One of the questions we often encounter about ferrets is on whether they pee everywhere. Sometimes, this question may come from a ferret owner who notices that their ferret seems to be peeing everywhere – and wants to know whether this is normal.
Do ferrets pee everywhere? The answer is typically no. Ferrets usually have specific corners or spots that they pee and poop at. They won’t normally pee where they sleep/eat. Instead, they usually try to pee (and poop) as far away from their eating/sleeping quarters as possible. This is what makes ferret litter training so much easier. A ferret peeing everywhere may be a sign of incontinence. Or it may be a sign of a UTI. But a ferret may also pee in various places to mark its territory.
At other times, the question may come from someone who is considering adopting a ferret as a pet, and wants to know what its care entails. There are also those who pose the question out of pure curiosity. In this article, you will find the answer to that question.
Do Ferrets Pee?
People who have never encountered ferrets before may be inclined to pose this question – on whether these creatures are capable of peeing, to begin with. This is a sensible question, especially considering that there are indeed some animals that don’t pee. There are animals that expel all their waste through a single orifice (meaning that in such animals, pee comes mixed with poop).
Therefore before proceeding to answer the question on do ferrets pee everywhere, it is important to first find out whether they pee at all, in the first place.
So, do ferrets pee? The answer is ‘yes’. Ferrets do pee. It is through pee that the ferrets manage to rid their body of toxins that they generate in metabolic processes. Peeing also helps the ferrets in regulating blood salts levels, among other things.
Do Ferrets Pee A Lot?
Often, alongside the question on do ferrets pee everywhere comes this other one, on whether they pee a lot. This is because the ferrets that seem to pee ‘everywhere’ will also typically be passing huge volumes of pee.
So, do ferrets pee a lot? Well, sometimes, ferrets pee a lot. At other times, they produce relatively little pee. Ferret pee volume may depend on things like how well hydrated the ferret is, how long it has gone without peeing among other things.
There are cases where you find that a ferret peeing a lot is a sign of something wrong. This may, for instance, be a bladder infection (or some other UTI).
All in all, ferret pee volumes vary: though there is consensus that, relative to their body size, ferrets do pass a lot of urine.
Where Do Ferrets Pee?
Ferrets that are in domestic settings will normally pee in specific corners of their cages. But ferrets are among the pets that don’t stay in their cages all the time. They are normally let out, and given access to specific rooms within the homes they are kept in.
Even in such cases, the ferrets will normally have specific corners they prefer to pee at, within the various rooms they have access to. So for each room, the ferret identifies and establishes a pee spot.
When they are provided with good litter boxes or pads, ferrets will typically pee in those.
How Often Do Ferrets Pee?
This is a key question to explore, before proceeding to tackle the one on do ferrets pee everywhere. That is because in a typical case where we seemingly have a ferret peeing everywhere, you also find that the ferret pees with unusual frequency.
So, indeed, how often do ferrets normally pee? Or to put it more precisely, how often are ferrets supposed to pee?
The truth of the matter is that the frequency with which ferrets pee varies. There are some ferrets that pee 3-4 times a day. There are others that seem to pee every couple of hours or so. The variation is normal. But it is important to remember that ferrets are animals with very fast metabolisms (along with short digestive tracts).
So the process of producing the toxins that are supposed to be passed out through urination is quite fast. Then again, how well hydrated a ferret is may also influence its peeing frequency.
Ultimately, a ferret peeing 3-4 times per day is quite normal. So is a situation where a ferret pees every 2 or so hours. But if you have a ferret peeing too frequently, and seemingly having trouble/discomfort peeing, then that can be cause for concern. The ferret may be sick, possibly with a UTI or some other condition requiring veterinary attention.
Do Ferrets Pee Everywhere?
Ferrets normally don’t pee everywhere. Instead, they usually have specific corners of rooms/cages where they pee.
Nonetheless, there are cases where a ferret may seem to be peeing at various random spots within the house/cage. This may be the case if, for instance, the ferret is incontinent. The incontinence is more common in older ferrets.
So you find that the ferret genuinely wants to pee at a specific spot/corner, as per the norm. But it is unable to hold its pee till it can get to the corner. So it ends up peeing wherever the urge arises.
There are also cases where you find a ferret with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) peeing everywhere. The problem could be anywhere — from the urethra right up to the kidney. This sort of ferret will normally fee too frequently, and show signs of discomfort peeing. So in a ferret UTI can be a reason for seemingly peeing everywhere.
At another level, you may have a ferret seeming to pee everywhere as it tries to mark its territory with pee marks.
Then there are the cases where the litter box in which the ferret normally pees becomes too soiled. And because the ferret doesn’t like stepping on old pee/feces, it starts peeing at various spots outside the litter box. So you end up with the impression that the ferret is peeing ‘everywhere’.
Sometimes, we also see reports of ferrets that pee/poop everywhere when upset. So this is where the so-called ‘protest poop’ concept comes up.
All in all though, ferrets don’t normally pee everywhere. They usually have specific corners of their cages, and of the rooms they have access to, where they prefer to pee consistently.
Do Ferrets Pee All Over The House?
Well, if ferrets have access to many rooms in the house, they may pee in any of them. But this will usually be at a specific corner/spot within each room, rather than at random places. So it pees all over the house (in the sense that it pees in any of the rooms). But in each of the rooms, it pees at a specific corner/spot.
That being said, a ferret with incontinence issues may end up peeing all over the house (in the real sense of the word). So you find it peeing at random spots in the various rooms it has access to. Similarly, a ferret with a UTI may end up peeing all over the house.
