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Controlling Ferret Odors

One of the more common battles with ferrets is trying to control the odor issue.  Here are a few suggestions that will help to maintain a fresh and clean ferret and his home.

· Feed a high quality ferret food, not cat food, which not only is more beneficial for the ferret, but will also cut down on odor and waste because of better digestibility.

· Good grooming practices will also help with odor problems.  Weekly to monthly bathings (not more frequently than once a week) will help decrease the ferret’s body odor and will benefit the skin and coat.  Be sure to use a mild ferret specific shampoo and crème rinse so as to not strip the essential oils and dry out the skin.  They usually have a fresh smelling residual scent to help with the odor.  There are several spray conditioners that also have a pleasant scent for use in between bathings.  Even regular brushing will help control odor by removing the loose and dead hair and will also help prevent hairballs.

· Cleaning the litter box daily and changing the litter frequently (once a week) will tremendously help with the odor.

· Washing the ferret’s cage accessories on a regular basis (once a week) will help also.  Their scent easily transfers onto their hammocks, beds, blankets, toys, etc.  Most are machine washable but be careful not to use a harsh detergent which might cause skin irritation or respiratory problems.

· Cleaning the ferret’s home, litter pan, shelves, ramps, etc. frequently will help also.  There are many enzyme-based cleaners on the market that will help with stain and odor problems.  The natural enzymes seem to eat the stain and odor instead of just masking the smell.  Try to avoid ammonia-based cleaners as they might make the urine odor worse.  As with all cleaners be sure to follow the instructions and rinse or allow it to dry well before reintroducing the ferret.

· Cleaning and vacuuming the areas in the house where they like to hide out or sleep and around their home will help reduce their residual odors also.

· If the ferret is still intact, spaying or neutering will help with excessive smell.


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