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Author Topic: Making ferret "cage happy" - would 2nd ferret help?  (Read 1228 times)
smurphy
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« on: April 24, 2010, 08:42:54 PM »

Hi!  
I'm a fairly new ferret owner - we adopted a 2year old male dark eyed white ferret about 6 months ago.  We just love him, but he isn't very good at using a litter box.  
We usually let him roam free in the house but we are getting a little tired of  the messes.  We used to keep him in his cage at night, but he has gotten so used to roaming that he usually chews & scratches at his cage, waking everyone up now.  
I have been thinking of getting another ferret for a friend for him so my question is - do you think having a 2nd ferret will help him to get reacquainted with his cage & feel more comfortable there so he's not lonely?  I want to keep them in their cage permanently (except for play/exercise etc.).  
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Shannon
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Ferrettaxi
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2010, 07:53:49 PM »

Hi Shannon,

  Keep in mind that getting a second ferret MAY help with loneliness but it may NOT help with your litter box issues. As I tell anyone who's looking to adopt from us: Ferrets are about 70% with the litter box. Keep in mind that you can get some 100% just as easily as you can get some 40%.

  First you should ask yourself if you have enough litter boxes outside the cage. Are they big enough? A ferret MUST be able to fit it's entire body in the litter box for them to be comfortable, otherwise, they won't use it. If he's always going in the same corner or spot, don't fight'em, just put a litter box there. If you can't, try moving the furniture around or turn it into a sleeping spot with lots of blankets. Ferrets don't like to sleep where they poop. Second, positive reinforcement and vocalization. Talk to your ferret, repeat the word LITTER BOX as you place him in it. If he get's out, put him back in and keep doing it until he goes in the box. Once he's done, give him a treat and lots of praise.

  These are just suggestions, they may work on your little guy, but they may not. Remember, ferrets usually need to poop 5min. after they wake up, so putting a litter box close to his favourite sleepy spot isn't a bad idea either.

  As for the biting on the bars, Yes, he's frustrated. This can be dangerous because continuous biting on the bars can give way to chipped or broken teeth. He needs more out of cage time and more stimulation from you when he's out.

  My final tip would be for you to purchase Animal Planet's book: FERRETS. It's a great resource for first-time ferret owners.

Best of luck,
Jen

P.S. Sometimes changing the litter can also help, he may not like what he's got.  Just another idea.
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dodgingwrenches
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 10:47:48 AM »

A larger cage might help. Plus, if you can build a pen around the cage and keep it open, that gives him more roaming freedom plus keeps him (and his poop) contained. We have a ferret nation cage, and for the bottom door we built a ramp that goes down to the ground. A piece of plywood cut into four, screwed on some hinges to attach the four pieces creating a box, and we had a pen around the cage that they could go into. We were able to leave the bottom door of the cage open that way and give them that extra space!
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