Ferrets are incredibly intelligent, exceedingly flexible and can be obsessively determined which, when combined makes containing them to a single area, whether a room in a house or an outdoor enclosure an ongoing and often entertaining battle.
When introducing a ferret to a new area, take your time to think of any possible escape routes and dangerous items you do not want your ferrets accessing and then double check they are made safe. Always supervise your ferret the first time it is in a new area and adjust as necessary. Review your ferret proofing regularly, they will learn and adapt over time, just because it held them before doesn’t mean it always will. Also, a new ferret brings a new set of challenges and new skills!
Escape artists: If there is somewhere you don’t want them to go they will make it their mission to get there. As a result of this ferrets are very good escape artists which is why we highly recommend that all ferrets are microchipped.
Small gaps: When building barriers and enclosures be aware that they can squeeze through very small gaps. Mesh and any other gaps you don’t want them to get through should be no larger than 1″ square. As some small jills, kits and micros can get stuck in 1″ mesh, we recommend 1/2″ by 1/2″.
Climbing: While not the most agile of climbers or jumpers they are very enthusiastic and will gladly fling themselves at the target of their interest. This may extend to climbing cages or bookshelves in order to jump across to a desired table or even over a barrier. Also, be sure not to leave anything that could be used as a launching point near a barrier. Ferrets will happily move items many times their body weight in order to use it to achieve their aims.
Outdoors pens: In outdoor enclosures if ferrets can find a way out they will. Ensure all mesh is minimum 19 gauge welded mesh. Chicken wire can be easily broken by an enthusiastic ferret. Ferrets are also very good at digging. Except for short periods of time exercise pens should not be located on grass and should be regularly checked for digging holes around the edge and relocated as needed. If you wish to have a more natural enclosure that allows them do dig there needs to be some form of solid base beneath the digging area or concrete boards sunk deep into the ground. Be warned, ferrets have been known to dig down as much as four foot!