Which litter is the best ferret litter?
There is a special bond between a ferret owner and a ferret’s poop. 🙂 All of you who are new in ferret world, I can assure you I am not crazy. 😛 When you get a ferret you will magically be interested in ferret’s poop. That is the best health indicator. (that is because you will love your fuzzy so much and you will want him to be healthy) Since ferret poop is so important, you have to choose the best ferret litter for that poop. Unfortunately, you can’t use the first litter you find because there are disadvantages of some litter for ferrets.
Why are some litters for ferrets bad? How to choose the good one?
The best way is to talk about bad litters first, so you can see which one to avoid. 🙂
Most common litter for cats is clay litter, but it isn’t the best option for ferret litter. Clay litter isn’t good because when it gets wet it gets thick. That can stick to your ferret’s fur (on paws, nose, eyes or around the anus) and it is hard to take off. Sometimes, when they are leaving the litterbox they drag their bottom on the litter to wipe. If clay ends up in their anus that can cause a blockage which is dangerous.
Some clay litters are dusty which can be bad for their respiratory system. How come? Well, ferrets love to dig and they will dig absolutely everywhere, including litter boxes. When they are digging, they love to ”snorkel”. If they do that in the litter often, they can develop respiratory difficulties.
Silica-based litter is not the best choice for a litter for ferrets. Just like clay litter, silicosis in silica litter can cause trauma to the respiratory system. There is some silica based litter which are safe for the respiratory system, but when it comes to price and user-friendly product, there are far better litters than this one. I’ve bought silica based litter and I had problems with cleaning, so I won’t recommend this one, too many work and the smell was still in the air, so no good odor control.
Another not so good ferret litter is pine or cedar wood shavings because cedar and pine are filled with oils which can cause damage to the respiratory system and even some changes in liver enzymes. Shavings of pine or cedar have oils because they aren’t processed in a way to remove the oils. This isn’t just for ferrets, rabbit or rat owners have a similar problem. They are avoiding pine or cedar wood shaving litter because it can change work of particular liver enzymes.
So, now we get to the question: What IS the safe litter for ferrets?
You may think now that you can’t use any litter because I have mentioned everything in the paragraph above. In one hand that is good because you don’t have to worry which one to choose. 😀 On the other hand, there are few more types of ferret litter you can use, don’t worry.
Litter made from recycled paper is one of them. It is cheap so you don’t have to pay a fortune and it has really good characteristics. It has really good odor control, low in dust and really good for your wallet. The famous recycled paper everybody is using is Yesterday’s News, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say my opinion.
Wood pellets are actually compressed sawdust and their price is also good for your wallet. I am talking about wood pellets that aren’t from cedar or pine. They have zero oils and they are safe for your ferrets. You can find them also in hardware stores (not just pet shops), they don’t have to be specially made for ferret litter (or cat litter) but, if you will buy them in the hardware store, read the label, some of them have: NOT FOR ANIMAL USE written on the label. Also, if you want to make 100% sure that it is a good wood pellet, ask the salesman about the ingredients and safety. The only downside of wood pellets is that they turn into dust which is harder to clean.
Corn cob litter is in the middle of GOOD-BAD ferret litter. First, it is bad for ferrets because if they eat it (and they seem to do that) it can cause intestinal blockage. On the other side, it is natural and it won’t clump. But, even though it is natural it isn’t good because it’s dusty. On the owner’s side, it is hard to clean because it is really dusty. I personally wouldn’t recommend this litter, but it is safe for ferrets as long they don’t eat it. 😀
You can have a litter for ferrets in cage and outside of the cage because ferrets can have accidents. Sometimes they just can’t make it to the cage so get another litter box for the room. If you see that your ferrets do their business in more corners in the room (not just one) you don’t want to have a litter box in every corner, you can use alternative stuff.
What else is good for ferret toilet?
There are other ways to cover your carpet in the corner, it doesn’t have to be litterbox. 🙂 When Frida was in her old room, she picked a corner outside the cage to do her business. In the beginning, I used litterbox filled with litter for ferrets, but she made a mess always (just in that litterbox) So, I replaced a litterbox with normal newspapers and she did it on them every time. After that, I replaced newspapers with normal paper from an old notebook, that worked like a charm. So, you can use every paper (try to avoid those plastic ones and with many colors). Use about 5 pieces of paper together so the pee & poop won’t go through the paper (it really depends on the paper quality). When your ferret does his business, just pick the papers and throw them away.
Another excellent solution is puppy pads. They come in every size and the smallest is totally OK for ferrets. If you have more than one ferret you can use bigger puppy pad. Puppy pads are better than newspapers (but newspapers are cheaper) because they have the synthetic bottom of the pad so poop or pee won’t go through. When your ferret does his business, you can pick up puppy pad and throw it away. Simple and fast like newspapers. Newspapers are only better because ferrets can chew or scratch on puppy pads and destroy them in a matter of minutes. Yoda loves to carry puppy pad around and Frida loves to scratch it so I had to replace them with newspapers. Every ferret is different 😀
Best litter box for best ferret litter
Since your ferret loves to do his business in the corner, for best results buy a litterbox which fits in the corner. Try to get a litter box that has a hook so you can hook it to your cage or your ferret will remove the litter box and place it where he wants. 🙂 Don’t use a litterbox with too high sides, when your ferret will be old, ill or in recovery he will have difficulties climbing in.
What is your favorite ferret litter? Do you have a special brand you like the most? Share your opinion with the rest of ferret world in the comments below.