How To Control Ferret Odor? You Need to Know In 2022

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I’ve had a Ferret for six months and she used to give off an odor. I’m sure everyone who has kept ferrets or still does can relate to it. Ferret odor can be controlled by several healthy practices that affect both you and your ferret.

Ever wondered how to reduce or get rid of the ferret smell in your home? Ferrets have a pungent odor that most ferret owners get used to after some time. This can however be uncomfortable for you, how do you get rid of ferret odor?

There are several ways to do so, let’s dive in straight.

Keep The Body Of Your Ferret Clean

You must keep their bodies clean if you need to reduce the odor drastically that comes out of their bodies.

Bathe your Ferret at least once every month. When bathing your ferrets, fill up the bottom of your tub with water in such a way that it absorbs the body of the ferret leaving its head outside. Also, ensure that the temperature is slightly warm.

How To Control Ferret Odor

Bathing ferrets would help reduce the way they smell, at least to an extent.

It is however important to know that you should not bathe your ferret too frequently or else, they’ll lose the oil in their skin and smell even worse. This can be counterproductive. Use only a ferret-based shampoo too, never use a human shampoo, and if your ferrets are not excessively dirty, bathing them once a month is healthy enough.

Take Note Of Their Ears

You should check the ears of your ferrets from time to time and clean them up.

When cleaning their ears, put in a subtle amount of ear cleaning solution inside a small bowl. Next, dip the tip of a single cotton swan into the solution, then hold your ferret and rub the tip of the swab along the outer part of its ear. To clean its inner ears, move the swab deeper into the ear canal and rotate slightly as much as you can.

You can purchase ear cleaning solutions for ferrets at most pet stores.

Note that when cleaning the ears of your ferret, part of the swab should stay visible to avoid going too deep and damaging their ears. Also, throw away the swans immediately after cleaning.

Clean The Mouth Of Your Ferret

Brushing the teeth of your ferret is very important. You can buy a small soft toothbrush at a pet store designed for kittens.

Clean The Mouth Of Your Ferret

When brushing the teeth of your ferret, hold your ferret tight but carefully in your lap, pull the lower jaw down from the upper jaw by pressing the mouth of the ferret carefully with one hand, then brush the teeth of the ferret with the other hand by using the toothbrush and a very small sized amount of pets toothpaste. When brushing, rotate the brush in small circles.

Ensure you do not put your hand too deep in the mouth of the ferret. If you’re worried or scared of any possible thing that might go wrong, you can book an appointment with a vet doctor to get the teeth of your ferret cleaned.

Spray Your Ferret

Once your ferret begins to attain maturity, it develops very tense hormones. This often than not results in a complete increase in how they sell, either your ferret is a male or a female. Spraying your ferret will however reduce the odor and make them healthier.

Not spaying your female ferret will make them develop anemia over time as a result of repeated heat cycles. Always make sure that your ferrets are however sprayed by a veterinarian.

Why Are Ferrets So Smelly?

Ferrets have anal glands that secrete strong smelling scents particular to their species. The other scent glands in their skin also produce a natural musky smell.

Unneutered ferrets also have a stronger smell due to certain hormones. Other unhealthy practices such as not bathing them, or not cleaning their bedding and cages also contribute to their odor.

Will An Air Purifier Help With Ferrets Smell?

Yes, an air purifier can help with the smell of ferrets. You can install an air purifier in your home. A purifier that has a HEPA will help reduce pet dander in the air as well leaving breathable oxygen.

If you need an air filter that can get rid of odors, the winix 5300-2 air purifier is a popular air purifier for odor. Do not use an ionizer as it can be dangerous for pets.

What Are Some Ways To Reduce Ferrets Smell?

Ferrets’ smell can be reduced in several ways. These include monitoring their litters, maintaining their wedding and cages, keeping your home clean, monitoring your ferret’s diet, and using an odor alleviating product.

What Are Some Ways To Reduce Ferrets Smell

Monitor Their Litter

Check to see where your ferrets pass out litter in the cage. Then get a litter box and place it in that same location of the cage.

Train your ferrets to use this litter box. The best way is to put in some fresh droppings in the litter box so it can smell like them.

When you train your ferrets to use litter boxes, they won’t just pass out waste anywhere which will reduce the odor.

Also, clean their litter box daily. Whenever you clean, leave a few droppings behind so that your ferret will consistently use the litter box until they get used to it.

