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Do Ferrets Require Shavings in the Cage?

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As a responsible pet owner, you need to choose the right bedding for your ferret. Not all pocket pets are the same -- and caring for them as if they are can lead to death. Take bedding: While many pocket pets require shavings or other loose substrate, ferrets do not. In fact, shavings can be problematic.

Wood-Shavings Risks

You can litter-train a ferret, and you can place a liner in the cage for a hedge against accidents. But not shavings. The oils in many types of wood shavings cause allergies and respiratory problems in ferrets. Even shavings that don't contain allergy-producing oils can generate dust that makes it hard for a ferret to breath. For the safety of your pet, never use wood shavings.

About Ferrets

Humans have interacted with ferrets for thousands of years. Their silly, loving nature makes them appealing to humans as pets, but ferrets have also served in a variety of working roles, including rabbit hunting and electrical work. Ferrets are intelligent animals that make good companion pets, but their high levels of intelligence can get them in trouble. Pet ferrets are notorious for getting into areas they don't belong, and for hiding small items such as pens and keys.


A single ferret should have a wire cage with floor space of at least 24 square inches and height of at least 18 inches. If you have more than one ferret housed together, you will need a much larger cage. Whether you keep one or more, the more space you can provide the better. Provide ramps, tunnels and hammocks to keep your ferret entertained and cozy. Never place an exercise wheel in the habitat. An exercise wheel is not designed for a ferret's long body.

Cage Liner and Bedding Options

You can use linoleum squares or cloth cage carpeting as a cage liner. Both are easy to clean should your ferret urinate or defecate inside the cage. Cut old T-shirts and sweatshirts into strips for the ferret to use as bedding, or use shredded recycled newspaper.