Ferrets Climbing: Risks You Should Be Aware Of9 min read

Ferrets are highly curious and very agile. This combination makes for an extremely investigative animal that has no issues trying any position or movement to reach its goal. 

But due to lacking fear and proprioception, climbing can be very dangerous for ferrets. Ferrets can seriously injure themselves through falling and it’s therefore important to be aware of ferrets climbing abilities and the precautions you should take. 

In this article we explain why ferrets climb, and what you can do to prevent injury or even death. 

Here’s Whether Ferrets Can Climb:

Ferrets are very capable climbers due to their flexible bodies, strong legs and dexterous paws. Ferrets are instinctive and will climb most objects if something sparks their interest. Climbing should generally be discouraged. Ferrets lack a sense of depth, distance and fear so they are at risk of serious injury when jumping back down. 

Are Ferrets Skilful Climbers?

Thanks to their flexible bodies, strong legs, and dexterous paws, ferrets are pretty good when it comes to climbing.

Ferrets’ climbing activities are generally driven by their curiosity, which means they’ll do whatever it takes to reach the things that caught their eye.

What’s more, ferrets don’t get scared. This allows them to climb really high without fear of falling.

Unlike Humans, Ferrets don’t think about how to get back down again.

How Bad Is It for Ferrets to Climb?

Climbing can be especially dangerous for ferrets given their lack of fear. Ferrets have no depth perception, no proprioception and no inner gyroscope. This means that they can’t tell how far a surface or object is, can’t tell their position in relation to their surroundings, and can’t restore their balance once it goes off.

It’s not that climbing is bad for ferrets per se, it’s the journey back down.

Since ferrets don’t have the concept of fear, they are likely do take dangerous risks such as jumping down from high points or from surface to surface. 

All of this won’t be much of an issue if ferrets were sturdy animals. But unfortunately, the bones of a ferret are so fragile that even a fall from a low point can cause them to break.

Do Ferrets Get Stuck Easily?

Ferrets can get stuck depending on the object being climbed and their flexibility. Ferrets rarely get stuck after climbing. Ferrets don’t get scared, so they won’t be afraid to jump back down from even high altitudes. 

Ferrets won’t get stuck up trees like cats. They’d sooner jump and take a risk than getting stuck.

The only way a ferret would get stuck in a climb is if its paw or leg gets caught in something.

If the question is whether a ferret could get stuck moving between obstacles, the answer is also probably no. The reason, however, is different; it’s due to the high flexibility of the ferret’s body that lets it maneuver between tight spots.

What can Ferrets Climb?

Ferrets are capable climbers, regardless of their inability to make a safe landing. They use their skillful paws, strong legs, and agile bodies to move up surfaces and objects if they feel curious to investigate whatever is lying at those high points.

The nosy nature of ferrets can push them into exploring tricky spots and hidden places around the house that you can’t reach yourself. If their interest is located at a high location, ferrets will climb up there without issues or regard to their safety.

Ferrets can climb just about anything that doesn’t physically harm their paws, legs, or bodies on their way up

Can ferrets climb up walls?

Ferrets can climb up walls if they want to, but the extent of their success will depend on the type of wall.

Ferrets don’t have sticky paws or legs and their nails aren’t particularly sharp. This means that if the wall is very smooth, it can be slippery enough to keep the ferret from climbing it.

On the other hand, if the wall is brick or wooden, it could feature grooves that make climbing easier for a ferret.

That said, you should know that ferrets are resourceful little creatures. If they can’t climb a wall directly, they’ll look for shelves, curtains, or pieces of furniture that can help them get where they want and climb them.

Can ferrets climb gates?

Ferrets can easily climb gates.

The only thing that can stop a ferret from climbing a gate is if it’s high enough. Even then, it’ll surely try its best to climb over it.

Ferrets are very determined animals and will go to great lengths to overcome obstacles that keep them from satisfying their curiosity and need for some freedom. So if it’s a gate that’s standing between a ferret and its roaming goals, you can bet it’ll climb it. 

