Being a ferret mom for a long time now, the most common question I get asked by my friends and acquaintances is that Do Ferrets Poop a Lot? The answer is a big YES.
I have a routine to closely monitor my ferret’s pooping habits as well as take a quick look at its poop, as it is a great indicator of my ferret’s health.
Poops can work as signals that your ferret needs medical attention before things get out of hand and prove fatal for your furry friend.
Read on to know all about your ferret’s poop and what the various colors and structures indicate.
Do Ferrets Poop a Lot?
A simple answer to the question of do ferrets poop a lot is a YES. If you are a new pet owner, you might be baffled out as to how many times your tiny friend poops.
Pooping is more frequent in young ferrets. Usually, you can train your ferret to use the litter box. However, if you don’t train your furry friend, you can expect a mess and stains all around your house, be it your walls or carpet or any other piece of furniture.
How Often Do Ferrets Poop?
Ferrets have a high metabolism rate, and hence it is normal if they poop a lot. You can expect your healthy ferret to poop every 3 to 4 hours.
Younger ferrets or kits tend to poop more as compared to adult ferrets. They can sometimes poop 4 to 5 times a day.
Why Do Ferrets Poop a Lot?
Ferrets have a short digestive tract and a very high metabolic rate. Hence, they can process their food very quickly. Due to this reason, it is essential to feed your ferret 6 to 8 times a day.
Due to this, whenever the food is digested, your ferret will poop and it is completely normal. Usually, the ferret will poop every 3 to 4 hours. If your ferret poops more frequently, you should consult a vet, as it may indicate some sort of infection in your ferret’s stomach.
Sometimes, the number of times a ferret poops also depends on the type of food that you are feeding to him.
Your ferret will poop more frequently if you feed him with good quality kibble. You can check out the best ferret foods here. However, with raw meat, the frequency of poop will be relatively less, as your ferret can absorb more nutrients from the raw meat.
Where Do Ferrets Poop?
Ferrets can poop all over the place, making it a tough job for you to pick up their droppings. However, the good news is that ferrets can be easily trained to use their litter trays. Once trained, you can be assured that your ferret will poop and pee only in his litter tray.
Ferrets like to poop in corners, away from the place where they eat, play, and sleep. Moreover, they like to stick to the routine and poop at the same place always.
Hence, once you train your ferret to use a litter box, you can place one litter tray in your ferret’s cage and the other one at some corner of your house, so that your ferret does not need to enter the ferret cage when he is enjoying his playtime.
Is It Important to Check Your Ferret’s Poop?
YES, it is extremely important to keep a check on your ferret’s poop. It is the best way to determine if your ferret is healthy or not.
Of course, you do not need to touch the ferret’s poop. You can simply examine the color and the structure of the poop in your friend’s litter box.
There are many poop colors like green, yellow, brown, black, orange and structures like hard, soft, runny, and sticky. Each poop type has its own health-related significance. We would be discussing it in detail soon.
Sometimes, abnormal poop also indicates that your ferret is under stress. He might have the stress of traveling or being in the same cage as other ferrets or simply socializing with your other pet animals.
If monitored closely, it can help you bring the ferret out from his stress.
Moreover, pooping too frequently or not pooping at all also indicate early signs of gastrointestinal diseases.
Thus, you should keep a close watch on your ferret’s poop and his pooping habits.
What Does The Poop Indicate About Your Ferret’s Health? 8 Different Poop Types
Each type of poop can indicate a new thing related to your ferret. Below, we discuss the different types of ferret poops and the ones that require your immediate attention.
1. Normal Ferret Poop
Normal ferret poop is brown in color, with a smooth consistency. It usually appears in a tubular form.
2. Green Poop
Green poop usually indicates that the ferret’s food is moving too fast in the intestinal tract. A normal ferret’s poop is brown because it is the final product of the breakdown of red blood cells. If the food moves at an accelerated rate, it does not break down normally and thus, has a green color to it.
Green poop is also referred to as the ECE poop. Epizootic catarrhal enteritis or ECE, is a most common form of illness due to which the poop appears green in color.
Clinical Signs of ECE:
- It affects the intestinal tract
- The poop appears green
- Diarrhea in your ferret
You should keep your ferret well hydrated in case he has green poop, as under this condition it can lose the body fluid rapidly.
If your ferret is showing dark green poop, it might indicate that he is suffering from some kind of stress. You should watch out for the reasons why your ferret is stressed and try to calm him.
3. Black Tarry Poop
Black color poop is normal if you are feeding your ferret with raw meat. Your ferret’s poop can appear dark brown to black and soft if he has eaten liver or heart. However, the black poop is meal-dependent and it shouldn’t persist for a long time.
On the other hand, a black tarry poop is something that requires immediate medical attention. If you investigate a black poop with tarry consistency and mucus, it indicates the presence of blood in the poop.
In such a situation, the blood comes from the throat or stomach and indicates that the food is digested before it reaches the intestine. It points to a possibility of gastric bleeding and gastric ulcers.
Your ferret might refuse to eat, have vomiting and be very lethargic.
