Although not nearly as popular as several types of animals, a ferret makes a wonderful pet. The inquisitive, good natured personality of these creatures is a pleasure for thousands of pet owners across the country. What's even better is that they can actually be littered trained, just like a cat.
Here are some basic rules to follow when attempting to litter train your ferret:
- Be sensitive to their health - As many owners know, ferrets have sensitive respiratory systems. Because of their tendency to play and bury themselves in a litter box, it's important that you use unscented elements that produce a minimal amount of dust.
- Find an acceptable litter - The best substances for a ferret's litter box include recycled newspaper pellets, denatured wood litter pellets, wood stove pellets and — believe it or not — alfalfa pellets, which many identify as rabbit food.
- Teach your ferret what it's for - To do this, place a piece of their feces in one corner of the pan and sprinkle some of its urine around the feces. While in training, always leave a bit of feces and urine in the corner.
- Be careful about letting him or her out - Since ferrets have a short digestive process, they use the bathroom frequently. When they wake up in the morning, don't let them out of their cage until after the litter has been used. If he or she doesn't get it, take your pet out of the cage and give him or her some attention, then set the critter in the litter and shut the cage's door.
- Use the reward system - When your ferret uses its litter box, be sure that you give it a little treat to reinforce the positive behavior.
- Litter training isn't perfect - One thing to remember about ferrets is that some of them may never be 100 percent perfect at using the litter box when they're running around outside their cage. You should still be prepared to pick up the occasional accident.