Hedgehog cage

Cage essentials for hedgehog

Whether you are a new owner or need help building a hedgehog house, you have come to the right place.

In this guide, I will touch on how you can set up a hedgehog home step by step.

You will also understand the pros and cons of different types of hedgehog housing. From pet cages to homemade DIY homes that can be used indoors for your pet or outdoors as a hibernation chamber for wild hedgehogs.

So if you want to find out what cages or homes you should be getting or making, read on!

Contents

Essential #1: Choice of housing

Here we want to compare all types of housing to give you a neutral unbiased view.

There are many types of housing for hedgehogs. Some are meant only for domestic hedgehog, while some can be used for wild hedgehogs too.

Let us see which housing is the best for you:

Commercial pet cages

hedgehog commercial pet cages from pet stores

Commercial pet cages from pet stores.

Pet cages are one of the best homes for your pet hedgehog. They are easy to set up, manage and clean as well.

Advantages of using pet cages

  • Easy to clean
  • Secure – Don’t have to worry about your hedgehogs escaping
  • Wired cages also provide good ventilation
  • Pet cage with a solid tray as a base allows the use of the substrate for hedgehogs to burrow under.

Disadvantages of using pet cages

  • Can be costly
  • Things to take note when getting commercial pet cages

Cage size

Despite hedgehogs small petite size, they can be really active at night. So giving them more space to roam around is always good.

The cage or container size should be between 2 to 4 feet (24 to 48 inches) long and at least 1 to 2 feet (12 to 24 inches) wide.

That said if you can afford something bigger than that please do it. The bigger the better.

Hazards and precautions

  • Make sure the cage you choose has a solid tray base instead of a wire base. This prevents the hedgehog’s legs from getting stuck between the wire base.
  • Avoid cages with a ramp leading to the 2nd storey. If you do, please secure all the ledges with a fence or something to stop your hedgehog from falling off the ledge and injuring themselves.
  • Make sure cage wire bars are closely spaced. Sometimes hedgehog might attempt to squeeze through them and get stuck if the wire cage bars are too wide.
  • Also, be sure to cover the top of your cage to prevent hedgehog from climbing out of the cage.

So what type of cages is suitable for my hedgehogs?

You can use a rabbit cage or guinea pig cage as they are pretty much the same. Just take note of the hazards listed above before buying them.

Make sure you only go for cages with a solid base to avoid your hedgehog’s legs from getting trapped. One of them would be this 6 1/4 inch deep tube base pet cage that provides ample space for a running wheel. Or the #1 bestseller guinea pig cage on Amazon will be another great choice. Both cages provide more than enough space for 1 hedgehog.

Another alternative for cages that majority of hedgehog owners are using is undoubtedly the C&C cages aka Cubes and Coroplast Cages. It is considered as a cage and playpen at the same time. Find more information on the playpen in the next section below.

Playpen

small hedgehog playpen

The playpen is the next best alternative for a hedgehog enclosure. The playpen is great for its versatility and space.

Advantages of using a playpen

  • Flexible and versatile – adjust to the space you want
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to store and require less space

Disadvantages of using a playpen

  • Some playpen has wider bars in their fence. Can be hazardous to hedgehogs if they attempt to squeeze through it.
  • Using common hedgehog substrates like Aspen and Carefresh may dirty your floor. However, you could use other replacement such as a blanket or mat. Note that using a blanket or mat, your hedgehog will not be able to burrow.

Hazards and precautions

  • Make sure fence is high enough to prevent hedgehog from escaping
  • Also, ensure wire bars of the fences are small to prevent hedgehog to get stuck.

The playpen is versatile and easy to set up. If you have the luxury of space or if space is your priority for your hedgehog home then the playpen is a rather good choice.

If you are going to purchase a playpen, there are some really good options from Amazon. You can go for this non-toxic pet safe powder-coated steel mesh playpen or check out this popular transparent C&C cage where you can customize your own playpen size.

Aquarium

Aquarium hedgehog cage

Aquariums are often used for reptiles or aquatic animals. However, they do provide good housing for hedgehogs too.

But they can be quite costly. Minimally, you will need a 20-gallon tank. Which in my opinion is not big enough for your hedgehog.

Before you decide to skip the aquarium completely, let’s take a look at some of its pros and cons:

Advantages of using an aquarium

  • Aesthetically beautiful – easy to see through and a better view of your hedgehog
  • Doesn’t look like a jail cell compared to a cage.
  • Does not have wire bar fence so hedgehogs do not get stuck
  • No wire bar fence also means no climbing so no need to worry about them climbing out.
  • The enclosure allows the use of the substrate for burrowing

Disadvantages of using an aquarium

  • Very expensive if you are going for a larger sized aquarium
  • Poorer ventilation. The buildup of ammonia from hedgehog waste can stink up the whole tank
  • Heavy and more difficult to clean as the base cannot be detached
  • Hedgehog may rub their face against the glass as it is transparent. There are instances where they got injured because of that.

Hazards and precautions

Make sure to pad the inside of your tank with cardboard or something softer. This prevents face rubbing against the glass

Aquarium definitely looks way better than many other types of housing but they come at a higher cost and maintenance. So if aesthetics is what you prefer, the aquarium definitely is something for you.

So if you plan to use the aquarium tank as your hedgehog home, you can consider going for a 20-gallon aquarium tank that provides enough space for your hedgehog to move around. Also, make sure to get a proper screen lid cover instead of a solid cover to provide more ventilation. Alternatively, don’t use any cover at all.

Cardboard cage DIY house

cardboard hedgehog house

Cardboard home for hedgehog is practically free. Just use any leftover cardboards from parcels or wine bottles and tape to create a nice space for your hedgehog.

Advantages of using a DIY cardboard home

  • Environment-friendly since you are reusing cardboards
  • Lightweight
  • Free of charge – super cost-efficient method
  • Can be used outdoors for wild hedgehogs to hibernate in
  • Allow the use of the substrate for burrowing

Disadvantages of using a DIY cardboard home

  • Hedgehog waste can get soaked into the cardboard making it smell terrible.
  • Poorer air ventilation will cause ammonia to build up
  • Might be difficult to clean. The only way is to change the whole thing.
  • Cardboard attracts pest like cockroaches, spiders, silverfish and many more.
  • Require time and effort to build it
  • Difficult to place a water bottle for drinking. You have to use a feeding dish instead

Hazards and precautions

Make sure cardboard walls at the sides are at least 14” or higher to prevent hedgehog from climbing out. They can injure themselves.

If you have the time to DIY your own home, cardboard housing is a really suitable cheap alternative for your hedgehog. They can be crafted easily to your preferred size and shape. You can also use cardboard housing to help wild hedgehog with its hibernation.

How to make a hedgehog home using cardboard step by step

Items required:

  • Scissors or box cutter
  • Tape
  • Gloves
  • Cardboard can be from a shoe box, wine bottle box, or just cardboard.

Step 1: Cut an entrance – approximately 14 to 15 inches should be fine.

Step 2: Use leftover cardboard to create a tunnel.

Step 3: Using the size of the tunnel cut out holes to fit the tunnel.

Step 4: Tape them together.

Step 5: Add in hedgehog substrate or bedding.

DIY Plastic container

hedgehog plastic cage

Large plastic containers are another great way to DIY your hedgehogs home. They can be used for domestic hedgehogs or for hedgehogs in the wild too.

Advantages of using a plastic container home

  • Environment-friendly since you are reusing the plastic container
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Free of charge. Cost efficient
  • Allow the use of the substrate for burrowing

Disadvantages of using a plastic container home

  • Drilling is required for air ventilation
  • Difficult to place a water bottle for drinking. You have to use a feeding dish instead or attached a holder to the plastic container.

Hazards and precautions

Make sure plastic container is at least 14” or higher if you are not using a lid. This is to prevent the hedgehog from climbing out and injuring themselves.

How to make hedgehog home with plastic container step by step

Items required:

  • Drill
  • Soldering iron
  • Gloves
  • Large plastic container

Step 1: Drill holes into plastic container cover or sides for ventilation.

Step 2: Position the water bottle on the side of the plastic container at the height you want and create a marking for the water tube to go through.

Step 3: Water bottle should come with a bracket. So you need to do another marking for the screw to hold the bracket.

Step 4: Using soldering iron, melt a hole at for the water tube valve and drill a small hole for the screw that holds the bracket.

Step 5: Attach the bracket with the screw.

Step 6: Finally, attach the bottle on the bracket and drinking tube through the hole you just made.

Which housing is the best for hedgehogs?

There is really no best option. All 4 containers type has their pros and cons. It really depends on your preference and what materials are available to you.

What are your priorities? Is it the aesthetics or the ease of cleaning? Or maybe cost is your priority? So ask yourselves some of these questions to better make the decision on housing.

You don’t have to make a decision now too. Read on to see what are the other essentials for a hedgehog home become you conclude what housing best suit your hedgehog.

Let’s go on to essential #2 for a step by step guide in setting up the housing for your hedgehogs.

Essential #2: Hedgehog cage positioning

Now that you are done with cages, you might be wondering… Where to put the hedgehog house?

Hedgehog should stay in temperatures between 74°F – 78°F (approximately 23°C to 25°C). So it is important not to set their cage or housing anywhere near air conditioning or heaters where temperatures can change drastically to hot or cold.

