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7 Best Litters for Ferrets in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

May 27, 2021

rodent ferret sits on dry hay_Inna astakhova_shutterstockAll ferrets need litter, but choosing the correct litter for your ferret can be a bit confusing. There are many types of litter that are not suitable for ferrets in the least. For example, clay-based litter gets thick and cement-like when wet. This can stick to your ferret’s paws, mouth, and nose. When ingested, it can sometimes create a fatal blockage.

The safest choices for ferrets are recycled paper or wood. These are the most absorbent. However, you also need to stay aware of added chemicals, essential oils, and other unsafe additives.

We’ve done most of the legwork for you in this article. We will review some of the top-rated litter for ferrets and discuss the best options currently on the market.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Yesterday's News Original Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter Yesterday's News Original Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter
  • Free of clay
  • 7% dust-free
  • Free of additives
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Marshall Premium Odor Control Ferret Litter – Best Value Marshall Premium Odor Control Ferret Litter – Best Value
  • 100% recycled paper
  • Inexpensive
  • Biodegradable
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Oxbow Eco-Straw Pelleted Wheat Straw Litter – Premium Choice Oxbow Eco-Straw Pelleted Wheat Straw Litter – Premium Choice
  • All-natural wheat straw
  • Scoopable
  • Safe to eat
  • sWheat Scoop sWheat Scoop
  • Eco-friendly
  • Chemical-free
  • Non-clumping
  • So Phresh Paper Pellet Animal Litter So Phresh Paper Pellet Animal Litter
  • Inexpensive
  • Made of recycled paper
  • Biodegradable
  • 7 Best Litters for Ferrets – Reviews 2021

    1. Yesterday’s News Original Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter

    Yesterday's News Original Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter

    Out of all the litters we reviewed, Yesterday’s News Original Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter is the best out there. It is made out of recycled paper, hence its name. It has a smaller environmental footprint than other options and is entirely free of clay, making it safe for your ferret. It is very absorbent and 99.7% dust-free. This is essential for ferrets, as dust can have an adverse impact on their health. It is also odor-locking but doesn’t have many of the chemicals often used by other litters.

    It is designed for cats. But it is free of the additives many cat litters contain that ferrets can’t be around. We also liked that this litter is not very expensive and is widely available, which can’t be said for all ferret litters.

    This formula is unscented, so it is safe for ferrets with allergies (and humans). This seems to be the best formula for sensitive ferrets since it is free of many common irritants.

    Pros
    • Free of clay
    • 7% dust-free
    • Free of additives
    • Unscented
    • Odor-locking
    Cons
    • Challenging to figure out where to scoop

    2. Marshall Premium Odor Control Ferret Litter – Best Value

    Marshall Premium Odor Control Ferret Litter, 10-lb bag

    The Marshall Premium Odor Control Ferret Litter is one of the few litters that is designed for ferrets. It is relatively inexpensive as well and is the best ferret litter for the money. If you’re on a budget, this is the litter you want to get.

    It is made with 100% recycled paper, which is one of the best materials for ferrets. It is very absorbent and environmentally friendly. We also liked that this litter is entirely biodegradable and environmentally-safe. It is dust-free and designed for sensitive ferrets, so it is suitable for nearly every ferret out there. You can flush this litter in some areas, depending on your septic system. There is no clay in it.

    There do seem to be some shipping problems with this bag. There are many reports of it arriving busted or otherwise damaged. Because it is litter, it makes quite a bit of a mess.

    Pros
    • 100% recycled paper
    • Inexpensive
    • Biodegradable
    • Dust-free
    Cons
    • Shipping problems

    3. Oxbow Eco-Straw Pelleted Wheat Straw Litter – Premium Choice

    Oxbow Eco-Straw Pelleted Wheat Straw Litter – Premium Choice

    For those with sensitive noses or sensitive ferrets, the Oxbow Eco-Straw Pelleted Wheat Straw Litter may be worth the extra money. This is one of the better litters for ferrets on the market, but it is also a more expensive option. You get what you pay for, however.

    It is made of all-natural wheat straw – one of the better litter mediums for ferrets. It naturally absorbs liquids while the enzymes in the wheat block the odor. This is one of the very few ferret-safe litters that clumps and are scoopable. This litter is also very environmentally friendly and completely biodegradable. You can even flush it.

    If your ferret accidentally (or not-so-accidentally) eats the litter, there is nothing to worry about, as this litter is even safe to eat. It will not create blockages like other litters will, making it one of the market’s safest options. For these reasons, this is one of the best litters on the market. However, it is also quite expensive.

