Teaching your pet ferret to use her litter box is essential for her health. It keeps the rest of the cage and play areas clean and feces free. It also goes a long way toward building a good relationship between your ferret the rest of the household.
Litter training pet ferrets begins with getting the right litter pans and the right ferret litter. Ferrets like to back up into a fairly tight space (usually a corner) to do their business. So I suggest using a triangle-shaped corner litter box with two high sides and a lower front side for easy entry. You also need to use a quality dust-free litter. I’ve tried several kinds of cat litter but none of them was really satisfactory. I’ve finally settled on Critter Litter, and I and my ferrets (Rikki and Possum) are very happy with it.
As with any animal or person, it is best to start potty training a pet ferret when he is is young. It can be done at any age, but it just takes a little more work and little more time with older ferrets. When you introduce your ferret to his new home, notice where he poops and place the litter box there. (Ferrets tend to poop several times an hour, so it won’t take long.) Some people find it helpful to put immovable objects in every corner of the cage except the one for the litter box. If possible, place a small piece of poop in the box for a visual and olfactory cue.
As you get to know your ferret, you’ll soon learn the signs that indicate she is about to poop. When you see her backing into a corner, for instance, be ready. Try to get her into her litter pan before she does her business. If she does it in the pan, reward your ferret with a treat for a job well done.
Also, place your ferret in the litter box when he first wakes up because this is a common time for pooping. Also, at the end of playtime, set your ferret on the litter box and wait. If he uses it, offer a treat. If he doesn’t, withhold the treat. (You may need to be careful, though, because some ferrets are good at faking it.) Within a few days, your ferret should get the idea.
It might not seem very pleasant, but get in the habit of examining your ferret’s feces. A change in the color, texture, or frequency may signal a health problem that needs to be addressed. (Getting Started with Pet Ferrets has a helpful section on this.)
My male panda ferret has proven to be quite “stubborn” when it comes to litter training. So, I’ll soon buy another ferret litter pan. That way, there will be one for every corner of the lower level of the cage and one for each of his favorite corners in my room. Sometimes, you just have to do what you gotta do.
It may take some time for a ferret to learn to use a litter box, especially if the kit was removed from its mother before she could train it to do so. So just be patient. Never hit your ferret when he makes a mistake. Above all, never rub his nose in an “accident.” (Your ferret could breathe in some of the fecal matter and get sick from it.)