Most pet owners love to have a ferret as a companion due to its cute endeavor and mischievous personality. Curiosity is their second name, which means that anything unknown is a new adventure for them.
They love to run around and play games until they are exhausted. However, you may witness your ferret run into the wall, or fall off a table, especially at night.
Is it possible that ferrets have poor eyesight?
A lot of people consider ferrets to be clumsy creatures, but maybe their clumsiness is related to their eyesight. Well, let’s talk about if ferrets can see in the dark, and what it’s like to see the world through your ferret’s eyes!
Are Ferrets Nocturnal?
Most people believe that ferrets are nocturnal animals because they sleep most of the day, but that’s not entirely true. Although most Mustelids are nocturnal animals, ferrets are technically crepuscular creatures. In other words, they are most active during twilight.
Ferrets are highly active and mischievous creatures, they spend most of the day sleeping. On average, a ferret sleeps between twelve to eighteen hours a day.
Some experts believe that ferrets can fall into a deep slumber similar to hibernation, but people call it a “death sleep”. This is because you can move, pinch or shake your ferret, but it will not wake up or move. However, this kind of sleep only occurs on rare occasions, or when they are truly exhausted.
Ferrets do not sleep continuously. Generally, they wake up and replenish their energy levels by eating some food. Later, they engage in some rough-playing, or roam around for about an hour or so before going to sleep once again.
They may take multiple naps between their playtime. This is how they maintain their high metabolism.
Can Ferrets See in the Dark?
You might think that your ferret would thrive in the dark, but that’s not the case. A ferret’s eyesight is adapted to function properly during twilight.
This is because ferrets possess a special eye structure known as the tapetum lucidum. This structure is a reflective film located at the back of a ferret’s eye that concentrates the smallest amount of light to improve vision.
Therefore, your ferret can move more confidently in low-light conditions. But, well-lit locations and pitch-dark places are not the best for ferrets. Their vision becomes too blurry and is unable to focus properly on objects.
Also, your ferret’s pupil shape influences their ability to see in the dark. A ferret has slit pupils, just like cats do, and this shape improves edge detection and allows objects to become more visible in low-light conditions.
What does Ferret Vision Look Like?
We, humans, have peripheral vision, which means that we can see all objects in our view without moving or turning our heads. This is due to the central position of our eyes.
However, your ferret’s eyes are more located to the side than most animals. Thus, they must move their heads to the sides in order to view everything in their sight. This is known as stereoscopic or binocular vision.
Additionally, they have a blind spot due to their eyes’ position. They are unable to view any object located below their nose, which is the reason that ferrets sniff around when they explore new surroundings.
If your ferret detects a peculiar or unfamiliar scent, he will track it down by walking forward, with his head towards the floor.
Ferrets also have bad depth perception and can see objects that are at a close distance. This is the reason why your ferret seems a little clumsy when it roams your house.
He may bump into a table, fall off a couch, or run into a wall as he plays around. Your ferret runs into objects because his eyesight is unable to determine how far or close something is.
Finally, your ferret can only distinguish the color red. Everything else is processed in a grayscale. This is because a ferret’s retina only contains color pigments that detect the red color (these pigments are known as erythrolabe). If you want to buy your ferret a cute sweater, you should consider a red shade.
Ferrets are wonderful pets that enjoy spending time with their owners. Since they spend a lot of the time sleeping, you should try to incorporate their playtime with your schedule to show how much you care about him. Remember that the reason he wakes up is to see you and play with you, even when he only sees you in a grey shade.