Ferrets are highly intelligent creatures and can be trained to do various things. This includes learning to use a litter box from an early age. But despite being compared to cats all the time, they don’t know to use a litter box instinctively. You’ll have to spend a few weeks training them before letting them roam free.
This is where ferret litter boxes come in handy. They’re a little bit different than cat litter boxes as ferrets need one lower side to get in and out and the rest of them have to be high for privacy. Choosing the right litter and litter box for your ferret is very important.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the best litter boxes for ferrets and learn what is the best litter for them as well.
Best Litter Box For Ferrets – Top 3
Finding the perfect litter box for your ferret can be a little hard at first, especially if you’ve never owned a ferret before. All ferrets are different and have their own preferences regards their litter box. If your ferret doesn’t feel comfortable using the litter box, it will avoid it like the plague.
This is why we did lots of research in your stead and picked some of the best ferret litter boxes available. They’re some of the highest-rated we could find while also coming at a pretty affordable price. Regardless of what you buy, you get what you paid for.
Let’s start with the Marshall High Back Ferret Litter Pan that’s easily one of the best options on the market. Ferrets have longer bodies, which means that they need a bit more space to do their business comfortably.
This litter pan is specifically designed for ferrets and their characteristic elimination habits. They tend to dig a little bit and check the whole area, then they have a habit of dragging their bottoms across the litter box.
Marshall took into consideration all the needs a ferret has while making this litter pan. If your ferret isn’t used with you yet he will prefer privacy, which the tall sides of this box offer. And the one low side is perfect for allowing the ferret to get in and out without any issues.
Thanks to its reliable construction that’s made from durable plastic, this litter box will withstand your ferret’s destructive behavior. Your ferret will be able to dig, throw litter around, jump in and out, while the litter box barely gets any scratches.
The dimensions of the pan are 12 inches wide and 14 inches long. This is more than enough for your ferret and you even have various colors to choose from, including green, blue, and purple.
The package will include 2 pans that are excellent for being placed in the rooms your ferret is allowed to roam in. Unfortunately, this also means they’re not ideal for cages and they have no locking system.
The second one on our list is the Ware Manufacturing Plastic Scatterless Lock-N-Litter Small Pet Pan. This is designed for various smaller pets, including ferrets. It features two reliable locks that allow you to install it inside their cage and prevent the ferret from treating it like a toy.
This litter pan is made from high-end quality plastic that is very durable while also being stain and odor-resistant. As you may know all too well, ferret poop stinks so you need all the help you can get to maintain a clean house.
As long as your ferret has a wire cage, this pan can be installed without any difficulties. Its job is to eliminate the chance of dealing with overturned pans and grossly scattered litter all over the cage. More than that, it’s very easy to install, take off, and clean.
Thanks to the plastic guard and wire floor, this litter pan can keep your ferret’s feet clean as well. But more importantly, it doesn’t give your pet the chance to dig in it and throw everything around while playing.
The dimensions of this litter box are 12-3/4 inches wide, 9-1/4 inches deep, and 6 inches high. You should also keep in mind that this is a corner litter pan. This means it’s excellent for small ferrets and saving space inside the cage.
If your bigger ferret refuses to use this litter pan, you should take in consideration that maybe it’s too small for him to fit comfortably.
And the last one on our list is the Ware Manufacturing Plastic Lock-N-Litter Pan for Small Pets – Size Regular. This model is very similar to our second pick, except it doesn’t have the protective wire. Ferrets can be pretty pretentious, and if they don’t like the wired version, this model might be the one.
This model is also a corner litter box that is excellent for saving space inside the cage. If your mischievous little friend prefers getting his little feet dirty, there isn’t much you can do. You can expect to get two pans in the package and you can set one in the corner of your room.
Your ferret will love the low entry as it allows him a fast way in and out, while it will also appreciate the privacy the high walls provide. And if you’re not new to ferrets, you will appreciate the fact that the pan stops the poop from miraculously getting on the wall.
The litter box is made of a durable plastic that can resist and stains and odors. This means you will be able to clean and disinfect it immediately, without having to waste time taking bad smells out of it.
It features a simple design with a secure lock that keeps the pan fixed no matter how playful your ferret is. But sadly, it might also be a bit too small for some ferrets. If they continue to refuse using it, try getting a bigger size.
How often do I need to clean the litter box, and how?
Another reason why Ferrets are always compared to cats is that they’re very clean creatures as well. This means that they will never do their business where they eat, play, or sleep. If you have the patience to train them, they make excellent pets.
