Litterbox Training 101 For Ferrets

by amy brockman · 2 comments ===> Tags:

Picture of gray ferret looking up.

Patience and consistency are the key to litter training your ferret – and a little positive reinforcement doesn’t hurt a bit either. 🙂

Although ferrets are strong-willed and sometimes stubborn animals, they are also quite intelligent and fairly easy to train.

The easiest way to train any animal, ferrets included, is by offering a positive reward when the desired behavior is performed. A favorite reward, of course, is food. Given in small amounts, a favorite treat is an excellent incentive. Positive reinforcement is much more effective than punishment because the animal is being taught what it should do. (Think about how difficult it would be to do the right thing if you had never been told the right thing, only punished for doing the wrong thing.)

For ferrets doing the wrong thing, a five minute timeout in a cage is often effective punishment, especially for the active and social ferret.

Litter Training

Ferrets do not take to litter training quite as easily as a cat, but with time and patience it is definitely possible. Knowledge of a few tricks can make it a bit easier.

Ferrets, like many animals, will pick one area of their cage or living area to use as a bathroom. While attempting to litter train it’s often helpful to confine them to a smaller cage or space which leave them little choice but to use the bathroom area of your choosing.

The litter pan should be low in front and preferably high in back. Low in front to allow easy access for the low-lying ferret. High in back to prevent the ferret backing up and accidentally overshooting the edge as he does his business. Be prepared to somehow tie or clip the pan to the cage. Ferrets do their business in corners, and if they can move the pan to get farther back into the corner – they will.

It may help to leave the litter box slightly dirty so that the ferret knows by smell what it is intended for. If the box stays too dirty, however, you can count on him choosing another place to go.

Ferrets who have just been awaken from a long nap will soon need to go potty. Take advantage of knowing this to watch them carefully and set them in the litter box to go. Reward them with a treat, of course, when they’ve done the right thing.

Once your new ferret has caught on and is ready to move beyond the cage, you can place litter pans in different places throughout the room. If you notice a corner or area where the ferret chooses to go to the bathroom, that would be an ideal place for a litter pan. 🙂 I suppose this is rather like the ferret trained you instead of the other way around, but it’s all good. 🙂

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Frankie October 9, 2011 at 4:59 pm

If you want to get read, this is how you shuold write.

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amy brockman October 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Thanks for the comment. Please visit again.

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