Ferrets Playing: How Should You Play With Your Ferrets?


Do you enjoy seeing ferrets playing?

How can you play with them too?

Ferrets are energetic pets that love to play with other animals, even humans. Today I will share with you how should you play with your ferret, how you can strengthen the bond between your ferret and you by playing games, and much other useful information about playing. The majority of their awake time is spent playing and it is great to be a part of it!

Why Should You Play With Ferret?

Ferrets are very playful and most of their interaction happens during some game. If you want to get closer to your ferret, play with him.  Now, that doesn’t mean you can start playing the moment your ferret enters your home. You have to do it the right way.

ferrets playing

If a ferret is a new family member, give him time to adjust to the new surroundings. If you come across as too eager, you can even scare your ferret. Always make sure your ferret is comfortable before you engage in any interaction with him.

How To Recognize Ferrets Invitation To Play?

You can invite your ferret to play, but it is even better when you notice that he is doing it for you. So, let’s see what are some of the signs your ferret is giving you when he wants to play with you.

Ferret War Dance

The first and the most popular sign is the famous “ferret war dance”. That dance happens when a ferret is happy, excited, and extremely playful. It is a celebration dance and your only responsibility in that situation is to join. If you see your ferret all puffed up, jumping from one place to the other, running wild, and making “dooking” sounds then prepare for fun because he is inviting you to the dance.

ferret war dances

Running Toward You And Backing Away

If you see your ferret charging at you, gently touching you, and then running in the opposite direction, he wants to play with you. This means that he wants you to play with him and he wants you to follow him. Another version is for your ferret to stand in front of you and looking at you. Once you move, he will start running so you have to follow. Who could resist that? I know I can’t.

Ferret Running Toward You And Backing Away

Grabbing Your Leg

Another not-so-subtle way to receive an invitation to play is when your ferret is grabbing your leg. That is something a ferret will do once he is very comfortable with you. He will simply come to you, grab your leg and stay on it for a couple of seconds. He can also stand on his back legs and use his front paws to scratch your leg, sometimes even nip at it gently. That is a very determined invitation and you can be certain you will notice it.

Ferret Grabbing Your Leg

How To Play With Your Ferret?

There are many ways you can start playing with your ferret because they are all about running, jumping, or chasing around. So, what is the best way to play with your ferret? What are some of the most common games you can play with your ferret? Let’s take a look!

Ferrets Love To Play Tag

Ferrets are beasts so they love to chase their prey. If you start running from your ferret, he will most likely chase you and you both will have fun doing it. Don’t worry, your ferret doesn’t see you as prey, he sees you as a family member. He is playing tag with you just like he would do that with his siblings. Run a few laps and you might even experience a “ferret war dance” ferrets perform once they are very excited and their energy is high.

Ferrets Love To Play Tag

Wrestle With Your Ferret

Ferrets love to wrestle with other ferrets, so you can try that too. It is very simple to do it, the only thing you need is your hand. Bring your hand to your ferret and put the ferret on his back. Use your hands to “tickle” your ferret’s tummy as he lays down. He will try to push you away with his paws and mouth. After a few seconds pull up your hand and let your ferret get up. He will probably jump on your hand again asking for more. Keep in mind that some ferrets bite when getting overly excited. If that happens, let him know that he hurt you and that he mustn’t do that. If you have trouble with a biting ferret, read my ferret bite training guide.

Wrestle With Your Ferret

Include The Tunnel In the Playtime

Ferrets love to crawl in tight spaces and that is why tunnels are their best toys. If you have a tunnel, let your ferret enter it and you can wait for it at the exit. The moment your ferret’s head pops out of the tunnel, gently boop his nose. Your ferret will immediately retrieve in the tunnel and you might even hear the tail hitting the sides of the tunnel. Yes, when excited, some ferrets wag their tails for a few seconds like dogs.

Ferret play with tunnel

Pull The Blanket On The Floor

This game is perfect if you have more than one or two ferrets because all of them can be a part of it. Place a part of the blanket on the floor and when you see your ferrets running toward you, start running and pulling the blanket on the floor. Ferrets will try to jump on the blanket so you can give them a ride.

Pull The Blanket On The Floor With Ferret

You can do all that with them already on the blanket. Simply start pulling the blanket and watch their reactions. Some will stay on the blankets, others will jump down and start running. This game will activate dooking sounds in most ferrets in your home.

How To Play With Your Ferret With Toys?

If you don’t have a strong bond with your ferret yet, it is smarter to use toys instead of your hands. There are a few ferrets that can get overly excited and start biting hard so to avoid getting bitten, use toys for playing.

Play With Toys On String

Toys on a string are a great alternative for hand wrestling I mentioned above. So, you have to place your ferret on the back and hang the toy above his tummy or his head. Your ferret will try to grab it and once he’s successful, he will get up and start biting the toy. Another alternative is that he will try to stash the toy behind the cage or under the table. You can easily allow that (or not) because the toy is still under your control thanks to the string.

Ferret Play With Toys On String

Play With Balls

As I have already mentioned, ferrets love to chase. If you don’t feel like running around, you can toss a ball for your ferret to chase. Don’t toss it in the air, toss it on the ground so your ferret can chase it directly. Also, make sure the ball is not too small for your ferret to grab it in his mouth. You have to be sure the material of the ball is hard enough so your ferret can’t chew it and swallow small parts. That situation can cause a blockage which can be fatal for a ferret. If you want to make sure you have all safe ferret toys, read my post about the best ferret toys.

Ferrets playing with balls

Use Squeaky Toys

Squeaky toys are another pretty good solution for ferrets because they will get excited by the sound. But, don’t use rubber squeaky toys, use plush toys that have a squeaking mechanism inside because ferrets must mix with rubber. Rubber is too easy for them to chew and swallow, causing blockage and that is something you must avoid at all costs. Besides rubber, other forbidden things for ferrets are sponge, thin and soft plastic, styrofoam, small items they can swallow, etc.  With those safe toys you can play tug-o-war with your ferret, just remember to be gentle. There are much smaller animals.

Use Squeaky Toys For Ferrets


There are numerous ways to play with your ferret. You simply have to find your favorite game! So, if you want to share with us the best ferrets playing games, comment just below this post and share your ideas with our ferret community! Also, subscribe to our newsletter to hear more about ferrets!

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Anja Delic
Anja is a Friendly Ferret owner and a ferret parent who is involved in the ferret world for more than 10 years. She started her Friendly Ferret blog when she got her first ferret Frida 8 years ago. In 2013, Friendly Ferret was recognized as a great source of information and it has become a good ferret brand for education, products, and fun. Since then, Anja was a part in many ferrets shows as a sponsor and as a judge, and she met many great and interesting people who share the same passion as her - ferrets. Anja is always opened for suggestions and advice, so if you have something to ask or say about ferrets, feel free to contact her on Instagram, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter or support@friendlyferret.com