Do ferrets use a litter box?
Can you potty train a ferret and how?
Everything you need to know about potty training ferrets, you can read in my post. I will cover questions like do ferrets use a litter box, how to litter train a ferret, can ferrets be house trained and many other questions. So, let’s talk about litter and litter training ferrets!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Do Ferrets Use Litter Boxes?
Yes, ferrets use the litter box, they are very similar to cats in that part. Actually, ferrets are very easy to potty train. They are very clean animals and they don’t do their business whenever they like it and wherever they want.
Most ferrets have 2-3 places in your home they use as a toilet. But, you can’t use every litter box on the market, you have to use the ones with short sides so your ferret can enter without trouble. The size, shape, and materials are important and to find out all about it, read my post about ferret litter boxes.
Can Ferrets Be Potty Trained?
Yes, ferret potty training is not a complicated process, but it can take time. Most ferrets figure out quickly what litter box is for, so you won’t have too much trouble. Still, there are a few tips on how to train a ferret to use a litter box to make everything even better.
The good thing about ferrets is that they won’t go potty on your couch or your bed like some cats do to mark territory, express anxiety, etc. When they decide on the potty spot, they stick to it most of the time. There are times when a ferret can’t hold it in to go to the litter box, but that is not something they do often so don’t blame them for it.
Potty Training By Ages
Baby Ferrets – Kits
The easiest way to train a ferret is when he is a baby – a kit. A kit doesn’t know better so if you show him to do it the right way, he will do it that way the moment he figures it out. But, keep in mind that kits are easily distracted so take your time with litter training.
Can adult ferrets be potty trained? Of course they can, but they might need more time and dedication from you so don’t give up! Adult ferrets already have the experience of where and when to do the business so keep in mind that you will have to break the bad habit first and replace it with the good one.
Old ferrets often have a hard time entering a litter box so you can experience accidents more often. Don’t punish them for that, adjust the litter box to them. Build a ramp or replace the litter box with one that has shorter sides so your ferret can easily enter.
How To Litter (Potty) Train A Ferret?
As I have already mentioned, ferrets can easily train to use the litter box. Just like with training ferrets not to bite, there are a few options you can try to teach your ferret how to potty in the litter. Don’t worry, ferrets go many times a day to the litter so you will have time to learn and try all about litter training ferrets.
Don’t despair if one of the options doesn’t work immediately. Just like with any other training, try it a few times (a couple of days) and if it doesn’t work, move to another option. Also, make sure you reward every time your ferret does it in the litter, no matter the option you chose.
OPTION 1: Leave Ferret In The Cage
Most ferrets go to the litter around 15 minutes after they wake up. So place the litter box in the cage and let your ferret sleep. When the ferret wakes up, go to the cage and wait.
When the ferret does his business, open the cage doors and let him out. If your ferret immediately does his business in the litter box, reward him! If he doesn’t clean the cage and place the litter box on the spot where he did it.
OPTION 2: Let Your Ferret Pick A Spot
If you don’t have litter in the cage, you can wait for the ferret to pick a corner for the business. When he does that, simply clean that corner and put the litter box in that place. Make sure you clean the spot very good to destroy all the bacteria.
Ferrets usually go to the same spot to pee or poo, so if your ferret has a preferred spot, place the litter there. It is a good idea to tie the litter box to the cage (or just attach it) because ferrets can move the litter box away to do what they need behind it.
OPTION 3: Put Poop In Litter Box
If you have a litter box in the cage and your ferret decides to ignore it, you might have to nudge him a little.
During cleaning, place the poop in the litter box instead of getting rid of it. That way your ferret can see and smell the poop inside and connect the litter with the poop.
OPTION 4: Grab Your Ferret
If you notice that your ferret is backing up in the corner, you can quickly grab and place him in the litter box. If you are fast enough, you can help him do his business in the right place – the litter.
It doesn’t matter which option you choose, make sure you reward your ferret when he does the job right. Give him a treat, salmon oil, or paste when you see poop in the litter box. If you manage to catch the entire action, definitely make sure your ferret gets a reward after that.
What To Put In a Litter Box?
There are many different litters on the market, but not all of them are safe for ferrets so do the research before you start potty training ferrets. Make sure you don’t use clay litter and cedar litter. Read all about ferret-safe litters in my post about the best ferret litter.
Use the same litter in all litter boxes in your house. If you can, stay on one litter type because this is the litter your ferret is used to. If your ferret stopped using the litter box, it might be because you’ve put different litter in it.
Where Should I Put A Litter Box?
