My Ferret Stopped Using The Litter Box – Owner’s Advice

Ferret litter boxes are specially designed for the unique habits of the ferrets. They also keep the ferret cage clean and allow the pet to enjoy its environment. However, it is not easy to train the ferret to use the litter box.

More so, older ferrets may have difficulty getting used to poop in the litter box than their kits. That’s why you need to closely monitor your ferret even after training it to use the litter box.

If you notice that your ferret is not using the litter box for some time, there are several things that you should look out for. Some ferrets are fastidious and wouldn’t want a filthy box. Others may avoid using the litter pan because of bad litter, sickness, poor positioning of the litter pan, etc.

My Ferret Stopped Using the Litter Box

In this post, we’re going to point out and give way forward why your ferret has stopped using its litter box. These are as follows:

Inappropriate Litter

A common mistake that ferret owners make is changing the ferret’s litter. You must stick to the type of litter your ferret is accustomed to as it may not like the new litter. And if your ferret doesn’t like the new litter, it will stop going into the litter box.

Some of the best types of litter to use are rabbit feed, clay, corncob, wood stove pellets, pine pellets, and recycled newspaper. Stay away from pine, cedar, or any type of wood chips.

These are not good for the ferret litter box. For instance, wood chips have been proven to cause respiratory issues and infections in ferrets.

How To Fix It

If you have changed the type of litter in your ferret’s litter box, you should get rid of it and use the litter that you were using before. Try this and see if it works. If your ferret resumes using the litter box, the problem will be solved.

Dirty Litter Box

Ferrets love themselves a lot. Therefore, if the litter box is dirty, there is a high chance that these curious creatures won’t poop inside. Instead, they will look for another place to relieve themselves. Additionally, some ferrets are very picky and will not use a somehow filthy litter box.

What’s more, ferrets hate stepping in old pee and poop. So, if you don’t clean their mess in good time, they will find another place to help themselves.

How To Fix It

In this case, you should ensure that the ferret’s litter box is always clean. Make sure you empty the litter box every time the ferret helps itself. Scoop the poop and clean the area so that it does not smell excess ferret pee or poop.

Furthermore, remove the scent from the corner where the ferret is relieving itself. It shouldn’t assume that the new corner is the right place for relieving itself.

Consider using the best cleaning products for your ferret cages such as Nature’s Miracle and Simple Solution. You can also use bleach for a thorough cleaning, but it should not remain behind.

Poor Positioning Of The Litter Box

Another common mistake that ferret owners make is placing the litter box in the wrong corner. After training your ferret on using the litter box, you should also place the box in the right place. Putting the ferret’s litter box in the wrong corner will make the creature pee or poop somewhere else.

Normally, ferrets will not poop or pee in an area where they sleep, eat, or drink. But they will go to an area where there is a ferret’s poop smell. Aside from that, ferrets love defecating in corners and in a place where they will easily return to.

How To Fix It

Make sure to study the ferret before placing the litter box in the cage. If you place the box in the wrong position, the ferret will continue pooping in a different location. So, start by observing the ferret before you position its litter box.

Besides, you should not get rid of all the ferret’s poop smell, as it helps to let them know where they can relieve themselves.

Sick Ferret

Ferrets are lively and fun animals to be around. But like any other pet, ferrets also do get sick. A sick ferret can deteriorate quickly if not taken to a vet for a checkup.

One of the usual signs of a sick ferret is the failure to poop. If you do not see poop in the ferret litter box or even in its cage, you will have to take it to the vet.

Moreover, a sick ferret may have a condition that is preventing it from controlling her bowels. This may explain why you may not be seeing your ferret’s poop. Other signs of a sick ferret include itching, grinding of teeth, loss of appetite, vomiting, tiredness, pawing in the mouth, etc.

How To Fix It

If you notice that your ferret has not visited the litter box during the day, you should act fast. Ferrets usually poop after they wake up. So, if your ferret has taken more than 20 minutes to relieve itself, you should take it to the vet for a checkup. Also, you should look out for other signs of sickness before rushing to the vet.

Fastidious Nature

Ferrets are lively and fun animals to be around

Some ferrets are fastidious, meaning that they need a very clean environment. Such ferrets can be hard to please and challenging to bring up. If you’ve such a ferret, you will have to make sure that the litter box is very clean with a little ferret’s poop smell. The smell is a guide on where the ferret has to go to the toilet.

How To Fix It

Ferrets with a fastidious nature can be handled by keeping their cage and litter box very clean. You will have to tidy the litter box more frequently than you would for a normal ferret. Also, it is an excellent idea to get a large cage for your fastidious friend.

Because Of Accidents

Ferrets aren’t 100% accurate. If one ferret accidentally poops out of the litter box, the other ferrets may follow and do the same. However, you should not panic when this happens. This is more common with kits than with adult ferrets.

How To Fix It

If your ferrets poop on the wrong place accidentally, you should pick them up and take them to the litter box. Also, you should thoroughly clean their new toilet area so that they don’t return there. Proper training is needed, more so for young ferrets.

Kits can be a nuisance as they may even play in the litter box. Take your time and train the kits and adult ferrets to use the box.

Lack Of Enough Litter Boxes

Ask yourself why the ferret is not using the litter pan before making conclusions. One of the reasons is that the cage may be too big for the ferret. In this case, one litter box may not be enough, as these creatures love to roam around.

When ferrets are young, they need to get used to a small area and get acquainted with the litter box. But when they outgrow the cage, they need a larger area to roam and play. In such a case, you will have to place several litter boxes where the ferret can help itself.

How To Fix It

Ferrets are exceptionally playful but will run fast to their litter box when they want to relieve themselves. If the litter box is very far, they may help themselves where they see fit. This may lead to repeated behavior. Instead, you should place several ferret litter boxes depending on the size of the cage or room.

Excessive Heat

Last but not least, excessive heat can also affect the ferret’s visit to the litter box. When there is high humidity, the ferret may become lethargic. This may cause her to relieve herself outside the litter box.

Ferrets do not feature well-developed sweat glands; thus, they are prone to heat exhaustion. Some of the signs of an exhausted or lethargic ferret are flaccid inactivity or panting. This is easy to detect.

How To Fix It

If you suspect that your ferret is not going into the litter box because of exhaustion, change its conditions. First of all, make sure that the ferret’s cage is in an area with free air circulation. Also, the site should have an optimum temperature of between 40 and 65 degrees and a humidity range of 40-65%.


Ferrets are a joy to have around the house, but they can also become challenging to handle. If you discover that your ferret is not pooping in the ferret litter box, there is nothing to panic about. Try to find out the problem and fix it as soon as possible.

Use our guide above to detect the issue and rectify it. Within a few days, your ferret will resume pooping in its litter box.

Ferrets are mischievous, meaning you will have to keep a keen eye on them. What’s more, ensure that the conditions in the cage are favorable so that the ferret has peace of mind.