It is best to position them in the corner of the room or basement away from the window but yet still able to experience day and night. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, it is good for them to know when is night and daytime to wake up and sleep accordingly.

For hedgehog in the wild, you might want to place their homes somewhere in the outdoors under a shade.

Essential #3: Hedgehog bedding and substrate

Bedding and substrate are what you use at the bottom of the cage. This is where your hedgehog’s feet and body come in contact with almost every day. So if they are sensitive to the bedding, there is going to be a real problem later.

Here, we look at some of the recommended hedgehog bedding that is safe for hedgehogs

Fabric type bedding

Fabric liners like fleece, towels, and pillows are all popular examples of fabric type bedding or substrate.

Most people use them because they are easy to clean and are loved by most hedgehogs.

Advantages of using fabric types as bedding

  • Get choice for owners who are allergic to wood shavings and hedgehog that are more sensitive to dust.
  • The fabric liner is mostly soft and comfortable. So there won’t be any problems with abrasions or related injuries.
  • Pillow also help to absorb the fall if your hedgehog happens to fall from a higher level. (This is for those with the 2nd level in their cage)
  • Easily reusable by washing.
  • Lower cost since it is reusable.
  • Not messy like wood or paper shavings
  • Lower the chances to harbor mites
  • Light color fabrics also allow you to see the color of hedgehog poop clearly

Disadvantages of using fabric types as bedding

  • Some fabric material may have loose threads or small fiber sticking out. Hedgehog toes are tiny, they may get entangled with loose threads resulting in injuries.
  • Regardless of which type of fabric material you use, they must be changed once every few days to a week.
  • This is especially if your hedgehog is not “litter box trained” (potty trained). Fabric will soak in their pee and feces causing bad smell and bacteria build up.
  • Hedgehog love to burrow. They won’t be able to burrow under some fabric. Or even if they do, they will make a mess, shifting the fabric around leaving the bottom of the cage exposed.
  • Fabric can cause accessories within the cage to shift, topple or move. This includes your water and food dish.

What are some examples of fabric bedding?

Vellux blanket

fabric liners for hedgehog

They can be easily bought in stores or online. Comes in a large piece so you can cut them up into smaller sizes that fit your cage.

These blankets are quite sturdy and do not change shape even after numerous washing. They can also withstand scratching from hedgehogs.

Do not use bleach on the vellux blanket as it can destroy the fabric.

You can check out some recommended options for vellux blanket types on Amazon here. Just try getting one of the cheaper ones first and feel it for yourself how comfortable it can be before getting more.

Fleece pouch, blanket or bed

hedgehog fleece bag

Fleece is a low-cost material that can last really long. Similarly to vellux, fleece should not be bleached or they will break down.

If you prefer fleece, here are some affordable fleece blankets for pets. You can also check out this amazing fabric liner from Amazon that comes with a pocket sleeve for burrowing.

Or alternatively, take a look at this stylish fleece bed for hedgehog from Etsy below. Doesn’t it look all comfortable and cozy?

hedgehog fleece bed

Stylish hedgehog bed from Etsy

However, if you are on a tighter budget, you can still pamper your hedgehog with a warm and cozy fleece bed that is a more affordable option featured in Amazon.

Crib bumpers/liners or thin pillow

This crib liners or bumpers are used for babies. They are easily available and are also not too expensive. They provide hedgehog protection as they are soft and can also absorb impact.

Precautions and solutions for using fabric types

  • The fabric might appear to be neater compared to shavings, but they have to be washed frequently.
  • So if you are planning to use fabric, prepare at least 6 to 7 spare liners or towels to ensure there is enough as a replacement while the dirty ones are still in the wash
  • Base fabric can shift if hedgehog attempts to burrow under it. To solve this you can consider the following:
  • Tie down the base fabric to prevent it from shifting much
  • Anchor down accessories with velcro
  • Add in other extra items to burrow or snuggle so that they are less likely to burrow under the base fabric.
  • Avoid fabric that produces loose threads or small fibers that will entangle of their foot.
  • Best to use light colored fabric so that you can see changes to your hedgehog urine and stool colors
  • You may also want to use detergent for sensitive skin to reduce the chances of skin irritation
  • You can also use an absorbent layer under your fleece liners to reduce bad odor.

Crib bumpers are another cheap and effective form of protection for hedgehogs. Take a look at some crib bumper pad options here.

Wood type bedding

Wood type substrate is great for the hedgehog to burrow under. Using wood shavings allows them to feel all cozy and warm under.

But the main reason for using wood type bedding is to remove odor. As wood bedding are all great absorbents, they are able to draw moisture out of feces and urine thus eliminating odor.

With all that said, they have also been up for debate in recent years on whether they are safe for hedgehogs or are toxic to them.

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of wood type bedding:

Advantages of using wood shavings

  • Easily accessible
  • Allows burrowing
  • Absorb urine hence lesser smell.

Disadvantages of using wood shavings

  • Shavings have to be replaced weekly. It might be cheap to buy it once but as it needs to be replaced often, it is not as cheap compared to other bedding options
  • Wood shavings can cause a mess
  • Shavings like cedar can be toxic to hedgehog
  • Shaving dust cause respiratory problems
  • Chances of mites infestation

Wood shavings may have certain disadvantages but not all wood shavings are bad for hedgehogs. Let’s explore all the various wood type beddings to see which are ones to best avoid and those that are suitable for use.

Pine or cedar shavings

pine and cedar shavings

Pine and cedar shavings are one of the most common material as a substrate for many animals. Hence they can be found easily at any pet shop or online. They are also not expensive either so they make a really great option for many owners.

But here’s the deal

  • Shavings are dusty – They can cause respiratory problems
  • Cedar shavings contain plicatic acid
  • Pine shavings contain abietic acid when not cured

If you were to ask me, I will strongly advise you to avoid using any of these wood shavings. Especially cedar shavings, they are an absolute NO.

You can still use pine shavings as the last resort when there is nothing else to use. But that is unlikely as there are so many other options.

Aspen Shavings

aspen shavings

Aspen is the only wood shavings that are safe for hedgehogs. They are also finer than pine or cedar shavings.

Advantages of aspen

  • Inexpensive
  • Easily available in pet shops and online
  • Able to absorb urine like other wood shavings

Disadvantages of aspen

  • Dusty – dust is also sticky. Can stick onto blankets etc
  • Can be messy
  • Rougher texture – a small chance of injuring hedgehog eyes
  • A weaker absorbent of waste hence will be more stinky compared to other wood shavings
  • Chances of mites infestation

Based on the pros and cons of aspen, they are a good replacement of cedar shavings. However, I still personally won’t recommend them as their texture are often coarse. If it gets into your hedgehog’s eyes, it is going to post a real problem.

Pelleted Wood Bedding

wood pellet for hedgehog litter area

Common wood pellet beddings are pine horse bedding or pelleted pine kitty litter. These 2 are most suitable for hedgehogs.

There is also pelleted aspen that is another widely used choice. These wood bedding are not exactly shavings but more like pallets. So they are less dusty and cause no respiratory problems for hedgehogs

Advantages of pelleted wood bedding:

  • Absorb moisture hence little to no smell from hedgehog waste
  • Easier to clean compared to shavings. Using pellets allow you to spot clean.
  • They are not sticky like pine and cedar shavings so they are unlikely going to stick on your hedgehog skin

Disadvantages of pelleted wood bedding:

  • Hedgehog may eat the pellets resulting in serious impaction.
  • Pellets will break down into dust after a while. So it might get messy after a while.
  • If hedgehog feet is too tiny, it can be hard for them to walk on.
  • Chances of mites infestation.

My Thoughts?

Personally, I am not a fan of wood substrate. They get messy and tend to be more hazard-prone to hedgehogs. I don’t know about you but I am sure not going to take any chances on them just because of the smell.

What do you think? Do you prefer wood?

If you do, the only few wood substrates that are commonly used by hedgehog owners are the Kaytee soft granule blend bedding made from wood fibers or the Care Fresh complete natural bedding that you can get both from Amazon.

But before you make a decision let’s look at the next bedding type…

Paper type bedding

Paper type bedding is one of the top options for many owners as they are somewhat similar to wood bedding but without the dust and mites.

There are several brands and paper bedding types. Let’s check them out individually:

Fluffy paper types aka CareFresh

carefresh paper bedding for hedgehogs

There are several brands for fluffy paper type substrates. Carefresh is one of the recommended brands among many hedgehog veterans.

Advantages of Carefresh

  • They are made out of wood pulp hence they are light and fluffy. Think cotton but slightly harder.
  • Very absorbent hence reduces odor.
  • Do not break down when it is wet.
  • Produces little dust compared to wood shavings. But note that the more hedgehog burrows or roll in around in the substrate the more paper dust it will produce.
  • Comes in many colors – Recommended to go for lighter colors to be able to check for any abnormality in urine and stools.

Disadvantages of Carefresh

  • Hedgehog may eat the bedding. And when it gets wet in the stomach, the paper will expand potentially causing impaction within.
  • There is a chance for pieces of Carefresh to fall out of cage or housing so some cleaning up is required.
    Not odor free. Cleaning is still required every 2 to 3 days.

