Last Updated on 02/26/2021 by Veronica Jones
Now that you have the litter box, it’s time to choose the litter in which you’ll need the best litter for ferrets.
While it’s true that ferrets are similar to other animals such as cats that you can potty train them in a litter box, keep in mind that they have a different requirement for litter since they have a small body and sensitive system.
Ferrets like to burrow a lot, and they also have different toilet habits compared with other pets. If they aren’t supervised properly, they could get infections from doing their business.
Therefore, it’s important to choose the right litter for them so that when they need to go, it will be safe for them.
Check out our tips below on how to choose the best litter for your ferret. If you aren’t sure what to buy from the pet shop or online, we have a guide for you.
Choosing litter for ferrets
Keep in mind that contrary to cats, ferrets need a different kind of litter because of their burrowing tendencies and size. Here’s what to look for and consider when it comes to choosing litter for your ferret:
There are pet stores that sell litter that is appropriate for use on small animals, which includes ferrets. Just as there are cat litter packages, there are specific litter packs used for ferrets.
However, there aren’t many ferret-specific litters in the market, which is why there are also options for you by choosing one that is meant for a cat. We have a section below on whether you can use cat litter for your ferret (and which one to choose).
Since the ferret is a small animal, it helps that their ferret litter is dust-free. This will benefit not only them but also their owners, as such litter will cause less pollution in the air, resulting in less likelihood of human (and pet) allergies.
Dust usually comes from a poor quality litter that doesn’t absorb wetness too well. Therefore, it pays to consider litter that is dust-free to avoid causing respiratory problems not just for your pet ferret but for you and your family as well.
Look for the expiration date
As with any pet consumable, it should have an expiration date to ensure that it is still okay to use for your ferret. Any litter that has gone past its expiration date will most likely not be effective anymore in terms of absorbing your ferret’s mess.
Therefore, they might even create a problem and might not be that dust-free anymore, even if they claim to be dust-free at first.
Look for litter that controls odor, especially if your ferret is on a fish diet. Most ferrets have a compassionate sense of smell. They get easily put off by anything foul or unsettling, which is why you’ll need to have a litter that’s okay for their nose.
Ferret litter suggestions that will control odor usually include old newspaper or similar recycled material. Not only do they eliminate odor but they are also biodegradable and are helpful to the environment in the long run.
No strong chemicals or odors
We suggest ferret litter that is free from harsh chemicals or additives to protect your pet.
If you do purchase litter for ferrets that are made from recycled paper, consider one that hasn’t been chemically-treated to avoid causing strong odors to lurk around your ferret cage. When in doubt, go for litter that doesn’t have any perfumes or dyes.
Easy to scoop
Perhaps the worst part of potty training your ferret is scooping up the litter. If the litter of choice becomes brittle and difficult to scoop up, you’re going to have a problem.
Look for litter that absorbs mess but doesn’t become too gritty to scoop up so that your cleaning problems will be less of a concern.
Ferret litter ideas
If you want to know which litter types are ideal and safe for your ferret, here’s a quick guide:
They are easily bought from stores and are also easily accessible. They are low in dust and are also affordable. What we like the most about recycled newspaper is that it is biodegradable.
Unfortunately, many litter types out there are not eco-friendly, and thus, you cannot flush them down the toilet or drain. With the newspaper or recycled paper, you’ll feel less guilty about the environment.
What’s more, paper-based litter is an effective way of stopping odor in your ferret’s humble abode. It also doesn’t create a lot of dust as compared to other types. Likewise, litter that is made from old paper is also budget-friendly.
Made with compressed sawdust, wood pellets are another budget-friendly choice. However, make sure that you get pellets from untreated wood because this can harm your pet should they accidentally chew on it.
Consider pet-friendly pellets that are okay for animals to be used.
Consider denatured wood litter pellets because they have been dried to remove the harsh chemicals inside.
Most pet owners with their trees in the backyard or are also working on manually-cut wood might find it easier to look for denatured wood pellets since you know how they are processed.
Pine pellet stall
This is another dust-free option, and it’s also a great smell for the room if you like the scent of pine trees. So, if you like pine scents, it will be a great odor-stopping litter for your ferret.
However, do keep in mind that it still gets dusty at some point when soiled, and some ferrets might be a little picky with the smell.
Natural paper fiber
These are some of the best ideal ferret litter types to have. They have good odor control and are dust-free. They also stay in the bottom of the cage, so they are easier to clean and maintain.
This comes from volcanic ash and is very absorbent. This is a great option for those who want a dust-free environment. However, they are a bit pricey since they come from volcanoes.
Bentonite is different from the usual clay litter, and that’s why it is recommended for ferrets.
These litter types are from wheat and corn, so they are also a little more expensive. On some occasions, they are okay because they are dust-free.
