How to Reduce Ferret Odor

Опубликовал Admin
7-10-2016, 06:15
2 913
Ferrets are adorable and charming critters, but the number one complaint about them is their smell. With a little effort, you can keep your fuzzy friend from offending the nose. See Step 1 below to learn how.


  1. Pay attention to your ferret's diet. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, so make sure you're not feeding him/her anything (diet or treats) that has corn, wheat, fruit, vegetable, fruit juices, or sugar as one of the first three ingredients. Fish ingredients also greatly increases the smell of the food and the ferret. Just because a bag of food has a picture of a ferret on it or was being fed to your ferret at the pet store does not mean that it offers your pet a nutritious, less smelly diet. Appropriate food will have 35 to 40 percent protein and no less than 19 percent fat. A good diet will give your ferret well formed droppings that won't smell too bad as well as soft shiny fur, bright eyes, high energy, and overall happiness.
  2. Clean the litterbox. Your ferret's litterbox should be cleaned daily. But be sure to leave a small amount of soiled litter in the box so he knows where to go. If the litterbox smells to his/her discerning nose just like the rest of the cage, you could end up with some 'presents' all over the place instead of in the odor-fighting litter. The litter in the box should be pelleted paper or soft-clumping plant-based granules. Never use hard-clumping clay or silicone as these will cause problems if ingested or stuck to the ferret's rear end. Also never use wood-shaving litter as it can cause respiratory problems and won't do a very good job at odor control.
  3. Wash the bedding weekly. His/her hammock or sleep sack gets dirty just like your clothing does and needs to be washed. This will greatly reduce cage smells. Use hot water and an unscented laundry detergent (some ferrets are allergic to fragrances).
  4. Go easy on the bathing. Contrary to what you may think, ferrets should not be bathed often. The body odor you smell on them is their skin oil. If you wash them even with a gentle ferret shampoo, it irritates their skin and causes their oil glands to kick into overtime, making them smell even worse. Now, if your ferret sleeps in his/her dirty litter pan or rolls in some unidentifiable smelly substance outside, you may need to bathe him/her. If so, you should use a ferret shampoo, warm water (tepid water feels cold to them), and a ferret conditioner afterwards to minimize drying of his/her skin. Other safe and gentle pet shampoos and conditioners are fine, but watch out for allergies in your ferret.
  5. Consider an internal deodorizer. There are some products on the market that claim to deodorize your ferret from the inside out. If you have done all of the above, you should not need these products, which don't work very well anyway. Some people observe that these products give their ferrets loose stools. You should wait a few weeks after buying your ferret to try this stuff so you will be able to discern any change in your ferret's behavior or droppings.
  6. Try a daily spritz or ferret deodorizer. Some have nice scents like vanilla or melon and can really cut through his/her body odor. If you have done all of the above, you should not need these either. Most ferrets hate being spritzed too.
  7. You may start to think your ferret smells quite nice- certainly better than a wet dog or dirty cat box!


  • Don't use human shampoo; it makes a ferret want to rub its body against everything to get rid of the fragrance.
  • Odors can also be retained in household dust. Cleaning your home, including dusting the walls, corners, and upholstery your ferret brushes against, can help reduce odors.
  • Baby ferrets (kits) have a much sharper scent which dissipates to a more mellow musky odor as they age.
  • Don't bathe your ferret more than once a month! If you do, they will make more of the oils which cause the smell and they'll only smell worse.


  • If you notice your ferret having loose stools for a prolonged period, be sure to check with your veterinarian.
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