How Often Do Ferrets Poop And Pee?

Last updated on March 5th, 2023 at 03:08 am

Ever wondered how often ferrets poop and pee? We've got you covered. Learn about your pet's pooping habits with this simple guide!
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Do you like ferrets? I have been a ferret mom for several years and love it! We all have our preferences regarding pets, and that’s okay. If you are contemplating having a ferret as a pet, you should know a few things. One of the questions you must be having is whether ferrets poop a lot. This article will help you understand ferrets better, including how often ferrets poop, whether the poop is harmful, it is possible to train them to use a litter box, among other things. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

How often do ferrets poop and pee?

Ferrets are wonderful pets that require regular attention and care. One of the most important aspects of ferret care is understanding their elimination habits. Ferrets poop roughly 4 to 5 times daily, depending on their diet and how often they eat and also the number can increase if they are drinking a lot of water or if they are not getting enough exercise. Ferrets tend to poop every 3 to 4 hours because of their high metabolism rate. Their high metabolic rate and short digestive tract (they are carnivores) facilitate faster digestion of food. Unlike herbivores and omnivores, which feed entirely on fiber, ferrets rely on proteins and fats. It only requires approximately 4 hours to process the food. As with pooping, it is important to monitor your ferret’s peeing habits to make sure they are healthy.

When a ferret wants to pee, they stop whatever they are doing and go to its designated pooping area. You will notice that they back up with their tail up, and within a few seconds, they are done! It is important to note that ferrets usually poop or pee within the first 15 minutes after waking up. Therefore, if you want to train them how to use a litter box, you should wake up earlier. It seems like an added responsibility, but when they get accustomed to the litter box, you are done.

Where do ferrets usually poop?

Ferrets usually poop in small piles or individual droppings. They prefer to do their business in one particular spot, usually near their sleeping area. This is why it is important to have a designated area in your home for your ferret to go to the bathroom. When ferrets first arrive in a new home, they may take some time to get used to their surroundings and may not start pooping right away. It is important to provide a litter box filled with absorbent litter. You can also use shredded paper, shredded newspaper, or ferret-specific litter. 

Once your ferret gets used to its new home, it will start to poop in the designated area. You may notice that ferrets like to “bury” their poop, which can make it difficult to find and clean up. It is important to check the litter box often and to clean it thoroughly on a regular basis to prevent the spread of bacteria and parasites. In order to discourage your ferret from pooping somewhere else, you should keep its sleeping area, food, and water away from the designated bathroom area. If you catch your ferret pooping outside of the litter box, you can gently pick it up and place it back in the litter box.

Is ferret’s poop toxic?

Firstly, ferret’s poop smells very bad and can get messy if they poop all over the house. This is one of the reasons why you should consider potty training your new pet. The second thing you should understand is the fact that their poop can carry disease-causing microorganisms, i.e., bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ferret poop can contain bacteria, for example, salmonella and campylobacter, which could cause salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis, respectively. If you are infected, common symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Studies also show that Giardia inhabits the ferret’s digestive tract. Giardia is passed through the feces and urine, and it can cause Giardia infection (Giardiasis) in humans. Common symptoms of Giardia infection include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, stomach upsets, and possible miscarriage in women! Therefore, whether you have kids or not, it is important to potty train your ferret pet.

Avoid feeding your pet friend raw, undercooked, or unpasteurized meat because it predisposes them to salmonella. For safety precautions, always wash your hands carefully after handling their poop. Also, consider booking vet appointments for vaccinations, checkups, and diagnoses. As per the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), domesticated animals, including ferrets, should be vaccinated by licensed veterinarians only. There are different State Rabies laws you should familiarize yourself with to know vaccination frequency among other things.

Is it possible to potty train a ferret?

If you adopted an untrained ferret, you are in for the long haul. Potty training ferrets is time-consuming, but it is possible and worth it. You must be patient and observant to understand your pet’s pooping habits. As a rule of thumb, always adhere to their unique, natural pooping habits. Some of the things you should know include the following:

  • Ferrets poop regularly
  • They like defecating in secluded areas, for example, the corners or under the chair, if they are shy
  • They always have a designated pooping spot
  • Sometimes they tend to smell their poop
  • They have a pooping technique, and it does not take long

How to effectively potty train a ferret?

