Are you looking for a food or water bowl for your ferret?
Are you sure you know how to pick ferret bowls?
You would be surprised how many factors you have to consider when picking a bowl for them. Think about the material and about the design because it is not a strange sight if you see a ferret digging in the water bowl. Now, I don’t want to discourage you, I want to help you with that task so continue reading my post and you will find the answers you are looking for.
Bad Ferret Food And Water Dishes
Bowls That Come With Ferret Cage
Almost every ferret food and water dishes that come with a cage aren’t good choices. Those are mostly made of plastic with a basic design that a ferret can trip over in seconds. That is why you should get the best food bowl for ferrets so you don’t have to clean the mess every few seconds.
Not Recommended Ferret Water Bowl
There is one water bowl, actually a bottle, I don’t recommend. It is a bottle made for hamsters and rabbits and it comes in a shape of a bottle. You place it upside down on the side of the cage and it has a small ball on the end of the bottle. Animals drink out of it by pushing the ball away with the tongue.
Those bottles aren’t good for ferrets because they can damage their teeth with excessive use. Also, if the bottle isn’t made of high-quality materials, if will leak and you will have a wet mess on the floor no matter if your ferret tips the water bowl or not.
Ferret Feeding Bowl Materials
There aren’t that many materials used in producing ferret food and water bowls. The most common ones are plastic, ceramic and stainless steel. All of them are OK, but each material has its pros and cons. So, let’s take a look at each material up close.
Plastic Ferret Bowls
Plastic is the most common material used in producing food and water bowls. It is the cheapest, you can pick the color, the size, even the shape of the bowl. But, not every plastic is safe and you can’t use them all for feeding bowls, no matter the animal or even human.
The problem with plastic bowls is the fact that you will eventually scratch them. It can happen during cleaning, accidentally dropping on the floor, or with regular use. Those scratches on the bowl are a perfect place for bacteria to grow because you can’t clean that tiny space.
With time, some plastic can release BPA (bisphenol A) or other harmful chemicals in food or water. That means you should use only food and water bowl for ferrets that come with a BPA-free sticker on them. Even then you aren’t completely safe so you should replace them quite often.
Ceramic Feeding Bowls
The second material is ceramic. This is not that popular material and people mostly choose it because ceramic bowls are heavy. This is great for ferret owners because a ferret can’t trip over a ceramic food bowl that easily. Also, your ferret won’t be able to move the bowl around the cage which is just another plus.
Keep in mind that the ceramic bowl is made of ceramic. That means if you drop it, the bowl is gone. If you chip it, you can’t use it anymore. It is not that durable so you have to be careful with it. Also, ceramic bowls are the most expensive ones. That is not a good feature, especially if you have to be extra careful not to break it.
Another reminder: ferrets are stubborn so it might take a while, but the bowl will probably end up upside down or on the other end of the cage.
Stainless Steel Food & Water Bowls
The best ferret food and water bowls are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel bowls are the best ones for every pet, not just ferrets. The biggest stainless steel advantage is that it is safe, we humans use it for food and water too. Also, it is extremely durable, better than plastic and ceramic combined.
The good thing is that you can easily find them in many sizes and in many designs. When it comes to the price, they are right in the middle between ceramic and plastic although they are much closer to the ceramic price than the one for plastic bowls.
But, not everything is perfect. Although stainless steel is a great material, it downsides. It is a pretty light material, but not as light as plastic. That means you can be absolutely sure that your ferret will trip the bowl.
Food & Water Bowl Designs
So, if you want to buy the best water and food bowl for ferrets, you have to think about the design of the bowls too. We have already established that ferrets don’t just drink in a water bowl. Ferrets are also digging in a water bowl and tripping the bowls upside down. With that in mind, you know that a basic bowl is not the right solution for you. So, what design is the best one? Let’s see.
Bowls With Rubber Bottom
A simple rubber bottom bowl design is made to prevent pets from moving the bowl around. It is mostly made of stainless steel (which is great) and it has a thin rubber wrapped at the bottom of the bowl.
It is a pretty nice design and it may work with other pets, but it doesn’t work with ferrets. Yes, it is harder to move the ferret water bowl around but when a ferret sets its mind to it, it will do it. I would recommend this design for a cat or dog, but not for a ferret.
Important note: if your ferret loves to chew on almost anything, don’t let it near anything made of rubber. If your ferret swallows a part of rubber it can cause a blockage.
Bowls Attached To The Cage
There is one particular design that works with ferrets and that is to attach a ferret bowl to the cage. The first version of this design is made in one piece. It is mostly plastic (which is not great) and you attach the bowl directly to the cage.
The good thing is that ferret won’t be able to touch the bowl, but you will see the ferret digging in water bowl. The bad thing is that it is not easy to clean and not easy to put it somewhere else in the cage.
If you want to clean the bowl (or move it around) you have to remove the entire bowl from the cage and that can take time, especially if it is screwed on. If there is some sort of a clip, then the entire situation is much easier and I approve of that.
Bowls With A Ring On The Cage
The better, improved version of the design I described above is this one. These bowls are made of stainless steel and they come with a wire around them you attach to the cage. That wire is like a ring that holds the bowl in place.
I love this design because you can easily remove the ferret food and water bowl from the cage to clean it or to fill it up. You don’t have to touch the frame, only if you want to move the entire bowl.
But, this design isn’t perfect. If you don’t place the bowl low enough, your ferret will be able to grab it at the bottom and toss it across the cage. Your ferret will tackle the bowl even easier and faster than simple ferret feeding bowls on the floor.
Bowl In A Bowl On The Cage
The last design I want to share with you is the best food bowl for ferrets. It is similar to the last two designs, but with another improvement. This ferret water bowl is actually made of two bowls, one in the other. The plastic bowl comes with a small screw and you attach it to the cage.
Then comes stainless steel bowl. This one comes inside the plastic bowl and it is used for food and water. I absolutely adore this design because this is the only one out of many ferret food and water dishes I tried that is still intact.
Basically, the plastic bowl acts as a frame for the stainless steel bowl. It holds the bowl in place and your ferret can grab it and scratch it at the bottom as long as needed, but the bowl won’t move. You can easily remove it from the frame to clean it up and the ferret can play with the plastic one for ages.
My Ferret Food & Water Bowl Experience
I have bought around 10 different food and water bowls until I’ve found the best food bowl for ferrets. I am an engineer by profession so I look at things from a practical side first. The appearance is not that important, but if it looks nice it is only a plus. That is why this entire experience lasted that long but I can really say that in the end couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
The first bowl combo was the one that comes with the cage and it was a basic ferret food bowl and water bottle. After that, I bought stainless steel ones with rubber bottoms. That didn’t last long. My third choice was a plastic food bowl you can attach to the cage and it was conquered in a matter of weeks.
My longest choice was a stainless steel bowl with a thin ring around it. It was easy for me to use and ferrets did trip it over, but I managed to fix that with some duck tape. We lived with those ferret food and water dishes for almost 4 years until my DIY project with duck tape cracked. So, I was back to square one.
Then, one day, I’ve found the last design I mentioned and it was a breakthrough – the bowl in a bowl. The only thing I had to do was attach the bowl to the cage. No matter how hard my ferret wanted to tip it over, it was an impossible task. I really hope it will stay like that forever.
You can choose the best food bowl for ferrets with ease if you know what to look for. Make sure that you know how your ferret acts around food and water bowls. If your ferret is one of those whose life mission is to trip water bowls, then pick the one you can attach to the cage. If your ferret doesn’t mind about that, then you are one of the lucky ones and the only thing you have to worry about is the material of the ferret food and water dishes.