Leaving Ferrets Alone: How Long Is Safe?  13 min read

Ferrets are sociable animals and have a high rate of metabolism. They require regular exercise and meals throughout the day in order to stay healthy. 

It’s important to understand how long you can leave a ferret alone, and what safety precautions you should take. Without taking precautions, you may cause your ferret to become ill or even die alone. 

In this article, we explain how long you can safely leave ferrets alone, and how best to do it. 

Here’s whether ferrets can actually be left alone:

Ferrets can be left alone for a couple of days. Leave enough water and food to last the time you’re away. Ferrets are sociable animals and benefit from at least 2 hours of exercise per day. If a ferret is left alone for more than two days, your ferret’s health could be at risk. 

How Long Could Ferrets Be Left Alone For?

Before leaving your ferret alone, there are a few things that you need to think about:  

  • Make sure that the ferret has a clean supply of food. 
  • There should be enough water to last the whole time the ferret will be left on its own. 
  • Ensure that there’s some litter arrangement that requires a little maintenance or cleaning, so the cage doesn’t become overly messy while you’re away. 

Can Ferrets Be Left Alone For 8 Hours?

If you’re a working parent and you drop your kids to school or if you live alone, then you’re probably asking yourself this question. And it makes perfect sense because getting a pet ferret is a huge commitment. You don’t want to adopt a pet that you can’t take care of. 

So, would it be OK to leave the ferret for 8 hours? 

It’s OK to leave your pet ferret for 8 hours, as long as you provide it without enough water and food. There should also be some safe ferret toys that your pet will enjoy. These toys will keep it entertained until you get home. 

Pet ferrets appreciate playtime, but they won’t mind being left alone while you’re at work. As a matter of fact, the ferret usually sleeps for 16 or even 22 hours a day, so it might not even notice that you’re gone. 

When you get home, you should give your pet ferret some attention. Playing with the ferret and providing it with food and water will keep it comfortable and healthy. 

Ferrets are sociable animals and get restless if left alone for too long.

Can Ferrets Be Left Alone for an Entire Weekend?

Although a ferret doesn’t mind being on its own for a few hours, a longer period can be problematic. 

You might have to leave your furry pet for the weekend while you’re traveling or spending time with a family member, so you’re probably wondering if it would be OK to leave your pet alone for this period. 

It’s OK to leave your pet ferret alone for the weekend, as long as you make sure that it has enough food and water. A ferret can be left in its cage for a weekend, but it’s best to ask a friend or a relative to check on your furry pet. 

This animal needs to play for at least an hour or two every day, and although it can spend a couple of days on its own, it won’t be comfortable being alone for longer periods. So, if possible, consider taking your pet ferret with you. 

Leaving ferrets alone for long periods can be problematic. These are mischievous and curious animals, so your pet might find a way out of its cage out of boredom. In addition to turning your house into a mess, things can be quite dangerous for your ferret if your house isn’t ferret-proofed, as it might start chewing on wires or knocking down sharp and heavy objects. 

Can Ferrets Be Left Alone for a Whole Week?

Being alone for long periods isn’t healthy for your pet ferret. It’s OK to leave your ferret alone for a couple of days, but longer periods aren’t recommended. As a matter of fact, your ferret won’t probably survive if you leave it alone for a week. 

Spending longer periods alone represents a big challenge for ferrets because these animals have special dietary and exercise needs. Ferrets have high metabolic rates and short digestive tracts, so this animal needs various meals throughout the day to stay healthy. 

Ferrets need a fresh supply of water and food all the time, and leaving such a big amount of food won’t be possible. Also, eating food that’s always soft or wet can cause many diseases. 

Moreover, ferrets dehydrate and overheat quickly, so they always need someone to check on them. So, if the ferret accidentally spills the water, it won’t be able to make it because of dehydration. 

Although the ferret sleeps for long hours every single day, it needs to play and interact with humans or other ferrets. This is why being left for a whole week on its own won’t be good for your little furry friend. It will become extremely stressed, bored, and might even die. Even with enough toys, your pet ferret won’t be receiving enough exercise, which is essential for its physical and mental development. 

These animals have sensitive bodies, and they get extremely affected by weather changes. Ferrets need to live in a temperature range of 65°F to 75°F to stay in perfect health, so they need you around to regulate the temperature. These little pets can handle the cold, but they’ll need more food, but if the temperature rises above 90°F, they’ll overheat, and they’ll need human intervention to cool their environment. 

When you’re not home, and no one is checking on your ferret on a daily basis, you won’t be able to follow any of the previous requirements. So, you should never leave your pet ferret alone for a week. 

If you’re going on a vacation, you should check if you can bring your pet ferret with you. There are several pet-friendly hotels that you can book if you’re traveling, and you can also rent a vacation home where you can bring your ferret with you. 

If this doesn’t work, then it’s best to hire someone to check on your pet ferret every single day. You might also be able to leave him at a friend’s house.

However, if you can’t, you should ask a friend to come and check on your pet ferret. He or she should change the water, provide more food, and let the ferret out of its cage. Younger ferrets should be let out of their cages for three or four hours every single day to play and roam freely, but older ferrets will be satisfied with an hour or two. 

Ensure your ferret cage is large enough to leave your ferret alone.

Do Ferrets Hate Being Left Alone?

Ferrets like to cuddle and play. These are highly friendly pets, and they appreciate receiving attention. 

