot get into the heating/air ducts or they might get stuck, injured, or end up outdoors.
Box spring mattresses - securely cover bottom with heavy fabric or wood to prevent ferrets from climbing into the box spring where they can get stuck or injured.
Recliners - always make sure your ferrets are no where near the mechanisms when using recliners, or better yet, do not use them when your ferrets are out.
Rocking chairs - it is best to avoid these when ferrets are out.
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. Using slipcovers will prevent ferrets from burrowing into the cushions.
Periodically check couch cushions, furniture, and pillows for signs of chewing.
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.
Under doors - watch for large spaces that ferrets can get through. Also, to prevent ferrets from trying to dig out through the carpet under doors, you can place a plastic chair mat (can be trimmed to fit), thin plexiglass, or linoleum under the door (but watch for chewing on these).
Windows - make sure any accessible windows are closed when ferrets are out. Ferrets can easily bite through window screens.
Toilets - drowning danger. Keeping ferrets out of the bathroom is safest overall, but definitely keep toilet seats down. Ferrets may try to get a drink and fall in.
Standing water - similar to toilets, a sink, tub, or even bucket of water poses a drowning risk.
Cleaning supplies - most cleaning chemicals are toxic or dangerous to curious ferrets. Keep strictly out of reach.
Cupboards - most ferrets will easily get into your cupboards. 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).
Electrical cords - encase in plastic tubing to prevent chewing.
Houseplants - do not keep poisonous plants, and keep other plants out of reach (ferrets will dig in the soil and might chew the plants)
Knick-knacks - make sure breakable or delicate items are out of reach, and that there are no heavy items that might fall or be pulled over onto your ferret.
Bookcases and High Tables - ferrets like to climb up and on things, but often can't climb down. However, their lack of fear will often make them try jumping even from heights, make sure there is no high furniture to get stuck on.
Open railings - around stairs etc.; lack of fear may lead to falls
Garbage - securely cover or keep out of reach.
Chewing and Ingesting - watch for things that your ferret might chew and swallow - especially things like foam, soft rubber or plastic, styrofoam, sponges, rubber bands, pen caps, cotton swabs, fabrics, and so on. Remote control buttons are a favorite target.
Fans, Space Heaters, Candles, Fireplaces - keep ferrets away from these.
Toys - check periodically to make sure they are not being dismantled and eaten.