So you've decided to share your home with a ferret! They truly are a most amazing and endearing pet. These amazing critters can be trained to come on command and even use a litter box. But before giving you new ferret roam freely around the house you should take a few precautions.
Slowly let your new animal acclimate to its surroundings before letting it loose. Allow it to get acquainted with your home from the comfort and protection of its cage until it looks relatively at ease. Another top priority is teaching your new ferret how to use a litter box. Your ferret litter training efforts may achieve a success rate of about 75% or better if you spend enough working with the ferret, but this depends on the ferret to some degree as well. Litter box training will probably extend over several months, several hours a day. Again, your continued effort in this area is your best guarantee of success. You'll probably want to start training in a small room such as a bathroom or kitchen that has hard floors. This way they can roam freely without concern for damage to carpet. Usually ferrets will go just a few minutes after waking up or after eating. So, just after waking, put your ferret in the litter box. Do not let it out until it goes. Whenever it does use the litter box, give it a treat. Physical punishment will not teach your ferret to use a litter box, it will only teach them to fear you. Keeping your ferret to run around the house may require some willingness on your part to live with the occasional dropping.
Giving your ferret the keys to your house, so to speak, will also require that you do some ferret-proofing around the house. This simply means making your home a safe place for a ferret, similar to how you would make a home toddler safe. Ferrets are small and very curious. They will find their way into spaces so small you can not even imagine! Generally, it's safe to say that if their head will fit into a space, the rest of their body can too. Ferret-proofing starts by crawling around the house on hands and knees looking for loose vent covers, crevices, and any other small openings they might get into. With a combination of being natural climbers as well as overly curious, there are many potential playgrounds for them right inside your home. A dryer exhaust tube could be ripped open by them and provide an escape route to the out of doors. A couch with a thin lining underneath may allow a ferret to get inside the couch and up into the springs. Some refrigerators have openings that a ferret could climb into and get hurt on the fan.
Many ferret owners want to give their ferrets the liberty and exercise of being able to run around in their homes. One suggestion could be to take this slowly, allowing access to more areas as the hazards are identified and eliminated. For their safety, make your home safe before allowing these amazing creatures to roam.