When it comes to litter box pooping, ferrets are even cleaner than cats. Cats might use the same litter box even if you don’t clean it for weeks. But a ferret needs its litter pan cleaned every single day if you’re busy, and twice a day if you have the time.
Ferrets poop once every 3-4 hours, and even if they eat proper ferret food and don’t poop a lot, they will stop using the litter box simply because it’s too dirty after using it 4-5 times. So before you scold your pet about having an accident, make sure the litter box is nearby and it’s clean.
Cleaning a Ferret’s litter box is no different than cleaning a cat’s litter box. You need a poop scooper to take all the poop and cluttered litter out and throw it into a nearby garbage bin. Then you need to refill with litter and clean the scooper.
When it comes to deep cleaning, you will have to do it once a week. This includes throwing all the litter away (always keep a little bit), wash with warm water, soap, and a disinfectant, then let it dry. And when you put the new litter in, mix some of the old litter on the surface so the Ferret knows that’s the litter box.
Ferret excrement stinks very badly. This is why it’s recommended to mix a pinch of baking soda with the litter to help with the smell. And since ferrets love the vanilla scent, you can dab the walls of the litter box with vanilla extract so your ferret can find it immediately. But don’t use that vanilla extract anywhere else.
Types of Litter Recommended To Use
Before you buy the first cat litter you see in the store for your ferret just because it’s litter, you have to understand what works and what not with ferrets. And more importantly, learn what could seriously harm them.
There are various types of cat litter that are harmful to ferrets. That’s why the products your ferrets need have to be specifically made for them. And the litter you choose for them needs to work perfectly with their anatomy and nature.
Your ferret’s litter needs to be made for them. This means being dust-free as they have very sensitive respiratory systems. It should also not be anything your ferret will attempt to eat. And if you use a natural litter, make sure it’s within the expiration date.
As mentioned before, a ferret’s poop stinks very bad so you need to consider a litter that’s designed to have odor-controlling properties. You should also avoid litter that has any extra chemicals, additives, fragrances, etc.
The most popular type of ferret litter is newspaper. It’s extremely cheap (if you buy outdated ones in bulk), and you have various options with them. The recommended way to use them is to put two or three sheets one above the other and simply place it in the litter box.
You can also shred the newspaper before placing it in the litter pan but this makes it harder to clean. The whole newspaper sheet can be simply picked up and thrown away. No need for a lot of extra scrubbing.
There are also various commercial litter packages that are made from shredder newspapers that are transformed into small pallets. It has very low dust content
The best choice for your ferret is the Bentonite ferret litter. It’s made of special clay that is the product of volcanic ash. It’s also a very absorbent litter. Don’t opt for any other type of clay as it’s a terrible choice for ferrets. Only the Bentonite ferret litter is perfect for ferrets but it can be pricey.
Other ferret-safe option that you can use includes pine pallet stall bedding (turns into dust when it’s soiled), wood stove pallets (might contain harsh chemicals), and clumping ferret litter (your pet might eat it). Those need to be chosen carefully to ensure they’re actually safe for your little furry friend.
When you’re on a budget and your ferret prefers pallets that tend to be costlier, don’t worry, you can opt for natural ferret litter. They’re made from natural paper fibers compressed into pallets. More than that, they have superior odor control and absorbent capabilities.
One of the best natural litter on the market for your furry friend is the Marshall Ferret Litter. It comes in bags that can vary from 10-pounds to 50-pounds. This means you can get exactly how much you need, regardless if you have one ferret or more.
The pallets are made from natural paper fiber and some special ingredients that help with odor control. Both work together to get rid of any unwelcome ammonia odors. You can place this in your ferret’s litter box or at the bottom of its habitat.
This non-allergic litter is dust-free and is specifically made to protect the sensitive respiratory system of your little pet. More than that, it’s completely environmentally-friendly as it’s 100% biodegradable. It’s designed to exceed the needs of any ferret and protect our beautiful planet as well.
Besides coming at a reasonable price, this litter will also win you over with its flushable properties. You won’t have to waste garbage bags on ferret litter every single time you clean it. All you need to do is put little by little in the toilet and flush it. Never let it build up as it will obviously clog the toilet.
You might want to have some ferret-safe wooden chips around when you switch to this litter. This is because your ferret might avoid the strange new litter if he’s feeling picky. The wooden chips will help offer the pallets a wood smell that will attract the ferret.
