Which Animal Sleeps More: a Ferret or a Cat?

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Ferrets enjoy sleeping in groups in multiple-ferret households.
Ferrets enjoy sleeping in groups in multiple-ferret households. (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Both cats and ferrets enjoy sleeping for a majority of the day, but ferrets usually sleep slightly more than their feline counterparts. On average, cats sleep around 15 hours each day, while ferrets sleep around 18 hours. Each type of pet has similar sleeping patterns, in that each tends to nap for shorter periods of time, becoming very active between snoozes.

Cat Sleeping Behavior

While the average adult cat sleeps around 15 hours each day, older cats and young kittens may sleep up to 20 hours per day, according to PetMD. Cats don't sleep these hours consecutively, but rather tend to doze off for 30 minutes at a time. Between these light naps, your kitty will experience 5-minute periods of very deep sleep. Every few hours, the kitty will become active, getting up to eat, play and relieve himself for short periods of time before resting again. Cats are what is known as crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. Many indoor cats, though, will actually adjust their sleeping schedule to more closely match yours because they enjoy interacting with you.

Ferret Sleeping Behavior

The average adult ferret sleeps between 18 and 20 hours each day, according to the Ferret Information Rescue Shelter & Trust Society. Generally, ferrets sleep for longer periods of time than cats do. Similar to cats, though, they tend to wake at dawn and dusk for periods of activity that last for around two hours at a time. Ferrets also wake up every four hours for brief periods of time to eat, eliminate and play. When asleep, ferrets usually sleep very deeply and won't wake up, even if you try to rouse them, according to SmallAnimalChannel.com. Like cats, ferrets may adjust their schedules to sync with yours so they can spend time with you, states the American Ferret Association.

Sleeping Arrangements

Both cats and ferrets need comfortable spaces to sleep. Our feline friends tend to sleep anywhere, although they prefer soft, warm beds or blankets to snooze on. Ferrets, too, enjoy snuggling up in blankets or towels, but they tend to burrow under and within them. Both cats and ferrets should have a quiet place to sleep, away from heavy traffic and drafts in your home. Boxes filled with towels, blankets or clothing make ideal, inexpensive sleeping spaces for either a cat or a ferret. When selecting items to place into a comfy sleeping box, avoid those with loose buttons, strings or other items that a cat or ferret could ingest.

Considerations

Changes in sleeping habits for either your cat or ferret can indicate a health issue. If you notice your furry buddy sleeping more or less than usual, bring him into the vet for a checkup to rule out a medical problem. If your ferret or kitty is waking you up early, try engaging him in play to tire him out before bed so he sleeps later. Give your ferret a hammock or sleep sack in his enclosure and give him a comfy sleeping box outside of it. If you have more than one ferret, give them a large sleeping area because they enjoy sleeping together. Give multiple cats each their own beds.

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