There are 2 paper bedding that is commonly used for hedgehog cages. They are the Care Fresh natural paper bedding or Kaytee clean and cosy paper shavings. Both shavings are made of natural ingredients and provide a soft texture that is 100% safe for your pet. Most importantly both of them are great odor absorbent bedding.

Pelleted Newspaper bedding

newspaper pellet bedding

Some example brands of pelleted newspaper include Purina yesterday’s news and second nature dog litter. Such pellet bedding is usually used in the litter area as they are great absorbent of smell and moisture. These pelleted products are made from recycled newspaper. So they are not toxic.

Advantages of pelleted newspaper

  • Environmentally friendly as most of them are recycled paper
  • Reduce smell as they absorb moisture
  • Easily available

Disadvantages of pelleted newspaper

  • Hedgehog may ingest them and when mixed with water they expand causing impaction
  • Most of them are dark in color. You will not be able to differentiate between pellets and poop.

Final thoughts on bedding?

Out of all 3 types of bedding, I strongly recommend going for fabric type bedding or at least the paper ones. Avoid wood ones totally. They are definitely not worth it. Paper ones can be equally as good absorbents.

I recommend that you can choose between Carefresh paper bedding or fleece fabric liner or blankets. Carefresh lowers the intensity of the odor while the fleece and vellux blanket are really easy to clean and replace. So ultimately it is up to your preferences and priorities.

So what bedding will you prefer? While you are deciding on one, let’s move onto the next section on accessories.

Essential #4: Food and water accessories

Food and water are the main essentials for any pet. Hedgehogs are no exception. So this section, let us explore how to set up food and water stations for your pet hedgehogs.

Food station accessories

Food station should be placed away from the litter box. You will also require 2 bowls: 1 for soft food and the other for hard food.

Here are some pro tips for food bowls:

  • Use a heavier bowl – to weight down so that they are not easily toppled.
  • You should use a dish or bowl that is at least 4 inches.
  • It should also be slightly tall so that bedding does not go into the food bowl.
  • You can also set the bowl slightly higher on top of another accessory. This also provides additional exercise for hedgehogs to reach out to their food.
  • You can glue your bowl or dish down onto a flat surface like a tile to prevent it from toppling.

Food bowls that are suitable to use:

Crock bowls for pets

crock bowl for pets

Crocks are earthenware pots used for cooking. There are also smaller ones that are meant for pets. They look like saucers that restaurants will use to hold sauces for food.

Choose ones that are heavy and a wider base so that they do not topple so easily.

So what sizes of crocks are most suitable?

You can use 2 ½ inches to 3 inches size crocks for juveniles and baby hedgies. 4 inches ones for adult hedgehogs will be just nice.

Lastly here are some precautions when using crocks:

  • Make sure to check crocks for cracks or chipped edges. You don’t want your hedgehogs to get cut.
  • Glue crocks to the base of anything that is heavy to prevent toppling or shifting of the food bowl.
  • Always sterilize bowls before using

You can get 3-inch crock bowl here from Amazon. Or if you need something slightly larger, here is a 4-inch crock bowl for sale.

Reptile dishes

reptile dish for pets

Reptile dishes are great alternatives to crock bowls. The reason is that reptile bowls have a wide and low base. Makes it easy for hedgehogs to eat or drink from, while it’s low center prevents it from toppling.

The downside for using reptile dish:

  • With its low base, bedding might get mixed into the bowl, increasing the chance of your hedgehog unintentionally eat them up.
  • Since it is easy to climb in, a hedgehog might mistake the food bowl as a litter box.
  • Might be more difficult to clean
  • Can also be costly

Similarly, if you are going for reptile dishes, use those with a low base to prevent toppling over. Here is a cheap reptile dish with a good wide and low stable base.

Coop cups for birds

coop cup for birds

Coop cups are usually used for birds and rabbits. They can be attached to the side of any wire cage as they come with brackets. They are quite similar to the water bottle that is used in pet cages.

Usually, the set up for coop cups in hedgehog cage is to place bowls higher to prevent bedding from getting mixed into the food bowl. This also encourages hedgehogs to exercise while eating since they have to reach up to get food.

This action, however, encourages climbing which is not something we want. Once they are exposed to climbing behavior, they will start to climb often.

We do not want that to happen as it will cause injuries from falling. Their feet are also not made for climbing.

But if you are able to place them at the right height for your hedgehog to drink from without climbing too high then using the coop cup will be fine. Here is a good and affordable coop cup you can get from Amazon.

Water station accessories

Water keeps hedgehog hydrated. It is a vital part of their diet. You can choose to use a water dish or water bottle to hold water for drinking.

Let’s look at their pros and cons individually before you make a decision:

Water bottle dispenser

water bottle for pets

The water bottle is usually hung outside of the cage or plastic container where there is a tube that acts like a straw to channel water into the cage. Just like a tap, hedgehogs can drink directly from the bottle’s tube.

Advantages of using a water bottle

  • Less maintenance and cleaning
  • Less messy
  • More floor space
  • Syringe or tube fed hedgehog seems to prefer bottle more

Disadvantages of using a water bottle

  • There are hedgehogs that hurt their teeth or mouth drinking from bottles.
  • Some hedgehogs might find it intimidating so they won’t drink from it.
  • Water bottle must be checked frequently to make sure it is working. As there are instances where food or bedding got stuck in the tubing of water bottles.

For bottles, you should only look at no drip, leak-proof ones from Amazon and nothing less.

Water dish

hedgehog water dish

Water dish or bowls are the simplest way to provide water to your hedgehogs. All you need is a bowl of a suitable height and hedgehogs will start drinking from there.

Advantages of using a water dish

  • Easy to clean
  • Less of a hazard to their teeth and mouth
  • Cheap

Disadvantages of using a water dish

  • Water from the dish can spill or topple causing the area around it to become wet. Hedgehog may get drenched and feel cold in the night.
  • Does not hold a lot of water
  • Refills or water change have to be done often depends on the size of the bowl
  • Harder to monitor if hedgehog drank or not

If you prefer to use a feeding bowl for water, it will be a good idea to get a bowl with a flat and stable base on Amazon here as a lower base will lower the chances of toppling and spilling over.

So which do you think is better? Water bottle or water dish?

Well… that really depends on your hedgehogs. Some hedgehogs do not like bottles at all, they don’t even go near them while others seem totally fine with them.

Both methods have their pros and cons so at the end of the day there really isn’t anyone method better than the other. The important thing is to make sure you monitor whether your hedgehogs are actually drinking enough from their dish or bottle.

Do check out the water section of our hedgehog food guide if you still can’t make up your mind between water bottle or dish.

Quick note, if you prefer bottles, you can also check with the breeder if the hedgehogs are water bottle trained before buying one.

So that is all for food and water stations. Let’s move onto the next topic of setting up their litter area.

Essential #5: Setting up a litter pan or box

The litter pan or area is a designated area for the hedgehog to do their “big” and “small” businesses.

You will have to train them to do it. There ways to encourage them to use the litter areas but most of the time they require training and conditioning.

There is some hedgehog that requires little coaxing before they start using the litter pan while some take years and still do not attempt to use it.

Nonetheless, we should still set up some space in a cage or containers for littering.

Here are some pro tips for setting up your litter pan:

  • Easy access – Litter pan or box opening should be low enough for the hedgehog to climb in fully.
  • Spacious – It should also have space for them to move around in it.
  • To encourage hedgehogs to use litter pan and box, start off by collecting some of their feces and place them in the litter area.
  • You should also use a different substrate in your litter area than the rest of the cage.
  • You can choose paper substrates from the above options

Essential #6: Hideouts

Hideouts are important for a hedgehog. They like to curl up in warm and cozy places so you will need a hideout for them to burrow into.

What makes a good hideout?

  • It should be dark
  • It should have enough space for the hedgehog to move and turn about or go in and out.
  • Best to have a tunnel entrance and exit where they can burrow into

Examples of good hideouts:

Fleece bag or snuggle sack

snuggle bag hideout

A fleece bag or sack can act as a sleeping bag for the hedgehog to snuggle and sleep in. They are warm and really nice to touch. Bags should have an opening large enough for the hedgehog to get in and out.

Precautions on fleece bags

Hedgehog does urine and poop in the bags too so always get more spares in case the other bags are in the wash.
You might as want to check for loose threads or fibers as they can entangle your hedgehog feet causing injuries.

Alternatively, you can also use a fleece cloth or blanket. Some hedgehogs prefer to go under the cloth like a blanket instead.

But if you are looking for fleece bags, here is a fleece bag that can really keep your hedgehog warm and cozy.

PVC pipes

pvc pipe

A cheap and effective substitute for sleep bags. PVC pipes can be a great burrowing accessory for your hedgehog.

PVC pipes can also be used as tunnels to connect them from one container to the next. A good way is to compartmentalize their housing into a few areas using PVC pipes to connect from one room to the other.

You want to get a PVC pipe that is at least 4 inches wide in diameter. This provides sufficient space for them to burrow into the pipe without getting stuck.

Igloos

igloo house for hedgehog

The 3rd option in line is a toy igloo. Made of plastic, the igloo can be a good substitute hideout that is easy to clean and wash. It goes really well if you are using paper type substrate.

In some cases, the hedgehog may drag a fleece bag into the igloo to lie or snuggle in. This gives them extra warmth and security.

