Christmas with your Ferret FAQ

Ferrets and Christmas trees can be a dangerous mix. When trees are brought into the home, be sure to supervise your ferrets while they are in that room and keep them away from the tree.

When it comes time to decorate a Christmas tree, you may find that your ferret is interested in all of the shiny stuff on the branches.

Here are some of the common things you should be aware of when preparing your Christmas tree:

Gifts

Forget it. Tons of report about the fact that ferrets do not respect the “Do not open before Christmas” sign. Take gifts out 20 minutes before opening. Or stack them on a table, away from reach

Styrofoam Packaging

Many ferrets like to eat this stuff; this can lead to intestinal obstruction and require surgery. Keep it away from ferrets when unwrapping gifts.

Manger scene

A few report of missing sheeps / lamb figures. But nothing major reported. I guess most of you use ferret proof figures.

Electric trains

A couple of good stories. Worst case, the train was late!

Tree skirts

Should be made of heavy material. Some digging reports. Lots of digging under. Good place to sleep.

Stand

A couple of falling trees reported. Get a good stand!.

Water

If you use a natural tree, do not add any additive to the water if you cannot ferret proof the base. Ferrets WILL find the water and drink some. In fact, if you let them drink (no problems reported if you don’t use additives), then watch carefully as you may have to fill the container more often!

Tree

No major problems reported, even with natural trees. Remove sap or pine pitch stuck to their fur with vegetable oil. It does seem to be a good place to sleep as well. (I want more stuff on this section! Anybody got a furball that like chewing them? Damage report?). BTW: Got two reports of ferrets trying to drag the tree away!

Climbing

Some odd reports of ferret climing almost all the way to the top. Most reports will give them 2-3 feet max. Some will not climb, but stretch and get whatever they can from the ground.

Ornaments (See Climbing).

Avoid any breakable ornaments on the bottom 2-3 feet. Avoid the wire hooks (couple of bad reports). Smaller objects have a tendency to end up under the couch. They love and destroy the “unbreakable” satin wrapped styro balls (Darn, what else can we use?)

Candy

They don’t finish candy canes, and you’ll find them stuck to your carpet. For now, let’s say we should avoid chocolate until we have a consensus on the FML about it! One report that chocolate doesn’t look good spread all over the carpet either!

Electrical wiring

Absolutely no bad reports! I guess there’s so much to do with that tree that chewing is not fun enough. Using a ground fault plug may still be a good idea.

Bulbs/lights

LOTS of reports of ferrets trying to chew/bite them. More fun when they are on or blinking. No breaking reported, but it seems to a common thing… Sorry, but I would leave the lower 3 feet of your tree in the dark!

Tinsel/garlands

Reports of some “Flashy” poop found in the litter box. Cannot be good for the stomach! I would avoid tinsel. Some people suggested an alternative, but I’ll let you use your imagination. (I got the usual “popcorn” garland… Sorry, but my ferret would eat this all the way to the top!)

O.K. Now we will leave that poor tree alone and talk about the other problems you may encounter shortly!

Holiday plants

A lot of them are poisionous! Add to this all the digging. Basically, avoid them!

Stockings

Don’t forget your ferret. It’s not what you put inside that is important… It’s the fact that it’s a good place to have a nap in, once it is empty!

Fireplace

Pretty obvious, but visitors may leave it open for your pet to visit.

Guests

Sorry, but you should lock them up during your parties (the ferrets, not the guests). Enough bad reports to justify it. Biting, chewing personal items, stealing, being sat on, stepped on, kicked around. You get the drift. They may not be able to sleep in your size 6 shoe, but your visitor may not like finding a sleeping ferret in his oversize ski boots!

Ornaments

If you have really nice ones then you may want to hang them on things like chandeliers. They still look good, and they’ll be safe.

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