Ferrets are typical thieves of small items. Once you let you let your ferret out of the cage, you might expect something to go missing all of a sudden. To be clear, it can be quite difficult to tell why do ferrets steal things.
However, we cannot blame them. I tend to think that it is instinctual, just as they would behave in the wild. Ferrets would hunt and feed to their full. However, they would also carry the leftovers with them to hide.
They would late retrieve the leftovers and feed. Well, if your ferret likes something within his reach why not steal and hide it for himself?
What are ferrets likely to steal?
Ferrets will steal anything that they can drag back to their hiding spot. However, they mostly go for small items. They are so mischievous that you will rarely realize when they are picking stuff up. Your ferret can carry your socks, keys, decorative items that you keep around and so on.
In general, if your ferret drags or carries it, then it is possible that he will steal it. And they become very protective of their stolen items. Some ferrets get distressed when you find everything they have been hiding all along.
Therefore, if you just placed your keys on the table and they mysteriously disappeared, you should investigate your ferret. He might have crept near you and carried them with him. Unfortunately, it could take some minutes to find out where he hides his stuff.
Now, the best way to ensure that this does not happen is to be careful where you place your items. They live especially small items. If you are lucky enough to find their hiding spot, you might find everything you have been looking for.
What can I do about my ferret stealing things from me?
Funny enough, some ferrets choose particular items to take from you. For instance, you can have your ferret stealing items from your wallet, drawers and sometimes a guest’s bag. It can be quite embarrassing but also quite funny.
And if you keep placing your wallet at the same spot, your ferret will keep coming back for more. Other ferrets will steal your jewelry and hide somewhere, probably under his beddings or stuff them in his cage.
While this presents a major downside of owning a ferret, you cannot adjust this behavior. As I mentioned above, it is an instinctual behavior. What you can do, however, is keep your stuff away and provide an alternative.
Now, once you find your ferret’s stash, he is going to be disappointed but he will start again. And this time, he will find a different spot to keep the stolen goods. The best way to ensure that this does not happen is by ferret proofing your home.
How do I ferret proof my house?
Regardless of whether you live in an apartment or a home, you need to ferret proof the house. Focus particularly on the rooms that your ferret has access to. Ensure that all small items, including shoes, earplugs and any stringy items.
Note that ferrets are also known to chew everything they get on. Unfortunately, should your ferret chew or swallow a solid object, it could lead to intestinal obstruction. This will require immediate surgery. Intestinal blockage can be fatal if the object is not removed on time.
Keep all the cabinets in the house closed when your ferret is out of the cage. These pets can be very quiet and sneaky at the same time. Your ferret can get into a cabinet and steal harmful items, especially from the kitchen. Also, these pets are notorious thieves of underwear.
If he has access to the bedroom, keep all the drawers closed. Ensure that you do not have clothes lying around. Your ferret can carry it to his cage and hide it as well.
I find it easier to ferret proof a house when you have a designated ferret area. Keep your preferred ferret room as tidy as possible. Ensure that the only thing lying around is his safe toys. At the same time, restrict your ferret’s access to the rooms that have not been proofed.
Can I make my ferret stop stealing and chewing my items?
Above, I have mentioned that the most effective way to deal with a ferret who loves to steal is to make sure that there is nothing to steal. At the same time, understand that your ferret cannot stop himself. Therefore, it is only fair to provide an equivalent replacement.
You will need to purchase different kinds of safe ferret toys. I have previously written about some of the best toys to buy for a ferret. Ensure that these toys are not made of rubber or chewable plastic. You can leave them lying around his room for him to play with. If he decides to steal and hide them, you will always recover them when cleaning up his room and his cage. Thus, you should clean and vacuum often to recover the hidden items.
I do not think your ferret will stop stealing items. It is part of their personality and so the best option is to make sure that your ferret does not have access to these items.
My ferret hides his food under his beddings. What should I do?
Now, even when your ferret is in his cage, he will ‘steal’ some of his food and hide it. This can make your house smell very bad if you do not notice. If you have changed his diet, maybe your ferret is trying to tell you that he hates it.
He might end up hiding the food with the hope that you will provide another type of food. Sometimes your ferret will hide food for no reason at all. Therefore, if your ferret hides his leftovers, you should start cleaning up more often.
In addition, spilled food in the cage can bring a foul smell and pests in your ferret’s cage. Well, if your ferret hates the food, then you can switch back to the food your ferret is used to.
However, it is wiser to feed your ferret different types of healthy diets. This way, he will not get used to just a single diet and refuse to eat other types. Make sure that the food has a high protein content and low carbs as per carnivorous dietary needs.
In conclusion, ferrets are naturally going to steal your stuff. It happens so quickly and you will not notice or suspect him. However, if you keep losing items randomly in the house, it could be that your ferret is hiding them.
You should check his cage and every other corner he has access to. You will be surprised by what you find stashed away in his hiding place. And your ferret will know that someone took his stolen stash. Some ferrets may not take this very well as they have already claimed those items as theirs.
And even when you think this habit has stopped, maybe your ferret changed his hiding spot since you discovered the last one. Your ferret will keep stealing from you until you take the necessary steps. You must ferret proof your house and provide safe toys and items for him to steal and hide.
Our Ferret Care Guide
As mentioned in the about us page my son Bobby Grover and I have been ferret keepers and breeders for all of our adult lives.
We hope your question was answered for you and because over the years we were asked every question there is about ferret care.
It was for that reason we put together a 30,500-word guide which answers all questions. It doesn’t matter whether you are a seasoned ferret keeper or just starting out. It is an absolute must.