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Ferrets make great pets and are the most popular pet behind cats and dogs in the United States. Ferrets are the fastest-growing pets in regards to overall popularity.
The ferret is a small domesticated carnivore that can sleep up to 16 hours per day. Ferrets are nocturnal animals, and they usually sleep during the day, but it’s not unusual for ferrets to nap or stay asleep during the night as well.
When is a ferrets’ sleeping pattern standard? When is it not enough? It’s difficult to tell how much sleep ferrets get because of when and how they sleep.
There are many misconceptions about ferrets’ sleeping habits, and this article will clear some of those up.
Are Ferrets Nocturnal?
Ferrets are most commonly nocturnal, meaning they tend to sleep during the day and stay awake at night. It’s not unusual for ferrets to nap or go back to sleep, but this is typically done in short intervals of time.
They typically sleep during most of the daytime and prefer to be most active from dusk to dawn, but don’t typically get all their sleep in one long period. They tend to sleep for multiple shorter periods during the day and get their total restful sleep through naps, similar to what a dog might do.
How Long Do Ferrets Sleep?
Ferrets sleep anywhere from 16 to 20 hours per day. It’s not uncommon for younger ferrets to sleep less than 16 hours, as they are exploring their surroundings and figuring out their living environment.
How Much Do Ferrets Nap?
It’s difficult to tell how much ferrets nap or stay asleep because they typically go in and out of deep slumber so quickly. Ferrets sleep most commonly in short intervals of time, but it’s not uncommon for ferrets to sleep or nap during the day in multiple short naps.
When ferrets are awake, they can burn through a lot of energy, playing and moving throughout their environment. Due to their high energy usage, ferrets will typically nap pretty well after an active wake time.
What Do Ferrets Sleep On?
Ferret beds can be on any soft surface such as a pillow, bed, but especially a ferret hammock. We recommend having 2-3 hammocks throughout their cage to give them different options.
Hammocks come in different shapes and sizes. We like to string them at different heights in the cage and different places. Some of them should be in darker and more protected areas, while others can be in the open and be able to look out at activity in the house.
How do Ferrets Sleep?
Since ferrets sleep so much, it’s not uncommon for them to sleep in multiple positions. They can sleep on their back, on their stomach, curl up in a ball, and everything in between. It depends on what they are sleeping on.
The more tired a ferret is, the more likely they are to sleep in a curled-up ball position. They can sleep in one position for hours a time, so don’t be alarmed if they don’t change position as often as you might think.
Can you Change a Ferrets Sleeping Pattern?
Ferrets are crepuscular mammals, which means that they are more active at night. You can train ferrets to be more active during the daytime or be diurnal. This is especially true if you spend time with them during the day or work from home and can get their attention and interaction during the day.
The best way to train them to be awake during the day and sleep is to schedule playtime during the day.
What Kind of Bedding Should I Use in My Ferret Cage
Helpful Tips to Help Your Ferret Sleep Better
Is your ferret not sleeping as well as it should? Here are a few tips that you can adopt to help them get better sleep and change their sleeping times.
Make sure that they have a dark space for sleeping
Just like other animals, when they see the light, their brains will interpret it as a time to either fall asleep or to get up and hunt. Since ferrets are nocturnal animals, it may indicate that they should go and sleep.
Make sure that they have a cage or a part of a cage in the dark and where they can get away from daylight or artificial lights.
Let Your Ferret Out of the Cage When You're Home
If your ferret is confined to a cage for most of the day, allow them to explore when you are home. Set up an area where they can go and play that isn’t their sleeping or bedding area.
This will also help with bonding with you as the pet owner and help them regulate their sleep times to be awake when you are awake and can play.
Cover the Cage When It's Time to Sleep
When ferrets are left in their cage, and it’s time to sleep and rest, it’s important to cover them with a blanket or towel when you want them to sleep. This will help darken and create an environment that ferret is most comfortable sleeping in.
This is also a signal that they will get used to it and know it’s time for their long sleep. This cover also helps prevent daylight and artificial light from coming in.
We hope you have learned a lot about ferrets’ sleeping habits and what you can do to help them succeed. Ferrets are fascinating creatures with different needs than many other animals, so it’s important to take the time to get their sleep life in order.