One litter box should be in the corner of the cage. Put it on the bottom of the cage and away from the food and water. If you have a multi-level ferret cage put the food and water at the top platform and the litter box at the bottom. It is always a good idea to separate the bathroom from the kitchen when setting up a ferret cage.
I would recommend putting one or two litter boxes in rooms your ferret is playing. That way he doesn’t have to rush into the cage to do his business. With more boxes around the ferret, smaller is the chance of accidents. If you want to know more about where to place litter boxes and how many boxes to use, read my post about ferret litter boxes.
If you don’t want to put a litter box outside of the ferret cage, use puppy pads. You can train a ferret to go on puppy pads the same way you trained him to go in the litter box.
What Else Ferrets Do In Litter Box?
I know that this question sounds weird, but it is true. What else can a ferret do in a litter box, besides using it as a toilet? You will find out.
Ferret Digging In Litter Box
Almost every ferret has done it at least once in your life. This action is actually the reason why cat’s clay litter isn’t recommended for ferret litter. When ferrets dig in a litter box and there is clay litter inside, pieces of clay can get in their ears, nose, and mouth. You don’t want your ferret swallowing litter, right? That is why you have to pick a ferret-safe litter.
Ferret Sleeping In Litter Box
This activity is not as common as digging in the litter box, but it is possible. Yoda did that a few years back during summer. I think that they do that to cool down. In nature, they would lay in the grass or on the soil to cool down. Today, the only thing they have is litter so they choose that option.
Ferret Eating Litter
If your ferret is eating litter, that means something isn’t right. Make sure your ferret has enough food and water. Also, make sure your ferret eats his food because he might refuse it for a couple of reasons. Another reason for ferret eating litter is that litter looks like kibble. Replace the litter with another type and make sure your ferret doesn’t eat the second litter also.
Are Ferrets Litter Trained?
Ferrets aren’t litter trained, they don’t know what litter is. But, you can easily make them litter trained by using the options I explained in this post.
Are Ferrets Easy To Potty Train?
Yes, ferrets are easy to potty train. Generally, ferrets are clean animals and they relieve themselves in one or two spots. They can quickly figure out what a litter box is and how to use it. But, you will have to help them with that.
How Do You Potty Train A Stubborn Ferret?
The best way to potty train a stubborn ferret is to be patient. You have to be more stubborn. Work with a ferret as long as it takes because potty training is something every ferret should and can learn.
Why Is My Ferret Not Using The Litter Box?
There is a reason why would your ferret stopped using the litter box although you trained him. It can be because litter is filled with poop. If the litter box is too dirty, your ferret will step away from it and do his business elsewhere.
Unlike cats, ferrets don’t cover their poop so you will be able to see when they fill it up. If you have one ferret clean the litter box once a day from the poop and at least once a week remove the litter from the litter box and wipe the entire litter box clean with a safe cleaning solution. If you have two ferrets, clean the litter in the morning and in the evening. If you have more ferrets, you will have to clean more times a day, preferably after they all do their business.
How To Stop Ferrets From Pooping In Corner?
Ferret potty training doesn’t include this option because ferrets poop in corners since forever. That is their natural way of relieving themselves. They can’t protect themselves while pooping so they do it where they are the safest – in the corner. That way they can see what is happening around them. They can’t see what is happening behind them, but they don’t have to because there is nothing there.
What Not To Do During Ferret Potty Training?
Don’t push ferret face in the poop if it is outside the box. This action won’t help, you can only make your ferret nervous and aggressive because he doesn’t know what he did wrong. They need affection and love, not violence. Actually don’t do that to any animal, not just ferrets.
My Litter Training Ferrets Experience
When Frida came to me back in 2012, she pooped everywhere. I really wondered can ferrets be potty trained when I saw that, but then I realized there are ways to do it. I was a bit pumped up so I combined two options you see above. First, I tried option 1, which was pretty great so we took care of the litter in the cage. But, the litter outside the cage was a bigger problem. Frida would go to the litter, entered then exited and did her business next to the litter box. So, I combined options 3 and 4.
When she did her business outside the litter box, I placed the poop inside. Also, I looked at her, and when she started backing up, I grabbed her and placed her in the box. We fought like that for a week. One day, she decided she is sick of me carrying her to the litter and went there herself.
Yoda, on the other hand, is a pretty well-socialized ferret. Yoda immediately knew what a litter box is for so I didn’t have to worry about how to train a ferret to use a litter box.
Now that you know what are your options for how to litter train a ferret, all you have to do is start with litter training ferrets. Remember, ferret potty training is not a hard task, but it requires dedication and patience. Ferrets can use a litter box, they might need a little help from you to do it. Which option worked for your ferret? Share your experience below in the comments and feel free to subscribe to the Friendly Ferret newsletter!