Your Ferret's Sleeping Habit

It is a little known fact that koalas are the sleepiest animals in the world (22 hours per day), but the ferret is not far behind. Some domesticated ferrets sleep as much as 20 hours in a day while very active ones still manage to get 18 hours per day (talk about well rested). Usually a ferret sleeps in four-hour sessions, in between these naps is when you'll see your ferret using the bathroom, munching on goodies and roaming around your home looking for toys to hide.

Ferrets Are Literally Dead Asleep
Sometimes a sleeping ferret can give the owner quite a scare. A ferret that has entered in to the Ferret Dead Sleep (FDS) stage of sleep is nearly impossible to wake up. Many times owners bring their ferrets to a veterinarian's office because they believe their ferret has slipped in to a coma. Here are some tips from owners on how to check if your sleeping ferret is still healthy:

  • Check to see if your ferret's body is a normal warm temperature.
  • Put its nose up to your ear and listen for breathing (it may be shallow, but that's ok).
  • Check that its mouth is pink and moist.

When a ferret is ill, their bodies often feel cold and sickly. A sick ferret will also moan or drool and their bodies will feel stiff in your hands. In serious illnesses a ferret may start convulsing. However, a sleeping ferret is nothing to be concerned about.

The Perfect Bed for My Ferret
Ferrets will sleep anywhere. These narcoleptic creatures are not too picky about where they snooze, but they do need a personal area to eat and sleep. As a ferret owner, it is important to pick choose a set-up that works for you and your ferret. A specially designed ferret cage will have enough space to easily designate areas for beds, food dishes, a play room and a bathroom. Once your cage is designed, you should keep the layout. Ferrets have notoriously bad vision and you may just have a ferret using the bathroom in their food dish if you change it up on them.

By Sean Bowes
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