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Ferret Sleeping 101: How and where do ferrets sleep?

Where is your ferret sleeping most of the day? During the day I am sure you can find it sleeping everywhere, except the cage. Why is that? Ferrets will like a rock star and one second later will sleep so deep. They get so tired from the play that they just lay down wherever they can. That is why today my topic will be – sleeping.


ferret sleepingAlmost every day in ferret’s life consists mostly of sleeping. That is reasonable since they sleep more than 18 hours a day. They don’t sleep 18 hours straight, they have “awake” periods. Those are in similar schedule every day, there are about 6 hours of sleep between about 1 hour of playtime.

The sleeping schedule is different from one ferret to another. For example, baby ferrets (kits) sleep a lot more than young ferrets (few months old). Young ferrets are the most energetic because they are interested in everything and everything is, oh so new, to them. Male ferrets are usually lazier than female ferrets and older ferrets tend to sleep more than adult ferrets.

Sleep is important because it is one of the most common symptoms (next to the loss of appetite) for many ferret illnesses. If your catch your ferret sleeping more than usual, it can be a symptom, but only if it comes in pair with some other symptom. (like loss of appetite or loss of weight, vomiting, diarrhea….) If that is the case, the best for your ferret is to go straight to the vet.

But, if your ferret sleeps more than usual and it acts normal when it is awake, there are few logical reasons for that. Seasons are one of those reasons.  Ferrets sleep more during winter and they will try to sleep more during summer to avoid hot temperatures.


Anywhere. 🙂 When ferrets are really tired, they will fall asleep anywhere, but that is not always too good for them. Most common unusual places where your ferret can fall asleep and it isn’t its hammock or blanket are: drawers with underwear or socks, on the bed under the blankets, inside the couch, in the mattress, under the bed, under the carpet (after all they are carpetsharks) in laundry pile for washing or ironing…. Ferrets can sleep everywhere and that is why we have to ferretproof our home. But that is a topic for some other day.

Ferrets are burrowing animals and they want to sleep in dark and hidden place so you can see that those unusual choices aren’t that weird when you think about it this way. Their instincts are working when they are looking for a place to sleep.

where do ferrets sleepYou can also let your ferret sleep with you on the bed. It is extremely adorable to snuggle your little fuzzy the entire night, but I just can’t bear myself to do it.

I am a little paranoid I will hurt my fuzzies when I roll over the bed and squeeze them. I am still holding them in the cage during the night. Besides my fear of hurting them, there are few other things people need to think about.  :/  Ferret sleeping period is about 6 hours with waking up for eating or going to the bathroom. Your ferret wakes up at night, fresh to play but it doesn’t have anyone to play with. Ferrets poop once during the night and if your bed is too high you could wake up with a surprise. Your ferret will nip and scratch your legs until you wake up and play with it. 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure it really is wonderful to sleep with your ferret, but not during the night. I am a fan of napping together with my ferrets in the afternoon. 🙂


I always make sure that my ferrets have two or three hammocks in the cage so they can rotate hammocks and pick in which hammock will they sleep. I usually put one opened hammock in the cage, one closed, and if there is space, one combined hammock.

ferret is sleepingWhy do I that? Well, ferrets sleeping should happen in the dark through the entire day and night. With different hammocks, they can choose to sleep in the dark during the daytime too. It is very healthy for ferrets to be in the dark for about 12 hours a day during the winter. During the summer it is a shorter period, about 8 hours because the days are longer.

Now, why is that so healthy? Ferret’s reproductive cycle and daylight are connected. If your ferret is spayed/neutered its body will still react to the daylight and it will send reproductive hormones to the adrenal glands just like it is preparing to be in heat. When a ferret is sleeping in the light, the body notices the differences.  Their time for mating is in spring, so if they are constantly in the light, their body will think it is spring time – time for reproductive hormones to work hard which leads to overstimulating adrenal glands and eventually to adrenal disease.

Due to that, it is the best to keep your ferrets in the dark, especially during night time. They don’t need lights during the night.  It is always a good thing to give your ferret an option to sleep in the hammock in the dark, or even better, make a cover for the cage when you want to put your ferret in the dark. That way if you see that your ferrets are sleeping in the cage, you can easily cover the cage to remove them from the light.

It doesn’t matter where do ferrets sleep as long as it can sleep comfortably and safe. 🙂 Ferret sleeping occurs in most unbelievable positions. Imagine how tired you will be after a long day of playing and running. Hard ferret life indeed! 🙂


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Comment (1)

  1. David V. Amendola September 4, 2017 at 10:47 pm Reply

    Thank you for your input. I have my brothers ferrets for now. And after having them (two males), they love to sleep. Which I find funny.

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