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wildog426's avatar

Do Ferrets really smell bad?

Asked by wildog426 (37points) February 9th, 2008

Any info on Ferrets would be appreciated

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14 Answers

joshisradd's avatar

they always smell “musky” just an unpleasant smell. But if you go one day without cleaning their cage it starts to smell absolutly unbearable.

Randy's avatar

they stink even when descented. And yeah. If you don’t keep the cage spotless, the ferret and your home will stink to high heaven. And the one I had wasnt much fun. He was fun to watch because he constantly was exploring and trying to see where he could or could not fit. But it kinda sucked cuz he never wanted to interact or play, just explore…

gooch's avatar

Yep I had two and descenting did not fix it. They are in the weasel family like skunks are.

xcourtneyxcupcakesx's avatar

lord yes they smell!

kevbo's avatar

Um, does the smell stay after your tenants leave?

Randy's avatar

No. Once the rodent left, so did the smell. I’m convinced about 75% of the odor is caused by unclean ferret cages.

syz's avatar

I can usually tell a ferret owner by the smell of their clothes. It seems to permeate everything.

SkyDancerDawn's avatar

ferrets do have a musky smell but they do not have to stink as described in these posts. The biggest mistake people make is to frequently bathe their ferrets with soaps/shampoos, which is actually what creates the problem. The shampoos dry their skin so it generates even more oil to counteract the dryness, which makes people bath the ferts again, which dries the skin and further increases oil production… well, you get the picture. Provide a rice box for the ferrets to dig in. Besides being great fun for the fuzz faces, the rice helps clean their coats and absorb odor. You can also provide a shallow tub of water for them to play in (bobbing for ping-pong balls is another favorite game) or let them scamper under the shower, but don’t bathe them unless they get into something that gives you no choice.

You do need to keep their bedding and litter boxes very clean, though, just as you would with any pet

SkyDancerDawn's avatar

and Randy, ferrets are not rodents

nocountry2's avatar

Ferrets have some smell, just as there’s “dog smell” or “cat smell” – but the only reason it can get to unbearable levels is on the owner. Just like a cat box stinks to high hell after a few days, so does the ferret box – just because they’re smaller it doesn’t mean they need less care taking. In my experience a good ferret owner is nearly as involved as with a cat – they are very smart, need a lot of interesting things to do, and require daily hygiene involvement (fresh food/water, clean box, etc.) Furthermore, while as SkyDancerDawn stated frequent bathing can worsen the scent, I find it helps to clean some of the wax out of their ears, which is pretty smelly – maybe every two-three weeks. I give mine a bit of fish oil and ferret vitamins that keeps their coat super shiny and fluffy. The rice box is a great idea and works well too….Mine love to play in water and hop in the shower all the time, and if they get into something dirty I usually wipe them down with a wash cloth. I think if people were a bit more educated about taking care of them they wouldn’t have such a bad rep for being smelly.

ladybutterfly's avatar

hii!!! ive just adopt 2 ferrets…they are lovely and so funny!!! but OMG they really stink i really tryed but i cant stand the strong odor it looks like i have it in my clothes hair body, all over the place and its driving me mad!!!!


keep_it_real's avatar

no, ferrets don’t smell horrible (if) (you) take care of them, these people that left posts up here don’t know what they are talking about, #1 don’t bathe them a lot, bathing them a lot will just make them smell worse by creating more skin oils. you should bathe about 3–4 times a year. #2 their food makes a huge difference they should have 34% protein and 19% of fat and avoid corn and fish ingredients this will be more expensive but well worth it. their bedding and toys should be washed at (least) once a week, also try and let them roll around and dig in clean potting soil it will help absorb there skin oils and keep your little carpet shark smelling fresh and trust me it works! but it can be a big mess. ferrets are not for everyone they need a lot of time at least 1 hour a day to play with (you), they are not caged animals they should NOT live in their cage but only at night. they should have at the least of one ferret proofed room to explore. i hope i was to any help to you guys ferrets are great pets if you are committed enough to owning one. if not get a gold fish.

kitchi1's avatar

Not if you clean their cage as often as it needs, then they don’t stink as bad. Honestly, mine don’t stink at all to me. They did when I first got them, though.

Keep in mind that they’re related to skunks. They can’t help the odor!

Their tails smell like grapes, too!


And this isn’t just an answer to the question, it’s also @Randy for telling people it’ll stink that bad. Either you’re exagrating A LOT or you were a horrible ferret owner and never cleaned the cage.

kitchi1's avatar


They’re not rodent, by the way. Did you even know anything about ferrets before you got one?

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