If you see a black tarry poop, it is a serious problem and you should consult your veterinarian at the earliest.
4. Bloody Poop
Bloody poop in the ferret demands immediate attention. Blood in your ferret’s poop means that some kind of damage has occurred to an organ- small intestine, anus, and rectum.
If there is a lot of blood, the entire gastrointestinal tract may be bleeding due to massive hemorrhage. It is a no-brainer that your ferret will undergo a lot of pain and will have difficulty in defecation.
You should immediately consult a vet in this case, without wasting any time.
5. Seedy Poop
A seedy poop or grainy poop texture often appears when you have changed the food habits of your furry friend. Changing your ferret’s kibble or giving him raw meat or introduction to a new food item are the common causes for a seedy poop.
This indicates that your ferret was unable to process and digest the food properly and his body discarded the undigested fats. There is nothing to worry about a seedy poop during a diet change, as your ferret’s body will eventually get used to the diet.
However, if you have not made any diet changes in your ferret, and yet a seedy poop appears, it is best to consult a vet. It might indicate the presence of intestinal parasites in your ferret or some other problems.
6. Runny Ferret Poop
A runny ferret poop indicates diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused due to stress, low-quality ferret food, or a serious disease like ECE. You can check the poop’s color and your ferret’s activity level to determine the severity of the runny poop.
If the runny poop is green in color, or if your ferret remains lethargic, tired, and suffers from vomiting, you should visit the vet.
If your ferret shows normal behavior and the runny poop just happened once, you should only take proper care of your ferret and keep him hydrated.
7. Mucus Ferret Poop
Mucus in poop is an abnormal thing and it clearly indicates that something is not right with your furry friend. It indicates bowel trouble.
If you examine the mucus in poop just once, maybe due to a change in the ferret’s diet, then there is nothing to worry about.
However, if the poop continuously shows mucus, you should immediately take your ferret for a check-up.
8. External Foreign Items in Ferret Poop
If you find any external item in your ferret’s poop, it indicates that your ferret has eaten something wrong which it wasn’t supposed to eat.
You should keep an eye on your ferret and make sure that he eats and poops properly for the next few days.
Should You Worry If Your Ferret Doesn’t Poop?
YES, you should be worried if your ferret has not pooped in 12 to 24 hours.
If you observe discomfort in your ferret and his poop is pencil-lead thin or like spaghetti, it indicates that your ferret is suffering from a partial blockage. This is a matter of concern and should be treated immediately.
Blockage can be caused due to materials like rubber, sponge, or plastic, as ferrets love to chew and nibble these materials. The small pieces can stay in your ferret’s digestive tract leading to fatal conditions.
Hairballs can also get stuck in your ferret’s stomach or intestine, causing a blockage. This also leads to difficulty in passing stools.
Blockage can also cause vomiting and diarrhea in your ferret, causing dehydration. Moreover, a more serious situation with blockage is that the blocked up, closed intestines will gather the gas which can be fatal for your ferret.
Although unlikely, but sometimes, a raw meat bone can also cause blockage in your ferret.
Thus, it is a matter of concern if your ferret won’t poop. You should immediately consult a veterinarian.
How to Train Your Ferret To Use the Litter Box
Your ferret is one smart creature and can be trained to use a litter box. It usually takes 2 to 3 weeks of sincere efforts to potty train your ferret. Follow the simple steps below to set up a ferret litter box.
1. Select a Litter and Set Their Litter Tray
Select a proper litter for your ferret. You should keep in mind that not all litters are safe for your ferret. Take a look at the best available litter for your ferret here.
We recommend the Katty Small Animal Critter , as it is the best litter for potty training.
You can also use cat litter that is suitable for ferrets.
Once you have selected the litter, next, you should select a large litter pan as your ferret will tend to grow. Also, a male ferret will need to keep his four feet in the litter pan before pooping. This isn’t necessarily needed for a female ferret.
Take a look at this litter tray that works great for ferrets as well as rabbits.
2. Place The Litter Tray At a Proper Spot in Your Ferret’s Cage
Closely observe your ferret’s favorite spot to poop. You should carefully place the litter tray at that spot.
Note that you should never place the litter tray near the spot where your ferret eats and sleeps in his cage.
In the initial stages of potty training, you should place a few droppings of your ferret’s feces in the tray. This will give them an idea about the purpose of the tray.
3. Clean The Litter Box Daily
You should scoop the litter daily for any droppings and urine clumps. This will ensure that when your ferret uses the litter box the next time, he does not make a mess while digging.
Moreover, allowing the feces to pile up will cause the ferret smell to be a stronger and extreme odor in the cage and your room.
Now that you know the answer to Do Ferrets Poop a Lot is a YES, it is also important that you closely observe your pet ferret’s poop as you can see early signs of a sick ferret.
Being a responsible ferret owner, you should keep a track of your ferret’s food habits, as the poop is directly associated with it.
If you find any abnormalities in the poop, we suggest that you immediately consult a vet before things get more serious and fatal for your furry friend.