    Pros
    • All-natural wheat straw
    • Scoopable
    • Safe to eat
    • Biodegradable
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. sWheat Scoop

    sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter

    sWheat Scoop is a cat litter that is made out of wheat. It is biodegradable and renewable. The wheat starches trap odors on contact without clumping. The natural enzymes do an excellent job of neutralizing the odors and keeping the litter cleaner for longer. Plus, it is 100% free from added dyes, perfumes, dust, or harmful ingredients. In other words, it is entirely safe for your ferret.

    We liked that this litter was completely eco-friendly, flushable, and biodegradable. It is one of the more environmentally friendly options out there, which may be an essential selling point for some owners. It is not remarkably inexpensive, but it isn’t costly either. It is about average as far as litters go.

    There are a few somewhat significant problems with this litter, though, which is why we rated it near the middle of our list. Firstly, it is quite dusty and tends to track. This is not good for you or your ferret. Secondly, it is not as good at controlling odors as some other options. It will likely be okay with one ferret, but likely not more than that.

    Pros
    • Eco-friendly
    • Chemical-free
    • Non-clumping
    Cons
    • Dusty
    • No very odor-controlling

    5. So Phresh Paper Pellet Animal Litter

    So Phresh Paper Pellet Animal Litter

    The So Phresh Paper Pellet Animal Litter is relatively inexpensive. It is one of the cheapest options on the market to be suitable for people on a budget. However, it isn’t the best litter out there, and other litters are inexpensive that works even better. It is designed to be used by small animals, including ferrets, so you can rest assured that it is safe – unlike some cat litters.

    It does contain baking soda to control odors. However, that is about the only added chemical it contains. Otherwise, it is made out of mostly recycled paper, which does not break apart when wet. It is not clumpable or scoopable, but that can be said for just about any ferret-safe litter on the market. The natural pellets lock in moisture and have some odor-control ability, though it is not as much as some of the other brands we reviewed. Because it is made out of paper, it is biodegradable and environmentally-friendly.

    Our main problem with this litter is that it doesn’t do much to block odors. It does contain baking soda, but baking soda doesn’t do much in practice.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Made of recycled paper
    • Biodegradable
    Cons
    • Little odor control
    • Not Scoopable

    6. Vitakraft Bedding & Litter

    Vitakraft 34754 Bedding & Litter

    Designed to be both bedding and litter, Vitakraft 34754 Bedding & Litter is a multi-purpose litter that is a decent choice for most small animals. It is not explicitly designed for ferrets, but it is crafted for small animals in general, which does include ferrets. Of course, you will likely not be using it for your ferret’s bedding. However, it does perform as a decent litter.

    It is free of baking soda and made from 100% recycled paper. The paper is entirely safe for ferrets and does a decent job at containing the odor. However, it is not particularly odor-free, so you will need to change the litter often. It is biodegradable because it is just made out of paper, and you may be able to flush it in some areas. It is mostly dust-free, which is perfect for ferrets.

    Our main problem with this litter is that you need to change it every few days, or it begins to smell. There is no active odor-control agent, so it does tend to get a bit stinky. It is also a bit dustier than other options and tends to track.

    Pros
    • Made of recycled paper
    • Biodegradable
    • Baking soda free
    Cons
    • No odor control
    • Somewhat dusty

    7. Fresh News Paper Small Animal Litter

    Fresh News Paper Small Animal Litter

    Like many of the top-rated litters we reviewed on this list, Fresh News Paper Small Animal Litter is made of recycled paper. This makes it safe for ferrets and exceptionally absorbent. It is also biodegradable and environmentally-friendly since it will break down faster than some other litter ingredients. It is decently soft as well, which may be very important to some ferrets.

    The pellets are quite moisture-locking. However, this does not necessarily make them odor-free. If enough pellets become saturated, you will smell it.

    This litter is suitable for ferrets that are sensitive to additives and chemicals. It only contains paper, which is not going to upset any allergies.

    The pellets are relatively small and somewhat crushed. This can make it unsuitable for ferrets, as they can track it all over the place. It also gets rather sticky when wet so that it can stick to their feet, nose, and paws. Since ferrets tend to “sniff” when finding a place to go, it can get all over their face pretty quickly.

    Pros
    • Environmentally-friendly
    • Moisture-locking
    Cons
    • Small and crushed pellets
    • Sticky
    • Not odor-locking

    Buyer’s Guide

    Choosing a safe litter for your ferret can be somewhat complicated. There are just many things in litters designed for cats and other animals that aren’t safe for ferrets. For example, clay, which is the most common cat litter ingredient, is not suitable for ferrets in the least. Many odor-blocking chemicals aren’t safe either.

