Can ferrets use cat litter?

Ferrets make great pets. They love to play with people. Ferrets are also intelligent pets that can be trained to use a litter box.  The pets have a small and furry body that matches that of a cat. It is for these reasons that many pet owners believe they can share litter with cats. But how true is this? Can ferrets use cat litter? There is no definite “yes” or “no” answer to this question. But let us look at your options.

Cat litter that are unsuitable for ferrets

Ferrets have an excretion behavior that is very different from cats.  They love relieving themselves in a specific corner. Their digestive systems also make them excrete more frequently. They will poop after eating, playing, or even sleeping. While ferrets can use cat litter, not all kinds are suitable for our small furry friends.

Clay litter

The best ferret litter should be unscented and shouldn’t clump up. Many of the cat litters are made of clay, making them unsuitable for ferrets. Ferrets love digging, chewing, and sniffing items. This can prove challenging as your small furry friend will do the same thing on cat litter. This can leave the cat litter in the ferret’s mouth or nose, turning into a cement clot.

Clay cat litters can also be very dusty. Ferrets have a dusty respiratory system that can be affected by dust. Ferrets also tend to bury their nose in the litter, which can cause it to get trapped, leading to breathing problems. Another reason you should avoid ferret litter for cats is that after ferrets have pooped, they tend to clean their bottom by rubbing it on the litter box. This means that litter can get clumped to the ferret’s anus leading to obstruction.

Wood shaving litter

Cat litters that are made of wood have high dust content, making them unsuitable for ferrets. Like we have already noted, dust can negatively impact the respiratory system of a ferret, people like the smell from wood. However, ferrets have a sensitive respiratory system that makes them sick from the smell. Wood shaving may also contain wood oils that can negatively affect ferrets.

Corn cob

It is also advisable to avoid cat litter that is made of corncobs.  The material isn’t good at the absorption and therefore isn’t the right choice for absorbing the foul smell. You should avoid this material for ferrets as it can turn dusty and may have molds. When ferrets feed on this type of litter, this may negatively affect their intestines.

Oil and Scented

The majority of cat litters are also scented, making them unsuitable for ferrets.  Scented cat litters can release vapor that can lead to respiratory conditions for your ferret.

 Ferrets also use more than one litter box. So, which is the best ferret litter

Best cat litter for ferrets

Here are some of the cat litter options that are safe for ferrets.

Paper pellet

When searching for the best ferret litter, you should consider odor control and safety. Paper pellet is one of the safest ferret types of cat litter for your ferret. Paper litters are suitable for ferrets as they don’t pose any threat to your furry friend even when he chews on them. Litters made from the material are also good absorbent and effective in odor control. 

The cat litters are an excellent choice for a ferret as they hardly contain any dust and can be quickly scooped. They are also affordable. Since ferrets don’t cover their stool like cats, they use less litter. All you need to do is to scoop the litter once in a day.

Oak or pine pellets

A suitable ferret litter should absorb the bad odor. One of the options that are good in absorbing smell is pine or oak pellets. Tree-based pellets are a great choice as they are natural and can be flushed down the toilet. These are also affordable and can be quickly scooped up.  A good idea would be to go for the larger wood pellets as they are more effective as compared to the smaller ones. The pellets contain no chemical additives and are also dust-free.

Cat litters that are made of stove pellets are also a great choice.  When your furry friend excretes on them, they become moist. This makes it easy for them to crumble up and to be easily scooped up.

Wheat/Corn/walnut litters

Cat Litters made of wheat, walnut, and corn were recently introduced into the market. They are a great alternative to the clay litters as they are safe and dust-free. These types of litter are very absorbent and don’t clump us easily. The litter doesn’t clump up like clay. However, these litters have a downside in that they are more expensive as compared to the average litter. Ferrets can also eat corn litter causing health problems such as intestinal blockages.

In conclusion

Since ferrets are domestic pets, they should be trained to use a litter box. It is hard to find a litter than is specially made for ferrets. This is why you need to choose a good cat litter from the options available in the market. However, it is always a good idea to consider the material that the litter is made of. For instance, avoid litter that is made of clay as it could cause your ferret to fall ill. Clay and silica may also be too thick and hard for your furry friend.

Ferrets also like scooting and digging as a way of cleaning up their bottoms. Clay litter can also get stuck in their paws. Wood shavings are bad for ferrets. However, wood pellets are good.

 You need to also consider your ferret’s preferences and how he responds to different types of litters.  Also, consider if the litter will serve the intended purpose. For instance, if your goal is odor control, pick an option that is effective in doing that. Use the above guide before you can choose a cat litter for your ferret.

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