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Ferrets are inquisitive and playful little creatures who can make charming pets if you are prepared to learn how to look after them properly. They need an appropriate enclosure and diet and will need somewhere suitable to take a pee and poop. If this is not dealt with properly, you will have an unpleasant odor to deal with!
There are many different types of litter that you can use for a ferret litter tray but you cannot just go out and buy any regular cat litter. Some litters can damage the health of your ferret by causing intestinal, liver or lung problems. You should always carefully read the information provided by the manufacturer to check that the product is suitable for ferrets. Ferret litter needs to be absorbent but it should also produce little dust and should be able to control odors. To help you choose the right product for your ferret, we have prepared this best ferret litter guide.
This Marshall ferret litter is the environmentally friendly choice – highly absorbent and just right for the bottom surface of your ferret habitat. It is made here in the US from recycled paper which has undergone special treatment to make it highly absorbent and compact. The pellets will absorb 400% more liquid than wood and clay litter products but they do not cake or fall apart when they get wet. This makes them easier to clean up and maintains a pleasant environment for your pet.
The pellets also contain special compounds, they help to neutralize the unpleasant ammonia odor which can be a problem in ferret enclosures. These pellets are the safe choice for your pet, they are non-allergenic and dust-free to protect your ferret’s sensitive lungs. You can even use them for ferrets who are recovering from injury or illness because they do not irritate or adhere to your pet’s body. The litter is biodegradable so you can dispose of it by flushing it (in small amounts) down the lavatory or you can even compost it, mulch it or incinerate it. About an inch is required in the bottom of a litter tray and solid waste should be removed every day.
Odors are under control when you choose this ferret litter. It is made from paper and it has been treated with scent and baking soda to deal with the powerful ammonia odor that can be a problem in ferret enclosures.
It is recommended by vets for ferrets because these small mammals can suffer from lung problems if they are housed in the wrong environment. It is 99% dust free and is also completely non-allergenic to keep you and your pet safe. It is also the environmentally friendly choice as it is both non-toxic and biodegradable and is made from 95% post-consumer paper. Thanks to the impressive absorbency, it will keep your ferret enclosure dry and comfortable.
This ferret litter ticks all the boxes. It keeps your home smelling fresh, it’s good for the environment and it is gentle on your pet. It’s made from recycled paper and so saves it from going to landfill or incineration. There is a special ammonia-locking compound (baking soda) which traps nasty odors and keeps the habitat and your home smelling pleasant.
Small mammals, including ferrets, are perfectly happy with the texture on their feet and because it is so absorbent, there are no unpleasant puddles for them to avoid. When you clean out the cage, the litter can be incinerated or can be composted as it is completely biodegradable.
Contains baking soda and eliminates nasty odors
Great for the environment
Brand: Fresh News
Model: 40,000 cu cm
Weight: 16.2 pounds
Long lasting – does not need to be changed that often
You can cut down on how often you have to clean out your ferret’s enclosure by choosing an efficient litter. This is a quality training litter that produces hardly any dust and is highly absorbent so it soaks up poop and pee with ease. It’s perfect for spot training small mammals like ferrets.
Because it starts absorbing as soon as the poop or pee comes into contact with it, it eliminates unpleasant odors. It is made from bentonite clay which is a natural product and is non-toxic for your your ferret. Bentonite clay can absorb ten times its own weight in fluid so you don’t have to clean out the enclosure so often. You need to use around two inches in the bottom of the litter tray and you can remove poops daily using a scoop and completely clean out the litter tray once a week. It can be disposed of in the trash and cannot be flushed down the lavatory.
A natural product for your little pet – this is a highly absorbent ferret litter that eliminates moisture and odors. It contains no harmful chemicals or pollutants and uses cellulose and wood fiber to absorb liquids and odors. To protect the environment, the wood has been obtained from sustainable sources. The litter is very soft and kind to small feet yet highly absorbent – it’s twice as absorbent as regular wood shavings.
Effective odor control can be expected for up to 10 days which reduces the number of litter changes that you have to do. It also produces very little dust so it will not cause respiratory problems. When you need to dispose of it, you can compost it as it is biodegradable.
100 % natural product – contains only wood and cellulose
This is a perfectly safe option for ferrets and all other small mammals who can use a litter tray in their cages or in the house. It consists of paper made from pellets that highly effective at locking in moisture and do not disintegrate when they get wet. Because the paper has been recycled, it is also great for the environment.
Odors can be kept at bay thanks to the added baking soda. When you clean out the litter tray, the contents can be composted as this product is completely biodegradable.
With just one to three inches of this litter in the bottom of your ferret enclosure, you’ll have wetness and odor completely under control. It has a lovely, natural lavender scent and is both soft and absorbent. The litter has been produced from remnants and used hygienic products and no harmful compounds have been added. The material used in its production would otherwise have ended up in landfill so its’s great for the environment too. It will encourage your ferret to bed and burrow and is almost completely dust-free so the cage will be tidy and you drastically reduce the risk of respiratory problems.
It is capable of absorbing twice the volume of liquid than wood shavings can absorb and that amounts to around four to six times its own weight in fluids. The litter is available in a number of different colors but is colorfast so it will not stain the cage. It can have a number of alternative scents. It’s likely that one 500 cubic inch bag will get you through at least three litter changes as the contents expand to three times their packaged size.
Natural, lavender scent
Available in a variety of colors
Almost completely dust-free
Weight: 6 pounds
Disguises the ammonia smell of urine
One bag will last at least three average cage changes
If you have never had a ferret before, the wide choice of potential litters can be confusing. The main concern is that you do not want to choose a product that will harm your new pet. To help get you started, here are the primary features that you should consider before you make a purchase.