Igloos you choose should also come with a mini tunnel as hedgehog loves burrowing into those tunnels.

Here is a cute plastic igloo house for hedgehogs that are commonly used by many pet owners.

Plush cushion cotton cave bed

cotton bed for hedgehog

As hedgehogs love to burrow into cozy places, getting a plush cozy cotton cave bed is also a great alternative hideout. They provide a warm, comfy “sleep and hide” compartment that hedgehog loves.

However, sometimes hedgehogs can pee and poo in their caves. However, the great thing about these plush cave beds is that they are removable with a zipper and is easy to wash.

Here are some plush cave bed options that are popular.

Plush Tunnel Cave

plush tunnel cave

Speaking of burrowing, what could give hedgehogs the best pleasure of burrowing other than tunnels! Yes, this is an upgrade from PVC piping. T-shape tunnel with cotton plush as inner material allows hedgehogs or any other small pets to dig deep and sleep within.

Although this type of tunnels can be easily washed but it might not be easy to clean them thoroughly as you can’t flip them from inside out.

If you like to pamper your pet hedgehogs, you can find these plush tunnel caves with different shapes and sizes here.

DIY cardboard

Cardboard is the cheapest alternative that you can find around. They are lightweight and are easy to dispose off once they are dirty. Then just create a new one.

Cardboard like wine or shoe boxes can be customized to whatever shape or size you like. They work very well with substrates and fleece. Just throw a fleece underneath and you will see your hedgehog burrowing into the cupboard for their nap.

But just so you know, the hedgehog may urinate or poop in the cardboard. So you maybe have to lift it up to see once a while and change them when necessary.

So many options what to choose?

Now, these are the 4 commons hideouts most owners use. There are plenty more. You can always head over to Amazon or Etsy to find more varieties of hedgehog hideouts.

For me, I prefer to use a fleece sack as you can take them out of their cage while they are asleep and have some bonding time with them while they are in the bag.

So every hideout their own pros and cons. You might want to try them all out too as they are not expensive.

Essential #7: Toys and exercise accessories

Hedgehogs really love to have fun. Throw in some toys for them to play is a great way to keep them fit. So let’s take a look at some toys and exercise options

Exercise wheel

Hedgehog love running on wheels. You will find them running on wheels in the middle of the night. The active ones can run miles on the wheel in one night.

Wheels you want to get should be the largest wheel size. You want them to measure between 11 to 12 inches in diameter and between 5 to 6 inches in running width.

You will also need at least 16 inches of height space in your cage or container to fit the wheel in.

Here are some examples of running wheels:

Bucket wheel

bucket wheel

These wheels are durable and easy to set up. You can even DIY on your own. They do not use spinning bars or axies hence lower noise.

Advantages of using a bucket wheel

  • Very durable
  • Easy to set up and clean
  • Make less noise compared to other wheels

Disadvantages of using a bucket wheel

  • Not easy to get
  • Priced between 20 to 30 dollars

Bucket-wheel is my personal favorite. I am using one of those myself. The noise produced from the bucket wheel is really softer compared to previous wheels I was using.

Here is an example bucket wheel that is suitable for small pets.

Comfort wheels

These wheels are similar to bucket wheels except their pin is made of plastic and they may break easily after several uses.

But what is so great about the comfort wheel is that their treads provide traction for hedgehogs to run on so they tend to prefer comfort wheel more than bucket wheels.

You can check out the best seller for comfort wheel here at Amazon.

Wodent wheels

These wheels provide hedgehog privacy while they exercise. And you know how hedgehogs love their privacy. Put these wheels side by side and your hedgehog will choose the wodent wheel over other wheels any day.

The downside?

They may start treating the wheel as their permanent litter box. Also, they can be pretty difficult to clean as you have to dismantle the wheel in order to clean its interior.

Here are some suitable options for wodent wheels.

Wire mesh wheels

wire mesh wheel

These are metal wheels that are made of metal mesh. They are definitely more durable but the gaps between wire mesh can potentially hurt your hedgehog if their tiny feet gets trapped.

So word of advice, use a solid bottom wheel like the ones above instead of wire mesh ones. Even when gaps are small, your hedgehog nails can still get stuck.

If you are planning to still go for wire mesh types, do go for wire mesh wheels with smaller gaps like this.

Toilet paper tubes

hedgehog playing toilet roll

This is one of the most widely use toys and are hedgehogs all time favorite. They love squeezing their heads into toilet paper tubes but sometimes they squeeze their heads in so hard that they get stuck.

To solve this problem, cut the tubes so that they are shorter. A good gauge is to cut it in half. This way even if they get stuck they can still breathe. And coming out from a half tube is must easier.

Critter exercise balls

Critter exercise balls

These critter exercise balls are a great way to protect a hedgehog while they are exploring their surroundings while giving them good exercise.

You can get a critter exercise ball of about between 12 to 13 inches. That is more than enough space for them to safely run within it.

But here’s the deal

Some hedgehog might not use them. On top of that hedgehog may poop while they run. It can cause them to drench themselves in their own poop.

The ball also does not provide good ventilation and the slits or tiny opening on the ball can rip off hedgehogs nails if they get stuck in between.

So whether or not it is good, still it depends on your hedgehog. I have seen hedgehogs having a good time in those balls, I have also seen ones that ignore them totally.

For exercise balls, get those with larger holes for ventilation. Exercise balls with larger ventilation will also help them to detect food scent. This way you can place food outside of the exercise balls to entice and trick them to start moving from within the exercise balls.

Dig boxes for foraging

Dig boxes are a great way to encourage exercising and promote a fun time foraging for insects or food.

Check out this complete dig box setup for sale on Etsy:

dig box setup

Or DIY one on your own like the image below:

hedgehog digging into fleece strips

All you need is a simple plastic container from Amazon and fill it up with some cheap fleece strips from Etsy.

Here’s how you create your own dig box step by step:

  1. Use a plastic container or cardboard, cut out an access point for them to enter and exit. You can also add a tunnel to the entrance using a shoe box, cardboard or PVC tube. Anything that can hold it’s shape.
  2. Fill the box up with fleece strips or suitable bedding substrate.
  3. Then throw in some insects or food for your hedgehogs to find them.
  4. Remember to remove any uneaten food and insects or they will rot. Clean your dig box often to prevent bacteria growth.

Other toys that they can burrow or snuggle with

Some examples include stuffed animals, fleece cubes, fleece strips, tunnels, cardboard, dry leaves or grass are all good materials to use for burrowing or snuggling.

Most of these items listed here are really cheap. you can even get some of them from your own home or garden.

Always make sure to wash any stuffed animal, fleece cubes and strips every week to keep them clean.

Conclusion

With a complete understanding to set up a hedgehog home, what do you think?

Not so easy after all right?

Setting up their home can be tedious but definitely fun and enriching. Especially if you are planning on building a DIY home for your heggies.

So feel free to let us know if I missed out anything essential or share with us some of your favorite accessories and toys that your hedgehogs can’t leave without in the comments section below.

Have fun building your hedgehog home!

Sunny

Being a digital marketer by trade and avid forex trader, Sunny is also an editor at Exopetsguides.com. He loves working out and beat everyone at games. You will be surprised that a guy like him actually owns 2 Hyllus and 1 Phidippus jumper.

Sours: https://exopetguides.com/hedgehog/hedgehog-cage-setup-guide/

The Best Hedgehog Cages For Sale Right Now (2021 Review)

Picking the right hedgehog cage is a very important process if you want to make your hedgie happy. After all, it is where they’re going to be spending most of their time!

But deciding on one can be a little trickier than you might think.

There are so many possible hedgehog cages you could get, and they all look pretty much the same. This causes many owners to pick the first cage they see without giving it a second thought (or simply let price be the deciding factor).

We think that’s a big mistake.

Choosing the perfect cage will make your pet hedgehog happier and safer. Not only that, you’ll get significantly more use out of the hedgehog cage you pick.

Having to go through the process of replacing a cage and getting your hedgehog used to their new home is a huge pain (and it can be stressful for your hedgie as well). You’re much better off getting it right the first time.

So here’s what we did:

We went out and found the best hedgehog cages that you can get for your little critter. One of these was on our radar before we started, and the others were found during our research process.

We feel extremely comfortable recommending these hedgehog cages to any owner, and we hope you decide to give one of them a try.

So without further delay, let’s get into it!

The Cages

If you don’t want to read every nitty-gritty detail about each cage and how we researched them, this section is for you. It simply has our recommendations with some info about each so you can pick one up and move on.

Note: If you want all the details there’s a more involved section further down.

Living World Deluxe Hedgehog Habitat
Living World Deluxe Hedgehog Habitat
  • Habitat that provides everything you need for safely housing a hedgehog.
  • Includes a balcony with an access ramp and a tip proof food dish
  • Hybrid cage consists of an upper wire frame and a plastic bottom base
  • Safe design that will never pinch or cut

The Living World Deluxe Habitat is our choice for the best hedgehog cage you can get right now. It’s designed extremely well, easy to clean, and safe for your hedgehog. It also has a handful of nifty featured like a high-quality non-tip food bowl which will save you a ton of time cleaning and ensuring that your hedgie is getting enough food. The entire body of the cage is well-made and exactly what you should look for in a hedgehog cage. It’s our recommendation that you pick this one up ASAP.

