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Ferret Smell

How can ferret owners conquer ferret smells?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: October 1, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

Q: I have a male and female ferret. Is there anything I can do about the smell in the house?

A: Generally speaking, ferret odor is caused by a few easy-to-remedy possibilities.

1) Make sure you clean litter boxes often to prevent odor build up. Also clean the ferrets’ cage or room often, because not all ferrets are great about using the litter box.

2) Clean their bedding. The nice thing about towels and sheets is that they are easy to wash and keep clean. Laundry should be done at least weekly.

3) Watch what you feed them. A high-quality food usually produces a lower odor in feces than a lower quality food. Think about the main ingredients in the food. Fish doesn’t usually make the fresh food product smell good in my opinion, and it certainly taints the smell of feces.

4) Cut back on bathing the ferrets. Like most animals, ferrets produce an oil that makes them smell like themselves — an individual ferret has its own odor. The more they are bathed, the more oil they need to produce, which leads to more odor. We only bathe our ferrets if they get into something that makes them dirty, like if they are out playing and get dusty or sooty. Even then, a bath is usually just a quick water wash with no soap.

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Reader Comments
I also have charcoal in areas that the ferrets cant reach. I open the windows daily, and have the plug-in scented air freshners. When guest come over they dont believe that I have a ferret let alone 2. I have to show them for people to believe me.
babygurl, Uniondale, NY
Posted: 3/6/2011 10:51:01 PM
5. Give water out of a bowl instead of a bottle. Their urine will be less concentrated that way.
April, Bowling Green, OH
Posted: 11/3/2008 5:57:56 AM
Very true - I cannot emphasise enough how much th eBEDDING holds the SMELL.
The oils soak into bedding readily - I suggest using fleecy material - cheap, nothing to catch little claws on, easy to wash - QUICK to DRY!
I just take it all out after 2 days and bag it until i have a full wash load, it couldn't be easier - and i have kept up to 22 ferrets in my little apartment - the only time a neigbour complained about the smell? When I had a very undesexed and randy Keith over for a conjugal visit - and when the babies came.
No problem with desexed ferrets AT ALL.
Nice one!
Justine, Airlie Beach, QC
Posted: 10/8/2008 4:47:19 PM
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