Posted: October 1, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: How sensitive are ferrets’ ears? We placed our ferret’s cage in our oldest son's bedroom where there is a drum set. Are Mr. Sassy's ears sensitive to the drums? Should we bring him upstairs whenever my son is practicing on the drums?
A: Ferrets have superior hearing. This is thought to be adaptive because wild black-footed ferrets spend much of their lives in darkness and excellent hearing helps them survive. It is also thought that ferrets have a different hearing range than people. So, given all of this, could the sound of the drums actually bother your ferret? This is not easy to answer.
If the drums bother your ferret, how would you know? It is difficult to know when a ferret is hearing a sound that causes it discomfort. So, for this reason alone, I would not subject your ferret to drum solos! Also, we know that any animal exposed to continual loud noises can eventually lose the ability to hear properly for various reasons. Again, this is enough for me to suggest moving the ferret to another part of the house while the drums are being used. People can wear earplugs, but our ferrets cannot!