Part of responsible ferret ownership is cleaning your ferret's cage regularly. This includes scooping litter, wiping down the cage, washing bedding, and other daily or weekly tasks. Because your ferret's cage is a relatively small living area, it's very important to make sure that any mess is cleaned up promptly. You wouldn't want to live in an unclean house, and neither does your ferret! A clean cage is essential to your ferret's overall well-being, and the following tips will help you to keep your ferret happy and healthy.
Choosing Safe Cleaning/Deodorizing Products
If you think about it, it's easy to understand how your ferret's health is closely related to the cleanliness of his cage. For example, ferrets use the litter box several times a day. If waste is allowed to build up in the cage, it can quickly create unsanitary conditions. Ferrets will often go outside the litter box if it is too full, which can contaminate food and water or soil bedding. If the odor is strong for you, think how much stronger it is to a ferret with their keen sense of smell. Now imagine living surrounded by such a strong odor - it would be as though your living room was in the middle of a landfill.
However, as important as it is to your ferret's health to clean the cage regularly, it's also important to consider the cleaners that you're using. It's important to choose ferret-safe products to clean the cage and to use them as directed. Additionally, many of these cleaning products will help. With common sense and an established cleaning routine, you can keep your ferret's cage sanitary and provide him with the safest of living conditions.
Some effective, ferret-safe deodorizing products include:
What a Typical Cleaning Schedule Should Be
The following is a typical cleaning schedule, and you can use it as a foundation for your own cleaning schedule. The number of ferrets you have will affect how often you need to do the following tasks. Those owners with three or more ferrets may find that they need to clean more regularly.
Scoop solid waste and urine soaked litter out of the litter pan.
Empty and clean water bowls and bottles with soap and water. Make sure to have a bottle brush on hand for effective cleaning of the water bottle.
Discard any uneaten food and wash the dish with soap and water before refilling it.
Clean up any "accidents" outside the litter pan thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner such as Nature's Miracle.
Remove any soiled bedding (sleep sacks, blankets, etc).
If your cage has a pullout pan, check to see if it needs to be wiped down. If you use newspaper in it, change any soiled papers.
If you use cage liners or Piddle Pads®, replace them.
Empty the litter box. Wash with soap and water. Disinfect with a dilution of 1/4 cup of bleach to 2 quarts of water. Rinse well with clean water. For your safety and comfort, use the bleach solution in a well-ventilated area. Rubber gloves and safety goggles are also recommended.
Wash all bedding and fabric toys. Many can be washed in the washing machine, but make sure to follow manufacturer's instructions.
Clean all plastic shelves, toys and other plastic items (excluding any food or water dishes) in the cage with the bleach solution and rinse well.
Wipe the cage down with a ferret cage cleaner.
Whenever you clean any part of your ferret's cage or a cage accessory, be sure to rinse it completely! Dry soap or cleaning product residue can be harmful to your ferret if the instructions don't specifically say to allow the product to dry on the item being cleaned.
When you are cleaning your ferret's cage, remove your ferret. Allow the cage to dry completely before allowing the ferret back inside. We recommend that you put your ferret in another room, an exercise pen, or a traveling cage while you are cleaning. Aside from being safer for him, this will also make cleaning much easier for you!
Other Products You Can Use to Control Odors
The products listed below aren't cleaning products, but they can help to reduce odor. These ferret deodorizing sprays, waste deodorizers and other items will help to keep him smelling sweet.