Can ferrets climb trees?

Ferrets can climb trees, but not every ferret will do it given the chance. Since ferrets like to dig, they’re more likely to burrow around the tree than try to climb it if they find themselves outside.

But as we mentioned earlier, curiosity is a massive driving force for a ferret. So if it sees something interesting at the top of a tree, it’ll try to get up there!

Knowing whether or not your ferret is attracted to the idea of climbing trees is important to assess how safe it’s going to be if you let your pet play outside. The only way to do this is by taking your ferret outdoors and observing its behavior.

Can ferrets climb baby gates?

Yes, ferrets can climb baby gates. As we discussed above, a ferret can climb any sort of gate to get to the other side if it’s curious enough.

Unless the ferret is injured or somehow restrained, the only thing that’ll keep a ferret from climbing a gate is if it’s too high. However, that won’t stop it from trying since these animals are very determined by nature.

Ferrers need a space to satisfy their need for freedom and exploration. They’re not like human babies who may be discouraged by a baby gate; ferrets are way more relentless and will do their best to overcome such an obstacle.

Keep in mind that using a baby gate to control your ferret may end up harming it if a part of its body gets caught in the gate’s hinges. Not to mention, baby gates aren’t usually high enough to keep a ferret in. 

Can ferrets climb stairs?

Yes, ferrets can climb stairs. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the situation at your house.

Climbing stairs can be a positive activity for a ferret if:

  • The owner trains them to properly climb up and down the steps.
  • It serves as an outlet for physical exercise for the pet.

On the other hand, letting your ferret climb stairs can be risky because:

  • The ferret can fall through if the stairs are open back.
  • The ferret can fall off the side of the staircase if the rail isn’t completely closed off.

How to Prevent a Ferret from Climbing (Important)

Climbing can be very dangerous to ferrets due to their fragile bones combined with their lack of depth perception, proprioception, or inner gyroscope. This makes them prone to falling or jumping down from high spots, causing serious or potentially fatal injuries.

This is why it’s important to find ways to prevent your ferret from climbing up objects and surfaces to keep it safe. Here are some tips to help you with your mission:

  • Provide your ferret with plenty of exercise time to satisfy their need for physical activity. This can be done via games and toys.
  • Remove all objects near the cage that can get your ferret in high spots.
  • Ensure that the cage is secure enough to prevent your ferret from escaping outside.
  • When your ferrets are out of the cage, make sure the windows of the room are sealed and the doors are firmly closed. Check for any openings that may lead outside.
  • Trim your ferret’s nails regularly.
  • Keep your ferret on a leash when outside of its cage.

Despite implementing all the tips above, you may still be unable to stop your ferret from climbing. It’s just in a ferret’s nature to explore and roam, so the best you can do for it is to ensure its safety by:

  • Holding your ferret and setting it down yourself if you see them climbing up an object.
  • Putting an item close by that it can use to get down instead of jumping such as a pile of pillows.
  • Placing soft things such as cushions and pillows below the structures that the ferret climbs to break the fall if it happens.
Ferrets can climb seemingly ‘unclimbable’ objects if they feel the instinct to.

Prevent Injuries Or Death By Ferret-Proofing Your House

Here are some tips to help you ferret-proof your home:

  • Choose a space for your ferrets that’s good for roaming but also easy to secure.
  • Don’t keep your ferret’s cage in the garage, laundry room, or kitchen.
  • Check that your windows and doors close securely. If you find holes or cracks that your ferret can use to escape, seal them.
  • Don’t keep chemicals such as cleaning products or fertilizers in a place they could reach.
  • Block any unused electrical outlets.
  • Wrap any wires with electrical tape and coat the tape with a repellant solution.
  • Block the underside of furniture, appliances, and doors.
  • Block any ventilation ducts with metal screens.

Wrap Up

Ferrets can climb a wide array of objects and surfaces, from furniture and walls to gates and trees. 

You should discourage this behavior because despite it being a healthy physical activity, ferrets can seriously injure themselves if they fall or jump down.