It’s true that ferrets are a natural choice for many animal lovers when choosing a pet. If you have the time and energy to spare, then ferrets may be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. Ferrets are little balls of fun, spunk, and energy who will brighten up your life with their playful antics. But even ferrets have to sleep!
How do ferrets sleep? Ferrets are crepuscular creatures, which means they are awake around dawn and dusk. They sleep for an average of 16 hours during midday and night. Kits, however, sleep much more than adults, and males sleep more than females.
Keeping a ferret as a pet requires a lot of preparation. You will need to understand the needs and wants of your prospective companion. And, it’s best to get in touch with an exotic vet too. It helps to know that your ferret will have a complete medical check-up before it becomes a part of your household.
A ferret may demand more of your time when it’s awake, but when they sleep, they are out for a good number of hours. If you want to know all there is to know about a ferret’s sleep routine and how you can best accommodate them, read on to find out more.
How Much Sleep Do Ferrets Need?
According to animal experts, ferrets spend most of their lives sleeping. In the wild, ferrets sleep for 16 hours.
However, sleeping is never done in one long stretch. So, you will see your ferret playing for around an hour or so and then sleep, only to wake up and play some more.
The best part about keeping ferrets as pets is that they don’t do nighttime playtime. They prefer sleeping in a dark environment. And, the time to play or active time for these creatures is either dusk or dawn.
Why Do Ferrets Sleep So Much?
There’s no mystery behind the sleep routine of ferrets. They play hard, and they rest hard. It’s just the way they are, and you’ll find a significant difference in the sleeping patterns of baby ferrets, young ferrets and adult ferrets.
Kits sleep the most. Kits are baby ferrets who wake up only to eat and poop. But, a young ferret isn’t as easy as a baby ferret. Young ferrets are far more active, and you’ll have a task on your hand trying to put these mischievous creatures to bed.
Ferrets are inquisitive beings, and no one demonstrates that better than a juvenile ferret. Young ferrets are never up for sleep as they want to discover their surroundings. They love to get into, dig, and create a mess. But an adult ferret slows down considerably in comparison.
However, even adult ferrets enjoy their playtime. And, male ferrets sleep much more than female ferrets. So, it shouldn’t be shocking to find that your ferret is sleeping most of the time unless your ferret doesn’t show any signs of hunger when it is awake or isn’t active. But, they’ll take as much time to rest as well.
What Is Ferret Dead Sleep?
Ferret dead sleep is when a ferret is so fast asleep that it looks like it is dead. The fantastic part of ferret dead sleep is that you can hold your ferret, carry it around, and pet it to your heart’s content, and nothing will shake your ferret baby awake. Just be gentle with your fluffy friend!
Now, many ferret guardians freak out when they find their ferrets in their dead sleep. But, ferret dead sleep is an entirely normal phenomenon. And, before you panic, it’s best to check your ferret’s breathing. Your fur baby’s steady and regular breathing will tell you that you have no cause for concern.
Can Ferrets Sleep With You?
There isn’t a correct answer regarding your ferret sleeping in the same bed as you. But then you have to realize that ferrets can sleep for six hours in a go, and when they sleep, they pass out. You may end up squishing your ferret by accident when you roll over in bed.
Most exotic vets do not recommend allowing ferrets to sleep in the same bed as you. You see, ferrets enjoy sleeping in the dark and hidden areas. Putting it nicely, if you roll over onto your ferret in its dead sleep, there’s a strong chance it won’t wake back up.
Can Ferrets Share A Hammock?
They love sharing quarters with fellow ferrets. If you happen to have more than one ferret, you’ll find that they snuggle into the same hammock in a cage. And, yes, it’s best to keep a cage for your ferrets.
Ferrets do not mind sharing the same space. You can easily have two same-sex ferrets in a cage or a male and female together. Male ferrets seem to do better with each other than female ferrets. And, everything becomes more manageable if your ferrets are neutered/spayed.
There are always pet parents worrying over the proper diet or upkeep of their pets. If you are interested, you can read on to find answers to commonly asked questions to help relieve your puzzled mind.
What Are Ferrets Like?
Ferrets belong to the weasel family, or mustelid family. These are intelligent creatures with fantastic stamina. They love to play, and they do enjoy the company of friends.
Many vets claim that ferrets can be more challenging in their upkeep because they will demand more of your time. You will need to spend a decent amount of time every day to channel your ferret’s energy into positive avenues and let them get their wiggles out. They also need a lot of entertainment, enrichment, and playtime.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that your ferret will always carry a mild yet musky smell. You can’t bathe your ferret too often, as that dries up their skin and stimulates more funky-smelling oils to be released from the skin. But, you don’t have to worry that your ferret will stink up your home as long as you clean their enclosure regularly and keep them in a spot with good ventilation.
Unlike other animals, ferrets practice self-cleaning. And, they are very diligent about self-cleaning, much like your cat. They frequently clean themselves. Moreover, you can even feed your ferret premium cat food, as ferrets also require a protein-rich diet. However, they also need lots of fat and fiber.
And, similar to skunks, ferrets have anal sacs that release strong-smelling secretions. These animals rarely release any secretions unless they are in life-threatening situations.
And, another trait that ferrets share with cats is their ability to take long naps. These active creatures can sleep off for 20 hours. But they live relatively short lives as they live up to 5-7 years.
Is It OK To Have Just One Ferret?
Yes, it’s more than OK to have just one ferret as a pet. Ferrets are very playful and active when they aren’t sleeping. They love to dig, squeeze into corners, chew up things, and get into all kinds of trouble. So, if you adopt two fur babies together, you will have your hands quite full.
In most cases, ferrets do well with one another, but if your ferret isn’t neutered, then you may end up having fights between your pets. And that’s never easy to handle. It’s smarter to start with adopting one ferret and get into the groove of enjoying time with your pet before you consider adopting another.
But, you have to remember that ferrets are social animals. Hence, if you don’t have friends for your pet companion, you’ll have to spend more interactive playtime with your ferret. Moreover, ferrets will need more time out of their cage, too, when it’s on its own.
Should You Cover Your Ferret’s Cage At Night?
Ferrets like to sleep in dark and cozy environments. So, if you haven’t hung a tent in its cage or provided some kind of padded box or cave, then it would be best to cover the cage up when it sleeps. A dark environment will help them to sleep deeply and soundly without their sleep cycle being disturbed.
Do Ferrets Smell Foul?
Ferrets indeed have a strong musky smell. The scent glands in their skin release oils that prevent dryness and flakiness. But, these oils have an odor. However, all it takes from you is to provide your ferret with a proper diet, clean their cage regularly, and use pet-safe odor-eliminating wipes.
If you practice these important aspects of ferret care, then you shouldn’t experience too much of a bad smell. However, if your ferret still smells worse than usual, you may need to visit a vet to make sure they don’t have any underlying conditions and are eating the right diet.
Don’t think that regular bathing is going to solve your problem. The more you bathe your furry companion, the more it’s going to smell. It would be best to fully understand your fur baby’s needs before you try to resolve any problems.
Up Next: How Big Do Ferrets Get?