Your ferret's cage should be spacious and well ventilated; this means no aquariums! Housing your ferret in an aquarium puts her at a higher risk of developing heatstroke and respiratory disease. Ferrets do not get the proper air flow in an aquarium, so their cages must be constructed from a material, such as wire, that allows for proper ventilation. If the cage has a wire floor or wire shelves, cover them with fabric, carpet remnants, or another covering to protect your ferret's sensitive feet.
The cage should be placed somewhere that is not in direct sunlight and away from any drafts. It should be in an area where your ferret will get human interaction, but where it will still be relatively quiet. This means that your kids' playroom isn't the best place for the ferret cage! The cage should also not be placed near other pets' cages, such as dog crates or rabbit hutches. This will cause unnecessary stress for both animals.
There are a number of supplies your ferret needs in her cage, including food, water, litter, toys, and bedding. Ferrets often like to make a mess, so keeping the cage clean and healthy means cleaning up any spilled food, wiping up any spilled water, and removing any torn toys and bedding. If your ferret has an accident outside the litter box, clean it up promptly. Avoid using any wood chips or cedar shavings litter or bedding. These contain harmful phenols that are not healthy for your ferret's delicate respiratory system. Scented litters are also unsafe for ferrets, so avoid them as well.
Keeping your ferret's cage clean and healthy will require effort on your part, and it's best if you come up with a schedule for cleaning to make sure that you don't forget anything. Here is a typical cleaning schedule:
Provide fresh water in a clean bowl
Provide fresh food in a clean bowl
Clean up any accidents outside the litter pan
Clean up any spilled food or water
Check toys and bedding for tears, rips or holes
Clean up any spilled or tracked litter
Dump and clean litter box thoroughly
Wipe down the cage
Wash all fabric bedding
Depending on the number of ferrets you own, you may need to do some of these tasks more frequently. For example, if you have multiple ferrets, you may need to scoop the litter box twice a day and dump it completely a few times a week. Always tailor your cleaning schedule to your individual ferrets' needs.
It is much easier to clean the cage when your ferrets aren't in it, so consider purchasing a playpen to house them while you are cleaning. This is necessary if you use cleaning products that must be completely rinsed and dried before allowing your ferrets access to their cage.
You play a large part in keeping your ferret's home clean and healthy. Regular cleaning will ensure you and your ferret enjoy many happy years together.