Can Ferrets See in The Dark5 min read

Ferrets are not nocturnal as many people think, but Ferrets are crepuscular. That means they are most active at dawn and dusk. So now you may wonder if ferrets have good eyesight? And are they particularly good at seeing at night?

The answer is no. They can not see in the dark. They are very good at seeing in low light conditions but not at night. They don’t have night vision!

But Wait! Don´t Ferrets Hunt at Night?

Well. First off. When you talk about wild ferrets, you should know that domesticated ferrets don´t hunt any more than your average house cat or dog would under normal circumstances.

Actually, there is only the Black-Footed Ferret that can be considered a true wild ferret. Our pet ferrets would have a hard time surviving in the wild.

Ferrets may hunt in lower light conditions- their other senses make more than up for their lack of sight.

Ferrets hunt by using smell and hearing to sense prey but not usually at night.

New Zealand

There is a wild ferret population in New Zealand. But they are hybrids and have been mixed with the European polecat.

They are doing so good at hunting – that New Zealand has declared the ferret an unwanted species!

Besides the Black-Footed Ferrets and the Hybrids Ferrets in New Zealand – no wild ferrets exist!

Do Ferrets Have Poor Eyesight?

Yes. Ferrets have poor eyesight but can see well enough when there is little light and closer range.

Ferrets are naturally short-sighted and any animal (or human) with this condition will have a hard time seeing at night.

Are Ferrets Color Blind?

Ferrets suffer from certain color blindness. It should be noted; ferrets are only able to see colors on the red and blue spectrums.

Ferrets are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active at dawn and dusk when the light is low.

Night-time ferret activity will depend on their surroundings. They may be nocturnal if living in a rural area or an urban environment with street lights.

If they live by themselves, then it’s likely that they’ll sleep for longer periods of time from sunset to sunrise because there isn’t as much going on during this “dead zone.”

Are Ferrets Nocturnal or Crepuscular Animals?

Ferrets are crepuscular animals who prefer low lighting conditions such as dusk and dawn.

Many people believe that ferrets are nocturnal because they can be active during dusk and dawn but these periods of activity only account for about 20% of the day.

Crepuscular = Most active at Dusk and Dawn.

No Time To Play?

brown ferret in front of white background

Ferrets will adapt to their humans! They will gladly play with you during day time too. It is all a question of ferrets is that they are adaptable.

If you keep their space lit up during the day and pay attention to when your ferret sleeps or plays best – it won’t take them long at all to adjust!

Ferrets do not see very well in night-light situations. They can, however, see quite well under normal lights during daytime hours if provided with a suitable habitat.

Are Ferrets Bothered By Bright Light?

Yes, they are. Just as us humans. Would you like to have someone turn a spotlight on you when it’s bright out?

And after all, they are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active during periods of rather dim daylight (dusk, dawn).

How common is night blindness in Ferrets?

Night Blindness (Nyctalopia) often is caused by retina problems. Ferrets are short-sighted. Any shortsighted person (in this case, animal) will have a hard time seeing at night.

Many people are under the impression that ferrets have nocturnal tendencies because of how active they can be during dusk and dawn.

This couldn’t be further from the truth – most ferrets sleep for up to 18-20 hours per day! Night vision doesn’t matter much if your sleeping schedule prevents any activity at night anyways!

What Is Tapetum Lucidum?

That’s Latin for “bright tapestry; coverlet”; plural: tapeta lucida)- It is a layer of tissue in the eye of many vertebrates.

Remember when you were taking pictures of your cat – and its eyes on the photo are literally glowing? This eyeshine is what Tapetum Lucidum is.

Light can be reflected through this tissue into the retina and then passed on to the cones and rods of the eyes.

This results in a slightly brighter yet blurrier image being registered by the brain. The ability to see at night in this manner is normally a major advantage to these animals.

Sadly, ferrets have poor eyesight in the dark due to additional factors, mainly their shortsightedness.

How Do Ferrets Make Up For Poor Eyesight?

They have excellent eyesight at short distances. And ferrets can use their acute sense of smell and hearing to make up for poor eyesight. Their other senses work together so much better than in humans!

Ferrets don’t need good vision to have a successful hunt at dusk or dawn- they just need those two nose whiskers on either side of their head, nose, and ears.


Can ferrets see in the dark? No. They can not. Ferrets are crepuscular, which means they hunt during dawn and dusk. They can see very well in low light conditions but not in total darkness.

Can ferrets see in the dark? No. They can not. Ferrets are crepuscular, which means they hunt during dawn and dusk. They can see very well in low light conditions but not in total darkness.

The Ferret’s Nose is a Sensitive Tool for Hunting – A ferret’s sense of smell and hearing are superior to ours, but their eyesight isn’t all that good.

Their other senses work together so much better than in humans! They rely heavily on their nose for hunting prey. It works especially well when tracking down live things because of its whiskers which help steer them in the right direction.

Leave a Comment