Ferret owners know that keeping them entertained is one of the most challenging yet rewarding parts of living with one. These mustelids are highly intelligent and incredibly agile, with their most active periods being early morning and evening. If you’re looking for something new for your ferrets to experience, a DIY playground can be just what you need.
DIY playgrounds offer a unique setup for your ferret, which can be added to and changed around as often as you need to keep things fresh and exciting. We scoured the web to bring you eight fantastic DIY ferret playgrounds with something to suit any level of DIY knowledge and skill. No matter what you’re looking for, we have a plan that’ll keep your ferret (and you!) entertained for hours below.
The 8 DIY Ferret Playground Ideas
1. DIY Ferret House With a Running Wheel by Human Doing
|Materials:||MDF board, PBC tube, carpenter’s glue, nails, plexiglass, plywood, metal mesh, primer, duct tape, filler, serving tray bearing, carpet, contact cement, flexible tubing, acrylic hinges, silicone caulk, handle|
|Tools:||Table saw, track saw, clamps, set square, jig saw, sander/sandpaper|
This is a more complex DIY plan, but the stunning habitat is worth the effort! An MDF board cut to size makes up the bulk of this plan, but you’ll need several power tools. You could probably use hand tools for many steps of this plan, but the effort and construction time would be increased tenfold if you do.
A carpeted running wheel is what really impressed us with this plan, and the ingenious use of a serving tray bearing provides the perfect smooth-running experience for even the most active ferret. If you’re handy with your tools and have the space for the finished product in your home, this combined house and playpen is an excellent project.
2. DIY Cardboard Pet House by Ferret Tails
|Materials:||Cardboard, Elmers/non-toxic glue, fabric, tape|
On the opposite end of the scale, this plan uses discarded cardboard pieces and a little fabric to create a multi-layered playground for your ferrets. This is a very basic build using materials you probably already have around, so it’s an excellent option for those with less time on their hands. Non-toxic glue is an important distinction here, as ferrets will dig and gnaw at anything they can if they feel it’s an obstacle! This plan can be changed according to your available space, and extra tiers, ramps, and holes can be added to customize the design.
3. DIY Ferret Racetrack by DIY Daddy
|Materials:||Gutter extenders, party mix containers, PVC piping, white duct tape, hot glue, wall fasteners|
|Tools:||Glue gun, cutting implement, scissors, drill|
The DIY ferret racetrack is an excellent and clever design using PVC pipes and gutter extenders. Because ferrets are burrowing creatures with long, flexible bodies, they enjoy tunnels and tubes. You can follow this DIY and attach the pipes to your walls for a truly unique playground.
Make sure to be mindful of steepness and angles for safety, and plan out what you want the finished tunnel to look like if you deviate from the design in the DIY. While this DIY looks impressively complex when finished, it’s fairly easy to put together. Remember to place small air holes throughout the tunnels to provide adequate ventilation.
4. Ferret Fortress by Friendly Ferret
|Tools:||Craft knife, scissors, measuring tape, pencil|
This DIY is another cardboard masterpiece that’ll allow you to flex your creative muscles. This design is for a sprawling ferret fortress, which uses simple cardboard boxes and tape. The beauty of the design is that it can be customized to fit your home and your ferret’s needs.
If you have a whole group of ferrets, the expansion possibilities are endless. Make sure to supervise your ferret’s playtime in cardboard playgrounds since ferrets are avid diggers who’ll eventually shred and poke holes in them. Escapees are not fun to catch! Although it’s cheap, easy to construct, and customizable, your creation won’t last as long as some that use sturdier building materials.
5. Ferret Ball pit by Imgur
|Materials:||PVC piping, ball pit balls, foam play mat, netting, zip ties, foam insulation|
|Tools:||Scissors, utility knife|
While initially intended as a DIY project for children, this ball pit idea is perfect for containing wily ferrets. The plan calls for PVC piping that fits together with no additional adhesive, which is ideal. However, the foam insulation that covers the top of the ball pit may prove irresistible to curious mouths so keep an eye out for any damage!
This plan uses 2,000 ball pit balls, but you could get away with using less for your ferrets; adding additional toys or creating your own could also turn the ball pit into a complete ferret playpen! Ensure you inspect the mesh daily for any signs of wear, and don’t leave your ferrets playing inside unsupervised.
6. Tunnel System by diyferret.com
|Materials:||PVC pipes/dryer tubes/flexible plastic pipes, cardboard boxes, pipe connectors, duct tape, wire, zip ties|
These DIY ferret tunnel ideas explain the merits and drawbacks of the different types of tubing used to create them. The basic premise is the same, but you can make a custom tunnel system by mixing and matching different types of pipe.
This DIY also makes use of simple “dead ends” in the tunnel system to encourage natural behavior and increase enrichment value since the tunnels are mounted to walls. Ventilation holes are essential for longer systems, so drilling them periodically along the piping is ideal.
7. Ferret Funhouse by TuMan and Matchstick
|Materials:||Cardboard, hot glue, fabric, natural rope|
|Tools:||Stanley knife, set square, glue gun|
This incredibly inventive DIY plan was designed with kittens in mind, but ferrets will enjoy it just as much! Natural rope and cleverly placed levels turn the cardboard boxes and layers into a true funhouse.
Tubing or toys can also be added to this DIY to connect levels, extend the funhouse, or connect it to another. This idea is an easy one that looks very well put together when finished, but remember to be on the lookout for any wear and tear like other cardboard structures.
8. Simple Soda Box Paradise by PetDIYs.com
|Materials:||Soda boxes, duct tape|
The last DIY we have on our list is the most simplistic but can provide hours of fun! This soda box plan uses strategically placed soda boxes and lined-up holes to create a winding tunnel system several layers tall.
It is another highly customizable plan that’s simple to follow at any skill level, and it only uses two materials! Just make sure you keep an eye on your mischievous ferrets when they’re running about, and ensure you spot any wear and tear they might cause. This includes urine in the corners or hidden food stashes!
Why Do Ferrets Like Running in Tunnels?
Ferrets have long, slinky bodies that are incredibly flexible and mobile. They naturally reside in long, winding burrows, so their long and low body shape comes in very useful for traversing tunnels. Ferrets love to climb, so introducing a tunnel system for your ferret with shallow inclines can help mimic their natural environment in the wild. Tunnels and tubes can also help your ferret feel secure, as they spend a lot of time underground in their natural habitat.
By providing your ferret with tunnels and tubes in their playground, you’re allowing them to display natural behaviors. This is very important for enrichment; placing a tasty treat at the ends of tunnels or placing dead-ends can further enrich their playtimes. Just don’t forget about fresh food they may have stored away!
Ferrets are intelligent, bold, and mischievous pets with different needs from other small furries. They’re incredibly active and agile, and a secure and fun playground can provide hours of fun. Cardboard and tubing can create a paradise for a ferret (or a whole group).
Experimenting with different layouts using different materials can allow you to customize almost all the plans to your needs. Even with the more complicated designs, using tubing and a well-placed split connector can mean two, three, or more playgrounds can be connected!