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Ferrets Flip The Litter Box

What can stop ferrets from digging in and flipping their litter box?

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

Q: I have a question about my two ferrets. In their cage they have a litter box that snaps onto the cage that both of the ferrets use. I clean it regularly, and I let the ferrets out to play every day. In many of the books I have read they say that ferrets will stay out/away from their poo, but mine don't. They tend to nosedive into the litter in the litter box when I clean it out. Then later they dig at the underside of the litter box until it is unhooked from the cage. Once they do that, they flip it over and then there is poo all over the cage that I have to clean up. The books suggested grabbing the ferret by the scruff and telling it “No!” I tried that, but it does not stop the ferrets from digging the litter box and turning it over. What do you suggest to stop this unwanted behavior and the mess it makes?

A: Ferrets like to dig and seem to love to play in fresh litter. This is pretty common. You should always stay away from punishing them unless you catch them in the act and can offer them something else to do that you prefer. I suggest more firmly attaching the litter box in the cage so that they can't get under it to dig. I also suggest giving them a digging pit in which they can dig to their heart’s content. Try filling a tub with children’s play sand for this.

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Reader Comments
We recently purchased a ferret and we bought a small bag of the Critter Litter (which are small round pellets) and put them in a plastic shoebox container and our little Buddy likes to dig and bury his face in that. We originally bought the Critter Litter to see if he would use that in his litter box but after watching him dig around in it we decided to put it in a plastic shoebox container and put it in a corner and he loves to play in it!
Rhonda, Brunswick
Posted: 1/20/2010 3:16:00 PM
We have 3 litter pans in our cage that way there is usually at least one clean pan for them to "snorkel" in. We attach them to the cage with small plastic clamps from the hardware store. That makes it very difficult to pull them away from the corners. For extra digging fun, fill a basin with LONG COOKING rice (NOT the minute rice that will absorb and cause a blockage if they eat it)
Cindy, Reading, PA
Posted: 1/18/2010 11:31:58 AM
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