Posted: March 1, 2011, 5 a.m. EST
Q: I have an issue. I have two ferrets. For some reason, one of them has decided to start going potty right next to the litter box. I have cleaned the crate with bleach. I have left some feces in the litter boxes to ensure their scent is still there. I'm at a loss as to why one of them keeps doing it. And I can't catch which one, but I'm pretty sure it's my little girl, Mink. I am a first-time ferret owner, and although I've had them almost three years, I am stumped on this one!
I have already tried the following:
1. Let the ferret choose the location of the box. Watch your ferret to see which corner of the cage it prefers to use as a restroom, and place the box in that corner.
2. Choose a litter box with sides at least 4 inches high to prevent the ferret from dropping its “deposits” over the edge of the box.
3. Use a pelleted litter; clay litters and clumping litters are not recommended.
4. Attach the box firmly to the cage to prevent the ferret from dumping the contents.
5. Keep an open mind and exercise plenty of patience.
A: If this is a sudden behavior change and she (or he) used to use the litter box, something is causing the ferret's behavior to change. There could be a medical reason your ferret isn't able to use the litter box anymore (she could be trying to make it but is unable to make it in time) or the side may be too high as she gets older.
Have your ferrets checked out by your veterinarian and trim the front edge of the litter box to make it easier for your ferrets to enter.
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