How to Stop a Ferret from Smelling?

ferret sleeping in cage

If you want to reduce your pet ferret’s odor, you should regularly bathe it, clean its teeth and ears. You should also clean its cage and litter box. On the other hand, you might want to consider neutering the ferret. However, you should consult the vet before making any sudden changes to your pet’s regime.

How to Stop a Ferret from Smelling? — A Quick guide for First-Time Owners

Ferrets are adorable creatures and they can be delightful pets. However, first-time ferret owners might have a hard time adjusting to their furry companion’s natural scent. As a long-time ferret breeder and owner, I often get asked by newcomers how to stop a ferret from smelling. So, in this text, I’ll give my brief answer.

As far as why they smell in the first place — ferrets have scent glands in their skin and they give off a musky, earthy smell. This smell bothers some people, while others don’t mind it. But that’s not all. Much like skunks, ferrets also have anal glands that can produce a strong odor when they’re scared. Finally, ferret excrement can also have a pungent smell.

How to Stop a Ferret from Smelling

Regular Grooming

If your ferret has a bad smell most of the time, maybe you need to rethink your grooming practices. I suggest you bathe the ferret once a month using a ferret-safe shampoo. Just make sure you don’t do it too often, as their skin might lose its natural oils and smell even worse.

In addition, I advise you to clean the ferret’s ears once a week using an ear cleaning solution from the pet store. Finally, if you can, you should also brush your ferret’s teeth on a weekly basis. 

Neutering the Ferret

If your ferret is still young, then you might want to think about spaying it when it’s about four months old. When it reaches maturity, the ferret’s hormones will start going wild, making the odor stronger and more pungent. To prevent that and to keep your ferret healthy in general, I suggest you talk to your vet about neutering.

Cleaning the Cage and Litter Box

In case you haven’t, I advise you to try and teach your ferret to use a litter box. It’s not that difficult, and it can seriously help with odor reduction. That being said, you should also clean the litter box daily.

In addition, the cage also needs to stay clean, so make sure you give it a good scrub at least once a month. Don’t forget to wash and switch out the bedding, as that’s where most of the odor is coming from. Another thing you can do is install an air filter on the top of the ferret’s cage.

Cleaning Your House

Those who let their ferrets run around the house probably know how the smell can stick to carpets and furniture. That’s why you should dust and vacuum your house every week. Personally, I think it’s better to limit your pet’s movement to just a few rooms. That way, you only have to clean those on a regular basis.

You can also use a deodorizer to freshen the room. Just make sure it’s non-toxic and out of the ferret’s reach.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

I often see ferret-owners feeding their pet fruit and vegetables, thinking that they’re doing it a favor. However, sugary and fatty foods can have a terrible impact on a ferret’s well-being and cause their excrement to smell terrible. So, it’s better to stick with a high-protein diet.

You can get the food at your local pet store. Anything that contains lean meat (chicken, turkey, etc) will work. However, although fish is lean meat, it can cause the ferret’s stool to smell even worse.


If you’ve tried everything and nothing has managed to reduce the odor, then I advise you to consult with your vet. Maybe your ferret has underlying health problems that you aren’t aware of. Even if it doesn’t, the vet will surely give you some useful tips on how to stop a ferret from smelling. 

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