Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ferret Proofing - the living room

Probably one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, living room hazard is the couch. Recliners and rocking chairs pose obvious risks and should be either disabled or placed in ferret-free zones. A less obvious and often overlooked hazard is the standard living room sofa. Though these pieces of furniture are stationary, they are not necessarily any safer than recliners or rocking chairs. The underside of couches, loveseats and chairs are often covered by a thin and easily torn piece of cloth. If a ferret manages to tear this cloth (of if the cloth is already torn), the dark, soft interior of the couch makes an irresistible bed for him or her. I have heard many tragic stories about ferrets being crushed between springs when their owner sat on the couch or of ferrets becoming stuck in loose materials and wires in the couch and strangling themselves. If you don't want your ferret ownership to end in tragedy, then make sure that you take steps to prevent your ferret from getting in to the couch; doing so is relatively simple. If the underside of your couch is in decent shape, then simply nail or stable a sheet to the bottom, covering up the thin material. Another option if to simply remove the feet of the couch. If the ferret can't get underneath, he can't rip the cloth to get in! Also be aware of holes IN your couch such as ones that may develop at the back corner by the arms. If your couch is holey, consider covering it with a couch cover or sew sheets over any openings that would allow your pet to gain access to the much sought after warm and soft interior of the couch.
With television sets and stereos, living rooms are often wire central. Though many ferrets show no real interest in chewing wires, the odd ferret may decide to take a nibble - with potentially deadly results. Preventing ferrets from chewing wires is not as tough as it sounds. You can invest in a platic wire cover such as those found at Ikea, London Drugs or Home Hardware, or you can cover the wires with aluminun foil (shiney side in) - most ferrets do not like to chew on the foil. If you don't think that your ferret chews wires but just want to deter him if he ever tries, you can try spraying them (the wires, not the ferrets) with bitter apple. This bitter tasting spray is non-toxic and leaves a bad taste in your ferret's mouth, discouraging him from trying out the wires again!*
*bitter apple does not work for all ferrets, and I recommend using the stronger dog formula for effectiveness

No comments:

Post a Comment