But if you must, you can leave the ferret alone for some time. However, ferrets don’t like being left alone all the time. 

A ferret that spends all its time in a cage becomes unhealthy. This is why it’s best to keep ferrets in pairs or small groups. 

A pet ferret actually likes to cuddle because cuddling helps strengthen the bond between both of you. It also reduces stress. So, leaving the ferret alone without any human interaction makes it extremely sad and unhealthy. 

Can Older Ferrets Be Left Alone Longer Than Younger Ferrets?

Older ferrets might be able to handle alone time better than younger ferrets. An older ferret will be less playful and has a slightly stronger body, so it’ll be able to handle the weather changes. 

You can leave the ferret for a day, but you need to let it out of the cage for a couple of hours so it can exercise and play. However, a younger ferret needs more playtime. It needs to be out of the cage for at least three or four hours. 

In all cases, you need to pay attention to a few factors. 

  • Make sure that the cage is big enough. The ferret needs to stay in a comfortable cage, so it can play with its toys and exercise while you’re not around. 
  • Make sure that there’s enough fresh food and water to last your pet ferret until you’re back home. 
  • Provide the ferret with enough entertaining toys so it doesn’t feel highly bored while you’re away. 
  • Pay attention to the temperature in your house. Make sure that the weather is perfectly controlled so that your pet ferret doesn’t overheat or freeze when you’re not home to take care of it. 
  • If you let the ferret roam the room while you’re away, you need to pay attention to ferret-proofing the room. There should be no dangerous objects that might harm your little furry friend while you’re away. 

How Best to Set Up a Ferret For the Time You’ll Be Away?

Choosing and setting up the right home for your pet is a sure way to keep it comfortable while you’re away. Here are a few things to consider. 

  • Make sure that you pick a cage or enclosure that’s big enough to accommodate your ferret and provide enough space for playing and exercising. A weather-proof hutch won’t be enough because it only serves as a sleeping space, so you need to use a cage or a converted shed. 
  • Choose a cage that has different playing areas. Suspended hammocks and multiple levels will keep your ferret entertained. There should also be various sleeping spots, so your animal can pick its favorite sleeping spot or cuddle with other ferrets in the same enclosure. 
  • Make sure that any platforms or levels are set up at safe heights. Ferrets don’t have very sharp eyesight and might accidentally misjudge a jump and eventually hurt themselves. 
  • Keep the enclosure away from direct sunlight and strong winds, and make sure that it has a solid base. Ferrets are talented diggers, and they’ll try to get away. A cage with a solid bottom is better than mesh wire because the ferret won’t be able to find a way out. Ferrets can also suffer from pododermatitis when they spend too much time on mesh floors. 
  • Keep newspaper sheets under the food and water bowls to prevent splashing and messing the cage while you’re away. This will also facilitate cleaning time. 
  • Set up a safe toilet area for ferrets. These animals are usually clean, and they need nothing but a litter tray that you can easily clean after getting back home. Fill the litter tray with wood pellets and make sure to pick one with high sides to prevent the mess. 
  • If you have other pets in the house like cats or dogs, make sure that the cage is away from them. 
  • If you decide to leave the ferret to roam freely in a ferret-proofed space, remove all the soft toys and soft furnishings that can cause a blockage in the ferret’s gut. 
  • Before leaving the house, clean the enclosure and remove any old food or water. You should also clean the litter box. 
  • Clean the bedding to remove any bad smells that might accumulate while you’re away. 
  • After you return home, empty the enclosure and scrub it with a pet-safe cleaner. Wash all the bedding and hammocks and let the ferret into the cage when everything is dry. 

Is It Bad to Keep Ferrets in a Cage?

Ferrets should be kept in a safe and secured enclosure so they don’t roam freely. A well-chosen cage will be perfect for your pet ferret, although the animal needs to be let out of its enclosure for a couple of hours every day to play freely. 

When you let your ferret out of the cage, supervision is necessary. The house should be ferret-proofed and free of any tiny objects that the animal can accidentally swallow. 

How Long Can you Leave a Ferret in its Cage?

Your ferret can spend a lot of its time in its cage, but it needs to be out of its enclosure for at least 2 hours, but more time is better. Free yet supervised playtime is essential to keep your furry friend healthy. It also helps improve the bond between you and your pet. 

One ferret will live comfortably in a cage that measures at least 24 X 24 X 18 inches. But a bigger cage with multiple levels will be a better option because the animal will be able to play. 

You should choose a large cage like the Prevue Hendryx Feisty Ferret Home with Stand. It measures 31 X 20 X 54 inches, so the animal will have plenty of room to play. 

A cage like this one would allow your ferret to roam around whilst you’re away.

What to Do With a Ferret When you Go on Vacation?

Ferrets will be fine if left in the house for a couple of days, but not any longer. You shouldn’t leave the ferret alone if you’re going on a longer vacation because it needs to be let out of its cage. 

If you’re spending a few days or weeks away from home, you should leave your pet ferret with a friend who can take care of it. You can also think about taking it with you if it’s possible. 

Wrap Up

Ferrets are amazing animals, and they appreciate the companionship of humans. Although your pet ferret can be left alone for a couple of days, you shouldn’t leave it alone for longer periods. 

You need to choose the right cage for your pet and provide it with water and food. If you’re planning to spend several days away from home, you should ask a friend to check on your furry baby and let it out of its enclosure to play.