For your ferrets safety he should spend the time that you are away from home in the safety of his cage. For this reason you need to make his cage as comfortable as possible. Glass & aquarium type cages should never been used for ferrets, they do not provide the proper ventilation even with a screen top.
A ferret cage should be 36 X 24 X 18 or larger. A solid bottom is better on the ferrets little feet, however most cages have a wire bottom. If your cage does have a wire bottom there are many ways to make it more comfortable for your ferret. Some people cover the bottom with rug, but it is harder to keep clean and pleasant smelling. I cover the bottom of my solid and wire bottom cages with sheets; it takes 2 sheets to make it warm and comfy. Sheets can easily be taken out and washed once a week to keep the cage clean. If you don't have any old sheets lying around blankets or towels can also be used. It is very important to remember to check your new ferrets bedding because some ferrets will chew holes through their bedding and this can cause intestinal blockage requiring surgery. If you find that your ferret does chew his bedding try to find something he will not chew. One of my ferrets will chew on blankets but never on sheets so try swapping bedding types if they do chew on one type.
Pine or cedar shavings should never be used for bedding or anything for the ferret. These shavings can cause respiratory and other health problems.
You will also need a small litter box for the cage, a water bottle & a dish that securely attaches to the cage. Your ferret will also appreciate a hammock and/or a ferret sleeping bag to curl up in.
For bedtime ferrets prefer enclosed sleeping quarters. They may curl up within their bedding if it is made of cloth. They love ferret sleeping bags, which are very easily made. I highly recommend the use of a sleeping bag if you use rug in the bottom of the cage. They need something soft and warm to cuddle up in at night!
If you are just a little on the creative side you can come up with a wonderful playground with in the cage. Just with a few simple easily obtained items like a drier vent hose, large PVC pipes, large cardboard tube, (which are easy to get and free! Go to your local carpet store or Home Depot, they just throw away the empty tubes, ask if you can have one, they are great fun for ferrets!) With these things you can turn a plain old cage into a place your ferret will enjoy playing and exercising in!
Tricia Conley FFerrets@aol.com
Frisky Ferrets of Louisiana