Litter training your ferret is one of the best feelings that come with owning one. It means that you will no longer have to clean every hour. Well, it is also not among the simplest tasks you can perform. Now besides litter training, can ferrets be housebroken?
Indeed, you can be able to housebreak your house but this is a game of patience. I always advise ferret owners to start litter training strictly in the cage. Once your ferret grasps the idea that he is supposed to use a litter box, only then can you start house training.
In this article, I am going to give you a helpful guide on litter training and housebreaking your ferret. In a few months, you can enjoy the luxury of playing with your ferret from anywhere in the house. Note that this process may fail to be as persistent as other pets such as dogs or cats.
Before you begin housebreaking your ferret, you must understand two of the following things:
Ferrets are picky
Ferrets can surely be housebroken. However, unlike cats and dogs, ferrets tend to choose where they want to go. If he is not comfortable with the corner you placed the litter box at, he will not use it.
For this reason, you must adjust a few things to suit his preference. Get the right kind of litter box, big enough for his body to fit in. Also, the litter box must have a lower entry for easy climbing. Understand that ferrets are small animals and climbing to higher surfaces is not exactly their specialty.
On the other hand, the litter box should have walled ends to keep it from tipping of spilling waste on the floor. The key is to make the litter box as appealing as possible for your little furry friend.
Get the right kind of litter
Now, getting the correct type of litter is something you need to take seriously. They love diving and snorkeling in their litter. Therefore, you must ensure that your ferret does not inhale dust to cause respiratory problems.
Paper litter is the best to use as it is dust-free and will also absorb liquids even faster. In the guide below, we are going to look at this in a more detailed manner.
Can ferrets be housebroken
Once you bring your little buddy home, all you can think of are the games you are going to play. Mind I remind you that ferrets have a fast metabolism and will need bathroom breaks quite often. This is the main challenge that you are going to face when trying to housebreak your pet ferret.
Now, before you think about housebreaking your buddy, concentrate on the primary litter training first. Below, I am going to give you an outline of how to litter train ferrets before they can be housebroken.
A helpful guide on how to litter train a ferret
As with other pets, it is always going to be a little challenging to fully litter train your ferret. However, with a bit of patience and persistence, you will have your ferret fully trained. You will no longer have to keep cleaning accidents in your home.
Step I. Have everything prepared
Getting a pet ferret is not an idea you develop at the pet store and purchase one. As with every other pet, you will need to go through the entire thought of the process. When you finally settle on bringing your ferret home, you should have everything ready to help him settle in.
Ensure that you already have a spacious cage for him. Note that your ferret is going to spend most of his life in the cage. He should be able to move, have a feeding and water station and fit at least two litter boxes.
The first day at home is not going to be exactly easy for your ferret. Therefore, I advise you to spend as much time as you can with him. Also, do not let him out of his cage. I have said it before that ferrets will spend the day trying to escape.
Make sure that you have ready food for him and put some drinking water in the cage.
Step II. Preparing the litter box
You will need to install at least two litter boxes in your ferret’s cage, even if he has not learned how to use them. You will need a litter box with a lower entry end to make it easy for him to climb. When you have the correct litter box for your ferret, think about the litter.
You must get a good quality litter to use in your ferret’s box. As I mentioned above, I insist on getting paper litter specifically made for ferrets. Ferrets are small animals, which means they are near the ground.
Unfortunately, ferrets also tend to have allergic reactions to dust. They are also prone to developing respiratory problems. I suggest you seek a quality paper litter that is dust-free. Also, use a litter that won’t clump when your ferret eliminates.
odor control is also another factor you must keep in mind when getting the correct type of litter. The best litter will absorb moisture and lock in the poop and pee smell from the litter box. This will not only keep your house from stinking but also keep your ferret is a clean and conducive environment.
Once again, I advise new ferret owners to go for litter specifically made for ferrets rather that of cats.
Step III. Commence litter training
Once you have everything set up, it is time to start training. I advise you to keep your ferret in the cage during this process. To begin training, your ferret will poop on his preferred surface in his cage. Note that he can choose to eliminate on the floor, even though you already have litter boxes installed in his cage.
Do not get angry to punish your ferret. Instead, put some of his waste in either of his litter boxes. The trick now is to teach him that pooping on the floor is wrong, while also giving him an option. It could take a few tries before he eventually gets it right but does not give up.
If your ferret tends to prefer eliminating in one corner of the cage, you could move the soiled litter box to that corner and monitor him. He is likely to come to the litter box and eliminate it. As I said earlier, you must spend the first few days with him. This way, you can notice immediately he uses the litter box and reward him for it.
Do not forget to keep a few treats ready for your ferret during litter training.
Step IV. No punishment
During litter training, accidents are inevitable. I know it can be frustrating spending a lot of time cleaning up his waste on the floor. Well, you cannot risk leaving it there as it would be unhygienic and put your ferret’s health at risk.
However, the one thing I advise you against is punishing your ferret for the accidents. First of all, ferrets or pets in general, cannot relate punishment to the accident. He has no idea what you are hitting, yelling or scolding him for.
I suggest you keep your cool during this period. The exciting news is that ferrets are incredibly intelligent, which makes them learn faster. You must be very consistent with the training nevertheless.
Housebreaking your ferret
If you have successfully litter trained your ferret, you can now start to think about housebreaking him. While it is possible for ferrets to be housebroken, this will need a lot of time and persistence. Ferrets may not be as persistent with this training as dogs or cats are.
Now, I suggest you ferret proof your house carefully. I mean, you do not want him to run off just about anywhere and ruin your stuff. Below, I am going to outline a working method to housebreak your ferret;
Set up a room for your ferret
Before you start letting your ferret access all the other parts of your house, I suggest you set up a room just for him. It could be your bathroom or basically another small room. Of course, he is going to be excited to be out of his cage and run freely.
Provide litter boxes
In the small room, pick up one of his litter boxes and once again, place it in the room strategically. Your ferret may get somewhere else to go. Do not give up. Clean it up and try once more. Housebreaking a ferret is not going to be an easy task.
Repeat Step III
Once you have the room set up, you can now let your ferret in the room. He is excited and will run around the room as it is new and bigger than his cage. Once again, commence litter training, now in the setup room. Put his waste on the litter box to once again guide him.
Understand that ferrets can be housebroken but they may lack persistence. He will have occasional accidents here and there and it is okay. Do not give up on the training even after weeks. If he won’t learn, maybe there is something you are not doing right.
It could be that you are using the inappropriate litter, or he does not like the litter boxes. Do not forget to keep treats in your pocket. When playing with your ferret and he rushes to the litter box and successfully eliminates, offers him a tasty treat.
If you are looking forward to a housebroken ferret, I suggest you put in some time. It needs a lot of work before you can confidently let your ferret run around in the house. As I mentioned earlier, start with litter training your ferret in the cage.
You can only let him out of the cage when you are fully confident that he completely trained. This way, it will be much easier for you to housebreak your ferret. Always take your ferret to the litter box immediately you let him out of the cage. Whether it is playtime or exercise time, he will likely eliminate right before you begin.
Housebreaking a ferret will take time and a lot of practice. Housebroken ferrets can access your living and even bedroom under your supervision. I do not advise ferret owners to let them roam free without supervision.