Ferret Sleeping All you need to know
Ferrets sleep for an average of 18 hours , 9 hours at night and 9 hours during the day. However, ferrets are most active at Dawn & Dusk during 2 to 4 hours, for their daily meal and playtime. Ferret’s sleep can be adjusted to that of its parents so they wont get disturbed at night and enjoy their ferret playtime as well .
When and how long do ferrets usually sleep and wake up ?
Ferrets should have a sleeping schedule, they are animals that have a lot of energy to expend but also sleep a lot, it is important to know when your ferret is sleeping so you know when it would be possible for you to play; enjoy it and having fun with him.
Naturally most active at dawn and dusk, ferrets usually sleep for successive periods of two to three hours, only waking up during the day and night for a snack, water or to go to the bathroom and then going back to sleep right after that. Be aware that younger ferrets will sleep even longer.
However , ferrets are flexible pets and with some patience , you can easily adjust them to your own schedule
Here is the natural sleep schedule for ferrets, remember that you can move these times forward or backward by 2-3 hours to fit your own sleep pattern and daily schedule.
Ferret Sleeping and playtime Hours ( Schedule ) :
- Ferrets wake up at 5 AM
- Ferrets playtime & meal time until 7 AM or 8 AM for younger ferrets.
- Ferrets go back to sleep till 4 PM or 5 PM, they wake up every 2 or 3 hours, to eat a little, drink or relieve themselves and go back to sleep quickly
- Ferrets wake up at 5 PM for another meal time and playtime until the night begins
- Ferrets go to bed at 8 , 9 PM or 10 PM and sleep until 5 AM and only wake up if they are hungry, thirsty or want to go to the bathroom and go back to sleep right after.
Getting a ferret to sleep at night
When you bring your ferret and install its cage in your room, you will unfortunately find that it’s very difficult for your caged ferret actually to go to sleep and especially stay asleep throughout the night.
1- Simple tricks to get a free roaming ferret to dead sleep at night
Free roaming ferret will not wake you up at night , he will go where he wants when he wakes up and generally will prefer to do his mischief in another room , where you could not watch him !
Free roaming ferrets will mix between sleep time and playtime, it is preferable that during the night that you prevent your ferret to have access to his toys, tunnels and any distraction … etc
It is necessary to leave him only his bedding, his litter box and his water so he is going to understand of him even that he is bedtime and he is going to automatically be bored to do nothing and to finish by going back to sleep!
2-Getting a caged ferret to sleep at night
To get your caged ferret to sleep at night, it is essential to make him understand that his cage is not a playground and is only used for 3 things:
- Eating and drinking
- Going to the bathroom
- Sleeping and taking naps
All you have to do is not leave anything in the cage that could be used as a toy or distraction for your ferret.
The only things that should be in your ferret’s cage are
- His water and food scraps
- His litter pan (litter box or potty pad)
- Beds, Hammocks
Another thing to help your ferret understand that his cage is only for resting and sleeping is to make him understand that outside the cage is for playing and having fun and making as much noise as he wants.
You should not take your ferret beding out of its cage and not install any bedding outside the cage, only its toys, water and food.
Whenever your ferret wants to sleep, usually after his playtime, you will put him back in his cage, especially at the end of dusk and the beginning of the night.
You can even during your ferret potty training teach him to relieve himself only in his cage, so your ferret will go back to his cage by himself when he wants to sleep or relieve himself, and especially when you put him back in his cage during the night.
Also have to cover his cage especially during the day so that he can easily fall asleep, you can not cover the cage of your ferret during the night if there is in the room no noise or light on that could distract him including your smartphone!
The importance of playtime if you want your ferret to fall asleep at night
Ferrets are crepuscular animals, they usually wake up around 5 AM, eat, play and do their business, then go back to sleep and will also wake up at sunset or a little before for another playtime to then go back to sleep all night.
You must therefore tire your ferret during his playtime by playing with him, by providing him with lots of games, tunnels and distractions to make him tired so that he goes back to sleep at night.
A hungry ferret will not sleep
Your ferret needs to eat until he’s not hungry anymore if you want him to fall asleep at night, so make it a habit to feed your ferret well and with a good diet (a combination of Frankensprey diet and whole prey).
You can then put his leftover food, from his daily ration, in his cage for him to eat in case he gets hungry at night, instead of pacing around his cage because of hunger and keeping you awake!
Will a ferret adjust its sleep schedule to yours ?
Yes, if you have a specific schedule, your ferret will eventually adopt it as long as you follow the schedule. You’re going to wanna set times, and if you usually wake up at 7 AM, your ferret will not wake up at 5 AM and will sleep until you wake him up at 7 AM.
The same goes for bedtimes, if you want your ferret to sleep at 10 PM, get into the habit of putting him in his cage at that time.
How to impose your sleep rhythm to your ferret?
It’s simple, every time you get ready to sleep, put your ferret in his cage, move his cage to another room and don’t go back to him until the next day at the time you usually wake up.
