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.