With that in mind, you can easily determine what your ferret likes and decide how you will potty train him. Since they usually have a regular pooping spot, they always return, making it easy to place a litter tray at the spot. Sometimes it is advisable to have several litter boxes (especially if you have several ferrets) to ensure plenty of pooping spots (options if you would like). Consider placing a litter box in each room, even if you have one ferret.

After placing the litter box, consider placing some feces on it. This helps your pet friend identify the litter box and relate to its function. It might take a while before it gets accustomed to the litter box, but in the long run, he will learn.

The easiest way for new ferret owners to train their pets is by following the procedural technique. Start by training the ferret to use the litter box in their cages, then train him outside. So, after adopting a ferret, keep him in a cage, feed him, and observe his pooping habits. You will soon realize what he likes doing before defecating and his favorite spot. It is essential to ensure that the cage is big enough to accommodate the litter box and your pet.

The litter box should have pieces of litter to ease the cleaning process, minimize odor, and encourage him. The best litter should remain damp for a long period of time. Remember to buy the right litter box size because if it is too small, otherwise he won’t poop in it! Also, the litter box entering the side should be smaller to make it easier for him to get in. However, the rear end should be taller to ensure pieces of litter, pee, and poo stays inside.

RELATED: Expert Guide To Train Your Ferret Not To Bite

What type of a litter box should you invest in?

When it comes to purchasing a litter box, you must consider a few factors, including the age and sex of the ferret. Male ferrets require larger litter boxes than females because of their penis. With males, their pee is always in the middle of the litter box while the poop is at the rear. That’s not the case with females because their pee and poop are usually at the back of the litter. Ergo, buy a larger litter box if you have a male ferret because it will get dirtier faster (they require a large surface area to poop). Ferrets are territorial animals, and they like privacy. Therefore, if you own several ferrets, consider buying several litter boxes and cages to avoid unnecessary confrontations in your house.

Unlike cats, ferrets do not cover their poop. This means that their poop and pee remain exposed at all times. Since it stinks, you must clean the litter box regularly. Remember we discussed their unique pooping habits? Here is something you should always remember. Ferrets do not like stepping on old pee or poop! Therefore, if you fail to clean the litter box, they will try to find another spot, which could get messy. If you don’t have enough litter boxes in the house or cage, you could be in for a rude shock even if you have potty trained your per friend.

Should you check the ferret’s poop?

It is extremely important to check your ferret’s poop to determine if he’s healthy. This does not mean you touch or smell the poop. Remember, if you have kids, you should be vigilant, clean the litter boxes often and explain to them why touching the poop is wrong. A normal poop should range from tan brown to dark brown. Its structure should be tubular and firm (more like toothpaste). If the poop has a different color or structure, consult a vet because that could indicate a serious illness, stress, or side effects of changing the diet. We have established that ferrets poop regularly, and that’s a fact. Be that as it may, if your furry friend poops too frequently, he could be suffering from gastrointestinal infections or diseases.

Consequently, if he does not poop for a long period, for example, 6 to 12 hours, consider taking him to the vet immediately. Other times you can notice bloody poop. If by any chance you suspect he is ill, consult a vet immediately to prevent the situation from getting worse.

Are you wondering how a ferret can get stressed? Well, you are not alone. Ferrets, just like humans or other animals, can get stressed, affecting their body metabolism. A ferret can get stressed because he spends most of his time in the cage, gets shouted at for bad behavior, or interacts with other pets like cats and dogs.

Final Thoughts

Ferrets poop regularly, and hence buying a litter box is advisable. If you are keen and motivated, you can potty train your furry friend within six weeks. Remember to monitor their feeding, i.e., diet and frequency, because it determines their health, frequency of pooping, and lifespan. With time, you will get acquainted with your pet ferret and understand him. You will also learn that not every change in his poop or pooping nature indicates ill health.

Article was reviewed by Dr. Peter Lugonzo, BVM