Also, ensure you do not move the litter box from its position or your ferrets will become overwhelmed and cease using it altogether.

Maintain Their Beddings And Cages

The fabric that you lay in your ferret’s cage can accumulate lots of dirt and odor giving off a very bad stink. It is therefore advisable to clean their fabrics from time to time using water that has been boiled and laundry detergents.

Maintain Their Beddings And Cages

Make sure that the water is hot and laundry detergents are unscented because some ferrets react negatively to scented detergents.

Also, take out the litter box, and any other items from your ferret’s cage from time to time and clean the cage itself using dish soap, a soft sponge, and warm water.

It is advisable to use cages made out of coated wires for ferrets because they tend to stay cleaner than wooden ones.

Finally, take every stale food out of your ferret’s cage from time to time.

Keep Your Home Clean

If you keep a ferret as a pet, then you should give your home through cleansing from time to time. Ferrets can run around leaving their scents on chairs, rugs, and floors. This scent over time can translate into a very bad odor if not cleaned off regularly.

Mopping the floor, cleaning household items that are within their reach, and vacuuming will go a long way in alleviating these odors.

It’s also advisable to limit your ferrets to their cages more often than not because it’s easier to clean.

Monitor Their Diet

Feed your ferrets healthy food so that the odor from their droppings or even their skin waste can be reduced. You can purchase food for ferrets at a local pet store.

If you must feed your ferret organic meals, look at a meal that lists lean meat. Avoid any foods that contain sugar, or are high in fat. Grains, corn, and vegetables should also be avoided. These can cause digestive unrest and result in impacting their body negatively.

Use An Odour Alleviating Product

Using an odor reduction or alleviating product will go a long way in taking the smell of ferrets out of your home. Some of these products are made out of natural ingredients such as lemons or eucalyptus.

Also, avoid powdered or airborne deodorizers as they can affect the skin of your ferrets or lungs and complicate their breathing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Ferrets Smell Badly?

Ferrets smell from two different sources- their skin and the anal glands.

All animals have unique scents that differ them from other species. During mating season, the smell of a ferret is much more pungent than other times. The smell doesn’t necessarily change, but the existing odor gets pretty intense, and that’s when it smells bad.

Moreover, just like cats and dogs, ferrets are bred with anal glands located on one side of their rectum. These glands secrete a foul-smelling fluid that is typical of ferrets. This is also a defense mechanism that activates when ferrets are scared or threatened.

Do Ferrets Smell All The Time?

Yes. But there are distinctive differences between smell and stench.

Ferrets do not stench all the time, but they naturally have an odor of their own. This is a result of the typical musky oils secreted from glands throughout the skin.

However, not all ferrets smell the same, nor a single ferret gives away the same scent throughout its lifetime. Ferrets kits have a sweeter and stronger odor that fades away as they get older. Also, during breeding season, the smell gets a bit too intense, especially in male ones.

Though the smell is always there, it’s not the same all the time throughout a ferret’s lifetime.

How Bad Is The Smell Of A Ferret?

Ferrets have a powerful smell. But the ferret odor isn’t a bad one. It has a unique musky scent that is rather distinctive in the pet world.

Compared to cats and dogs, a ferret’s smell is not that different. Cats and ferrets have a similar intensity in terms of scent, but a dog’s smell is slightly stronger.

Another matter is, ferrets have less fur and more visible skin. That’s why a ferret’s smell feels stronger than other pets, but it doesn’t stink, neither harmful for humans.

Can Humans Get Parasites From Ferrets?

Yes, ferrets can carry germs and bacteria such as Salmonella, Giardia, and  Campylobacter and spread them to people cleaning their litter boxes. Ferrets can also be carriers of fungus and scabies that can infect humans.

Is Ferret Poop Toxic?

Yes, the poop of ferrets is toxic because it secretes salmonella and other germs.

Ferret poop may contain a bacteria called Campylobacter, which is transmissible from animals to humans. Anyone can be affected by this bacteria, but children are at the most risk.

CDC also recommends households with children under 5 years old not to have ferrets as pets.


Ferret odor can be controlled by several healthy practices for both the ferrets and in the home. To keep this odor away, these practices must be continuously implemented in the home and around your ferret to ensure their safety and your good health.

Practices such as cleaning the home, taking out their litter box, and monitoring their diet will go a long way in helping to alleviate or reduce the odors.

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