    To make matters worse, there are very few litters that are actively designed for ferrets. Many are designed for cats or small animals in general, which means they may or may not be safe for ferrets specifically.

    In this section, we’ll discuss some of the things you need to keep in mind when choosing a litter for your ferret. Often, this is more of a question of safety than just practicality.

    Scoopable vs. Unscoopable

    The main benefit of scoopable litter is that it can be scooped out. This allows you to easily spot-clean the litter and lengthens the time between complete changes. In the end, a scoopable litter makes the life of the owner easier.

    However, scoopable litters are also more expensive in most cases. They are not safe for ferrets unless they are made out of some grain. This can be difficult to find, so you have to dig to locate a scoopable litter safe for your ferrets. It also tends to track more than unscoopable litter.

    In general, most ferret-safe litters will be unscoopable. This is mostly because they are made out of something like paper, which doesn’t clump naturally. And many of the clumping chemicals are unsafe for ferrets.

    Pellets

    Litter comes in many different forms. However, we recommend choosing pellets. If you choose a litter that is smaller than large pellets, you’re going to have problems with tracking, and the litter will travel.

    Pellets are generally pretty dust-free, while powdered and crushed litter is generally very dusty. This brings down the air quality of your home and can pose health problems to your cats.

    The only time we do not recommend pelleted litters is if your ferret thinks they are food. Rarely, ferrets somehow get in their mind that pelleted litters are food and will eat them. There isn’t much you can do about this, so you will need to switch litters to something that looks slightly less appetizing.

    Litters to Avoid

    There are a few litter types that you should avoid with ferrets. Many of these are unsafe for various reasons, even though they are sometimes advertised for ferrets.

    • Clay litter. While clay litter is very popular for cats, it is not suitable for ferrets in the least. When wet, it can become thick and sticky. It will get all over your ferret’s face and paws. It can be quite dusty and can create blockages if ingested. It can be hard on your ferret’s respiratory system, especially if they like to dig around.
    • Pine and cedar shavings. These should generally be avoided because they often contain oils from pine and cedar trees. These are added in bulk to improve the litter’s smell and act as a “natural” odor deterrent. However, they can be harmful to a ferret’s sensitive respiratory tract and can even damage their livers.
    • Silica-based litters. There are many “silica-based” litters out there, though they are not always advertised as such. Many of them are advertised as being made out of some silica, which can throw ferret owners off. If you don’t know what something is, look it up. The main problem with silica is that it causes silicosis, which ferrets can cause due to their sensitive respiratory tract. Furthermore, many ferrets assume that silica-based litters are for digging, and they can be quite expensive.
    • Corn litter. Corn litter is rare, but it is growing in popularity as a biodegradable litter. While it can be the right choice for cats, ferrets often eat it. This can cause intestinal blockages depending on how the litter is processed. Plus, your ferret needs to be eating their ferret food anyway, not their litter. They are also rather dusty in most cases and prone to mold. There are other natural options out there that are better for ferrets.
    • Alfalfa-pelleted rabbit food. A lot of rabbit food looks like litter. Sometimes, it is even made out of the same stuff as litter, which can be confusing. Alfalfa may look like litter, but it is not designed to be absorbent. Furthermore, some ferrets find alfalfa irritating, and some are even allergic to it. For these reasons, we recommend avoiding it.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • Can you use cat litter for ferrets?

    Sometimes. Not all cat litters are safe for ferrets, so you do need to check. Clay litter, for example, is not safe for ferrets in the last. Added smells and colorants can also be a problem for ferrets, as they tend to be more sensitive to these sorts of things.

    Some cat litters are wonderful for ferrets, but some are not in the least.

    • Is pine safe for ferrets?

    Not particularly. Some ferrets are okay with pine, but others are not. Softwoods like pine contain essential oils – it is the reason they smell so strongly. Most litters are not manufactured in a way that removes these oils. This may be good for cats since the added oils can prevent odors. However, it is not suitable for a ferret’s sensitive respiratory system. We do not recommend pine litters for this reason.

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    Conclusion

    Ferret litter can be challenging to choose from. Most litters aren’t designed for ferrets specifically, so you have to do a bit of digging to figure out which litters are safe for ferrets. Hopefully, this article helped you figure out which litter to choose for your small pet.

    We preferred the Yesterday’s News Original Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter over all the others that we reviewed. It is entirely safe for ferrets and works quite well at locking in odors.

    For those on a budget, we also liked the Marshall Premium Odor Control Ferret Litter. It is very inexpensive and also dust-free, which is very hard to find when it comes to ferret litter.


    Featured image credit: Inna Astakhova, Shutterstock

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.