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How Long Do Ferrets Sleep?

How Long Do Ferrets Sleep

How long do ferrets sleep should be your first question if you plan on keeping them as a pet. It might surprise you, but ferrets sleep for around 16 to 18 hours a day! 

Don’t mistake your ferret for being dead or don’t get scared seeing your pet sleep a lot. Read on to find out more about the sleeping pattern of your furry ferret!

How Long Do Ferrets Sleep?

How Long Do Ferrets Sleep

Just like infants, ferrets tend to sleep a lot! They usually sleep 18 hours. However, they don’t sleep for 18 hours straight.

Ferrets tend to sleep for 5 to 6 hours and then wake up for 1 to 2 hours for playtime.

In the beginning, you can expect them to wake up every 2 to 4 hours. 

If you are the one with a full-time job and have low time on your hands, ferrets will be a perfect pet for you. They will sleep through the day and will be active usually during the dawn and dusk.

Which Factors Determine Their Sleep Pattern and Hours?

Several factors determine a ferret’s sleep pattern and hours as we have listed below:

1. Age

This can be considered as the key factor that affects a ferret’s sleeping habit.  A ferret can live for about 6 to 8 years. 

You can have a look at the table below to know more about your ferret’s age-wise sleeping duration:

Ferret’s Age Duration of Sleep 
0 to 1 year20 to 22 hours
1 to 2.5 years18 hours or more
2.5 to 4 years14 to 18 hours
4 to 8 years18 to 20 hours

Determine your ferret’s age using our extensive guide here.

2. Owner’s Lifestyle

A great thing about petting a ferret is that it can easily adapt to your lifestyle! Isn’t it great that you can form certain habits in your ferret? We just love this idea!

Want to make your ferret active? Play a lot with him and you will see how much he enjoys it! Once his playtime is over, your ferret’s energy will be exhausted and he will probably hit the bed quicker than you.

Want to just rest after a long day at work? Sleep and your ferret will accompany you.

3. Gender

Usually, a male ferret loves his sleep much more than a female ferret!

4. Seasonal Cycle

Ferrets tend to adapt to seasonal changes, just as we do. You may notice an increase in their sleeping with the onset of winter.

You should be careful in providing natural light to your ferret which will help him accustom to the weather changes.

For How Many Hours Can You Expect Your Ferret to Be Active?

As mentioned above, the activity level of a ferret depends on multiple factors. However, we suggest that you provide your ferret with at least 3 to 4 hours of playtime.

These 3 to 4 hours don’t have to be at a stretch. They can be divided into multiple playtime sessions throughout the day.

When active, ferrets tend to chew on a lot of things. Hence, you should provide them with toys that do not have any small parts that can be swallowed. You can get more information here.

What Do Ferrets Like to Sleep in? 

How Long Do Ferrets Sleep

Since ferrets love their sleep, deciding upon a sleeping place for them is no big task. However, proper care should be taken since ferrets when awake tend to create a mess. 

You definitely wouldn’t want to clean a mess after a good siesta or night’s sleep!

Below are few places that we recommend where your ferret would love to sleep:

1. Ferret Cage

A cage with proper space will work best for your ferret. You can also place a hammock inside the cage at a certain height. 

A hammock can help your ferret sleep comfortably. Moreover, as ferrets love to climb, a hammock can also work as a play area!

Our ferrets love the Niteangel Hanging Hammock which is super soft and cozy for them to snuggle in. It is also big enough to hold 2 ferrets.

Niteangel Hanging Hammock Nap Sack Swing Bag Pet Sleeper for Ferret Rat Sugar Glider and Other Small Animals (Blue, Star)

The cage should also have a dark place for your ferret to sleep. Take a look at the best cage options that we have reviewed here.

2. A Cozy Ferret Bedding

You can create bedding for your ferret with any soft material. Some suggestions from our end include using commonly available household items like a blanket or a towel.

However, you should regularly clean the bedding and proper hygiene must be maintained.

What Is Ferret’s “Dead Sleep”?

We absolutely love this term and how these little ferrets petrify their new owners! 

Ferrets are heavy sleepers. Sometimes they sleep so deeply, that no matter how much you try, they will not wake up. This is what the term “Dead Sleep” indicates.

You might be terrified and think that your ferret is dead, such is their sleep, calm and it’s like nothing that you do is waking them up. 

Try pinching them, shaking them up or thump on their chest, it does not affect the ferret. 

If you have had a ferret for quite some time now, you might be used to this behavior. But if you have just had a ferret, you might be horrified. 

Follow some quick checks below to ensure that your ferret is alright:

1. Monitor the Breathing

You will notice very shallow breathing if observed carefully. You can lay down the ferret on your shoulder to closely monitor his breathing.

All is well if he breathes fine, if not, you should go and see a vet.

2. Monitor the Number of Hours It Has Slept

You can expect deep sleep to be of around 20 hours.

If the ferret sleeps for more than 20 hours, then it may be abnormal especially if it has not woken up even to eat or drink.

A possible reason for your ferret sleeping longer might be a drop in the sugar level of your pet. A home remedy is to give him some honey. 

If the honey doesn’t work, you should immediately go to the vet.


Now that you are aware of how long do ferrets sleep, their sleeping patterns, and how easily they can adapt to your lifestyle, you can go ahead and have them as pets!

A quick little advice: do not get scared of their “dead sleep”, but also, keep a close watch for any signs of illness or severe health matter. 

Why Do Ferrets Sleep So Much?

Why Do Ferrets Sleep So Much?