Q - I recently rescued 2 ferrets. This is my first time owning ferrets. I would like to begin by saying I'm in love!! They are so so much fun, they get along great with everyone in our family (human and furry) and are sooo sweet. I am having one small issue though that I was hoping you could help me out with. To put it bluntly, they smell horribly lol. They were very neglected in their previous home, she would feed them and that was it, no play time and NO cage cleaning. The cage has been scrubbed and disinfected, bedding was washed twice in hot water and both ferrets got a bath. When I hold them I can notice their natural aroma but its not really that bad to me. However when I get home, coming in from outside the smell in the house almost knocks me over. Do you have any tricks to maybe lighten the stench?
I know I can't bathe them too much, and that would only make it worse, but I don't even think automatic air fresheners in all corners of the room would help. Also, how often is too often to bathe them? I have heard they make ferret perfume but I don't really like stuff like that, its not natural and it can't be good for them to lick off.
A - Most generally the smell is due to the bedding, keeping the bedding laundered on a regular basis helps. Depending on the food they are eating will depend on the smell they leave in the litter pans. If they pans are not kept clean the fur kids will start using other areas to do their business.
Their bedding should be washed in hot water with infant safe laundry soap (meaning no dyes and perfumes). Doing their laundry on a weekly basic including any soft cloth toys will help cut down on the smell.
The better the food they eat the less their litter pans will smell. Fish and other fillers in their food will cause a higher smell and cause them to use the litter pan more.
They can have all the water to play in they wish but no shampoo. Shampoo will cause two things to happen; it causes ferrets to produce more oil and it will dry out their skin making them very itchy. Ferrets never need a shampoo bath unless they get something on them that makes them sticky (like when they knock over a bottle of soda and then play in it).
Using automatic air fresheners, that is not good for their lungs, I do not recommend using any thing like that around them.
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