What are some good ways to mask ferret odor?

by Lauren
(Mechanicsville, VA)

Ferret litter box tied to the cage

Ferret litter box tied to the cage

Ferret litter box tied to the cage Ferret litter box tied to cage - strings

I recently bought a house, and it smelled wonderful...until I moved the ferrets in to the house! We put them in the sunroom, which is at the very back of the house, but they still smell through the kitchen and into the living room. My mom recently came over, and it has been hell being around her since. All she keeps complaining about is how my fiancee and I have ruined the house by letting the ferrets live there. We should put them out in one of the sheds, take them to the vet, etc.

They are my babies, they will not go anywhere, but it is making my life difficult. I work with my mom, and so the discussion is often brought up at work.

Are there any tried methods to keeping the smell down? Any ways to keep the litter boxes in a corner? My carpet sharks have a tendency to move the boxes away from the corners and poop behind them :( Do you have a stand on the deodorizer that you put in their food?

ANSWER: Hi Lauren, I do feel your pain.
Unfortunately ferrets do have a very strong smell and there is only so much that you can do to mask it.
Here are a few suggestions and questions:

- Have you have your ferrets de-sexed? Ferret odour decreases considerably once they are spayed as they don't have as many hormones rushing through their bodies.

- Change your ferrets litter box and clean their cage everyday. The longer you leave it the stinkier it gets.

- Wash their bedding once a week. The majority of the smell actually comes from the smell settling in their blankets. If you wash it once a week it will make a huge difference!

- Do not wash your ferret more then once a month! When you wash your ferret it's oil glands go into overdrive trying to replace the oils which have been washed out of their skin. Therefore they can smell way more after the wash. I only wash my ferrets if they get fleas or get really dirty. Normally about twice a year. The less the better!

- Try out and experiment with different litters. Some litters catch the smell more then others. Never use woodchips or any other dusty litter as the dust settles in their lungs and causes respiratory problems. I use recycled paper pellets for my litter box and find it is the best product out there (in my opinion).

- I also had a problem with the ferrets moving out their litter box from the corner and came up with this solution: Burn some holes into the litter pan so that you can put sting through them and tie it to the cage. There is no way for them to move it if it is properly secured. (See photo)

- Burn incense and essential oils - these are natural and will not harm your ferrets.

- Feed them a more natural diet if possible - Raw meet (see healthy ferret http://www.ferret-world.com/healthyferretfood.html food for more details. The more essential nutrients ferrets get in their food the less they poop because their bodies absorb the nutrients.
Lots of specially made ferret foods have too much grain in them which their bodies lack enzymes for to digest and cannot absorb them. Therefore the body eliminates it.

- Tell your mum to be more considerate of your feelings. Especially at work. The ferrets are your babies, you have to live with the smell and she should be more understanding. After all...did she never put up with smelly nappies when you were a baby? Would she ever give you away because of the smell and mess you made? Nope...then why would you?

- I am against adding unnecessary things to ferrets food as if you intend to keep ferrets, you better love them for what they are including their smell. You don't know what kind of an effect additives will have in the long term. We want our fuzzies to live long healthy lives. Natural is always best.

- Join the Ferret-World Facebook page so that you can ask other ferret owners about more suggestions of masking ferret smell.

Hope these few suggestions help. If I can think of more I will be sure to add them.


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Dec 02, 2016
two's a crowd NEW
by: boys n girls

I have had my female ferret about 6 years now, she was a DREAM to littler box train, to the point of letting her totally freerange my apartment without ever encountering an accident. I have not always been the most on top of cleaning out her littler boxes (mostley because they are in places unseen/ hard to reach (I let her choose the spots)) and no one ever mentioned the smell. My guests were often shocked I had a ferret running around and they never smelled her.

Well she and I moved in with my partner who has a two year old boy. Whoooo-weee!! He diggs up and knocks over her litter boxes--she's actually LEARNING how not to be little box trained by following him around and everything about him STINKS. So much so that even with daily scoops and weekly cleanings and incense his roommates requested they no longer live in the living room--so now they live in our tiny bedroom and OH MY GOD. XP a change to "dust free" wood chips mixed with shreddy paper has helped (since he refuses to learn litter boxes) but we both have momentary breakdowns wondering if his smelly poopy cuteness & now companionship to my older lady is worth the *pretty serious* decline in our quality of life living in the cloud of their smell/scattered and secret poops. Incense is not allowed in bedroom as my partner is asthmatic.

I'm buying an essential oil defuser, wondering what oil might mask the smells best?

Jul 07, 2014
Agree NEW
by: Zeph

I agree with the above comments, and I would add that, by the looks of it, you should definitely change litter. Clay litter is not only environmentally unfriendly, it harbors stink. I use pine litter and it smells very clean for a long time. I would also recommend a bigger litterbox. I use a cat box that I have attached to the cage walls so they cannot move it around.

I have a very small house and my ferrets do not stink up the house unless I let the litterbox go for too long. They do, of course, have their natural musky smell, but really that should not travel over the whole house.

Some people seem to be overly sensitive to the smell of ferrets too. Ironically, it seems to be people with a poor sense of smell/taste that react most strongly to ferret musk. It could be that your mother-in-law is overly sensitive and she will never be satisfied with the presence of the ferrets at all.

Jan 09, 2011
masking odour
by: narelle gow

hi there i have a baby male named stuart little he was desexed four days ago he still smells but not so much i hose out his cage 2x a day & his scent is still stronger than the females i burn incence in the lounge room where his cage is he doesnt seem to mind the smell either cheers narelle

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