Why Ferrets Randomly Lay Down?5 min read

In this article, we will explore different reasons why ferrets randomly lay down. This is a common question that many pet owners ask themselves when they notice their ferret lying on the floor for no apparent reason.

It is important to note that it is completely natural for ferrets to lay down (flat), and there are several reasons why your ferret might be doing so.


The first reason why ferrets lay down is that they are tired. This can happen both during the day and at night when ferrets sleep for up to 14 hours a day. It’s not uncommon to see your ferret sleeping on their back, belly, or side while in this state of relaxation.

But most commonly, they will lay down in a playing session. Either when playing with you or other animals in your household.

This can happen 2,3,4, or more times. Nothing to worry about.

You can slow down a little bit until your furry friend had enough time to relax and maybe get something to eat and drink.

Ferrets also like to nap after meals, which explains why many pet owners notice them napping immediately after eating their meal (sometimes even with food still in their mouth).

But of course, that is different from them dropping all of a sudden to the floor and behave like a pancake!

Did you Know:
There is a special term for when ferrets lay down all of a sudden. It is called “Speed Bumping” or “Pancaking.”


Another common reason you might witness your ferret laying down randomly could be that it has overheated due to being exposed to direct sunlight for too long or playing outside without adequate protection from the heat.

They are trying to cool themselves off by laying on a cooler surface or in front of air conditioning vents, fans, and open windows, for example.

Keep in mind that they get overheated faster than humans do, so they may need to be closely monitored during periods of excessive heat.

The best thing in such a situation is to get your ferret to cool down. Don´t point a van in their direction. If it’s summer and hot outside, try something like putting a plastic bottle with frozen water into a sock and let them snuggle with it.

Or if your ferret is one of those that like to swim – Go for it! Many ferrets are not interested in water – like a pool or a tub or something. But some do love to swim!

You’ll notice this type of behavior more often with younger ferrets who still have lots of energy to burn off rather than older ones who typically slow down as they age.

But even when they do reach old age, there will still be moments where they will be lying down suddenly.

They Are Invisible! Yes!

Maybe you did not know that. But your ferret pretends to be invisible. Yes. This happens a lot during playtime. Play along as they love to do that.

Why do they pretend to be invisible?

They are hunters by nature. It is in their genes. And if there is nothing to hide behind or under … well, the best thing one can do is to become invisible! Right? (Don´t you wish you could do that too? Sometimes?)

Keep an Eye

It is normal for ferrets to lay down all of a sudden. But make sure to observe them. Does your ferret walk normally? Is it limping or having trouble moving?

Also, check if it eats and drinks … and what about pooping? All normal? Mainly watch alertness, awareness, and energy levels.

If all is looking good – well, then most likely you won´t have anything to worry about. But if you notice anything unusual, please consult a veterinarian!

My ferret has become increasingly lazy?

They get less active once they turn older. That is normal. But if you notice that your ferret becomes “lazy,” like really tired all the time, not much energy, and sleeps a lot, then you should contact your vet.

The ferret could have an illness or a metabolic disease that affects the animal´s energy levels and cause them to sleep all day long. It also means they might not eat for days, which can result in malnutrition and weight loss. Not good if left untreated.

But if my ferret seems healthy but still lays down often?

This behavior can be related to other reasons such as exhaustion from being in too warm of an environment (they are more active when the temperature cools off), hunger – starving themselves because they aren’t interested in anything anymore- and boredom.

To prevent this type of behavior, please try giving them toys, food diversity, and attention!


It’s natural for ferrets to lay down, but if they show other signs, please make sure your vet is consulted. Even though it might seem like a cute behavior that can be ignored at times, laying down often could mean an underlying issue that needs attention!

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