Types of Litter That Should Be Avoided
Now let’s also take a moment and talk about the types of litter you should keep your ferret very far away from. They’re very sensitive creatures and since they don’t know to do their business in one place instinctively, the litter box needs to be perfect for the ferret to accept it as its potty place.
As mentioned before, Clay litter is a very bad choice for your ferret. The moment it gets wet, the clay starts getting thicker and more cement-like. This causes it to stick to the sin of the ferret along with its eyes, nose, and even paws.
Since ferrets have a habit of dragging their bottom against the ground when they do their business, to the bottom of the litter pan, in this case, the clay particles might get stuck to their bottom.
The reason why this is so dangerous is that the clay can slump up and create blockages in the ferret’s anus. More than that, your ferret loves digging through the litter before doing its business, which can be very dangerous if it also ingests some of it. The clay can create an inter blockage very fast.
And that’s still not the end of the story. The clay litter is also heavily dusty, creating some serious problems for your ferret’s respiratory system. Whatever you do, stay away from any other type of clay litter than the Bentonite ferret litter (if you have the money).
Another kind of litter you need to avoid is the silica-based type. It’s very popular for cats and it contains pearls, beads, gel, or flakes. The silicosis can create significant trauma and be just as dangerous as the clay to the ferret’s respiratory system.
However, you can still find some ferret-safe silica litter on the market and it’s called amorphous silica litter. But since it’s so heavy, most ferrets will consider the litter box a dig box. It’s also pretty pricey, not easy to scoop, and the process is messy.
You should also keep your ferret away from cedar and pine wood shavings. They contain essential oils names aromatic hydrocarbons and phenols. The toxic vapors released by these oils attack the respiratory system and the liver of the ferret with full force.
Since natural ferret litter looks a lot like rabbit food pallets, some people think they can use the rabbit pallets as litter for their ferret. This is absolutely not true. You might be able to use alfalfa palleted litter that looks a lot like the palleted rabbit food. But it’s irritating and slightly toxic for some ferrets.
And the last type that your ferret should never even go near is the corncob litter. You should never use this type of litter no matter the situation. It could contain molds and dust that will affect your ferret’s health. And if they eat it they will suffer from internal blockages.
Training Ferrets To Use Litter Boxes – A Few Tips
Training your ferret to use a litter box always starts from the cage. This is because using a confined space can help you keep an eye on the pet at all times. If you start directly with a room or more it will be harder to keep track of where every ferret is and what are the chances of having an accident.
You also need a lot of time on your hands while litter training your ferret. More than that, it’s best to be there every time your ferret poops so you can direct him to the right place. And since they’re pooping every 3-4 hours, it can be a difficult task for only one person.
The litter needs to be placed in a corner of the cage, away from food, sleeping bed, and his toys. Make sure you have a litter pan with a lower entrance and with the rest of the pan as high as possible. This will allow the ferret to easily get in and out while also minimizing the mess.
After you’ve secured the litter box in the cage as safely as you can, start with a little bit of litter of your choice. At first, you might have to go through different types to know what your ferret prefers best. Then all you need to do is wait.
The best chance of being there when your ferret poops is by waking them up yourself. They typically poop in the first 15 minutes. That’s when you can easily pick him up and place him in the litter box. After he did his business, it’s ideal to have a treat and encourage him with words.
You’ll need to repeat this process every 3-4 hours for at least a week, maybe more, depending on how stubborn your ferret is. After that ,you need to apply the same process to a bigger space, and it’s best to start with his usual playroom.
It’s not recommended to continue with more than one room at a time as ferrets need to keep in mind where that litter box is in that specific room. If it’s not nearby, ferrets will just do their business in another corner. They’re not like cats to find the litter box no matter where it is. It needs to be in the same room as them.
This means that if your ferret will be completely roam free, you’ll need a litter box in each room. And if he prefers one specific place to do his business, it’s best to move the litter box there. If the place is too inconvenient, disinfect it properly and throw some of his toys there. He will consider it his play space.
And again, as much as ferrets are compared to cats, they’re not very similar at all. You should always expect a roam free ferret to have accidents from time to time. The litter box in the cage works 100% of the time, while the one in a bigger room works only up to 90-93% of the time.
If your ferret is litter trained but starts having accidents again, you need to go back to the cage and start the process all over again. This always solves the problem, unless you’ve recently changed the litter and they hate it.
Don’t ever scold your ferret too harshly when he has an accident. This will affect your bounding immediately. They have short memory spans and might not even know why you’re yelling at them about. Be patient and use lots of treats and positive reinforcement.