Pet ferrets are adorable and playful. However, it can be a little disappointing if your ferret is soiling the house. I mean, the smell of ferret poop everywhere in the house is not exciting. This article will give you a step by step simple guide on how to stop ferret from pooping in the house.
As with every other form of training, it is not going to be an easy task for you to make your ferret use a litter box. However, it is possible and it is the only way you are going to stop your ferret from this disgusting behavior.
Step by step guide on how to stop a ferret from pooping in the house
Before I go ahead and outline the steps to take to fully train a ferret to use a litter box, several factors might affect the process. These might include the position of the litter box, age of your ferret as well as the type of litter.
It is much easier to train a younger ferret on how to use the litter box than it is to train an older ferret who has never used it before. This is not to say that it is impossible. Rather, it could take more time.
Well then, without further hesitation, let us look at the step by step guide on how to stop a ferret from pooping in the house.
Step 1: Choosing the litter box
As indicated above, the only way to prevent your ferret from pooping in the house is by use of a litter box. After all, it is the best strategy to manage house soiling.
Now, getting the right type of litter box for your small pet should be your priority. Shopping for these should not be as difficult. Although, I must emphasize buying a litter box with lower sides.
It is to accommodate the ferret since they have short legs. At the same time, make sure that the litter box is big enough to allow your ferret to eliminate comfortably. He should not have to step on his poop on his way out of the box.
Buy a ferret specific litter box to make it all easy.
Step 2: Getting the right type of litter
Once you have a litter box ready, you will need to put ferret litter in it. Now, you will need to be careful when buying litter for your ferret. Do not go for cat litter made of clay. This is not only uncomfortable for your ferret but it could also lead to blockages.
Well, ferrets drag their bottom after doing their business. Clay pellets could lead to blockage.
When choosing the correct type of litter for your ferret, ensure it is dust-free. Paper-based litter is excellent to use. It is because it will not clump to stick in your ferret’s paws. This can be quite discouraging.
Refrain from using wood shavings as litter. Instead, ensure that your chosen type of litter can absorb both urine and odor.
Choosing the wrong type of litter can actually discourage your ferret from using the litter box.
Step 3: Placing the litter box
Once you get your litter box, it is time to find the right position. Ferrets will always choose corners to poop. However, you will not be the one to decide where to put it. Wait until your ferret poops in his preferred position.
Once he does, consider putting the litter box in the same exact position. It will be easier for your ferret to understand what the litter box is used for.
Also, ensure that the position of the litter box is far from his bed or food station.
Step 4: Restrain the litter box to the sides of the cage
Your ferret is going to spend most of his time in his cage. Therefore, making the litter box readily available in the cage will assist in litter box training. However, these small pets can be quite jumpy and playful.
Use a metal wire to tie the litter box to the cage. This way, your ferret will not spill the litter or even his poop all over the cage.
Step 5: Empty the litter box every day
Now, if the litter box has even the slightest stench, your ferret might avoid it. These animals are very clean. At the same time, they have a very strong sense of smell. Your ferret will pick poop odor from the litter box and choose to poop elsewhere.
Well, clean up the litter box at least twice every day. You will also need to clean out used litter every few days.
Besides, keeping the litter box clean at all times will encourage him to use it. Your house will also e free of ferret poop smell.
Step 6: Get an extra litter box
An extra litter box is going to encourage your ferret to keep using the latter. First of all, another litter box will offer your ferret an option. For instance, if your ferret has already used one litter box, having another will ensure that he does not soil the cage when he needs to go next.
It is especially important for people who spend several hours a day from home. Also, it is advisable for people with multi-level cages to have more than one litter box. Having a litter box at each level will minimize accidents.
Step 7: Clean accidents thoroughly
When training a ferret to stop pooping in the house, you are going to encounter difficulties. One of the setbacks you cannot avoid is accidents. Your ferret may not get it all right at first.
Instead of getting angry with him, clean up the soiled surfaces. Ensure you get all the poop is cleaned. Use enzymatic cleaners to remove stains and smell of poop.
If you leave the place smelling like poop, it could encourage your ferret to go there once more. Do not give up even when he has more than one accident. He will eventually get accustomed to using the litter box.
Step 8: Place him in the litter box when he wakes up
As with humans, ferrets are likely to have the urge to go to the bathroom immediately they wake up. It can be difficult to always be there to get him to the litter box each time he wakes up. However, a trick that could help is putting the ferret in his litter box when you catch him waking up.
Do not get him out of there until he has already pooped. If he does not poop, he is likely to poop somewhere else sooner than later.
Step 9: Place poop in the litter box
It is a clever trick that works especially if you are just beginning training. I used this step to introduce my ferrets to the use of litter boxes. When you first bring your ferret home, he will choose the corner of the cage he prefers to poop in.
Scoop the poop and put it in his litter box. The goal is to associate the box with appropriate pooping. Your ferret will not understand the use of the box.
Step 10: Keep your ferret in the cage
During litter box training, you might consider keeping your ferret in the cage. It is going to be much easier managing him rather than have him soiling every part of the house.
While it is going to help you reinforce litter box use, I do not advocate for complete confinement. However, during the first days of training, you might need to keep your ferret in the cage.
It reinforces the training given that your ferret does not have so many options. I mean, he will not want to poop near his bed, or feeding area. Have two litter boxes to allow him to choose whichever one he wants.
Step 11: Use rewards to reinforce training
Training your pet to use a litter box requires a lot of consistency and patience. At the same time, you should incorporate positive reinforcement. It means you reward your ferret each time he uses the litter box when you are at home.
Note that in order for this to work, you will need to reward your ferret immediately he gets it right. For instance, in the morning, when you put him in the litter box. Ensure you have a treat and offer it to him upon successful elimination.
This way, your ferret will start using the litter box since it brings about a positive outcome.
Litter training a ferret is not among the easiest things to do. However, I can tell you that you are going to find it easy managing a ferret once he has been fully trained. The above steps should help you stop your ferret from pooping in the house within a few weeks.
Bonus Point: consider getting a litter box out of his cage. He cannot always be able to get to the cage during play. This will help you manage his bathroom breaks when outside the cage.