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Hedgehog Cage Requirements

Hedgehog Cage RequirementsPet cages with a floor area measuring 5 square feet (0.46 m2) or more are suitable for pet hedgehogs. Cages with wired floors are dangerous for hedgehogs because they can easily slip and get a limb caught in the wire. Multi-level ferret or rabbit cages can allow a hedgehog more room to explore without taking up extra floorspace, but when using multiple levels, keep in mind that a hedgehog has poor eyesight, can climb easily, but has difficulty descending and often does not seem to understand heights, so it is highly recommended that ramps and levels be completely enclosed to prevent a fall. Some people use large glass aquariums but these can be heavy and awkward to clean and offer little ventilation. Very large steralite storage bins are a common DIY cage and are inexpensive, easy to clean, and versatile, but they must be of a considerable size and must be ventilated properly. Another popular Do it yourself cage is a "C & C" cage made out of cubes and coroplast, also called corrugated plastic. C & C cages can be made larger than store-bought cages and can be built one on top of the other to house multiple hedgehogs vertically without the need for shelving.

A wheel is necessary to provide hedgehogs with exercise. Some hedgehogs refuse to run in a wheel, so other forms of exercise must be substituted. When choosing a wheel, it must have a solid floor. If an open-wire wheel is used, the hedgehog will continually fall between the bars and possibly break a leg. Wheels with crossbars can also cause facial injuries as hedgehogs have been known to look sideways out of the wheel while running. For this reason "bucket" type wheels are preferred by many hedgehog owners, and they are available from many breeders. DIY articles are also readily available for those wishing to attempt making one themselves.

Vellux blanket material is preferred for bedding by many because it does not fray and is easy to clean up. This is a plushy velour-like material often used for hotel blankets. Strings from frayed edges on blankets have been known to wrap around hedgehog's legs, causing amputation, so any frayable fabric that is to be near the hedgehog must be checked thoroughly to avoid problems. Fleece blankets can also be used, but the edges should be sewn so that there are no stray threads in which a hedgehog could catch itself. Recycled newspaper beddings are also popular. Cedar and pine bedding have wood oils that are dangerous to hedgehogs and can cause lung issues and even sores. However aspen shavings contain no such oils and are safe for use in hedgehog enclosures. Some beddings can be dangerous due to dust content or propensity to clump up on the hedgehog, others may even get stuck in the hedgehog's genitals. Careful research is necessary before using any unusual bedding materials.

The enclosure should be kept above 70 °F (21 °C) or the hedgehog will attempt to hibernate.


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Hedgehog Cage Requirements