Why Do Ferrets Shake?

ferret on a lawn with huge house in the background

When you first get your ferret, you may notice that he or she does some rather strange things that could come across as concerning. It’s important to remember that your ferret has other ways of communicating its feelings since it cannot talk.

If you see your ferret shaking, this may seem alarming to you and while it could be for a negative reason, there are also some positive things that could make your ferret shake.

Ferrets shake to show a range of emotions including excitement, nervousness, and fear. However, they may also shake during and after mealtimes. If the shaking is also accompanied by other physical symptoms like lethargy and a loss of appetite, this could signal that your ferret is sick and needs medical attention. 

Is It Normal For Ferrets To Shake

For humans, shaking is usually associated with something bad but this isn’t always the case with a ferret.

Sure, it could be that your pet is overwhelmed with some sort of emotion and we will look into that in a little more detail later on but there could be times that shaking isn’t quite as normal.

To determine whether the shaking is normal, you must consider other factors. If your ferret is shaking and there are no other problems, then yes, this is totally normal and usually nothing to worry about.

That said, if your ferret is also displaying other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, or a loss of appetite, there is a chance that he is sick and should be seen by a vet as soon as possible.

It is important not to wait when you notice these things as what might begin as a problem that is relatively easy to treat could soon turn into something more serious like a seizure.

Reasons That Ferrets Shake

As we have discovered, most shaking in ferrets is very normal and nothing to get overly concerned about. These are some of the reasons that your ferret might be shaking:

  • When ferrets are excited all of that energy in their little bodies needs to come out in some way or another and this is typically through shaking.
  • Your ferret has a complex metabolism and so when they eat this will speed up and the physical change can sometimes cause the animal to shake. You will get to know how long this typically lasts for your pet but it should subside shortly after mealtimes.
  • Ferrets may also shake during and after sleep and this is, once again, to do with their metabolism speeding up. As they sleep, ferrets will burn a lot more energy than when they are awake and this results in shaking.

Do I Need To Calm My Ferret When He Is Shaking?

If your ferret is shaking because of any of the reasons we have just discussed then there is no need for you to do anything about it. However, there may be times when your ferret is shaking out of nervousness and in these situations, you may wish to offer some comfort to make your ferret feel a little more secure.

There are several things you can do to help your ferret feel calmer and even the simple act of being present may be enough to help him feel at ease. If this doesn’t work on its own, you might try any of the following techniques.

  • Offering a treat is a great way to make your ferret feel calmer. It is important not to give them anything that will cause them harm or be difficult to digest. We have covered which foods are suitable for your ferret so make sure that you always stick to these. It’s also a good idea to avoid foods that have too high a sugar content as this can be unhealthy.
  • You might also try playing some music for your ferret as this is known to calm them down when they are feeling nervous. Just like humans, ferrets will respond to different sounds, depending on their mood so it can be fun to try different styles of music and see what calms them most.
  • Many people are under the impression that ferrets aren’t the most loving animals in the world but once you become the proud owner of one, you’ll soon see that this isn’t the case. For this reason, giving your ferret lots of affection is a great way to calm him when he is feeling nervous.


Ferrets can be very excitable creatures so it can be difficult to determine what they are feeling but physical signs such as shaking are a good indicator of your pet’s mood.

For the most part, shaking is nothing to worry about and is usually a sign that your ferret is excited or perhaps nervous. Even if he is nervous, there are things you can do to calm him down.

Ferrets may also shake when doing seemingly normal activities like sleeping and eating and this is to do with their speedy metabolisms.

However, if the shaking is ever accompanied by other, more worrying symptoms, it could be a sign of illness and you’ll need to make sure that you have your pet seen by a vet.

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