Posted: February 1, 2011, 5 a.m. EST
Q: Whenever I pick up my little ferret gal, Mink, she just shakes and quivers like crazy. I am taking this as a sign of excitement, because she knows she’s coming out of her cage to run around and play. Indeed, when I do put her down, she does her little “weasel warrior” dance. However, her big brother, Gizmo, is usually still in his ferret coma or trying to wake up. He never shakes or quivers. I only have the two ferrets, and they’re so different. Is this normal behavior for both?
A: This is normal ferret behavior. Ferrets usually shiver when we wake them up or when they first wake up in order to "get things moving." I usually do something similar when my alarm goes off, although I add a groan!
Some ferrets, such as Gizmo, that sleep very deeply, don't seem to shiver like this. I am presenting a theory here — but the ferrets that wake up slowly from a "coma" probably have more time to get going and therefore don't need to "shiver," while the ones that jump to attention really need to get their blood moving so they can wake up. That’s my theory.
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