From: Holender, David
Date: 2001-06-01 22:25:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Pooping Problems
[CC: sent to the author]
Positive reinforcement is what I use with my ferrets with fairly good
success (about 80+ % outside of the cage). This is how I do it...
My ferrets have free run of the house when I am at home, thus I have litter
boxes everywhere (one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom, two in the
lounge, two in my bedroom, two in the hallway and one in the spare room).
Whenever I see them backing up in the wrong place, I quickly pick them up
and place them in the nearest pan (which is not too far away given the
number I have out). When they go in the pan (regardless of whether I placed
them there or not), I praise them lavishly and give them a small treat. I
now have ferrets that will fake going toilet just to get a treat!
Even with all the pans around we still have the odd accident. More often
than not a ferret will go right in front of or beside the pan, so I also put
down some newspaper under the pan.
The other thing I do is to wake up the ferrets when I get home (though that
is usually unnecessary as they know my routine and hear me arrive), but I do
not let them up for another 15 minutes or so. This gives me the chance to
get changed etc. but more importantly it gives the ferrets a chance to go
toilet in their cage (where they are 100%) before getting up.
I hope this is of some use to you Margie.
Best of luck to you,