Sometimes ferrets can get a little stinky. I've also heard that using shampoos and sprays on them can make their skin dry out and make them stink more in the long run.

How can I keep them from smelling bad without using harsh shampoos and chemicals? The ferrets were obtained from a big chain pet store and have been spayed/neutered and de-scented.

  • Ferrets don't smell bad
    – ferret
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 23:11

2 Answers 2


The odor you smell is their skin oil and it is completely natural. You can reduce the odor by

Pay attention to your ferret's diet. Proper food can reduce odor. Ferrets are obligate carnivores so make sure you're not feeding him anything (diet or treats) that has corn, wheat, fruit, vegetable, fruit juices, or sugar as one of the first three ingredients. Fish ingredients also greatly increases the smell of the food and the ferret. Just because a bag of food has a picture of a ferret on it or was being fed to your ferret at the pet store does not mean that it offers your pet a nutritious, less smelly diet. Appropriate food will have 35 to 40 percent protein and no less than 19 percent fat. A good diet will give your ferret well formed droppings that won't smell too bad as well as soft shiny fur, bright eyes, high energy, and overall happiness. Source : How to Reduce Ferret Odor

Also, If your ferret is in a cage or litter box, you should make sure the cage is always in a ventilated area and clean it regularly. Clean their ears on a weekly basis because most of the smell is generated from their ears and not cleaning will tend to increase the odor.


You can bathe your ferrets, so long as you don't do it too often. Once a month is the most frequent I've ever heard a vet or other relatively expert opinion on ferrets express.

Be sure to use shampoo formulated specifically for ferrets, as they will be less harsh on their skin and the oils they naturally produce.

The few times I bathed my ferrets, I used this product, and had good success with it.

Aside from infrequent bathing, you can help cut down on the musky smell associated with even descented ferrets by cleaning their bedding and any other washable "furniture" they might spend a lot of time in (tubes, hammocks, etc.) frequently. Bedding in particular tends to pick up a lot of the oils, and it becomes a feedback loop of stink if you don't keep them clean :)

I found this article that provides some good general tips on bathing your ferrets that may be helpful.

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