First lets begin with food. What food are you using? If you are using cat food (and not Eukabana kitten or Iams kitten
for an example) your ferret will poop a lot as there is not enough protein. There are many nutrients not necessary as
well as missing nutrients, and many cat foods have too much fish. Marshalls is a great ferret food...BUT if you are
having trouble with smell you should cut it out (or way down at least and mix it with another food) gradually. If this may
be part of the problem, I recommend replacing (or adding) a high protein ferret food that is similar (there are many out
there...such as 8 and 1, Sheppard and Green, Totally ferret, Zupreme, etc.. Marhsalls food is known to go through their
systems very fast (equaling lots of poop). Marshalls also has high fish content that is known to be excreted in ferrets and
give them an odor at times.
Now let's go on to the ferret litter. There are so many choices and of course everyone likes something different.
Clay litters and such are cheap...but do not absorb much and therefore smell will ensue for certain. You can try Feline
Pine or any pine pellet litter. This absorbs a lot and helps with cost as well as odor. It also somehow neutralizes urine
odor very well. If you can not afford that, for half the price you can use wood stove pellets (hardwood pellets) and
absorbency will be the same... odor neutralization will be close. Above all? "poop scoop" every day or more. Empty out
the litter pan and clean it well at least every couple days. Otherwise nothing here will help.
Bedding is next on the list. It is best for the ferret's health and for odor to not use any sort of bedding such as
wood shavings, etc.. It is best to use blankies, old shirts, what have you. The easiest bedding to use are receiving
blankets for babies. They are tough and can be washed over and over. They will not snag the ferrets nails also. Wash
these blankies once a week if you have one ferret and more if you have more ferrets. For example, I wash for two-three
ferrets twice a week. Now that I have five I wash every other day. I do not use fabric softener, as that may not be healthy
for the ferret. You can use Era to make it smell good and that is safe. Cheer free is one of the safest for the ferrets,
but if you are having that much trouble with smell you may want to use something like tide, or surf.
Cage and Environment:
The cage and accessories should be cleaned regularly of course. Toys should be washed often. Steam cleaning the
carpet often and lots of vacuuming will help. Natures Miracle is indeed that... a miracle. This can be added to the steam
cleaner, or even in ferret laundry. Its main use is to get up any "accidents" your ferret has on carpet. A God send is
Febreeze. Only use it on carpets and furniture though... not near the cage. And do not let your ferrets go out on it until
it is thoroughly dried. Arm and Hammer has a pet odor control product out that is a powder you sprinkle on the carpet over
night. Do not let the ferrets on it at all. Make sure it is vacuumed up well and has had time to air out. Scented candles
will help a lot. Incense and potpourri can be over whelming, but some people like it...just make sure its not close to the
cage for the ferrets have a delicate respiratory system. One more nifty trick? is to use Marshalls Ferret Off spray on the
cage itself and on all their bedding. It really, really works. There are other deodorizing sprays made specifically for
ferrets that are safe and that work.
See there is a lot that can be done and we haven't even ventured to the actual ferrets yet.
I may shock you by saying lets begin with the ears. Ears are responsible for much of ferret odor believe it or not. There
are many ferret ear cleaners on the market. But what you need is an "ear wash". That way you are also loosing up dirt and
wax way down in the ear and bringing it out. Sheppard and Green has one, but I think it has a mediciney smell. Vet's
Best has one that smells yummy. You need to try different ones. If you have no money for wash yet, you may use peroxide
on some q-tips to clean the outer ear only. Do ears at least once a week, every 3-4 days if you are picky.
Bathing is another good start. Use a very gentle shampoo made specifically for ferrets. The trick here is to not bath too
often. My least smelly fellow has only had a few baths in his life. My smelliest fellow had baths all too often in his
life. Bathing dries the ferrets skin, and also stimulates the scent glands that are in the neck area et al. Leading to more
odor believe it or not. So if odor is the problem and not allergies, bath your very very, very well the first time, and
if you can use ferret conditioner for their skin. But then try to resist the urge to bath again. Sometimes after a bath
the ferret may get a very musky smell later. It will pass. Do not bath them again if this occurs, as you will only make
the problem worse. Do not bath more than once a month. And if you can just not bath them but every few months or less
that is even better.
Lastly, are deodorizing and conditioning sprays for ferrets. I state this one lastly because too often people use this as
a first line of defense. That is ineffective. By just using a spray you are not getting to the cause of the matter but
are rather putting a Band-Aid on the problem. But to use a deodorizing spray on a ferret to compliment what you have
already done is fine. In fact it really helps turn strangers on to ferrets and get rid of the old myth that ferret's smell.
I use these sprays before company comes, etc... What sprays work? Well I wouldn't use anything that is just cologne. I
would use something that is a conditioner as well as a deodorizer. Refresh has a safe product.. it has a very clean
smell. I wouldn't use it daily as it says you can because I found over use can ruin a ferrets' coat. Vet's Best has one
that leaves the coat soft, and makes them smell "herbal" and clean. You'll just have to try and see what you like. I can
vouch for those two brands however.