Hedgehogs need a few things in their cage. They need them to be happy, healthy, and comfortable. If you don’t have these things, you might want to change that asap. These are the necessary items for new and old hedgehog owners. The list covers what you need in your enclosure in order to be a successful and happy hedgehog owner. Without these items, your hedgehog’s health and comfort could be affected.
A Proper Cage
Starting off you need a proper cage. This is including the size and the material. A proper cage should be 24” by 24”. This is 4 square feet. The material needs to be breathable, cleanable, and non-toxic.
Common choices are guinea pig cages, large bins, or metal shelving squares (CC cage). Our cage guide will be here soon!
The wheel needs to be at least 12 inches wide. They are nocturnal, so it might be best to look for a quiet wheel. The track part needs to have no holes that could catch paws and nails. The Carolina storm wheel is common along with DIY wheels and store-bought chinchilla wheels.
Hedgehogs need their food separate from their water. Therefore, they need a bowl for food. Shallow kitten bowls are popular. I also found that lizard bowls and sauce bowls work as well. About 3 centimeters tall is usually a good size. They also need to be heavy to prevent spillage.
Water is the most basic necessity. Some people use water bottles, but it is not as natural as a water dish/bowl. Most hedgehogs prefer water bowls. It is important to refresh it daily (they get the bowl very messy). Usually, the perfect bowl is just like the food bowl.
Heater or Heat Source
The perfect temperature is very important. Incorrect temperature is bad for your pet. It can even encourage hibernation if it is too cold. 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is acceptable. Although the goal temp should be 74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some ways to do this are warm sleep areas, bedding, heat lamps, and heating pads. You can even get a cage temperature tracker.
Your pet interacts with this item almost every second of every day. Improper bedding can cause injury and death. The correct bedding can make your hedgehog happier and a better pet. You can learn more about the best bedding in our bedding guide.
A shelter or bed area not only can act as their bed, but also provides warmth, comfort, and keeps them out of trouble. Hedgehogs need some privacy and a place to rest their head. Otherwise, their behavior will be undesirable. Snuggle sacks, mini houses, and hideaways are perfect to accomplish this!
Before you get your pet, you need the right food. The food needs to have a balanced blend that has the perfect percentages of nutrients. You can look at our food guide here. When buying a hedgehog it can be nice to ask the breeder what type they use.
Enrichment is one of the forgotten necessities. They need entertainment or their behavior will be unpleasant and destructive. Toys are a great way to provide enrichment. Taking them out of the cage and letting them explore in a controlled space always accomplishes enrichment. Products like dig boxes also provide entertainment for the pet.
You don’t want to be caught unprepared when right after you get your hedgehog, the cage already needs cleaning. Spot cleaning will go a long way in reducing smell and clean-up time. You can pick it up with tools or with paper towels. Small plastic tongs or reptile poop scoopers work great.
There are also cleaning wipes, spray, and more to help you clean the cage. Check out our cleaning article to help you out!
Treats are the glue that holds owners and hedgehogs together. They will come in handy when you are trying to bond with your hedgehog. It’s best to start as soon as you can. It will make the hedgehog more comfortable with you, when starting out. It also adds variety to their diet. Check out our treat article!
Exotic Vet Info
To be a responsible pet owner, you need to have an exotic vet’s number, name, and location when you first buy a hedgehog. Otherwise, your pet could be in danger when it needs help the most. The breeder should know of one nearby.
For some, this is a necessity. Believe it or not, hedgehogs can be litterbox trained. We did this for our first hedgehog and it made both of our lives easier. It reduces smells, helps with cleanup, and more. It’s easiest to start as soon as you get your hedgehog. Common ideas are DIY pans, boxes, or storebought trays. We are working on our litterbox guide right now!
In the wild, hedgehogs walk a lot of miles daily (it trims their nails for them). In captivity, they need their claws trimmed. Based on the care, your hedgehog received before you, they might need care right away. So you can either wait on this item or just get it before.
Hedgehogs can sometimes require baths. Usually, it is not right away but if they suffered improper care a bath might be needed. We will have our bath guide up soon. There are certain baby shampoos and brushes that can be used to get the poop and grim off. Our bathing guide should be up soon!
It can be hard to know what you need in your hedgehog cage. I hope you found this useful! What was the first thing you got for your hedgehog?