There are a lot of ferret products on the market, many of which are perfect worth buying, from bedding to toys to treats. But some products are completely useless and you should avoid them completely.
1. Ferret corner deterrent springs
These little springs attach to the walls of a ferret cage and are designed to keep your ferret from going potty in corners where they aren’t supposed to. Several years ago, I bought these deterrents thinking they were the perfect solution to my ferrets pooping in odd corners of the cage. But they can be climbed over and lifted by ferrets, and they still didn’t deter a determined ferret from going in their chosen corner. I ended up removing them from the cage because I was concerned they were unsafe; if a ferret caught their toes or nails in the springs, it could result in them losing a toe.
2. Ferret shampoo
Many ferret shampoos promise something they can’t deliver, a less musky/stinky ferret. The truth is, ferrets don’t need to be bathed unless they get into something like dirt or food. Bathing your ferret strips their skin of their natural oils and causes their skin to overcorrect, producing even more of the musky-smelling oil. Bathing too much can even lead to skin irritation.
If you do need to bathe your ferret, you don’t need a shampoo specifically for them. You can just use a gentle, hypoallergenic baby shampoo.
3. Ferret nail clippers
While ferret nail clippers aren’t entirely useless, good-quality nail clippers for humans are typically all you need, cost less, and last longer. The most important thing for nail clippers is that they are sharp.
Nutrigel isn’t advertised as being for ferrets specifically, but many ferret owners give Nutrigel as a treat or bribe if they need the ferret to sit still for grooming. I used to be one of those ferret owners, but these days I stay away from any supplement with sugar in it. Sugary foods have been linked with insulinoma in ferrets.
5. Small corner litter boxes
There are a lot of litter boxes designed for ferrets on the market, but none are worse than the smallest ones designed to fit tightly in a corner. If your ferret cannot comfortably put all four feet in the litter box, they are unlikely to use it.
6. Most ferret treats
Generally, commercially produced ferret treats are packed full of carbohydrates and sugar. For example, Ferret N-Bone Chew Treats (chicken flavor) contains mostly flour, starch, and a sugar substitute.
A ferret’s diet needs to consist of fat and animal protein and no carbohydrates or sugar. The inappropriate treats sold in pet stores are not only useless but are actively causing harm in ferrets.
In particular, you should NEVER buy treats for your ferret that include fruit and vegetables, like Wild Harvest Fruit ‘n Veggie Crunch. Ferrets cannot digest fruit and vegetables!
This article originally appeared in Dook Dook Ferret Magazine (Issue 9). To receive 6 new Dook Dook Ferret Magazines per year + get access to other bonuses then join the Ferret-World Membership.