Posted: March 1, 2010, 5 a.m. EST
Q: I am from Ireland. I have had two ferrets for nearly three years now. They are male and female, and the two of them are both neutered. The two of them lived out in the garden in a large hutch. Recently, when I go to take them out I find that overnight one of them or both have gone to the toilet in their bed. This has not happened since they were very, very young and in the process of toilet training. I just find it very strange because they are usually very clean. They have a toilet area in the hutch that they use all the time. Is this an indication of something or just a once-off thing that happens from time to time? Or is it laziness? The only thing I can think of is that it is winter over here and can reach below zero overnight. Could it be that it is too cold to leave the comfort of their bed?
A: At that age, it’s unusual for ferrets to use their bed as a litter box. A trip to the veterinarian is probably in order in case this sudden change in behavior has a medical cause.
Because your ferrets have always lived outside, I can't imagine that the cold is the cause of this behavior. Do make sure that they have enough bedding to keep warm.
If you have changed anything recently — litter, location of the hutch, etc. — then try changing it back to see if that helps.
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