Friday, January 22, 2010

Ferrety Vision

Here we are again. It seems like it was only yesterday that I was working on ferrety Friday. And while I’m certainly happy to be working on yet another one, I’m a little startled that I’ve hardly added any other posts this week. I hope that as we head closer to spring, my writer’s block (the worst I’ve ever had in years) ends.

That being said, let’s get on with this week’s ferrety post, which will focus on ferrety vision. The question of the week is:

“How well do ferrets see?”

And the answer is: “Not very”

From what I’ve discovered (and apparently what studies have shown), ferrets have very poor vision when it comes to seeing objects far away from them. On the other hand, at close range (a couple of feet in front of them), a ferret’s eyes see detail better than you, and even better than a cat. I guess this would make these little fuzzies nearsighted.

Photo from SXC

Furthermore, their peripheral vision is said to be much better than their frontal vision, which would explain why they often bump into objects. And to top it all off, most of these little furballs have very little depth perception, so they’ll happily walk off a table or counter with no hesitation since they probably can’t see just how far down the floor is.

A few other things I learned:

1) Ferrets see much better at dawn and dusk
2) Their eyes have trouble adjusting to bright light
3) They do not see very well when it’s pitch black
4) Domesticated ferrets can only see red; everything else is just shades of gray
5) Ferrets lose their eyesight as they age

Interesting, no?

Well, I kind of felt bad that Bailey has poor eyesight, so I decided to try and help her.

Hey Bailey, what do you think of the cool frames?

I think you look great. They even make you look really smart.

By the way, don’t try this (putting glasses on your ferret) at home kids!


  1. I had no idea their vision was like this ! ... and they only see red and gray ? I feel badly for Bailey too .. but at least she doesn't "know" that she has bad eye sight ? so we have to keep that a secret from her OK ? LOL
    Those glasses make her VERY cool and intelligent looking .. not that she wasn't already ! LOL
    PS .. the girls say hi to your girls ? haha

  2. Wow, I had no idea that ferrets had bad eyesight---very interesting. Bailey looks very fetching and intellectual in those glasses---now the kitty's going to want some, too! :-)

  3. By the way, I wanted to say---you're not alone on the writer's block. I've struggled with it, too. I feel like I'm out of words, even to the point that I have trouble writing comments. Perhaps it's just a part of the natural ebb and flow of creativity--I don't know. I wanted to say also, however, that I always enjoy the posts you do write. I'd never know you're feeling blocked---your writing is great.

  4. Hi Joy! I don't think Bailey really notices much. She seems perfectly content in her little (poor sighted) world. Plus, it's hard for her to realize that she doesn't see well when my face is always right up against hers as I kiss her little nose...:) So she sees me very well with that nearsightedness of hers; maybe too well. She's probably tired of such close range!

    Hey, that's nice of your girls saying hi to my girls. They should have a slumber party...LOL... Or maybe you can just send Sophie over to exercise with them. I'm sure they'll 'whip' her back into shape in no time. She'll be begging to go home!

    Hiya Beth! Yup, Bailey looks like a professor with her intellectual-style shades. I wouldn't be surprised if I catch her reading a book one of these days.

    That's very sweet! Thank you for your nice comments about my writing. I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere these days; perhaps I just needed a little break. Sometimes the creative side of me burns out for a little while, and then I get right back into it. Plus, these long Canadian winters don't really motivate that side of me.