How to Stop Ferrets from Pooping Everywhere

Q: My ferrets poo everywhere in my house, help! How is it possible to have a perfect ferret poo on their door 2 feet from the floor? I mopped their door about 3 weeks ago and while cleaning their room last night poo has returned to the door. How to stop them from pooping all over my home?

Answer: What works for me and my five free roamers is puppy pee pads. We have a two story house and we followed these five steps to put puppy pee pads in every room:

  1. The key with a puppy pad is first to find the corner¬† and then to leave a poop on it. I watched for the favorite corner and then that’s where the pads go.
  2. Next, progressively widen her free-roam area if possible. For example start her free-roaming in just one room, and when she’s OK in that room, add another area. Make sure there are litterboxes close by everywhere. If she goes somewhere she shouldn’t, just pick her up and put her in the nearest litterbox. Never punish, not even a timeout.
  3. Learn her rhythms and follow her around when she’s roaming and loaded for bear. They usually go within half an hour of waking up, and then maybe 1-1.5 hours after eating (very approximately) so those are times to watch.
  4. And finally, resign yourself to the fact that she’ll probably never be 100% potty trained. There are accidents, but that’s going to happen regardless. For little potty accidents, I use the generic disinfecting wipes. It cleans any little messes up nicely.

I’ve gotten a few stubborn rescues in … who never saw a litter box before me and i’ve had just about 100% success with the right training and enviroment!

Follow These Steps If Your Ferrets Are Pooping All Over Their Cage:

  1. Remove all shelves, hammies and the like.
  2. Put down a single layer of fleece or baby Blankey of choice. Make sure to cover the entire floor and the sides slightly upward.
  3. Buy a large square litter box. NEVER use those windows corner boxes. Mine all use vessels using pots (those that fit into the sink.) Attach it with the pin, eyelet / or zipties string to the farthest corner, away from doors or other activities cage (3 feet square)
  4. Place a ceramic bowl to food and water at the other corner.
  5. Place hanging toy in the third corner to get in the way backing up.
  6. Layer 3-4 -5 what ever you need fleece blankets and then spread it to cover every inch of the cage surface. (It’s better if they sleep in the blankets for a few days so it smells familiar.)
  7. Insert the poo in the farthest corner of the cage.
  8. Then, place a large cardboard or something similar to darken the area and remove any disturbance.
  9. Place the ferret nose to nose with the poo or pee (Don’t rub their nose in IT .. its useless) just make sure they get a good whiff .
  10. Let go of the neck scruff. Many times they immediately back up to poop/pee and move on.
  11. Take some time to boast or give them a treat!
  12. Watch carefully, but from a distance … if you see them back up .. scream to get his .. .. dash over to pick it up .. give him a whiff of the corner poo … do not let it out of the until it goes.
  13. Thoroughly clean up any messes immediately, dumping poo back in the tray.
  14. When cleaning the tray for the first week only change the litter, do not scrub the cage and always put fresh poo in the right corner and give him a sniff when you put it back in place.

I’ve trained 3 week old kits, 12 week old hooligans, 2 yr old neglected adults, and 8 yr old elderlies to eliminate waste with this method… keep with it.. It really works .

Train Ferrets To Love Their Litter

It’s possible that your ferret doesn’t like their litter . When I had my first ferret, I had great difficulty getting her to use the litter (one of the boxes in the shape of a triangle in the corner).

In the end I decided to get a much bigger litter box: One created for small cats, cut to reshape the frame. We were able to take the entire width of the frame and cut the potty short enough to fit under a shelf in the basement (which is where my ferret liked to poo.) It was great that and she used it a lot better.

You may need to teach them to use the litter box, by keeping some of their excrement and soiled bedding at the back of the litter box, so note their favorite places to poop.

When you spend time with them and look like they are about to back into a corner and go, if you’re fast, you can gently pick them up and put them in the litter box.

If possible, keep putting them in there, and when they roam, they’ll be more like to go to the bathroom. Then give them praise and perhaps even treat them with a reward. note that ferrets have learned to pretend to use the litter to get the treats, so if you do go this route, make sure you see them really using the potty.

Cleaning Poop Accidents

When cleaning waste accidents, clean it really well, because if it smells like their bathroom, they will be more inclined to go there again. Just be to use cleaners that are safe for animals. Some people use vinegar, I usually only use soap and wipe the soap scum really well.

And sometimes I supplement with a wipe with alcohol, which evaporates quickly and leaves no traces. Veterinarians use alcohol to sterilize surfaces, and my vet assured me it was safe. Ferrets are usually repulsed by a strong smell, so make sure they don’t touch the liquid, before it evaporates.

Ferrets Their Territory

One thing to remember too about ferrets is that as territories are set or disturbed poop is used to establish new territories. Once all the social orders are worked out and the new ferrets become old, their poop training becomes better. Sometimes this occurs faster than others.

When I was doing a lot of animal rescue (and had new ferrets monthly), their litter habits were bad, to say the least. When my home became more stable and I wasn’t constantly bringing in new ferrets, things settled down. There were some accidents when someone gets sick, and the balance of power shifted, and there were times when I had to break out the paper towels again.

Unfortunately, Ferret Poop Accidents Still Happen

Okay, so now that my ferrets are older, they’ve stopped pooping everywhere. But when I took my ferrets to the vet yesterday, one of them somehow shot runny seedy poo out of the cage bars. It made a huge mess but fortunately didn’t hit anyone, but not so fortunately during cleanup, Meeko managed to get some on him.

Another time, one of my ferrets hid some poop behind a shelf in the kitchen and I didn’t take notice until it was too late. Now the poo is rock hard, and stuck to the my Brazilian wood floors and the baseboards on the wall. I tried everything I can think of to get it off but it just won’t come up. I finally gave up, and left it as a memorial to my ferret’s craftiness in pooping.

Ah, the joys of ferrenthood!

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