Ferrets are naturally curious about everything. They love to get into things and the saying about curiosity and cats is true for ferrets. Whether you give them one room or the whole house, you need to go through and make sure that it is safe for both them and your possessions.

Ferrets love to squeeze into tiny places and little holes. Their flexible bodies can fit into anything that is smaller than their heads (in some cases, the size of a quarter). This can be very dangerous is they get behind a refrigerator, dryer, or other appliance. An often-overlooked area is under your sink, where plumbing goes into walls.

Before you let your ferret out, get on your stomach and look at the world as they do. Look for holes under cabinets and even in cabinets (a big problem in apartments, where plumbers are sloppy and leave large holes). Ferrets can open cabinets and drawers, so using safety catches is recommended. You can find childproof cabinet closures at your local hardware store. Block any openings to kitchens or laundry rooms with wood. Flexible plastic that is slightly larger than the doorway is good, allowing you to bend it slightly and put it into the doorway. As the plastic straightens, it seals off the area.

Be especially aware of your furniture. Recliners and sofas are favorite hiding places for ferrets and the springs and moving parts are extremely dangerous. Too many ferrets have gotten crushed in the levers and springs underneath. They’re difficult to ferretproof, except by putting them in a forbidden room. Even regular couches and beds can be dangerous if the ferret digs or crawls his way into the springs or stuffing.

Next, look around the area your ferret will be playing. Remove anything spongy from reach, and put fragile items out of the way. Keep in mind that many ferrets are good climbers and jumpers, and they will find a route to places you never thought they could reach. They can get onto a sofa, into a trash can, onto the third shelf of a set of bookcases and into the opening on the back of a stereo speaker. They can also open cabinets and drawers, unzip backpacks, and climb up drawers from underneath or behind to get onto the desk or kitchen counter. Keep the toilet lid down in your bathroom. Ferrets are curious and will often jump in the basin and not be able to get out.

Keep any household cleaners locked up. Ferrets have been known to try to drink them. Be particularly careful of pens and pencils, erasers, rubber door stops, styrofoam, silly putty, shoe insoles, even the bottom of tennis shoes. Anything spongy and soft will become a chew toy and may cause harm.For some reason, many ferrets like to eat soap, too, so you will need to keep that from them as well. While a little bit won’t be a problem, they can get sick when they begin to eat too much.

Buckets of water, paint, etc. can also be drowning or poisoning hazards, or might just be tipped over. Toilet paper and paper towel rolls are a problem because ferrets get their heads stuck in them and can choke or suffocate, and if you let your ferret play with plastic bags, you may want to cut off the handles and cut a slit in the bottom.

Certain ferrets may also have special ferretproofing needs; for example, some like to eat paper, cloth, or plastic bags, which can easily cause a life-threatening intestinal blockage. A few ferrets like to chew on electrical cords or plants, and some common plants are quite poisonous. Liberal application of Bitter Apple paste to the cord or plant can help persuade your pet to stop gnawing on it.

Finally, once done, it’s important to keep it safe. Watch your ferret’s toys to make sure they’re not beginning to crack or break apart, and keep in mind that you can be dangerous to your ferret, too. Always double-check your dishwasher, refrigerator, clothes washer and dryer (even top-loading models) before closing them or turning them on, and watch where you sit and walk: that chair, throw rug, or pile of laundry might be hiding a napping ferret.