Ferrets Smell and What You Can Do About it

Ferrets smell is one of the most common reasons why ferret ownership is not as popular as ownership of other animals are, such as dogs and cats. Some would believe in the idea that ferrets smell is intolerable or that there is no effective way to get rid of the smell that it could spread throughout the house. Ferrets do smell, and this is a fact. However, getting read of the smell is not entirely true because many pet owners of ferrets could attest that ferrets smell can be very manageable and that there are many ways to completely get rid of the unpleasant odor.

ferrets smell getting rid of odor

Photo: Mirco Borsato | Flickr

What and how ferrets smell exactly?

Ferrets, through their scent glands excrete a strong odor which some people refer to as “musky” and this normally comes from their skin and the lower back. When your ferrets are in a cage or in an enclosed area, the odor goes stronger because of the lack of proper exhaustion. This happens because windows and doors must always be secured so that ferrets would not escape. This scenario contributes to the accumulation or the buildup of stronger odor from your pet. Male ferrets have stronger odor than the females.

Ferrets acquired from pet stores or shelters usually have their anal sac removed, this is a surgical process called “descenting”. Descenting ferrets helps in reducing the smell they produce. However, this doesn’t get rid of the problem exactly because they still have this natural odor.

How to reduce the odor or get rid of it?

The first thing in order to help reduce ferrets smell is through proper hygiene, and this works even with other animals. Ferrets groom themselves but extra grooming from you is required. Giving them bath often won’t necessarily help and some would even recommend it because frequent bathing could actually intensify ferrets smell due the drying of the skin. When ferrets skin is dry the natural oil that comes from it are washed away, this natural oil helps somehow to balance the smell as well as keeping their coat in healthy condition.

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Here Are Some the Things You Can Do to Help Reduce Ferrets Smell

1. Clean and wash their bedding regularly.

The natural musky scent from your ferret is transferred to their bedding sand aside from this musky smell, the dirt and all things acquired by your ferret during their out of the cage time are also absorbed or rubbed on these bedding. Make sure to buy two or more bedding sets for them so you can provide them fresh bedding when you opted to wash the used ones. The ideal wash schedule is every 3 or 4 days.

2. Clean their litter box often

Litter pans or litter boxes must be scattered around the house, most preferably, in every corner. Most ferrets like to do their thing in corners of rooms or cage. This is also a good way to potty train them. If you know where your ferret poops, it would be easier for you to clean the area.

Litters can be reused if it haven’t been completed soiled. You can just remove the droppings to make sure the scent will not spread even more. The ideal schedule to replace the litter is once a week. You may also try adding recycled newspaper in the litter box and change it often. Some expert recommends this idea instead of relying purely on commercially bought litters.

3. Keep the cage clean

Aside from washing their bedding and replacing the litter, it is also important that the actual cage be cleaned regularly. You may wash the cage itself or wipe the bars and grills with soap and water. The pans under the cage must also be washed.  You can use some disinfectant spray with scent, such as lemon scent or apply baking soda when you clean the cage. This helps in controlling the odor that is absorbed by the cage.

4. Feed them the right food

This is one of the facts that ferrets owner or those who are just planning must consider.  Most of the time the scent that they produce actually comes from the kind of ferret food they consume. This also applies to other pets like cats and dogs. Also, some pet foods, even when unconsumed, do really have foul smell that could be absorbed by your pet and could also spread out at home. Try changing your ferret’s pet food and see of this will help reduce the smell.

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Breaking the myth that ferrets smell cannot be controlled is important because this is one of the major turnoffs from those who want to get a ferret for a pet.

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