The value buy if you’re looking to save a little money is the AmazonBasics Pet Habitat. This hedgehog cage packs a punch and fulfills the essential requirements for a cage without inflating the price. One of our favorite features this cage has is the easy access roof opening system. This makes getting into the cage so much easier and is a great quality of life feature that you’ll definitely notice as an owner.

If the two hedgehog cages above are either sold out or not your cup of tea, the “Guinea Habitat” cage by Midwest is a great fallback. This cage earned our “runner up” status and given how many we researched, there’s no shame in that. It has ample size, a design that is easy to clean, and a nice non-tip bowl that really impressed us. If you end up going with this cage we think you’ll be very happy.

Our Research Process

We feel it’s important to explain how we came to our conclusion with the cages we’re recommending.

One of these hedgehog cages was on our radar as a crowd-favorite before we even started researching, and the others were found during the rest of the process.

We knew that with so many different cage options out there we had to be thorough when narrowing them down. Unlike other sites that list every option under the sun, we like doing the extra work to make sure you’re only picking from the cream of the crop.

In order to do this, we first put together a full list of all the hedgehog cage options we could find. Some of these were found by looking at sites like Amazon, PetSmart, and Chewy. Others were brought to our attention by the awesome hedgehog community that actively contributes to forums and message boards.

Once we had our list we started to whittle things down. Any of the cages that didn’t get at least a four-star review were tossed out right away.

Then we started to do a deep dive into each review to see what people were saying. This led to a lot of interesting discoveries that helped us cut a few more cages from our list.

Any of the hedgehog cages that were recommended by the community directly were investigated heavily as well. We looked into what people were saying about them, pros and cons, and asked some questions of our own.

From here we were almost done. We then took our magic list of features you should look for (more on that later) and tossed out any cage that didn’t have them.

This left us with only a few remaining.

To find our winners we got our hands on each hedgehog enclosure to make the final call. The ability to tinker with each cage directly was really the best way to make a final judgment on how suitable each cage was.

After doing this it was obvious which ones we should recommend.

Our Pick

After researching and going through our entire process, we came to the conclusion that the Living World Deluxe Habitat hedgehog cage was the clear winner. It has everything you need and comes at a reasonable price.

Living World Deluxe Hedgehog Habitat
Living World Deluxe Hedgehog Habitat
  • Habitat that provides everything you need for safely housing a hedgehog.
  • Includes a balcony with an access ramp and a tip proof food dish
  • Hybrid cage consists of an upper wire frame and a plastic bottom base
  • Safe design that will never pinch or cut

Right off the bat one of our favorite features of this hedgehog cage is the quality of the tip-proof food dish that comes included. We loved this!

If you’re a new owner you’ll soon find out that anything you can do to make the cleaning process a little easier goes a long way. Ensuring that your hedgie can’t spill their food will save you a lot of time in the long run, and the fact that that solution comes bundled in with this cage is fantastic.

As a matter of fact, the entire cage is easy to clean as well. The smooth plastic bottom will make spot cleaning a breeze, and thorough cleanings quick as well. The wire frame of the cage is also very easy to scrub down without having to get your hands deep into the cage (due to the high ceiling).

This high wire framed ceiling also does a great job of making sure this hedgehog cage is well ventilated. This will make your hedgie more comfortable and also help keep things smelling a little fresher as time goes on.

The plastic floor and pan is another feature of this cage that really impressed us. The floor is flat which is great for your hedgehog’s feet and will allow them to navigate safely and without any difficulty. It’s also rather deep as well (7.5 inches) so your hedgehog won’t be able to climb out.

The available sizes are another factor that makes this cage great. We recommend that you get their “x-large” size (46.9 by 22.8 by 24 inches). It doesn’t cost much more than the “large” model and will provide your hedgehog plenty of space to play and run around.

This will also give you the flexibility to add and experiment with new toys without things getting too cramped for your hedgie. With smaller hedgehog cages you sometimes have to subtract a toy to add a new one, and this can lead to a long experimentation process of finding out what they prefer. With a larger cage, you can simply introduce new toys and let them decide!

We have seen some other reviews mentioning that this cage might be a little tricky to assemble for some people due to the lack of clear directions and the multiple pieces it comes in. We didn’t have any difficulty with this, but we’ve also assembled a bunch of these over the years. That isn’t nearly enough of a concern to make us not recommend this hedgehog cage. Just stick with it and you’ll put it together eventually!

Best Value For The Money

If you’re trying to keep things cheap and the cage above is a little more than you would like to spend, we have another great option for you.

AmazonBasics Hedgehog Habitat
AmazonBasics Hedgehog Habitat
  • Iron wire upper frame and PP plastic base; large top and front openings for easy inside access
  • Includes non-drip water bottle, hay guard, and balcony with access ramp and tip-proof food dish
  • Hide-away space underneath balcony for privacy
  • Backed by an AmazonBasics limited 1-year warranty

The AmazonBasics Pet Habitat gets our vote for the best hedgehog cage you can get for a lower price point. Much like the Living World Deluxe Habitat, it has a similar design that provides a number of great benefits.

The size of this cage is great (48.6 by 26.6 by 20.6 inches) and will allow your hedgehog to have room to roam and play around. This is actually very comparable with the Living World cage that we recommended. It also has a nice flat plastic floor with a deep pan, so your hedgehog should be able to navigate the cage easily, safely, and be unable to climb out.

It has a non-tip food bowl as well and we think it’s very well-designed. We like the quality of the bowl in the Living World cage a little bit more, but this is still a fantastic option (really no complaints here).

It’s also extremely easy to assemble due to very clear instructions and great build quality. Each piece fits together without any difficulty, and we had it put together in minutes!

The roof access openings really impressed us too. This will make cleaning your hedgehog cage or handling your hedgie super easy. It probably has one of the best roof access openings we’ve seen across all the cages we researched!

The one potential concern we have is a minor one, and we can’t be sure about it without using it for a long period of time (we didn’t have this luxury). Due to all the openings and access points, there might be potential for increased cage noise over time. We’ve seen this happen with similar cages in the past simply because there are more movable parts that can start to squeak and grind over time. Since your hedgie will be active at night, if you’re a light sleeper this might be something to consider.

The Runner Up

If our main option is out of stock and you need to get a new hedgehog cage ASAP, the “Guinea Habitat” cage by Midwest is a solid fallback option.

The cage has plenty of space (47.16 by 23.62 by 19.68 inches) and looks a lot like the Living World Deluxe cage that we recommend. It also has a non-tip bowl like the other two cages we like, and the quality of it seems very good.

It also has a nice roof access opening and though it’s not as good as the AmazonBasics Pet Habitat in this regard, it’s still quite nice and easy to use. The plastic floor is smooth and flat, and the pan is fairly deep as well (five and a half inches).

It’s also one of the easier cages we got our hands on in terms of assembly. If you’re someone who hates having to put things together, you might favor this over our first pick!

Overall this hedgehog cage does a very solid job overall and provides most of the same features that the other two have. We think that if you decide to go with this cage you’ll be very happy.

What You Should Have In Mind

There are a number of things you should know before you run out and purchase a hedgehog cage. This will prevent you from making a purchase that isn’t a good fit for your lifestyle or having to go back and buy a new one sooner than you would like to.

Your Living Space

First, take some time to do the math on how much space you have and how much of it you can afford to use for your cage. The reason why this is important is it will help you visualize how much space your hedgehog cage will take up, and where you should put it. Keep in mind it will need to be within reach of an outlet so you can use whatever heating lamps and pads you need to keep your hedgies warm.

Get your tape measure out and find what areas of your home will work best with the cage dimensions you’re considering. You might be surprised about what initial “perfect” spots in your home are actually unusable.

Don’t Make Them Cramped

Finding out where you’re able to put a hedgehog cage in your home will help you with this as well. It’s extremely unfair to keep your hedgehog all cramped up in a tiny cage that doesn’t allow them to thrive and be enriched.

You should aim to get a nice sized cage that allows your hedgie to have multiple toys and room to run around. They will spend most of their time here, so you want them to be comfortable and happy. If that means you need to move some things around in your home in order to get a larger cage, do it!

Are You Considering Breeding?

If breeding is something that you might be doing in the future, you’ll want to have a cage that can accommodate this. This means having plenty of space and a good place for the mother hedgehog to build her nest.

Some hedgehog cages are more suited for this than others, so it’s worth considering this before you make a purchase. Fortunately, all of the cages we listed above are great for breeding!

Key Features We Considered

While you can nitpick at a million different things when it comes to hedgehog cages, there are a few factors that matter most. When researching and reviewing cages we focused primarily on these due to their importance.

In our reviews above you’ll see us frequently reference these features, but we wanted to list them out here and explain why they matter in a little more detail.

Size

As we’ve mentioned before, the size of the hedgehog cage you choose should be one of the first things you think about. Keeping your hedgie in a space that’s too small can negatively impact their happiness and health over time.

Shoot for something that’s at least 48 by 24 inches (4 x 2 feet). This will give your hedgehog room to play with a variety of toys and have space to rest and relax. You’ll want to make sure there’s enough room for a wheel, litter box, eating space, sleeping bag, and additional room to play.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen plenty of owners who pick a hedgehog cage that’s a little too small. It’s quite sad to see and the more you learn about hedgehogs and the amount of enrichment they need, it’s something you realize you should avoid at all costs.