Duration of the adaptation: about 1 month
- Take the cage back to your room without removing the blanket
- Wake up your ferret
- Give him a few minutes to do his business if you don’t have a litter box elsewhere
- Take your ferret out for his playtime
- Put him back in his cage for his 8 hours of naps and sleep (during the day) after he has eaten well of course.
Who sleeps more than the other, male or female ferret?
Male ferrets are generally lazier than females, so they can sleep up to 20 hours a day especially when they get a little old and only wake up to eat, drink and go to the bathroom without forgetting their favorite hobby, doing a silly thing or two!
Does the temperature influence the sleep of a ferret ?
Yes, ferrets are native to the northern hemisphere, so they don’t like heat. To ensure that your ferret sleeps well at night and during the day, try to keep the temperature of his room around 70°F/21°C.
A well-fed, dry ferret can fall asleep at cold temperatures but may not survive if the temperature in his room exceeds 90°F/33°C; especially if the weather is humid and the water is not cool.
Ferrets sleep longer during the winter because in their natural environment, they are even hibernating like the hamster during the extreme cold.
Is my ferret sleeping , sick or dead ?
First of all, you should know that if your ferret is under medical treatment, it could have a disturbed sleep, sleep longer or less often than usual, ask his veterinarian.
Sometimes ferrets sleep so deeply that they appear to be dead!! we say in this case “a dead sleep ferret or deep sleep state”. Don’t panic ! Your ferret is just in deep sleep, don’t wake him up because it’s his restful sleep phase and he might even bite you when you wake him up !
Is it normal for a ferret to sleep more than 20 hours?
We are going to talk about ferrets sleeping more than usual. If your ferret has not woken up for more than 18 hours even to eat, drink water or relieve himself, it is not a dead sleep. This is not a dead sleep, but a sign that your ferret is probably sick.
In this case, your ferret is probably suffering from Insulinoma or Low Sugar levels, which is what prevents them from waking up from their deep sleep.
What to do to wake your ferret in this situation? Put some honey or sugar syrup in his mouth with a feeding syringe, let him regain his strength and wake up, then monitor his sugar level and it is best to take him to his vet for further advice and possible treatment.
Why does my ferret sleep all day and night ?
Ferrets can sleep for 22 hours a day! This is how their body is programmed when they live in the wild, in the cold. It is their way to save energy by waking up to look for food and do their needs only during a few hours at sunrise and sunset.
This behavior, also avoided them to serve as meal to their predators, wolves n jackals, birds of prey … etc
Ferrets sleep a lot because they are just programmed that way when they lived in the wild, they hibernate even when the cold is extreme.
Do ferrets sleep with their eyes open ?
Is your ferret sleeping with its eyes open ? it’s a normal behavior for ferrets to sleep with their eyes wide open, it can even go into deep sleep while you think it’s looking at you, it’s to deceive predators I think !!! Don’t try to wake it up, don’t pinch him, squeeze, shake or yell at him !! let him sleep.
Ferret Sleeping with mouth open or Tongue Out !
We also sleep with our mouths open! Don’t worry when your ferret sleeps with his mouth open, and it’s also normal if his tongue comes out of his mouth, it’s just because of the weightlessness!
This situation is very common with ferrets and is often discussed in the forums as well. Just make sure your ferret is really sleeping and not awake otherwise it could be a respiratory problem and should consult a vet in this case.
Baby ferret Sleeping habits
The sleeping habits of baby ferrets are almost the same as those of adult ferrets except that they sleep a little longer because they spend too much time during their playtime, they need more time to digest their high-protein food and especially because they grow fast and need more restful sleep.
Why is my Ferret Sleeping in its litter box ?
If your ferret is sleeping in its litter box there is a valid reason for this behavior. Ferrets are very clean pets and never sleep in their litter box!
Ferrets also never do their business where they nap, eat, play, etc.
If your ferret sleeps in his litter box, it is that:
- He may be depressed
- He feels safer in his litter box than in his hammock!
- It is cold and your ferret is warm in his litter box and cold in his bed
- There is something that bothers him in his bed or hammock
- He loves the litter in his litter box (the texture).
- It’s just a bad habit of his former owner !
What to do if your ferret sleeps in her/his litter box?
To solve this problem, start by putting the litter box in the place where your stubborn ferret usually does his business and put his bed in the place where he usually sleeps.
After that, you need to watch your ferret and remove his litter box right after he finishes doing his business, so you have 2 to 3 hours before he wants to go to the bathroom.
This way, he won’t find his litter box and will be forced to sleep in his hammock or other bedding.
Reward your ferret with his favorite treat each time he goes to sleep in his hammock.
Continue this until he understands that the litter box is his bathroom and to sleep he will have to go to his bed.
Do ferrets make noises in their sleep ?
Ferrets are usually quiet pets and it is rare that they make noise in their sleep, but sometimes they do make sounds, like snoring, and you don’t have to worry about that, it’s normal.
Ferrets sleep most of the day and can easily adapt to your sleeping patterns, your ferret will just need you to respect the sleeping and playtime schedules you will set.
If you want to adopt a ferret, know that it will not disturb you during the night if you know how to adapt its rhythm to yours.