Tip Four

Tip 4: Hit that litter pan

Ferrets are very smart and react well to positive reinforcement. If you want your ferret to repeat a good behavior give treats when they do something right. Watch out though they can be sneaky about getting treats.

One of our ferrets didnít know what a litter pan was when we got her. This is what we did to train her.

First you should know that ferrets usually go to the bathroom as soon as they get up, usually within 5 minutes.  Knowing this we had a treat ready, woke her up and set her in the litter box and kept putting her back in until she went like she was supposed to. As soon as she finished she got her treat.

We then watched her for a while and the next time she needed to go she started backing up next to the box.  We quickly moved her into the box and when she went she got another treat.

The next time we came into the room she made a bee line to the litter box and backed right into the corner. (our Houdini is the smartest ferret in the world so yours may not pick it up quite so quick)

Unfortunately our ferret was a little too smart because every time she saw us looking her way she would back up into the corner of the litter pan and then come running to the front of the cage looking for her treat.  We realized after about the 4th treat in as many hours that she had trained us too.

At that point we started only giving her a treat when she actually went potty. But ferrets will be ferrets and she figured that out very quickly also. When she would go to the litter pan a look of determination would come on her face and she would grunt and push and squeeze out one or two drops just so she would get her treat.

We have mostly stopped giving her treats for using the potty, but still give her one on occasion as a reinforcement.

The only other thing you really need to know to train the ferret to use the litter pan is to keep it clean. Ferrets donít like a dirty potty any more than you would.

Our ferrets are also pretty good about not going on the floor but donít expect that because they use the litter pan in the cage they will be 100% when they are out. We have trained our ferrets to go before they come out to play.  Of course that means when they see us and want to play they head for the litter pan.  It is actually kind of funny sometimes because three or four will be trying to use one of the pans at the same time because that is the one closest to the door they usually come out of.

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