Ferret stopped using litter box. Why & How to stop it

Modern living room with huge ferret painting

Having a litter trained ferret is enjoyable. I mean, it is easy to manage his waste and besides, you get to have a stench free house. However, sometimes your ferret might start having peculiar accidents. With time it might start feeling like your ferret stopped using the litter box.

It could be as a result of you changing his litter, failure to scoop and clean the litter box. In other cases, it could be that your ferret has overgrown the old litter box.

Well, I am going to explain the reasons why your ferret has stopped using the litter box. Also, I will outline various ways you can get your ferret to start using the litter box once again.

Reasons why your ferret stopped using the litter box

I have had to retrain my ferret on how to use a litter box at some point. Well, there are various reasons that could trigger him to stop using it suddenly. If you are having the same problem, it could be because of any of the following reasons:

You recently changed the brand of litter

As with most pets, ferrets dislike change. However, they do not act up as a behavioral issue. If your ferret is dissatisfied with the new litter, he will avoid using the litter box.

Once again, I must emphasize on getting the correct type of litter for your ferret. It must not have any odor but it should be paper-based. Avoid using clay-based litter like that of kittens. In addition to being prone to respiratory issues, ferrets can also get anal blockages from clay litter.

Besides, your ferret will not be happy stepping on wet clay litter. It can be messy and will often stick to your ferret’s paws. This will discourage your ferret from using the litter box. He will choose anywhere else but the litter box.

Go for soft, dust-free and paper-based type of litter. Also, refrain from changing the type of litter.

Smelly litter box

Ferrets are clean creatures. They will not use a litter box if it is smelling of waste. Well, maybe you need to clean out the litter box at least every day. I mean, make sure to scoop litter each time your ferret eliminates.

Besides, it would be unfair to keep the boxes dirty. It would make your ferret stay in a smelly and unclean environment for long periods. It could stress out your ferret.

Small litter box

Your ferret will prefer to use a spacious and comfy litter box. He is definitely not going to try and squeeze into a small litter box. He will opt to go anywhere else.

Well, even though ferrets do not develop bigger bodies after their 4th month, you probably need a new litter box. He cannot be using the same litter box he used as a kit.

Ferret stopped using litter box. How to make your ferret start using the litter box again

Now that you understand some of the reasons why your ferret has stopped using the litter box, I am going to outline the methods to use to make it stop. Use the following tips to get your ferret to start using the box appropriately.

Ensure the litter box is comfortable

As I have discussed above, your ferret could have stopped using the litter box because it is uncomfortable. I mean, if he has to squeeze his way in or out of the litter box, then it is probably time to get a new one.

Besides, if the litter box seems small, your ferret could step on his poop. This would be disgusting and your ferret is going to hate it. Therefore, purchase a new, bigger and more comfortable litter box for him.

He should fit in comfortably and have room to turn around.

Use the appropriate type of litter

Ferrets can be a little picky when it comes to the kind of litter used. For instance, a ferret can easily decline using a litter box with scented litter. As I mentioned above, he could also refuse to use the litter box when you change the type of litter.

Therefore, be consistent with the type of litter. I already outlined some of the qualities to look for when shopping for ferret litter and even beddings.

If you have recently changed ferret’s litter, you could probably switch back to using the old type. If you are out of the litter, newspaper shredding is going to work well.

Change litter box positioning

Has your ferret stopped using the litter box suddenly? Is he going to another corner? Well, for some reason, your ferret could have a dislike of the current litter box position. Well, you could try to change the position and put it where he is going.

However, you must not change the position of the box if your ferret is eliminating appropriately. This can be very confusing for him.

Retrain your ferret

Some ferrets might suddenly stop using the litter box for no reason. If this has happened to your ferret, do not panic. You should start training him to use the latter from scratch. Ensure that he has appropriate boxes and even litter.

Monitor his favorite places to go and put some poop into the litter box. It should serve to remind the ferret that a litter box is to be used for urinating and pooping. I advise against forcing your ferret to smell his poop when retraining him to use the litter box appropriately.

With patience and consistency, you will be able to make your ferret start using the litter box once again.

Clean out his litter box regularly

When looking to get your ferret back to using the litter box, then you must keep his litter clean. As we discussed above, ferrets do not like using dirty boxes. Make sure you scoop soiled litter often. It is preferably done after each elimination.

However, if you have a busy day, ensure you have two or more litter boxes. Ferrets with multi-level cages should have a litter box in at least each level of the cage. Well, if he is at the top level, there is a limited chance that he will make it down to the litter box.

Change the entire litter every few days. Do not forget to wash off the smell and stains of urine and poop from the box.

If you think the box is overused, do not be afraid to change it as well. You should keep your ferret in a clean environment to encourage him to start using the box.


Has your fuzzy ball stopped using the litter box? Well, you should check to see if the box is as clean as it should be. At the same time, other factors like the position of the litter box might make your ferret avoid the latter.

In my experience, if a ferret has been trained to use a litter box and then suddenly stops, it is usually about the litter box. Ensure that the box is clean and of the right size as I outlined above. If he continues to go outside the litter box, it is probably time to begin training again.

However, you should not experience too much trouble training your ferret on how to use a litter box.

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