Ferret Litter: How To Pick The Best Litter For Ferrets?


Are you looking for a ferret litter and you want it to be safe for your ferret?

How can you tell what is the best litter for ferrets?

There are a few tips and tricks about that topic and I will list them all in this post. Here you can learn everything you need to know about ferret litter. Can ferrets use cat litter, which type is the best ferret litter for odor control, can ferrets use pine litter are some questions I covered in this post. But, let’s start from the beginning.

Why Should You Get A Litter?

Litter is a spot in the cage or in a room reserved for animals to do their business. It keeps the fecal matter in one place, it prevents the odor from spreading around and it keeps your home clean and poop-free.

Can You Train Ferrets To Use Litter?

Ferrets are just like cats and you can easily teach them to use the litter box. In the beginning, you need tricks so you can encourage them to start using the litter. If you need any information about that topic, read my post about litter training ferrets.

ferret potty training

Where Should You Place A Litter Box?

The first place you must put a litter box is a cage. The second place you can put a litter box is somewhere in the room if you let your ferret free roam. If you want to know what are the most common types of litter boxes so you can adjust them to your needs, read my post about picking the litter box.

Can You Use Cat Litter For Ferrets?

I wouldn’t recommend it. The problem with cat litter is that it is mostly made of clay and it clumps. That is not a good option for a ferret. If you want to find out why continue reading my post.

What Are Bad Ferret Litters?

Here is a list of litters that aren’t recommended for ferrets. They aren’t recommended because they can cause harm. On the top of the list is the most common cat litter – clay litter.

Clay Litter

The most common litter for cats is clay litter, but it isn’t the best option for the best cat litter for ferrets. Clay litter isn’t good because when it gets wet it gets sticky. That can stick to your ferret’s fur (on paws, nose, eyes, or around the anus) and it is hard to take off. Sometimes, when ferrets leave the litter box they drag their bottom to wipe. If clay pieces end up in their anus that can cause a blockage. That is not a situation you want to put your ferret in.

Clay Ferret Litter Not Safe

Some dusty clay litter can be bad for their respiratory system. Ferrets love to dig and they will dig absolutely everywhere, including litter boxes. When they are digging, they love to ”snorkel”. If they do that in the litter often, they can develop respiratory difficulties.  So, if you are wondering if you can you use cat litter for ferrets, technically you can, but not clay-type.

Silica-based Litter

Silica-based litter is not the best choice for a litter for ferrets.  Just like clay litter, silica litter can cause trauma to the respiratory system. There are some silica-based litters that are safe for the respiratory system, but when it comes to its high price and user-friendly features, there are far better litters than this one.

Silica-based Ferret Litter Not Safe

I’ve used silica-based litter and I had problems with cleaning, so I won’t recommend this one. It was too much work, too much money, and the smell was still in the air, so it is not the best ferret litter for odor control.

Cedar or Pine Litter

Another not so good ferret litter is pine or cedar wood shavings. Cedar and pine are filled with oils which can cause damage to the respiratory system and even some changes in liver enzymes. Shavings of pine or cedar have oils because they aren’t processed in a way to remove the oils.

Cedar or Pine Ferret Litter Not Safe

This isn’t just for ferrets. Rabbit or rat owners have a similar problem. They are avoiding pine or cedarwood shaving litter because it can change the work of particular liver enzymes. So, back to the question from the beginning of the article: Can ferrets use pine litter? I wouldn’t recommend it.

What Are Ferret-Safe Litters?

Basically, we just removed 50% of litters you can choose. So, what is left? The remaining ferret litters I could classify as one type and that is litter pellet. Those types are the best because they don’t get sticky, they can’t cause respiratory problems in a ferret and they are easy to clean.

Recycled Paper Litter

Litter made from recycled paper is one of the best litter for ferrets. What I like about it is that it is easy to clean, it has great odor control and it is easy to find. Almost every pet shop has it so you don’t have to look for it around town.  Also, it will last a long time with a rather small price. Oh, let’s not forget the fact it is a recycled product so we are thinking green.

Recycled Paper Ferret Litter

Wood Pellet Litter

Wood pellets are actually compressed sawdust and their price is also good for your wallet. They have zero oils and they are safe for your ferrets. But, you have to choose the ones without cedar or pine to avoid breathing problems. Their problem can be the fact that some brands produce pellets that turn into dust when wet. So, make sure you test the ferret pellet litter before you choose.

Wood Pellet Ferret Litter

Ordinary Wood Pellets

There is a possibility to find wood pellets in hardware stores. But you have to be careful with them because they can be harmful to animals. You have to check the package if it has a disclaimer: NOT FOR ANIMAL USE on it. Also, make sure to read the ingredients so you can be sure it doesn’t have cedar, pine, or other harmful chemicals and materials.

Not A Fan Of Ferret Litter?

The ferret pellet litter is not the only thing you can put on the floor for the same purpose. There are a few alternatives you can use, although I would strongly recommend using litter at least in the cage. I have one litter in the cage and one in a corner of the room and that is the best solution for my ferrets.

Puppy Pads

Puppy pads are one of the most popular ferret litter alternatives. They are easy to clean, easy to replace and they don’t cost that much. If your ferret is used to pads you can easily place them in every corner of the room if you want. But, if your ferret isn’t used to them, then not so much. As we all know, ferrets love to crawl under things. Most ferrets that don’t know what puppy pads are will crawl under them and play. They will see them as toys and not as a place to do their business.

Puppy Pads

Old Newspapers

Old newspapers can be a budget-friendly replacement for puppy pads.  Keep in mind that you should put many layers on the floor so it doesn’t go through. Also, you have to be sure that the ink on them is of good quality. If it isn’t it could leave a stain on the floor when ferrets do their business. Ferrets will act with newspapers the same as with puppy pads so it can be a toiler or a toy in their eyes.

Old Newspapers As Ferret Litter

Picking The Best Litter For Ferrets

There are many different litters, but you have to keep in mind that not every litter is a ferret-safe litter. Also, not every brand produces the same quality litters so the final result really depends on the product. But, there are things you can see yourself. The things you have to consider when picking a ferret litter are their odor control, their structure, and their composition.

Consider Odor Control

Odor control is one of the most important factors in litter. A litter with good odor control can remove the smell of urine from your home. Unfortunately, we can’t know in advance which litter brand has good odor control, but you can check the package. If it says something about the odor, it probably has good odor control.

Consider Litter Structure

A good ferret litter should turn into smaller particles without causing dust or stickiness. Now you know which ones cause dust or stickiness. If it is sticky, don’t use it. If it turns into dust, again, don’t use it.

How To Check The Ferret Litter

How To Check The Litter?

You can easily check their structure when they are wet in pet shops. Most pet shops have a sample of litter and water next to it. You can put a small amount of water in and see what is the reaction. Water the litter and grab a small amount in your hand. See how it decomposes, if it becomes dust, wet pile, or crumbles.


Picking the best litter for ferrets is not an easy task, but a good thing is that now you know what ferret litter types you can consider. Think about their performance and their price so you can choose the best solution for you and your ferret too. Test them in pet shops and go with the best option that doesn’t cause dust or clumps when wet.

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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