My Ferret is Hyper – How to Calm Hyper Ferrets

Q: My ferret is really hyper. She gets really hyper and stays hyper for hours. and she never settles down.. it is like she is constantly on caffeine! i let her run around almost for 2 hours, maybe three. please tell me if i am making a mistake or if im doing something right. also please tell me how to calm her down if i need to. thanks!!!!

Answer: There’s two ways to calm hyper ferrets. One is to play with and entertain them until they are so tired that they just want to relax or sleep. The other, as I’ve learned from one of my little girls (who loves to bite and attack for play) that if you simply ignore them they get bored with you and might find something else to do.

Out of Cage Time

Ferrets need four hours of out of cage time a day. If not they will show hyper and destructive behavior. Giving your ferret the proper amount of play time will help him become more calm. Also, as he gets older he will calm down. But some ferrets are just more active than others so this is probably her normal speed.

How to Calm Hyper Ferrets

To help a hyper ferret slow down, I get ferretone and put it on my hand and lay down on the floor. I let the ferrret come up to me to explore and find the treat. I let them lick it off my fingers and I just lay there and let them play around me or just run away. When I let the ferrets have a lot of time to make their own decisions, they get calmer and not so scared of being put away.

Add Cage Toys

Also, make sure they have things in their cage to play with and keep them entertained when they can’t be out. Depending on the size of your cage, add some tunnels, fabric balls, and other safe toys for them to play with. I recommend staying away from plastic toys in their cage just in case they should break.

Ferret Routines

Most of my ferrets are active in the morning. The second time of day I let them out, they are more into exploring. Each one has a different time to be hyper. I’m sad when they get up in age and don’t want to play anymore. They give it a good try but lose energy after about 20 minutes then go to sleep some where. poor baby. Enjoy the time for now.

All ferrets are hyper. If mine start showing signs of lethargy, then I start paying really close attention because that could mean they’re sick. Ferrets aren’t adults until they’re a year old, so he’s still got the hyper activity of a baby.

Bringing New Ferrets Home

New ferrets are hyper ferrets. When your new ferret is new to your home, everything is so exciting!! Everything must be investigated and sniffed and moved… he’s also making sure nothing has changed or moved from the last position he remembers it in. He doesn’t want to miss a thing!!

Once he is used to your home, and realizes that playtime is a regular thing, he will calm down..but then again, ferrets are hyper and ever inquisitive.

Wear Out Hyper Ferrets to Calm Them

There are things you can do to wear them out:

  • The main thing to do – make sure you provide them with plenty of different toys and get down and play with them as much as possible. My ferrets love their “dig” box – a large, storage tub filled with uncooked, non-instant rice. You could also fill it with clean dirt (bake it in your oven to “clean” it) or some shredded up newspaper (be careful though, some ferrets have a thing for eating paper; if either of your ferrets likes to eat paper, then stick with the rice or dirt). To make it even more fun, hide some of their favorite “stash” toys in the dig box. It will really wear them out to dig for those toys, run and hide them in their “secret” spot, and then come back for more!
  • You can never go wrong with tunnels, every ferret loves having a tunnel to run through! I like to roll balls through the tunnels for my ferrets to chase after. I’ll usually roll it about halfway through and then my ferrets will crawl through, grab the balls, and run away to hide them.
  • A large blanket or towel is also a great “toy” for a ferret. You can give them towel rides (mine will usually try to jump to the top of the towel where I’m holding it, eventually roll off the towel, and then chase after it and jump back on – it really wears them out!). My ferrets also like it when I take a large blanket and flip it in the air, above their heads – it drives them crazy!
  • A plastic bag (with supervision) is a great “excitement-induced” item for a ferret. Mine go nuts when I bring out a bag. They love the sound and love it even more when there is a hand moving around under it.
  • A good, ol’ game of chase is always fun, too. I’ll usually shake a piece of paper or something with a crinkly sound near them to get them started. Some of mine also like “tug-of-war.”

Active Ferrets

Ferrets are by nature very active little critters and they need lots of running around time. He needs to get some out of his cage time. Some ferrets are happy with only a couple hours of out-of-cage time, but others are happier with more.

The general rule is to give them at least four hours of out-of-cage time every day. Does she go nuts when you put her back in her cage (yank on the bars with her mouth and claw to get out)? That’s usually a sign of boredom and, again, I would recommend letting them out to play a little more.

What we did with ours was put him in one of the bedrooms, close the door, and sit with him while he ran his brains out. Then he would be ready to go into his cage, climb into his hammock, and sleep. Good luck and be patient.

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