Are Ferrets Nocturnal? Find The Answer Here

ferret in the woods by night

Ferrets are not nocturnal, even though they tend to sleep for so many hours. A domesticated ferret will spend most of the day asleep. They, however, wake up in intervals to feed and play. Well, in this article, I am going to answer all the questions you might be having about keeping a ferret.

When discussing the ferret sleep schedule, it can be challenging to keep up with. They do not have a particular sleeping schedule. A ferret will sleep soundly for a few hours and wake up for an hour or two before going back to sleep.

Below, I am going to walk you through a typical day for your ferret.

Ferret sleep schedule

Ferrets sleep for 18-20 hours a day. Wild black-footed ferrets will sleep for 22 hours at different intervals. Well, even when you spend the day at home, it can be challenging to follow up with your ferret’s sleeping schedule.

In most cases, you will find him asleep each time you go to check upon him. Sometimes your ferret will not wake up even when you touch or hold him. It is usual for them to fall dead asleep for a few hours literally.

The first time I have such an instant was scary. I mean, I was a beginner ferret owner and had no idea that ferrets could experience the dead sleep. I found him in his hammock, deep asleep and wouldn’t wake up no matter what I tried. Well, he eventually woke up at the vet’s office as I thought he was sick.

Well, do not get scared if your ferret does not seem to wake up. It will depend on his overall health, though. Some ferrets will sleep for longer hours because they are ill. Diseases such as insulinoma, which is common in ferrets, make them sleep for more than usual.

Do male ferrets sleep more than female ferrets?

Well, let me start by saying that a male ferret is called a Hob while a female is called a Jill. Now, the male ferret tends to be lazier and sleepier than the jill. So yes, the male ferret may tend to sleep for longer hours than the female.

Gender is not the only factor to consider here. Well, the age of your ferret is also a determinant. For instance, baby ferrets, customarily referred to as the kits, tend to sleep more than adult ferrets.

My ferret was about six months when I first brought him home. At that age, he would sleep for 20-22 hours per day. However, when he woke up, he would be so active until he fell asleep again. If under medication, ferrets might sleep for so long but will eventually wake up.

So, where do ferrets sleep?

We have been going on about ferret sleep, but where do ferrets sleep? Now that we have established ferrets are not entirely nocturnal, I suggest you find a quiet and safe place for him to sleep. But before we start talking about ferret beddings, I must warn you against leaving him loose in the house.

Even when you have ferret proofed the house, your ferret can still be destructive. Well, a ferret might be active right now but sleepy in the next. Should your ferret feel sleeping while outside the cage, he will make himself a comfortable nest?

Making the nest could mean digging into your couch, or hiding in your underwear drawers. Well, I suggest you keep him in the cage when you are away from home.

Let me just put it out there that ferrets will fall asleep just about anywhere. They prefer dark, quiet and comfortable places to sleep. He could hide away in the house, and it will take hours to find him, given that ferrets are relatively modest.

Well, getting back to where ferrets sleep, you will need to make a comfortable place for him. Get ferret beddings or blankets in his cage.

Are there ferret beds in the pet store?

To facilitate their comfort, we always study pet behavior in the wild. Ferrets, as with their wild cousins, weasels, would live and sleep in burrows. Other ferrets will sleep in tree hollows. Well, domesticated ferrets get to enjoy the pet comfort.

Yes, you can get a ferret bed from the pet store or else order one. Alternatively, you can make a ferret bed from an old T-shirt or sweatpants.

There are ferret litter beddings that can also work. You will, however, have to be careful when using litter as bedding. Refrain from using wood shavings as litter for your ferret. Not only will it absorb odor, which means you have to change it regularly, but it could also cause your ferret respiratory problems,

You may also purchase hammocks for your ferret. I prefer having several hammocks of different types. For instance, a closed hammock is perfect for cold weather. On the other hand, open hammocks are excellent for summer.

You might need to change the ferret beddings quite often. Well, this is to ensure that the beddings are dry, and also minimize any musky odors. Do not forget to change and clean your ferret’s linens every 2-3 days.

Can I adjust my ferret’s sleep schedule?

Owning a pet who sleeps most of the day can be a good thing. While ferrets are most active in the morning and evenings, you can reset his sleeping schedule. First of all, you will also have to play with your ferret every day.

Ferrets are always eager to hang out and play with you, as long as you are up to it. Therefore, you sure can be able to reset your ferret’s clock. You will notice that your ferret has started adjusting his schedule to yours.

Ensure that you spare at least 4 hours of your day to spend with your ferret. During this time, you should let him out of his cage. However, ensure that you have ferret-proofed your house before letting him out.

How do I keep my ferret entertained when I am away from home?

Now, whether you are spending the day at home or not, you have to keep your pet ferret occupied and entertained. The best way to do this is to purchase different toys for your ferret. This way, he can play every time he gets up from a nap.

What’s more? Toys are also going to assist you to play with your ferret. Some of the favorite toys for ferrets may include tubes and tunnels, plastic balls, stuffed animals, and dangling cat toys.

If you get him any toys with strings, only allow him to play with them under your supervision. Your ferret could strangle himself, which could also be fatal.

Alternatively, you can engage with your ferret by letting him chase you in a safe area of the house. They tend to enjoy this game more than anything. You may take your ferret out for a walk occasionally for a few minutes.


Ferrets are exciting pets. Rather than terming them nocturnal, I tend to think that ferrets are crepuscular. Quite active in the morning and evenings. They will sleep for so many hours, divided into several intervals.

When they are awake, ferrets will play with their toys, feed and probably go back to sleep. Did you know ferrets make excellent pets mainly if you have limited space in the house? Furthermore, they are incredibly independent as long as you provide food, water, and comfortable beddings.

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