However, if you have a ferret that loves to chew on things, we don’t recommend it because they might end up eating them. Ferrets are carnivorous, and they can’t digest anything made from wheat or corn.
What is the best litter for ferrets?
If you want to know which litter is safe and appropriate for ferrets, we handpicked a couple of suggestions to get you started:
Kaytee Small Animal Critter Litter
The Kaytee Small Animal Critter Litter is an 8-pound bag of potty training litter that’s suitable for ferrets and other small animals. Since it absorbs up to 10 times its weight in liquid, it will be safe for your ferret and will not cause dust flying around.
On the other hand, it is made with 100% non-toxic bentonite, so it is a mineral-based litter suitable for ferrets.
Moreover, it has a quality that quickly absorbs moisture on contact, resulting in fewer cage cleaning problems. This ferret litter is hypoallergenic so that it will not cause too many allergies to the pet owner.
Marshall Premium Ferret Litter Bag
Yet another quality product for your ferret is the Marshall Premium Ferret Litter Bag, which comes in 2 bags of 10-pound litter each. The litter formula is 400% more absorbent than traditional clay litters.
What’s more, the litter is made from pure recycled paper, so it is eco-friendly since it is biodegradable and can be flushed down the drain.
Likewise, the natural materials make it ideal for eliminating odor inside your ferret cage. The texture is not that dusty, making it simpler to scoop to lessen your frustration during clean-up time.
sWheat Scoop Fast-Clumping All-Natural Litter
Great for odor control, the sWheat Scoop Fast-Clumping All-Natural Litter has no perfumes or added dyes, so it is safe for a sensitive ferret.
Since it is vet-recommended, you can be assured that it is only made with quality materials. It doesn’t contain clay or chemicals and is purely biodegradable, making it earth-friendly and ferret-friendly.
Purina Yesterday’s News Non-Clumping Paper Litter
Yet another paper-based litter to consider is the Purina Yesterday’s News Non-Clumping Paper Litter. This one also has no perfumes or dyes, so it doesn’t smell strong or off-putting to your ferret.
It has bigger pieces that it lessens tracking around the house. The litter is also dust-free in terms of texture.
Is cat litter safe for your ferret?
Yes and no – it depends. There are specific litter types that can be used for ferrets but with caution. Not everyone has access to ferret-specific litter because some stores in their locality (or online) don’t offer them or are out of stock.
Therefore, you can settle for cat litter when the need arises. Here are some cat litter that can be used for your ferret’s litter box:
Which litter is not safe for a ferret?
Generally speaking, ferrets don’t do well with litter that is meant for other animals, such as cats. Here’s a quick guide:
Clay litter is not ideal for a ferret because of its hard texture, which could get dusty and get inhaled by your pet.
It not only makes them susceptible to respiratory issues, but it could also cause obstructions in the anus, which can lead to medical problems. Clay litter is a poor choice for ferrets who like to drag their bottom since the litter will cling to them.
Moreover, clay litter could also stick into other body parts, such as the eyes, nose, and paws. Due to the cement-like texture, if your pet likes to dig around, it is not the best choice due to its dusty and crumbly features.
There is certain silica content that is not suitable for ferrets due to their health effects. They also tend to have heavy tracking, resulting in difficulty when it comes to scooping them or cleaning the entire litter box.
Silica litter comes in gel or bead form and is usually more expensive.
If your pet likes to urinate more often, silica is a poor choice because they absorb liquids more and will make them heavier in weight (and you will have trouble scooping).
Do you know those pellet rabbit foods sold in stores? Guess what? They’re not recommended to be ferret litter either. While alfalfa pellets are okay, you do have to consider getting them from a quality source. Some ferrets might not like alfalfa.
Because it is corn-based, it is not suitable for a ferret since they might eat it. Corn products are not for ferrets because they are fiber-rich and cannot be digested by a carnivorous pet such as a ferret.
Moreover, it also gets dusty and can cause your ferret to get respiratory problems. In the same way, it is prone to mold, so it’s not exactly a healthy and sanitary choice for your pet.
The mold will cause digestive upsets and other health problems for your ferret later on.
Certain wood shavings
Certain wood shavings are toxic to your ferret. Unless otherwise stated that they are not treated, and the phenols are removed from the tree, they shouldn’t be used for ferrets for their litter box.
The toxic vapors coming from phenols and hydrocarbons are harmful to your ferret. If you do want to use wood shavings, you should get some from a reputable source. However, in general, wood shavings are not that recommended.
To wrap it up, litter for ferrets should be chosen carefully to keep them safe and satisfied. When ferrets do their business, they should find the area comfortable.
To avoid causing unwanted incidents in the litter box, having quality litter for your ferret is a great investment. The next time you go to the grocery store, do consider our suggestions in choosing the best litter for ferrets to make your decision better.