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Your Guide To Ferret Kleptomania

Here are eight of the most commonly stolen items by pet ferrets.

Marylou Zarbock
Posted: May 9, 2014, 8:55 p.m. EDT

Ferrets not only steal the hearts of ferret owners, they also steal little (and not-so-little) items around the home. Purloined items vary by ferret, as each is an individual with his or her own fascination (or is it fixation?) for household items. How does your ferret’s thievery stack up against this list of favorite items for ferrets to steal and the experiences of ferret owners who visited the Ferrets magazine Facebook page?

1. Socks
If you’ve got a favorite pair of socks, be sure to keep it locked away when not on your feet. Ferrets are notorious sock thieves. Soft, lightweight and oh-so-aromatic — how could a ferret resist the siren call of socks? And don’t assume that socks in a dresser drawer are safe. Some enterprising ferrets have been known to get beneath a dresser and climb up the backs of drawers to reach sought-after socks, and other items.

"My husband lays his clothes out on the couch the night before when he has to get up at the crack of dawn,” wrote Doreen Anderson. "Lacee quietly steals his socks or undies and hides them behind the desk. At first my hubby thought he must have forgotten to get them out, until we found her stash!”

Lisa Kivioja Kaliski’s ferret preferred freshly washed items. "My ferret girl Nonnie used to steal my socks and underwear right out of the laundry basket,” Kivioja Kaliski wrote. "She would then drag them under my cedar chest and make herself a little nest to sleep in.”

2. More Footgear
Slippers, shoes and flip flops are also frequently stolen and stashed by roving ferrets. All cover the feet and develop an interesting aroma, and all invariably include foam or rubber in their makeup. Although much heavier than socks, determined ferrets can make them disappear just as easily.

"Mostly Sassy just likes slippers and flip flops,” wrote Kimberlee Davis. "She won't leave me alone until she gets them; very persistent.”

Rose Bonomo Ring may lose her socks and slippers, but she knows her ferrets are the likely culprits. More importantly, she knows where to find her stuff. "They love to drag them under the sofa,” Bonomo Ring wrote. "I just dig under the sofa to retrieve my items.”

For ferrets, one shoe is usually never enough. "When we moved we picked up the couch and there were 12 shoes under it!” wrote Shelly Scott. "My Casper put them all there!”

3. Underwear And Nightwear
Yes, we’re talking briefs, boxers, bras and teddys. You’ve got them and ferrets want them. Stacey Cunningham wrote, "My big boy keeps stealing and hiding my bras.”

Never mind that these are sometimes called unmentionables and usually aren’t discussed. A ferret on a mission will secure his or her preferred item and stash it away, perhaps never to be seen again, or maybe to be stashed in an embarrassing location or dragged around in the open at an inopportune moment.

4. Rubber Balls
Children love balls and so do ferrets! It’s the rubber. It’s the bounce. And for some ferrets, it’s the challenge.

Jon Gibbons wrote that his ferret Zoe is best friends with their Rottweiler, Ruby, and things got interesting after Ruby received a dog toy for her birthday. It was a very large rubber dog toy with multiple ends so that it bounces every which way when thrown. "This toy weighs as much as Zoe and a half, and she enjoys trying to drag it and pull it into her cage. Ruby looks at her like,”Umm, can I have my toy back please.”

ferret with sock pile
© Gina Cioli/I-5 Studio
Watch your socks! Of all the items ferrets steal and stash, socks probably top the list.

5. Cellphones
Technology is amazing, but it brings a few headaches, including the fact that cellphones can be and are carried off by fast-toothed ferrets. Could cellphones be sending out secret signals enticing ferrets to entrap them? Unlikely. But ferrets steal and stash them anyway!

Kris Peek is dealing with ferrets that work together. "Isis distracted the company while Raiju snuck into pockets and stole a cellphone. Teamwork.”

6. Keys
They jingle, jangle, glint and shine — keys are at risk anytime of being snatched up by a ferret.

"My little Kojak stole my classroom keys out of my purse, and I didn't know until I got to work,” wrote Terry McLaughlin Kumor.

Ferrets in the home mean key protection is required. Keep your keys in your own stash that is inaccessible to ferret paws and teeth.

7. Wallets
"My four babies like to steal my wallet, cellphone, shoes and socks!” wrote Hollie DeLodovico.

What does a ferret do with a wallet? Apparently, search it for items to play with. "My baby Harold stole my husband’s wallet,” wrote Amy Struppa. "He kept the cash and credit cards, but got rid of the business cards.”

Right. What ferret needs boring old paper when stinky money and plastic cards are available to play with?

8. Stuffed Animals
If you own stuffed animals and ferrets, the two are bound to collide at some point. This usually ends with the ferret running off with the stuffed animal in his mouth or the ferret dragging the stuffed animal painstakingly to a "secret” stash. Perfect for sleeping or snuggling with, stuffed animals can be a favorite item of some ferrets. They can also instigate a battle between ferrets.

"Ripples stole a stuffed bee and hid it under one couch,” Kris Peek wrote. "While he was away, Willis stole his bee and hid it under another couch and snuck away. Ripples came back to check, saw it was gone, and found Willis and attacked! Then found his bee and hid it again.”

Like this article? Check out:
The Strange Items That Ferrets Stash, click here>>
20 Strange-But-Common Ferret Behaviors, click here>>

Posted: May 9, 2014, 8:55 p.m. EDT

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