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Quick Litter Training For Ferrets

Is it possible to litter train a ferret quickly?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: January 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EST

Q: My adult daughter recently lost her dear ferret to cancer. She wanted a replacement and, rather than wait for babies, she bought a 6-month-old cinnamon ferret from the pet store.

The ferret had been living in a large enclosure with several other ferrets. Bedding was down for the ferrets to defecate wherever they wanted. Now my daughter can't seem to get this new ferret litter-box trained. This is urgent because the ferret’s bad litter habits are causing a problem between my daughter and her boyfriend, and he wants to return the ferret.

Can a 6-month-old ferret be litter trained in a reasonable amount of time? What are the odds of this happening? Can you make any suggestions as to what to do?

A: Litter box training a ferret can be time consuming and frustrating, but it can be done with success to some degree. Place multiple litter boxes in the cage and minimal bedding. This way, the ferret is encouraged to go in the appropriate place.

Playtime out of the cage should only happen after the ferret has used the litter box (at first it may need to be placed in the litter box). Once this has happened, the ferret can come out to play. During playtime, it should be watched closely and placed back in the litter box every so often, because ferrets tend to urinate and defecate often. How successful this is depends on consistency, patience and the personality of the ferret.

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Quick Litter Training For Ferrets

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Reader Comments
As simple as it sounds, find out where they like to poop and put a litter box there. I have 3(!) new ferrets, and one likes to use the corner by the door, and another like the corner near my Computer desk, so I made a small litter box out of a small cardboard box, with a piece of plastic for a liner, for a make-shift litter pan, so now I can watch them, and if I see the particular culprit moving toward that part of the room, I make sure they go into the littler box; I even put them in it if they come close. This reinforces the knowledge that they need to use it instead of the floor. Since I have 3 ferrets, I can't tell who has gone potty before playtime and who hasn't, because they all use one corner of the litter box in their cage.
Another article says that usually before playtime, you should take them out before playtime, cuddle them and then put them in the litter pan/back in the cage and wait for them to use the bathroom. that way they know you are ready to play, but they have business to do before play time. As for me, I have 3, so it's harder to cuddle all 3, especially when they are all trying to jump out of the cage at once to play.
D, Sanford, FL
Posted: 11/10/2011 7:59:56 AM
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