Posted: May 1, 2008, 5 a.m. EST
Q: My 1-year-old little girl ferret, Kara, is always shaking. It’s like she's vibrating. Why does she do this?
A: Ferrets do have some interesting behaviors and shaking is one of them. If she is shivering after waking up, eating or relaxing, then it is quite normal.
We often think this shivering is because they are cold or afraid, however, most ferrets prefer cooler temperatures so they don’t get cold like we might and fear is usually shown in different ways.
Once your ferret is awake and running around for a few minutes, she probably no longer shivers or vibrates. When a ferret sleeps, its usually high metabolic rate slows down to conserve and replenish energy. The shivering behavior is a natural way to raise their metabolic rate and their heart rate after their previous burst of energy.