Another thing to note is that the price of hedgehog cages tend to not increase a whole lot with size. You’re typically looking at a twenty to thirty dollar increase to bump your cage up to a larger size. Given how long your hedgehog will live and how long you’ll be together, that’s a pretty negligible amount.

All of the hedgehog enclosures we picked provide the necessary minimum space for your hedgie to thrive and enjoy themselves.

Safety

Safety is one factor that many owners overlook when they’re looking for a cage. They get so caught up in the size and layout that safety goes by the wayside.

This process is very similar to what new parents do when “baby proofing” a house. Your hedgehog is fully capable of injuring itself accidentally, so you want to try and think ahead to avoid any possible disasters.

Large openings where they can get their heads stuck is a no-no. You’ll also want to make sure the interior is smooth and devoid of any sharp edges that your hedgie could cut itself on. This will also ensure that they don’t climb out (a deep pan works wonders for this as well).

These are all things that we checked on when reviewing and deciding on the best hedgehog cages. If you stick with our list, you won’t have to worry about safety!

Cleaning

You’re going to be spending a decent amount of time cleaning your hedgehog cage over the years. Doing this once a week really adds up after a while!

Because of this we heavily considered how easy each cage is to clean when doing our reviews. Picking a cage that makes this process easy can be the difference between a ten minute job and a thirty minute one.

Nice smooth surfaces and easy access to any area of the cage are the two major things that make a hedgehog cage easy to clean. All of the cages we’ve listed have these features.

Potential Noise

Certain hedgehog cages are more susceptible to making noise as time goes on than others. This is something that we don’t see many other reviewers and owners discussing, but we’ve always felt it’s worth bringing up.

From what we can tell this is most heavily influenced by the number of potential openings and hinges, and how well they are made. Even if your cage isn’t noisy at first, after a couple of years it might get worse.

A squeaky cage can get annoying at night when your hedgehog is up and moving. They will be running around and going about their business which potentially creates cage noise as they move. If you’re a light sleeper who keeps their cage near the bedroom, this can cause a problem.

We use this as more of a tiebreaker since it’s a minor factor that isn’t an issue for everyone.

Why We Prefer Wire Hedgehog Cages

Wire hedgehog cages are the only way to go in our opinion. Some owners have tried different options like aquarium tanks, plastic storage containers, or wooden hedgehog cages, but we recommend staying away from all of them.

Here’s why:

Wire cages are significantly easier to clean and provide much more ventilation than their tank, container, and wooden counterparts. An aquarium tank or storage container is similar when it comes to ease of cleaning, but the ventilation is terrible.

Also if you think wooden hedgehog cages look neat and want to get one, don’t. They might look cool but will start to smell over time. Cleaning wood is very difficult without using solutions that contain chemicals which could impact the health of your hedgehog. Wooden cages also have ventilation issues as well depending on the design.

Another thing to be aware of when it comes to wooden hedgehog cages is the fact that cedar can cause serious respiratory issues for your hedgie. If you see anything made of cedar, stay away!

Wrapping Up

And there you have it! These are the best hedgehog cage options that you can pick up right now to give your hedgie a happy home.

Unlike some of the other supplies you’ll be getting your hedgehog (like toys), their cage is about as important as it gets. It directly impacts the quality of their life in such a massive way and there’s a reason why you never see experienced breeders and owners with small, low-quality cages.

We’ve spent a lot of time researching and putting this together, and feel confident about the recommendations. If you have any feedback or questions we would love to hear from you. This is a guide that we will be updating frequently, so if another great hedgehog cage hits the market we’ll be sure to add it to the list!

Here they are again:

Take some time to look at these and decide which is best for you. We think you’ll be happy no matter which one you choose!





Featured image photo credit 1

Sours: https://www.hedgehogworld.com/best-hedgehog-cages/
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Hedgehog Housing

There is some debate on ideal housing for pet hedgehogs, but for any hedgehog cage, the most important considerations are size, safety, ventilation and ease of cleaning. There are pros and cons for different types of cages—find a cage that meets the unique requirements of hedgehogs and fits your budget and preferences.

Size

Hedgehogs in the wild usually cover a lot of ground in their search for food. Pet hedgehogs need lots of room to move about, too. Two square feet (e.g. 1 foot by 2 feet) is sometimes quoted as the minimum floor space for a hedgehog, but this should be considered an absolute bare minimum; use this size only if you have a wheel and give your hedgehog ample time to roam around outside the cage for exercise. Better yet, aim for a minimum of about 6 square feet (e.g. 3 feet by 2 feet).

Safety

A hedgehog cage needs to have a solid floor, so avoid any cages with wire or wire mesh flooring as hedgehogs may catch and injure their legs or feet on wire floors. Cages should not have any sharp edges or spaces in which the animal could get their head stuck. The cage must also be secure to prevent escape.

Ventilation

Good ventilation is necessary to keep humidity levels down and to prevent ammonia (from urine) and odor from building up in the cage. Wire cages offer the best ventilation.

Ease of Cleaning

Your hedgehog's cage will need frequent cleaning, and a large, heavy, or awkward cage will make this chore very unpleasant. Don't underestimate the importance of this as cleaning is critical!

Wire Cages

Many owners use wire cages since they are readily available and have good ventilation. In addition, they are usually pretty lightweight and easy to clean. However, hedgehogs can be very particular when choosing a cage. As stated above, avoid any cages with wire flooring. If such cages are not available, cover the wire with wood, plastic, or a Vellux blanket cut to fit securely. Additionally, cages large enough for hedgehogs might have wire spacing that is too large for safely housing hedgehogs. Look for ferret or rabbit cages with a spacing of 1 inch or less.

There are a couple of manufacturers producing wire cages specifically for hedgehogs: Martin's Cages (note: choose from the larger ones as the Hedgehog Home is very small) and Hedgehogs by Vicki. Some people recommend multilevel ferret cages, but the height of these cages could lead to falls from the platforms or from climbing the sides of the cages.

Aquariums

Aquariums will work but you'll need a large one (30 gallons is a good minimum) and a wire mesh top. On the downside, aquariums lack ventilation, and they are heavy and awkward to clean.

Plastic Containers

Many owners have gotten quite creative with creating cages out of plastic storage bins. With some slight modifications, you can make a large cage for little money out of clear plastic storage containers (choose clear because opaque containers would be quite dark for a hedgehog). The biggest detriment is, once again, ventilation. You can make holes in the sides and lid with a soldering iron or drill, but it is difficult to make enough holes to provide great ventilation. If you get a deep enough container and don't have anything around the walls that the hedgehog can use for climbing (e.g., water bottles), you may be able to get away with having no lid.

Alternatively, you can fashion a lid out of hardware wire mesh or screen material, either on its own or attached to a large opening cut in the lid of the storage container. The Michigan Hedgehog Owners Group site has an ingenious idea for a two-container home with instructions. Hedgehog Valley suggests cutting panels in the sides of the container and fixing wire mesh or plastic canvas over the openings to aid ventilation in this type of home. With a little creativity, these homes can work quite well.

Additional Options

Wading pools (solid plastic with high sides) and home-made wooden cages are other possibilities. As long as a cage is large enough, escape-proof, safe, ventilated, and easy to clean, then only your imagination is the limit!

Sours: https://www.thesprucepets.com/hedgehog-housing-1239054

10 Best Hedgehog Cages of 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Are you a proud hedgehog parent? Or are you looking to become one?

If so, you’ve probably realized by now that one of the most important things that you can do for your hedgehog is to offer them the right habitat. Hedgehogs have only recently joined the realm of domestication (compared to other animals and rodents) and still have quite a bit of their wild side in them.

This means you’ll need to do your best to make them as comfortable as possible within their enclosures. But there’s just so many cages out there! When looking at them all, it can be a real hassle figuring out which are the best.

However, we’ve gone through and made it simple. We’ve found some of the best hedgehog cages and compiled them into one handy list ranked from best to worst. These hedgehog cage reviews should help you decide what constitutes a good living space for your lovable little cactus.

The Winners of 2021

The 10 Best Hedgehog Cages

1. Prevue Pet Products Small Animal Cage – Best Overall

When it comes to picking our best overall hedgehog cage, we’ve opted for the Prevue Pet Products Small Animal Cage. While this particular product might not be the best for rabbits or guinea pigs, it’s a perfect size for hedgehogs!

One of the best features we love about this cage is that there are two sets of doors. There’s a side door for inserting quick treats or food, and a top-loading door for easy access to your pet. And when you have a pet covered in prickly spines, you’re going to want the most room possible to comfortably lift them out.

Also, the bedding pan is extra deep. At 6.5 inches, this gives plenty of room for your hedgehog to burrow without flinging bedding everywhere.

We also really like the wheels on this cage that you can use to easily roll it from room to room. But just because it’s easy to roll doesn’t mean it isn’t sturdy. This is a very solidly designed cage. And since it’s powder coated, it’s much easier to clean and doesn’t squeak as often.

However, we do have one gripe about this as a hedgehog cage. It can be a little bit difficult to put together. But that’s something we’re willing to overlook. Once put together properly, it’s a solid dependable cage.