Is it safe?
Some litters are entirely unsuitable for ferrets. This may be because they are likely to ingest them or because they can irritate the liver or the respiratory system. Always read the product description carefully and if you are still not sure, consult your vet or a reputable breeder.
Is it absorbent?
Absorbency is a key feature. It is important that the litter is capable of absorbing fluids does not fall apart when it comes into contact with liquid. This makes it easier to clean out.
Will it eliminate odors?
As a new ferret Mom or Dad, you will soon learn that ferret urine has a strong smell of ammonia so odor control will be very important. In general, a product that absorbs and locks in unpleasant odors is the best litter for ferret smell and is preferable to artificial scents.
Will it create dust?
Dust is detrimental to your ferret’s health so always choose a product that is practically dust-free.
How easy is it to clean out?
Cleaning out a cage is not the most pleasant part of living with a ferret! Litters that reduce the number of times that you have to clear them out, and that make it easy to clear out the cage, are preferable.
How will you dispose of it?
Some litters are biodegradable and can be composted and this is the most environmentally friendly option. Others can be flushed down the toilet or have to be disposed of in the general garbage.
Different Types of Ferret Litter
There are several different types of ferret litter and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a round-up of the main types that you have to choose from.
Paper-based products: Most of these are made from recycled paper that has been used by consumers so they are great for the environment. It is absorbent and sometimes compounds are added which will absorb odors. They can produce dust but most products are almost entirely dust-free. Some are softer than others.
Natural litters: You can get wheat-based litter that is totally biodegradable and natural and can be flushed away when you have finished. However, they do tend to be more expensive and can get tracked around the cage.
Clay litter: Some clay litters are suitable for small mammals but always check the manufacturer’s guidelines and you may also want to check with your vet.
Wood pellets: You have to be very careful when you use this for ferrets. Some give off aromatic hydrocarbons that can irritate the lungs and liver. Wood-stove pellets are made from compressed sawdust. Always read the label. They can break down into sawdust when they get wet.
Best Ferret Litter FAQ:
Q: Can a Ferret Use Cat Litter?
A: The American Ferret Association makes it clear that many cat litters are not suitable for ferrets and could be very dangerous for your pet. In particular, you have to be very careful with clay litter. When it gets wet (which it will), it gets very thick and sticky and will adhere to your ferret’s paws. It can even stick to their eyes and nose. There have been instances where it has stuck to a ferret’s rectum and expanded and caused a blockage. It can also cause a fatal blockage if it is ingested. Clay litters tend to produce a lot of dust which is dangerous for the respiratory health of ferrets because they will inevitably dig around in it and end up breathing it in.
It is also not safe to use pine or cedar wood shavings because the aromatic oils that they give off can be dangerous for a ferret’s respiratory system and liver.
Silica-based pearls, flakes, beads or gels can also cause issues and should be avoided. They can be inhaled and can cause respiratory tract damage and silicosis. It is safe to use the amorphous silica cat litter for ferrets but they are likely to dig in it and spread it around the cage!
Q: How Do You Litter Train a Ferret?
A: It can be challenging to litter train a ferret but it can be done. You have to start by setting up a suitable litter tray. You need a large litter pan so that your pet can fit all four paws in at the same time. It needs low sides so that they can get in and out without difficulty and it needs to be full of suitable litter. The location of the litter tray within the cage is important. Place it in a corner and make sure that there is no litter anywhere else in the cage so that your pet understands that this is the area for pooping and peeing
You can help this understanding by placing some feces and urine in the litter box. Ferrets will recognize the scent and it will encourage them to select this area as a toilet. If there are two levels in the cage, you will need two toilets.
You will need to keep your ferret in their cage and contained close to the litter tray until they are trained. However, you can let them out when you are able to supervise them. If you spot a pee or a poop, move it to the litter tray. It is important that the tray smells of urine – this will encourage your pet to eliminate there. Believe it or not, ferrets respond to positive reinforcement so praise your pet verbally when they use the tray successfully. You could even give them a little treat. Punishment and harsh words for ‘accidents’ outside of the litter tray will not help at all. It is important that you keep the litter box clean so change it once a day. However, retain a small amount of soiled litter to put back in so that you maintain the scent of urine.
Q: Can You Put Baking Soda in Ferret Litter?
A: Many experienced ferret owners like to use baking soda in the litter. Other experts do not encourage it as they are worried that there could be health implications. However, as it is only in the litter box and hopefully your ferret does not spend too much time there, the risks are minimal. Ferret odor has a strong odor of ammonia so it is not surprising that their owners like to do something to absorb or mask the smell. Baking soda is likely to do less harm than artificial scents. You just have to be sensible and not use too much!
As an alternative, some owners choose to mix vanilla extract with water and then spray it around the inside of the cage. This spray is very unlikely to be harmful to ferrets.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick of the best ferret litter for odor control is highly absorbent and made in the US from recycled paper. The pellets will absorb 400% more liquid than wood and clay litter yet are easy to clean up.
It contains special compounds which neutralize ammonia odor. These pellets are non-allergenic and dust-free. You can even use them for ferrets who are recovering from injury or illness because they will not irritate or adhere to your pet’s body. Because the litter is biodegradable, you can dispose of it by flushing small amounts down the lavatory or composting it.
Sharon is a Ph.D. scientist and experienced pet content writer. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a Cockapoo puppy. She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and turning it into easy-to-understand articles that offer practical tips. When it comes to our furry friends, she knows that there is always something new to learn!