Some people don't realize ferrets can be litter box trained. With patience and consistency, you can get your ferret to use a litter box and reduce messes during play time. It's easier than you think!
Steps to Litter Train Your Ferret
- Initially, keep your ferret confined to his cage with a litter box.
- Observe your ferret to make sure he is using the litter box. If your ferret seems to prefer another area of the cage move the litter box there instead.
- Once your ferret is using the litter box in his cage let him out of the cage in a small space and under close supervision. Place a second litter box in this small space.
- Place your ferret in the litter box before taking him out to play and frequently take him to the box during play time.
- If you notice your ferret backing into a corner take him to the litter box immediately!
- Whenever your ferret uses the litter box make sure he gets lots of praise and possibly a favorite treat.
- Never punish your ferret for mistakes. Gently place your ferret in the litter box if caught urinating or defecating outside of the litter box but this must be done immediately to have any effect.
- Once your ferret is using the litter box outside of the cage gradually increase the space your ferret can roam freely in.
- Add more litter boxes as necessary as a ferret likely won't go too far in search of a box.
- Be flexible about placement of boxes. If your ferret seems to prefer a particular place as a toilet put a box there. Corner boxes, small cat litter boxes, and various plastic containers can be utilized to find something that fits your ferret's favorite location.
- If your ferret wants to use an inconvenient location place a box there and gradually move it out of the way.
- If your ferret begins having accidents go back to confinement or limited space with the supervision stage and start these steps again.
- Use a low walled box or container and you may want to leave a little waste in the box to make it clear that it is the toilet area.
- In the cage put lots of blankets and towels around the box to clearly separate the bed and bathroom areas.
- Be patient and consistent and expect a few accidents as ferrets usually don't litter train perfectly. Constant supervision while your ferret is out of the cage will be necessary in the early stages.
- Don't give up!
Edited by Adrienne Kruzer, RVT