Ferret Life

What does it mean when a ferret yawns

Yawning is natural in ferrets though it can be a sign of pain it doesn’t need clinical treatment. The scuffing on the neck can also cause yawn to relax a ferret from excitement. Ferrets are sleep lovers and sleep 15 hours a day if they break up then they sleep randomly to complete the time. They sleep like the dead and can make you fell in fear that they are dead instead of deep sleep. Let’s know what does it mean when a ferret yawns?

What does it mean when a ferret yawns?

Domesticated ferrets are neutered or spayed for work, food, or material for clothing and shelter. They are playful, lovely, and social animals and some of their habits are similar to humans. As they are smart enough to adopt habits. They are domesticated because of the control of the breeding process that’s your choice. Whether you want them pet as single or in pair with kits. To understand what does it mean when a ferret yawns? Here is some important info about What does it mean when a ferret yawns?

A long time ago a writer Aristophanes (448-385 BC) written on this animal’s account. As a house ferret that was used in his plays to satirize political opponents. Because the ferret in early times used to kill vermin. Consequently, another Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) claimed that ferrets are similar to weasels and dangerous for small animals or the people.

They also have been used to protect grain stores from rodent infestation. These polecats are carnivores and kill rodents. Their habits are similar to other animals like eat and sleep but comparatively more sleep is needed when it’s a ferret. These Egyptian cats yawn when waking up from sleep or scuffing on the neck to make them relax.

Sleeping behavior of ferret

Ferrets are lovely creature and social animal who loves to play around. But they are also known for deep sleep when he feels bore he fell asleep. This sleeping time can extend to 15-21 hours a day as depends on the mood (according to Peter Fisher in Exotic Pet Behavior). However, the pattern of sleeping can be changed from season to season and age to age. Such as they sleep more in winter or if old age they sleep more than young ones.

  1. Sleep in their spaces

You need to be careful while petting a ferret as they are like kids and need attention when they are awake. They love to sleep in different beddings and sleeping spaces so if you find out that they are constant in one space then something is not good. They may be bored or not liking the cage fellow. Or maybe if the other ferret is sleeping in another space then that means they don’t have bonding. They are needed to change their space like cages or rooms.

  1. Yawning can be a sign of pain

Most of the time the sleeping habits of ferrets can make you worried. As it looks abnormal while sleeping and makes you uncomfortable. But they are quite normal in their behavior like positioning, yawn, and stretch similar to humans. You may have thought of yawning is a sign of pain but when you scuff on their neck they fell asleep. Cuddling in arms and scuffing on the neck is a generous behavior towards ferret and it feels relax and comfortable.

  1. Bonded ferrets

Pair of ferrets sleep as a pile or group of ferrets has a variety of sleeping positions. As sometimes you feel like they are dead (upside-down position of sleeping). They curled up their fur body and roll in the dark side of the cage as they don’t like to sleep in the light. Ferrets sometimes sleep like dogs and curled up their back on four legs sprawled out or like hanging out half from the hammocks. They have interesting positions while sleeping.

  1. Dead sleep

Ferrets sleep so quietly and sound with low heart rate and respiration which makes you feel like a ferret is dead. If you get close to them you can listen to the respiration audible or whimpering. When they fell into the deep sleep you cannot wake up them by poking or moving them so don’t worry about dead sleep until they wake up.

Most of the time some ferret owners think this dead sleep. As severe illness or death because they take time to awake if you forcefully try to wake them up.

It’s better to keep a check on your ferret if he is sleeping with soothing vocalization than keep patience and let him wake up whenever he wants. If you observe that the routine sleeping duration changes and your ferret is sleeping more time then take it to the vet.
It may have some clinical issues or needed to evaluate the sickness like insulinoma. So, it’s better to have a visit to the vet for a checkup of alarming health conditions.

  1. Territorial sleeping habits

Ferrets can change the timing hours according to your choice such as if you sleep at night they would also develop night time sleep. If you are habitual of sleeping in the daytime they would sleep along with your schedule. Whereas the wild Mustelidae are nocturnal as they hunt in the daytime. So the habitat, territorial conditions, and food availability affect sleeping.

According to the research or sleeping behavior in the ferret, they sleep 60% of total sleep with 40% time in REM (rapid eye movement). That’s why the high number of REM sleep would be longer periods of episodes.

However in captivity ferret normally sleep 12-16 hours a day and love to play at least for 4 random hours.

  1. Frequent sleep regarding age

When you buy a kit ferret then you will find it out energetic and less sleeping time. As they are profound to explore surroundings. He actively roams in your house or cage spends more time as he wakes up. The older ferret is less active and has less interest to roam that’s why to sleep more hours. Whenever you will leave him home alone he would, fell asleep and stay sleeping all the time until you come back home.

So the age matters as well on the duration of sleep. As, if they are yawning it’s time to sleep.


When a ferret yawns it is normal behavior of displaying sleeping mode. As it is not a clinical concern and has no sickness. Ferrets love to nap in their bedding or hammocks and when wakefulness with stretch and yawn just like us. Because of the hard skin of the neck when you scruff there it often elicits a yawning reflex and it yawns. This way you can examine the oral issue if he has any or for a regular checkup.

This action may apply for the reason to relax and calm the excited ferret. You can grab your ferret from the neck and scruff it to move from one place to another easily or keeping him disciplined. Yawning ferrets symbolizes they are quite normal and active by health and have no issue. If you find out he is sleeping more than a routine then take him to the vet.

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