Pros

  • Spacious
  • Top-loading doors
  • Extra deep bedding pan
  • Non-toxic powder coat
  • Includes casters
  • Very sturdy construction

Cons

  • Can be difficult to put together

2. Ferplast Cavie 80 Cage – Best Value

If you’re looking for the best hedgehog cage for the money, the Ferplast Cavie 80 Cage has got you covered. This is another one of those choices that may not be great for guinea pigs or rabbits, but is awesome for hedgehogs.

It comes equipped with an elevated feeding platform complete with a bowl to separate bedding and litter from mealtime. And the ramp leading up to the bowl is easily climbable by your little friend.

Underneath the elevated platform is a little cave sure to make your hedgehog feels right at home. It comes with a wide front door so you can load your hedgehog in with ease. However, we’d still prefer a top-loading system — especially for a prickly pet!

This cage is lightweight and easily portable and comes with some accessories. If you’re looking for a good habitat that isn’t going to wreak havoc on your wallet, we definitely recommend this Ferplast.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Split level
  • Built-in cave
  • Affordable
  • Comes with accessories

3. MidWest Critter Nation Deluxe Small Animal Cage – Premium Choice

Your little hedgehog can be your little prince or princess, so why not give them a castle to live in? Seriously, the MidWest Critter Nation Deluxe small animal cage is a mansion for your little guy. The unit is a two-level habitat that’s big enough for a hedgehog to explore comfortably. And that’s just the “single story”!

There’s a two-story option that doubles the size. And if you’re really feeling bold, you can purchase an additional add-on unit for even more room. This is like a whole apartment complex just for one hedgehog.

And even given its size, there’s no problem moving it around. It comes with casters equipped with wheel-locking mechanisms to make transport a breeze. And while there aren’t top-loading doors, the cage has full frontal doors that open just as wide — if not wider — than any top loader.

However, a single unit is very expensive. And if you’re looking to get an add-on or get the double story model, you better be prepared —this is a deluxe model so you’re going to pay deluxe prices.

Pros

  • Humongous
  • Equipped with wheel-locking casters
  • Easy to climb ramps
  • Wide opening front loading doors

Cons

  • Super expensive
  • Can be difficult to assemble alone

4. MidWest Wabbitat Deluxe

The MidWest Wabbitat Deluxe is another good hedgehog cage option from MidWest. It’s very similar to our budget pick in design. It’s a decent-sized cage with an elevated feeding platform and hidey hole below.

We really love the fact that it’s got a deep bedding tray as well. At 5.5 inches, it should catch all bedding thrown by your hedgehog. And it comes with accessories that your hedgehog will definitely make use of, such as a feeding bowl and a water bottle.

However, this cage is a bit more complicated to set up than our budget pick. And it’s not as affordable — which is why it didn’t make our top three.

Pros

  • Good space for a single hedgehog
  • Elevated feeding platform
  • Built-in cave
  • Deep bedding tray

Cons

  • Top-loading door could be larger
  • Not as affordable as our budget pick
  • More difficult to set up

5. Exotic Nutrition Hedgehog Home

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This is the first cage on our list specifically designed for hedgehogs. It’s just above the exact size a single hedgehog needs to have (4 square feet) and comes with accessories such as an exercise wheel, tunnel, hedgehog feed, and treats.

This is a one-stop-shop starter kit for anyone new to hedgehogs.

Our biggest concern is the amount of space left for your hedgehog to roam after all the accessories have been put in. The wheel alone will take up a lot of room. And when combined with the tunnel, the cage becomes a lot smaller than originally intended.

Pros

  • Good starter kit for hedgehogs
  • Elevated feed platform with cave below

Cons

  • Not enough space with accessories added

6. Living World Deluxe Habitat

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Some hedgehog cages have the problem of being too small. This is definitely not the case with the LivingWorld Deluxe habitat. The XL habitat is possibly large enough for a human adult to squeeze into, meaning your hedgehog will have plenty of room even with all your accessories installed.

It’s even got a raised feeding platform with a cave below. The problem with this, though, is that it’s not the easiest ramp for a hedgehog to climb up. Unlike other rodents, hedgehogs don’t have two hands and two feet. They have all four feet making the steep nature of the ramp difficult for them to scale.

This may mean that your hedgehog’s food bowl will have to go down with its bedding. And that’s not ideal.

But at least handling your hedgehog would be super easy. The top door opens up large enough to never have to worry about needing enough space.

Pros

  • Huge single level space
  • Super easy access

Cons

  • Elevated platform ramp too steep for hedgehogs

7. AmazonBasics Small Animal Cage

If you’re looking for a standard hedgehog cage, you should consider this one from AmazonBasics. It’s large enough to comfortably house a hedgehog and provides easy access for ingress and egress with its top-loading door. And it’s one of the more affordable options on our list.

It does have an elevated feeding platform; however, we’ve found it to be a bit flimsy when compared to other cages. With additional support quality, this cage would have definitely found its way higher up on this list.

Pros

  • Large enough for a single hedgehog
  • Comes with accessories
  • Affordable
  • Has a one-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Feeding platform could be sturdier
  • Needs deeper bedding pan

8. Kaytee Complete Habitat Kits

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When you think about a barebones small pet cage, this Kaytee is probably what pops into mind. It’s definitely not as big as some on this list. But it can suffice for a single hedgehog, provided you make use of what space you have. The provided accessories will be too big for your hedgehog, so you’ll have to get your own. Just don’t over-accessorize in this cage.

However, we do like how simple it is to take apart and clean. You can literally remove the top of the cage with just one hand.

This budget-friendly option is nice, but you should look to upgrade if you have the ability to do so.

Cons

  • Could be bigger
  • Accessories too large for hedgehog

9. Yaheetech Metal Hedgehog Cage

This cage is another multi-level cage that technically meets the size requirements to house a single hedgehog. However, we’re not too keen on how it’s designed. The bottom floor is definitely the largest, but there’s still not much room for a hedgehog to root around.

And the way that the vertical levels are designed, it could be dangerous for older hedgehogs. The ramps don’t provide much in the way of fall protection. Plus they’re made of wire mesh with gaps large enough to be uncomfortable for hedgehogs.

It’s durable and sturdy though, and can be rolled around with relative ease. We just recommend you shop a little higher up on this list for a better hedgehog cage choice.

Cons

  • No floor space
  • Wire spacing too far apart for comfort for hedgehogs
  • Ramps are better suited for ferrets or squirrels

10. SONGMICS Small Animal Cage

At first glance, this SONGMICS cage looks like a pretty decent setup. But upon further inspection, you’ll see some things that you just might not agree with.

One of the selling points of this cage is that it comes with a rubber mallet to help with installation. However, while it’s put together with a mallet, it’s held in place with zip-ties. Needless to say, this isn’t the most stable of habitats.

Also, the waterproof lining isn’t a built-in cage accessory — It’s actually Velcroed on. But there are a couple of saving graces. First, it’s cheap, so you won’t break the bank picking this up. And second, this cage has a large front door for you to safely load and unload your hedgehog.

Pros

  • Large and spacious ground floor
  • Big front door

Cons

  • Cheaply crafted
  • Velcro liner
  • No accessories
  • Difficult to put together
  • Not sturdy

Conclusion

Hopefully, these reviews helped to clear up some concerns you may have had when searching for the best hedgehog cage. Your hedgehog will need enough room to roam, but with accessories and features to help accommodate their small statures.

Our top pick, the Prevue Pet Products Small Animal Cage, satisfies every requirement your hedgehog needs to live comfortably and at an affordable price. However, if it’s just a bit out of your price range, the Ferplast Cavie 80 is another top-notch choice, and it’s the best bang for your buck.

Hedgehogs may just have the biggest size to personality ratio of any animal on the planet. Keep them happy — and healthy — with a quality home to live in.

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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Shopping Guide | Cage Options | Bedding Choices | Accessories | Toys

Cage Options

Cage Requirements

  • Choosing a cage is one of the important decisions you will have to make for your pet.  Your hedgehog’s home and environment are one of the keys in determining the quality of life and longevity of your pet.
  • In the wild hedgehogs are reported to travel 4-7 miles per night so it is best to provide the largest space possible for your new pet.  Hedgehogs with plenty of room tend to be healthier and happier because they can exercise and explore.
  • Hedgehogs need plenty of room to move about and play.  The minimum size recommended by most hedgehog enthusiasts is 24” x 24” or four square feet.  Your cage should have enough room for a wheel, litter box, and sleeping bag or nest box, and eating area.
  • Smaller cages have been recommended over the years but they are certainly not the ideal and will not accommodate the recommended accessories.
  • There are many options for types of enclosures for hedgehogs.  The cage should provide sufficient room, be well ventilated, easily cleaned, and be able to accommodate additional heat sources if necessary.
  • Some enclosures have an open top.  An adventurous hedgehog may try to escape. We believe it is easier and safer to prevent an escape than to locate a missing hedgehog.

Our personal favorite and what we offer in our cage combination packages:

Wire cages

  • Wire cages with a solid bottom and a deep pan are often used as hedgehog cages. 
  • They are well ventilated and easy and safe to heat with a ceramic heat emitter.
  • One advantage of wire cages that are specially designed for ground dwelling animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits, and hedgehogs is that there is more floor space than in an aquarium, birdcage and some modified cages.
  • Cages of this type are strong enough to adequately house hedgehogs and most are able to protect them from other pets and small children.  There is however, a huge difference in quality and some brands are easily damaged in daily maintenance. 