And, a male ferret that wants to mark its territory using pee marks may also create the impression of peeing all over the house. But generally, ferrets pee at very specific spots/corners, which they keep track of through their senses of smell.
What Does Ferret Urine Smell Like?
Another question you will often encounter in forums where there are discussions on the do ferrets pee everywhere question is as to what exactly ferret pee smells like. As it turns out, the ferret urine usually smells like ammonia.
So it has a mild ammonia odor, which may become stronger when it is exposed to air over time. And it is important to distinguish the ferret pee smell from the ferret’s ‘normal’ musky smell.
Often, the ferret will leave its normal musky smell everywhere it goes. When one mistakes this ‘normal’ musky smell for that of urine, it can lead to the question: do ferrets pee everywhere?
Or the other one on why do ferrets smell like pee all the time/do ferrets pee on themselves (given how they always smell)? So it is important to learn how to distinguish the ferrets’ ordinary musky smell from the ammonia-like ferret urine smell.
Worth mentioning is the fact that the ‘normal’ ferret musky smell comes from scent glands. These scent glands are usually near the rear ends of the ferrets, as well as on various spots on the ferrets’ skins.
Do Ferrets Spray Urine?
Another important aspect to consider, while answering the do ferrets pee everywhere question is on whether they do spray. Now spraying – for territory marking purposes – is typically a male behavior.
This leads to a more specific question: do male ferrets spray? Or do ferrets mark their territory through the use of urine? The answer is ‘yes’: though it is quite rare. Ferrets do spray/mark territory through the use of urine. And this can sometimes create the impression that the ferret is peeing ‘everywhere’.
Normally, the spraying behavior will tend to come up whenever the ferret encounters something/a circumstance that it perceives as a threat to its territory.
But seeing that the ferrets don’t normally have strong social hierarchies (or dominance/subjugation relationships) in the wild, the end result is a situation where their territory marking behavior is not particularly strong. So you are unlikely to see a ferret engaging in spraying behavior to the same degree as, say, a dog.
Why Does My Ferret Keep On Spraying?
It could be that there is something around that the ferret views as a threat. So it responds by spraying, to assert its ownership of the territory.
Can Ferrets Be Litter Trained?
More often than not, the people who pose the do ferrets pee everywhere question also want to know whether these animals can be litter trained. So, is ferret litter training a possibility? The answer is ‘yes’. By nature, ferrets prefer peeing and pooping in specific corners/spots consistently. This actually means that they come with some degree of ‘natural litter training’.
Often, all you have to do is get a ferret litter box, put it in the corner where the ferret prefers to pee/poop, and voila, the ferret will start using it by himself. Then your ferret liter training program will have been a success, just like that.
There are cases where the ferret litter training program is more involving though. There are times when you need to get the ferret into actually recognizing and subsequently using the litter box. Then you reward him whenever he manages to do so properly.
All in all, litter training for ferrets tends to be easy. This is the case because, by nature, ferrets have a tendency to pee/poop at specific spots or corners.
Why Is My Ferret Not Using The Litter Box?
Often, the person posing the question on do ferrets pee everywhere will be someone whose ferret seems to be unable to use the litter box. So, for instance, you have the ferret pooping next to litter box (or peeing outside the litter box), rather than inside. And that causes the owner a great deal of concern. In terms of implications, this question is actually as serious as the one on why does my ferret pee on himself? It implies something seriously wrong…
The truth of the matter is that there are many things capable of making your ferret not use the litter box. For instance, the litter box may be unsuitable for the ferret. Or the litter box may be too soiled (yet the ferret strongly dislikes stepping on old urine/feces).
The ferret may also have an incontinence problem which makes it impossible for him to reach the litter box in time. So those are some of the key possibilities to look into.
Ferret Peeing Everywhere – How To Help?
As we said while answering the do ferrets pee everywhere question, it is pretty much not normal for ferrets to pee everywhere. Typically, ferrets pee in specific corners/spots of their cage and of the rooms they have access to. So if your ferret is peeing everywhere, you have cause for concern.
Perhaps the ferret has a condition that affects its continence. This, for instance, may be a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). So in this case, ferret UTI treatment (by a vet) may be what is necessary.
If there is something upsetting the ferret, and he is protesting by peeing/pooping everywhere, you need to identify and resolve the issue.
Further, if he has always been having this behavior of peeing ‘everywhere’, you may need to consider putting him through ferret litter toilet training. With patience, even an older ferret can go through toilet training successfully. But it tends to work better for younger ferrets.
You may consider identifying the various ‘inappropriate’ places the ferret pees at. Perhaps the ferret inadvertently carried pee/poop scent to those spots, and has subsequently come to view them as proper peeing/pooping spots. In this case, you will need to clean them thoroughly, to get rid of the scents.
On a day to day basis, ensure that you clean the ferret’s litter box regularly. Otherwise, the ferret may stop using it if it becomes too soiled.
Final Verdict – Do Ferrets Pee Everywhere?
Do ferrets pee everywhere and attract mice? As we have seen, ferrets normally have specific spots/corners where they pee at. If you have a ferret that seems to be ‘peeing’ everywhere, then it can be cause of concern.
You need to be sure that there is no illness (for instance UTI or another form of incontinence) driving this behavior. You then need to explore the possibility of it being a protest against something that is upsetting.
Consider putting a ferret that has a tendency to pee everywhere through a litter training program. Then provide a proper litter box to the ferret, to solve the problem.