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Ferret FAQ [2/5] - Ferret Care
Section - (5.6) What kind of collar/bell/tag/leash should I use?

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Top Document: Ferret FAQ [2/5] - Ferret Care
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Depending on your ferret, either a nylon kitten collar, a thin, flat
leather puppy collar, or a piece of ball chain will work well.  A
leather boot lace can also make a fine collar; just knot it at the
right size.  The problem you may run into with a nylon collar is that
some ferrets will scratch at it, which pulls the nylon threads and can
tighten the collar dangerously.  Also, be aware that both nylon and
leather can shrink if they get wet, so never leave a wet collar on
your pet; it may shrink and choke him as it dries.

For either of the collars, you may need to make an extra hole, then
trim off the extra length and (for nylon) melt the end together.  Be
sure to leave enough to go through the little ring after it's buckled.
For the ball chain (the kind made for light-pulls or to lift the
stopper in a toilet), just snip it to the proper length.  The collar
should be loose enough to go over your ferret's head easily; if it
gets stuck on something, better a lost collar than a choked ferret.

We've never had any problems with either of our ferrets getting hurt
by catching their collars in anything, but we make sure to leave them
loose enough that the furry snakes can slip out if they happen to get
caught.  In fact, the easiest way we've found to get the collars on is
to fasten them, then shove them over the ferrets' heads while
occupying them with Ferretone.

The cord-like figure-8 leash with a screw for adjustments, sold
wrapped around a cardboard cutout of a ferret, isn't the best choice
for a leash.  It's too easy to get out of and too hard to adjust, the
adjustment nut can break, and the cord can chafe the ferret.  A flat
nylon H-type harness with a leash clipped to the back will work much
better.  Several people have recommended the harnesses made by the
WarmFuzzy Rescue (610-926-9087 or <warmfuzzy@aol.com>), and Marshall
Pet Products (1-800-292-3424 or <http://www.marshallpet.com/>) also
makes a popular one.


A small cat bell and small-size plastic tag have worked well for us on
a kit as young as 9 weeks.  The slot on some of the smallest bells
is easy to get a nail stuck in, though, so you may need to widen it a
little with a nail file.

I recommend getting an S-shaped hook for the tag rather than a
split ring, since the rings have a tendency to loosen.  Twice one of
our ferrets got hers caught in a sweater or blanket -- which both
frightened her and unraveled the item she was frantically rolling in
before she pulled out of the collar.  You can also attach the collar
and tag using a neatly trimmed piece of stiff wire.  For a nylon or
leather collar, you'll probably want to poke the S-hook directly
through the collar and put the bell and tag on the same hook, though,
since attaching them to the ring on the collar makes them hang down
far enough to drag on the ground.

Neither of our slinkies seems to mind wearing a collar or bell,
although the first time we put them on our older pet she spent 15
minutes trying to convince us she was dying and then the next hour
playing with the jingly toy that followed her wherever she went.

In short, tags and collars are handy for nearly all ferrets.  Ours
have never gotten out, but even just around the house it gives
enormous peace of mind to be able to tell where they are!

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6. *** Ferret supplies ***

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Top Document: Ferret FAQ [2/5] - Ferret Care
Previous Document: (5.5) Any suggestions on toys?
Next Document: (6.1) What should I feed my ferret?

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