Pans

    • Pans that are six inches deep or deeper are preferred to more shallow pans.  Deep pans not only contain the bedding within the cage but they also prevent the hedgehog from climbing.
    • Plastic pans are generally preferred over metal pans. Both are light weight but plastic will not rust and plastic will maintain it integrity over time.  Metal that has begun to rust is harder to clean and disinfect than plastic.  Metal will also conduct heat much differently which may be a problem when trying to provide additional heat sources for your pet.
    • Wire floors are NOT acceptable for hedgehogs.  Their tiny feet can get caught in the wire and it is very difficult for the hedgehog to walk.

Wire Sides

    • Some hedgehogs are tempted to climb the sides if the pan is not deep enough. This is dangerous because the hedgehog can tangle his/her foot or fall from the top.
    • Should you notice that your hedgehog climbs the wire of the cage you will need to line the bottom edge of the cage with a smooth material that discourages climbing.
      • Lexan is a clear material found at most home improvement super stores.  It can be easily cut with tin snips and shape and molded to fit your cage.
      • Plexiglas and acrylic are very durable but fairly difficult to cut and relatively expensive.
      • Chloroplast is a sign making material found next to the poster board in most stores.  It is cheap and easy to cut however it is solid and can inhibit hedgie visibility. 
    • Some breeders recommend ½” wire spacing to prevent the hedgehog from getting their head stuck between the wires of the cage and to prevent babies from escaping.
    • The deep pans on our cages tend to prevent climbing and general head poking so the wire on our cages does appear to be adequate even though the bar spacing is farther apart.
  • We sell three different sizes of this style cage.  Our cage combination packages are very popular with our hedgehog customers.

  • Why are our cages more expensive than some brands? 
    • Our certainly are neither the cheapest cage nor the most expensive cage option on the market.
    • We have tried countless cage options over the years and have been remarkably impressed with this style of Marchiaro cages.
    • The pans and wire top are strong and durable. 
    • Many brands of similar cages have pans that are made of thinner and more brittle plastic.  Hedgehogs are typically hard on the cages but we certainly want something that will withstand cleaning and transporting.
    • The wire top is not easily bent and each top corner is held together with a two part connector and the bottom corners are held together with a corner bracket.  My children have climbed on the cages, sat on the cages, and played inside the cages.  Your hedgehog is not be as rough as my children, but a tough a durable cage will last longer and be an overall better value for your dollar.
    • Another impressive feature of this cage are the door locks, brackets that hold the top to the pan, handles, and braces that hold join the top and sides.  Again, these features set this cage apart from other options.

Plastic Storage Containers  

  • This style of cage is popular with many breeders.
  • Advantages 
  • Clear plastic tubs can be purchased relatively cheap. 
  • They are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Storage containers can be easily cleaned and disinfected.
  • Lids can be left on, drilled or cut in the middle for ventilation
  • Disadvantages

  • One problem with plastic tubs is finding one large enough and tall enough to accommodate the wheel and other accessories without customizing your cage.
  • Some hedgehog owners connect several tubs together to create a habitat large enough for their pet.  This option works well if you have creativity and plenty of space. 
  • You can purchase “clear” cages but even the clear style does inhibit easy viewing of your new pet.  Many of our customers enjoy watching their hedgehogs, which is difficult to do with this style of housing unless you are standing directly over the cage.
  • Solid color storage tubs are often larger and sturdier than the plastic tubs but we recommend against them because they have practically no visibility for your hedgehog.  One must also take into consideration the hedgehog’s need for environmental stimulation when choosing housing for your pet.
  • Cautions
  • You must be careful when using additional heat sources with these cages. 
    • Under-tank heaters can melt the bottom plastic.
    • Heat emitters or heat lamps may cause problems with the top of the cage.
    • The tall sides may block heat from a nearby space heater.
  • Lids can be left off if you know the hedgehog cannot escape but solid hiding places or hanging water bottles can be used to give your hedgie a boost up and over the top.  

Glass aquariums

  • Large aquariums can be used to house hedgehogs. 
  • We recommend at minimum of a 20-gallon long size but the larger sizes are much better.  A 20-gallon aquarium will not accommodate an appropriate sized wheel. 
  • The main drawback of using a glass aquarium is that most aquariums are narrow and tall in order to best display fish or reptiles.  Hedgehogs need lots of floor space and in order to have the floor space you will need a large aquarium.
  • The larger the aquarium the more costly, heavier, cumbersome, and difficult it is to clean.  For this reason they are not ideal unless you already have a large aquarium in your possession.
  • It is important to use a screen or wire top and NOT the glass covering used for fish. This will allow better ventilation into the aquarium.

Wading Pools

  • Children’s wading pools can be ideal housing if you have plenty of space and take a few precautions to prevent escapes.
  • These pools have plenty or room for hedgie play and some people use these pools as a supervised play area.
  • You must make sure there are no accessories that can be used as ladders to boost your hedgehog up and over the top of the pool.  One way to make the sides taller is to cut out the bottom of a second pool and invert it over the top of the first one.  The edges can be riveted, stapled, or screwed together.
  • The disadvantages of this style of housing are that they are cumbersome and that they will block the view of your pet.

Climbing Objects and Multi-Level Cages

  • We feel that multi-level ferret or rabbit cages, climbing branches, ramps, and ladders are only a good idea for your hedgehog only if you take several precautions. 
  • We recommend avoiding the above situations because providing more floor space with accessories or toys is a much safer alternative.
  • Hedgehogs are quite capable of climbing up, but they are not so graceful in the descent.
    • Their toes are fairly short and are not made for grasping and hanging on.
    • Their legs are relatively small in comparison to their body mass.  They simply do not have the strength to resist the pull of gravity. 
    • Their eyesight is very poor and so they have very little depth perception.
  • The most natural way for hedgehogs to get down from a high place is to curl themselves into a ball and free-fall.
  • Many claim that hedgehogs have naturally built in “shock absorbers” and that their spines will protect them in a fall. However, hedgehogs may still bruise him self or break a bone from an ill-fated fall.
  • It has also been reported that spines can actually puncture backward into the animal.
  • In order to provide a safe climbing experience some hedgehog owners use multi-level ferret or rabbit cages and line the ramps with plastic mesh or cover with an all-purpose carpet.  This keeps little feet from being injured but might be quite messy if the hedgehog is not litter trained.
  • The bottom pan of multi-level cages should be padded with several inches of shock absorbing bedding.
  • Most hedgehog experts would agree that tree branches and ladders are NOT a good idea.
  • Try think of ideas that encourage your hedgehog to burrow or tunnel instead of climbing. New material, sand (clean and disinfected such as what is used for reptiles) in the corner, or other ideas would stimulate burrowing.

Cage Placement and Temperature

  • Cages should be placed in a warm, comfortable room in an area that is free from drafts and should not be placed in direct sunlight.  Normal sunlight in a room is fine but temperatures in direct sunlight can be much higher than in the rest of the room.
  • Millermeade Farms and our customers have found that hedgehogs seem to prefer the warmer end of the temperature range and are most comfortable between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Some references indicate that hedgehogs can tolerate temperatures as low as 65 degrees Fahrenheit but it is our experience that temperatures this low can be dangerous for your pet.  A chilled hedgehog will attempt a false hibernation and that can be deadly.  Lower temperatures can be an environmental stress for your hedgehog which will affect the overall health of your pet.  
  • We have found hedgehogs tend to be healthier, more active, and eat better in warmer temperatures.
  • Refer to our Keeping Your Hedgehog Warm guide for more information on this subject.

Cage Cleaning

  • We do not caution when using perfumes or deodorizers because they can encourage us to be more lax in cage cleaning. 
  • Dirty cages and resulting build up of bacteria can cause or increase the risk of respiratory and skin infections. 
  • Our rule of thumb is that if the cage smells bad to use it probably smells really bad to our hedgies!
  • The average hedgehog cage needs thoroughly cleaned once a week but spot cleaning may extend the life of the bedding.
  • Different types of bedding have different absorbency levels so your cage may need cleaned more of less frequently depending on the size and general messiness of your hedgehog.
  • Refer to our Bedding Guide for more information on types of bedding available.
  • Pelleted beddings may allow you to sift the good bedding from the soiled bedding to be reused after the bottom has been cleaned.
  • It is a good idea to thoroughly wash or soak the plastic bottom when doing a complete bedding change.  Plastic can absorb odor and a good disinfection will help to eliminate lingering odors.

Cleaning Products

  • Almost every cleaning product should be thoroughly rinsed from your cage before putting your hedgehog back into the cage.
  • Nolvasan is a popular cleaning product used by veterinarians and breeders of various kinds of animals.  It can be purchased online or through your veterinarian.
  • A two step cleaning process with hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar is reported to kill more bacteria and is much safer than bleach.  It is non-toxic and effective at eliminating odors.  The hydrogen peroxide must be stored in the original dark container and should not be premixed with the vinegar.  Either the hydrogen peroxide or the bleach can be sprayed or wiped on with a rag and then the other product applied when the first is still wet.

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