Ferrets have longer hours of sleep and only stay awake for every 2-3 hours to eat, drink, or play for a short time. This is their “normal behavior
Why won’t your ferret play with you? Sometimes it is a clear sign of adjustment to its new home or owner, or maybe some illness. You can to keep them preoccupied with ferret toys, or train them. You can challenge them with some exercising games, simple tricks, and give them rewarding treats
Simply pouncing at them can actually initiate them to play. Once they start jiggling to wrestle with you, jumping back and forth in your front or tugging on your legs it’s a good sign that they wanted to play.”
Find out the possible reasons why your ferret wouldn’t want to play with you and the possible remedies for its inactivity in this article!
Playing Games With Your Pet Ferret
Once you give them your time to have fun, you’ll know that they’re really having fun when they are noisy chuckling, and bouncing off the walls.
They can sleep for almost the whole day, but you can always keep them awake by playing with them. Most of these furry buddies love to wrestle, chase or run around, hide and seek, or tug-o’-war.
To test their intelligence and other motor skills involving exploration of new things, you train them with other more challenging games. Let them explore things, sniff search, dig, and roll in the dirt, but if you don’t have a wider lawn, you can use other “tools” even indoors.
You can set up tubes made of cloth or hard ribbed plastic tube with little holes. Or also, PVC pipes as maze tunnels, rice box where they can do digging their toys, chasing ping pong balls, hide and seeking the treats or goodies, getting out or escaping out of the bag or box.
Let them catch a waving blanket, letting it slide on the floor towards a pile of soft toys like bowling, or dragging them riding a bath towel are among the games you can play with your ferret. What is more convenient is that all that you can use are readily available inside your house!
Getting some toys for them may not be enough to keep them preoccupied during the day, so just like their food, you always have to variate.
10 Ferret Enrichment Ideas
Ferret Safe Toys
There are lots of toys for pets available in its market, but which ones should you pick for a ferret? It depends on the materials used. Ferrets like nibbling or chewing things so make sure its toys must be scratch and chew resistant. Their tunnel maze tubes are better made of PVC material as it is easy to clean and longer lasting.
You can also get catnips or toys that have bells or rattles inside but make that is not rubberized, or made of cloth which is easily torn or cut open to avoid its smaller parts being swallowed.
What Ferrets Do When They Are Stressed
Ferrets are generally peaceful, but once they get stressed or feel discomforts probably caused by illness. They can either become too aggressive or too lazy and sluggish without wanting to play or do what it usually does actively.
They enjoy being pets that are welcome to the family but just like any other animal; they can also show “displeasure” for a certain reason. They are prone to diseases which may cause them to be unhappy and inactive. When they are stressed, they might run away from you or hide a lot especially if they were not able to adjust to your household yet.
Stay away and give it some space when it starts to hiss and attempt to bite. Always be observant once you see signs of getting rabid or sick along with other symptoms like loss of appetite, and seek immediate veterinary consult if it is needing treatment or ask other pet experts about an unusual behavior.
Ferrets Are Also “Emotional”- Can Be Happy, Sad, Or Mourning
Sometimes ferrets do not want to play because something upsets them. They can also “feel” emotions like happiness and even pain, which can either be physical or emotional.
And this “pain” may be an indication of a possible underlying health problem. If the ferret’s treasured companion was moved away from it, has recently died, the ones that were left behind might start getting depressed, sitting or looking away blankly, refusing to play, refuses to eat, or sometimes finding comfort sleeping with the lost ferret’s favorite toy, it is a clear manifestation of its sadness or mourning.
As a remedy for its heartbreaking loss, try to find pleasurable activities to comfort it. Give it a hug or softly speak to it while eating specially prepared foods to comfort and divert it during its downtime.
This “therapy” is effective and most of the monitored cases respond well to increased attention or hand feeding the ferret if its appetite is lowered. Generally speaking, ferrets are evidently “feeling” either happiness, sadness, bored, or other emotions which are uniquely characterized by any living creature just like humans.
Medical Problems Can Possibly Cause A Ferret To Be Inactive
The problem is easier to handle once we recognize it. If a ferret’s root of stress is not any loss, but instead a deep illness causing physical pain to it, then a vet consult might be needed as the best approach to figure out was is wrong with it.
Once there is a clear manifestation of a medical problem like sudden appetite loss, becomes drowsy abnormally, and starts to be inactive, it has to undergo some tests courtesy of a vet to see if it suffers illness such as insulinoma or pancreatic cancer, adrenal neoplasia, or cardiomyopathy or other infections that may simultaneously arise causing discomfort and lethargy. Always be vigilant about behavioral or routine changes for immediate medical attention if it is needed by your ferret.
Do ferrets get irritated with a strong smell? Actually yes. An important behavior clue for ferrets is “scent.” For them, “stink” is a status and also a power/ superiority signal. Safe perfumes can be used to protect an insecure kit or to end fighting during a challenge against the “alpha ferret” by buoying the power of the lead ferret. This is one “natural” reason why they hate or get irritated by perfumes. If it starts to nip, consider the perfume it has smelled as the culprit.
Can certain sounds possibly stir up their emotions? Yes! It gets frightened by loud sounds (like thunder for example), music can cheer it up or calm it down, or even be one therapy used to make it savor food again, or can make them recognize a person by its singing voice. Just as it adores some sounds, there are also ones that upset them, but luckily, there is an easy solution to it if it gets irritated- try a different sound!
Can you tell if your pet ferret is happy or stressed? Yes. If it bounces off the wall, chirp, and always stay close to you and beg to play with them! And vice versa… if it is upset, stressed or in pain, it will always want to run away from you, start hiding a lot or wouldn’t want to move or play with anyone.
Can a ferret recognize you as the owner? Yes, they are social animals and they bond strongly with its owning family! It may take time for it to adjust, and adapt to your care and its environment. They need close attention and more bonding time and just like other pets as dogs and cats do. They too need care, affection, and appreciation for them to stay sociable, recognizing its handler/ owner.
Can they be aggressive? Yes. And once they start hissing and seemingly about to bite, please back off and give it some space to probably calm it down first before you can touch it again!