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How Well Do You Ferret-Proof?

Take this quiz to find out how well you ferret-proof your home.

By Alexandra Sargent-Colburn
Posted: May 1, 2008, 5 a.m. EST

Ferret-proofing quiz
© Clemence Tailhades
If this happens in your home, this quiz is for you!

Quiz Tip: Print out this page before you take the quiz and use it to record your answers for each question.

I was never terribly good at higher mathematics, although I find them very interesting from a layman's perspective. The hardest discipline that I ever tried my hand at was unquestionably statistics. After I completed my college Intro To Statistics class, I immediately sold my textbook back to the school store for resale. I knew I would never open that book again; just lifting the cover gave me a headache.
 
The class did change how I observe the world around me, though. Over the years I have noticed an immutable statistical law. The more that you don't want a ferret to go somewhere or do something, the greater the chance that the ferret will indeed go there and do that!
 
Ferret-proofing the home thus becomes an endless challenge. Some people meet it with grim determination, others with a self-deprecating "Oh, they beat me again!" Here is a simple self-diagnostic to help you to determine how you rate as a ferret-proofer.

Ferret-Proof Question 1: You install a brand new cat flap so that you don’t have to listen to the daily dawn feline opera, your cat’s “Let Me Out” song. Who uses it the most?
a) The cat, silly!
b) That skunk that used to eat from your trash can outside in the night. He looks beautiful scampering around on the Persian carpet in your living room.
c) The ferrets, which all learned how to go in and out through it in about three minutes flat. Mostly out.
d) All of the above!

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 2: You come home and it is quiet. Very quiet. Too quiet. What’s going on?
a) This is not really your home. Go back outside and check. Mistakes happen.
b) Your ferrets have done something absolutely horrible and they are in hiding, little teeth chattering, waiting for you to discover what they have done.
c) Your ferrets might just be dead to the world asleep somewhere, but assume that they are in terrible peril and search for them.
d) Your ferrets are playing with your mind, making you think that they have escaped. They are watching from their hidey-holes, waiting for you to freak out so they can dook to one another in mirth. Just ignore the silence. Don’t give them the satisfaction.

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 3: Fill in the blank. Houseplants are _________________.
a) Possibly designed by the devil to make hapless ferret owners sweep up bits of shredded greenery and potting soil again, and again and again. And again. Did I say the again part?
b) Sometimes poisonous to ferrets, so do research on the plants before you buy.
c)  Ferret magnets. Most ferrets can no more ignore a houseplant than my husband can drive by a broken tractor without wanting to buy it and keep it rusting in the back yard until the end of time.
d) All of the above.

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 4: You walk into the bathroom and you find the wastebasket on its side, empty. Everything you put in it is now strewn across the floor. You ____________________.
a) Hope that everything is strewn across that floor. Sometimes ferrets stash what they find in wastebaskets and bring it out at inopportune times — like when your in-laws come over for dinner. Eewww!
b) Hope the basket didn’t contain anything dangerous for a ferret to play with or eat, because it’s not in that wastebasket anymore.
c) Feel as if a little light bulb has gone on over your head when I suggest that the bottom of a small wastebasket is a great place for two or three bricks. Your plastic liner will fit over them just fine, and you won’t have this tipping over problem again and again. Did I mention again? And again?
d) All of the above.

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 5: Fill in the blank. Small children and ferrets __________________.
a) Can safely be left unsupervised.
b) Should never be left unsupervised.

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 6: Ferrets can and will get beneath household appliances with only an inch of clearance beneath them.
True
False

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 7: Ferrets are all too often injured or killed inside of reclining chairs.
True
False

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 8: Ferrets have no interest in electrical wiring.
True
False

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 9: Ferrets can completely destroy sofas from the inside.
True
False

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 10: Ferrets are poor jumpers.
True
False

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 11: Ferrets can often be squeaky-toy trained to come to you.
True
False

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 12: Ferrets are too smart to eat things that they can't digest.
True
False

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 13: Ferrets sometimes sneak into washers or dryers and go for a ride.
True
False

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 14: Ferrets can be poisoned by common over-the-counter medications for humans.
True
False

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Ferret-Proof Question 15: Ferrets sometimes drown in toilet bowls.
True
False

Answer: _____  Points: ______

Click here to check answers >> 

Alexandra Sargent-Colburn lives in Massachusetts with fish, ferrets, a cat, a husband and a neurotic dog. The ferrets are in charge.

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How Well Do You Ferret-Proof?

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Reader Comments
THIS IS HELPFUL
ashlee, east brunswick, NJ
Posted: 7/2/2012 10:05:43 AM
My ferret is just too smart for my own good ><
Erica, Denton, TX
Posted: 3/15/2012 4:51:31 PM
i was painting yesterday with my bag of paints beside me. I stopped to get Kuda off the table so she wouldn't spill my water for the 3x that day and while i was doing that Penny was in the paint bag poking holes through the paint tubes. Just shows you can't leave them alone for the smallest second.
Jill, Winnipeg, MB
Posted: 11/22/2009 7:52:25 AM
just about the time you think you have done all the ferret proofing needed, your ferrets show you just what you missed.
Barbara, Little Rock, AR
Posted: 10/15/2009 6:22:11 PM
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