Ferret Health

Can Ferrets Use Cat Litter

can ferrets use cat litter

Can ferrets use cat litter? The answer is more complicated than a simple yes, and it would be advisable for you to read through the whole article to reach the right conclusion.

can ferrets use cat litter

Ferrets are usually very clean by nature. Because they are usually house pets, it is important that they should be trained to use a litter box. There aren’t special varieties of litter designed specifically for ferrets. Therefore you will have to choose among the several varieties of cat litter available in the market. Each of these has positive and negative qualities and you need to be aware of these before making a decision.

Some types of cat litter can actually cause your precious ferrets to fall ill very seriously. Ferrets have sensitive respiratory and digestive systems and some of the cat litter varieties can cause harm to either or both systems. Your ferrets may have their own preferences and you will be surprised to see how quickly they respond to some cat litter types.

Papers Pellet Litter

It may be safe to use a papers pellet litter. You can also use granulated paper litter or wood pellets. It is probably the only safe cat litter for ferrets. Yesterday’s News is quite popular with ferret owners due to the bigger sized pieces that ferrets cannot throw around. Certain varieties of recycled paper litter are also good for ferrets. In case your ferret chews some bits of the paper based litter, it won’t hurt them.

Oak Or Pine Pellets

They are the most absorbent for the odor and can be found in various forms, such as feline pine litter, horse stall pellets and wood stove pellets. Most tree based pellets are recommended as the material is all natural and the remains can be flushed down the toilet very safely.

Wood pellets don’t cost much. Additionally, when your ferrets pee on them, they crumble but you can still scoop them up very easily. You can try different brands as the quality varies. Remember that the larger ones may be more effective than the bigger ones. They are a huge favorite with cat owners too, because of which they are easily available at local hardware stores. Not only are they dust free, there are no chemical additives such as those found in some new litters.

Many ferret owners also use only wood stove pellets because they are the best option for ferrets. They can be found at most grocery stores.

Equine pine pellets are very good to use for cleaning. If the ferrets make them a bit moist, they crumble into sawdust which is very easy to scoop.

Hardwood pellets aren’t very absorbent and do not manage the odor very well. When your ferrets urinate on them, they turn into sawdust. You may either scoop the sawdust or cut the bottom part of the litter box and replace it with a screen. Like a sieve, the sawdust can be sifted from the pellets.

Can Ferrets Use Clay Or Clumping Cat Litters

Ferrets often sniff through things and the problem you may have with clumping cat litter is that it is likely to enter the nose, turning into a clot of cement.

Clumping cat litters or even clay litters are not advisable due to two reasons. Firstly, both are quite dusty and your ferrets’ delicate respiratory system can be very badly affected. As the ferrets bury their noses into the litter as a habit, they may develop serious breathing problems. You don’t want your darling ferrets to get ill!

The second reason is that after going for a poop, ferrets like to rub their bottoms on the base of the litter pan. Small pieces of the clumped litter will get stuck to their rear sides which would be similar to a cementing effect. This may cause an obstructed anus, which can lead to severe problems. Your ferrets could get ill very seriously!

Another reason why this type isn’t appropriate for ferrets is that if they eat some of the litter, as ferrets occasionally do, it can lead to terrible obstructions of the bowels.

Wood Shaving Litter

This kind of cat litter is terrible for your ferrets due to the high dust content. Ferrets do not have a strong asthmatic system and the wood shaving litter may cause damage to it with the passage of time. This also happens because of the key wood oils contained in the wood shavings.

Corncob Litter

Corncob litter is not appropriate because of its poor absorbency. It doesn’t absorb odor well either.

Conclusion

To come back to the question that we started with; can ferrets use cat litter, the answer is surely a yes, but only some kinds are recommended due to their suitability for ferrets.

 

References:

http://www.myferretpet.com/2014/05/can-ferrets-use-cat-litter-whats-best.html

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=11+1280&aid=553

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?articleid=1925

http://www.ferret.org/pdfs/education/bestlitter.pdf

http://www.cypresskeep.com/Ferretfiles/LitterBox.pdf

About the author

David Strickland

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