Ferrets do need to be let out of the cage everyday for exercise and recreation, both for yourself and the ferret. If you are going to leave your ferret out, it must be litter-trained again. A ferret, once outside of the cage, will not likely return to the cage to use the litter box. Instead, the ferret will look for suitable spots around the house. Some of the ferret litter boxes sold at stores are far too small for your ferret. It should be large enough so that a ferret can be completely inside of the box and even have plenty of room to turn around inside the litter box. On the right is a typical corner litter box for outside of the cage, although it is a little on the small side. There is some plastic runner under it to help protect the carpet and it makes for easy clean up of litter trackings. On the left is a larger, tupperware-type container turned into a very good litter box with a lid. Several holes were cut into the sides to allow ferret access and several hole on top to allow air circulation. Every corner is a potential bathroom for a ferret. Here are some tips to prevent accidents around the house.
1) Keep a close eye on your ferret for the first few weeks that he is allowed out of the cage. At the first sign of trouble, pick up the ferret and place him in the litter box. Again do not let him out until he goes. Once he goes, you can relax for a while.
2) Place a litter box in a convenient spot for both you and your ferret outside of the cage. When a ferret has to go, he usually can’t make a long trip to a litter box. Position the litter box in a corner of a room so that no matter what silliness the ferret is in to, it will not have to travel too far to get to the litter box.
3) Do not give the ferret too large an area to roam. The further a ferret has to travel to a litter box, the harder it is to train him to use it regularly. When your accidents are at a minimum in a particular area, you may try to expand your ferret’s roam zone.
4) Discourage the use of corners as ferret bathrooms by placing immovable objects there. Books, furniture, playhouses, etc…Perhaps at a future date you can remove the objects.
Ferrets will make an accident on your rug once in a while. Maybe once every few weeks, months or longer if they are well-trained. This is an unfortunate fact all ferret owners must accept. They simply are not as reliable as most cats. Fortunately, ferrets accidents are relatively small and easy to clean up. Ferrets are also occasionally known to make a doo-doo in the middle of your rug when they are upset. That might be their way of saying you need to spend more time with them.
If you are going to be away from your home for more than 24 hours, you should put the ferret back in the cage. You can leave a ferret or two locked in a cage for two or three days if you are away for a weekend. However, you better let them out when you return and make up some lost quality time. If you are going to be gone for a longer period, have someone visit at least every other day to check up on the ferrets. The food and water should be attended to and the litter must be changed. The ferrets should be allowed out of the cage for at least an hour during that time.
Potted plants are a large and silly invitation for ferrets. Ferrets are natural diggers and cannot be trained not to dig. It would be like trying to get a fish not to swim. If you leave a ferret alone with a plant, you will find a pile of dirt and a dirty but happy ferret. So how do you stop a ferret from digging in your plant? Move the plant to another room or put it on a high plant stand. If the planter is big enough, you could cover the top of the plant soil with colorful decorative gravel. Each piece of gravel or rock should be at least one and a half to two inches long. Put a two inch layer over the soil. This looks nice and the ferrets hate to put their paws on the rocks.