HOUSING

CAGE 

There are many options when buying your hedgehog a cage and things to go in it and it can be hard to know which one will work best for you and your hedgie. This guide will help you decide.

There are three main options when purchasing a cage. A glass door vivarium, a large zoo zone 2 or a custom built cage.

 

Vivarium 

The glass door vivarium is available from most reptile stores, pet shops, and online. It is good as it allows easy access and can be stacked to save space. They do have limited ventilation which can be a problem as it can lead to respiratory problems. You could fit vents which would allow for better airflow.

 Zoozone

The large zoo zone 2 is available online and from some pet shops. It has a plastic base which is easy to clean and it opens from the top bars and the top half lifts off for extremely easy access. The bars at the top are high enough up so that there is no way that your hedgie could climb up and they allow for great ventilation.

 Custom

Another option is a homemade cage. The great thing about this is that you can make it to suit you and your hog and the possibilities are endless! I have made a cage for my hedgie that suits her well. It has 2 levels with artificial grass on the top one, a spacious snuggle corner, a wheel on a bracket for easy cleaning and glass doors that can be removed for easy access and cleaning. It also has the possibility of another floor or two.

 

Some other options for cages include: large plastic storage tub, glass vivarium/aquariums or any inescapable enclosure with good ventilation (poor ventilation may cause respiratory problems).

 

Note: hedgehogs should be housed separately as they are solitary creatures and may cause injury or even death to another hedgehog.

 

WHEEL

There are two main options for wheels. Warning: mesh wheels (without solid bottoms) can catch your hedgie’s nails and cause painful injuries to the feet so are NOT recommended.

The first one is a bucket wheel. This one has a smooth base which is gentle on your hedgehogs feet. They can be purchased online in a wide range of colours. They are a popular choice but may make some noise so aren't a great choice if you need silence to sleep.



The second option is a 30cm silent spinner wheel. These are available online and in most pet shops. They are available in purple, red, green or blue. They are silent so won't make much noise at night.


 

SUBSTRATE

There is a lot of controversy about what substrate to use. Many people choose to use fabric liners. These look great and you can have them in any pattern you want. They can be washed during cleaning out so can be reused. They may absorb urine and smell a lot so your hedgie may have to be cleaned out more regularly. Some people also choose to use aspen bedding. This is very absorbent and when you clean yourhedgehog out you just throw it away and replace it. The only downside is that this bedding could produce dust which could cause respiratory problems for your hedgehog. Another option  is newspaper. This is a cheap and easy way to line your hedgehogs cage. It absorbs the urine welland can be thrown out and replaced easily. This is what I use for my hedgehog and it doesn't have any downsides so far.  Do not use any products containing cedar because when their urine hits it, it gives off toxic fumes.


BOWLS

This is a fairly simple topic. You need a food bowl for your hedgie. This bowl should be quite small. A hamster bowl should be fine. These come in many exciting colours, shapes and patterns and don't cost a lot. As for water, another hamster bowl is needed. Do not buy a water bottle like rabbits have because it creates an unnatural position and their long tongues could get stuck in the spout.


BED

The best bed is a small animal igloo. They are available from most pet shops and are quite cheap.For warmth and snuggling, add a small blanket or strips of fabric for burrowing.Your hedgehog may also enjoy sleeping in a large plastic tube which can be purchased from pet shops. Some hedgehogs may enjoy snuggle pouches that can be purchased online or from some breeders, this allows them to snuggle into a cozy pouch that is warm and dark.




TOYS 

Hedgehogs love to play and explore new scents, textures and tastes. They will require various toys to keep them entertained during their night time adventures. Some good toys include: plastic or cardboard tunnels, balls, treat balls, soft toys (with no parts that could fall off or be eaten) and toys with different scents (hedgie safe)  on them for your hedgie to explore.


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