Hedgehog Cages and Other Pet Hedgehog Housing

High Angle View Of Hedgehog In Cage

Although there is considerable controversy about the best housing for pet hedgehogs, the most critical aspects for any hedgehog cage are size, safety, ventilation, and simplicity of cleaning. Different types of cages have advantages and disadvantages; choose one that satisfies the specific needs of hedgehogs while also fitting your budget and tastes.

Size

In their hunt for food, wild hedgehogs frequently cover a lot of ground. Pet hedgehogs, too, require a lot of space to move around. The minimal floor area for a hedgehog is two square feet (e.g. 1 foot by 2 feet), however this should be considered the very bare minimum; use this size only if you have a wheel and allow your hedgehog plenty of opportunity to exercise outside the cage. Ideally, you should strive for a minimum of 6 square feet (e.g. 3 feet by 2 feet).

Safety

Hedgehog cages must have a solid floor; avoid cages with wire or wire mesh flooring since hedgehogs might grab and harm their legs or feet on them. There should be no sharp edges or places in the cage where the animal's head might get caught. To prevent escape, the cage must be secure.

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

Wire cages are popular among pet owners because they are inexpensive and provide adequate ventilation. Furthermore, they are generally lightweight and simple to clean. Hedgehogs, on the other hand, can be picky about their cages. As previously noted, cages with wire floors should be avoided. Cover the wire with wood, plastic, or a Vellux blanket trimmed to fit firmly if such cages are not available. In addition, cages large enough for hedgehogs may have wire spacing that is too wide to keep hedgehogs safe. Look for ferret or with 1 inch or less space.

Martin's Cages (note: pick from the larger ones as the Hedgehog Home is quite small) and Hedgehogs by Vicki are two companies who make wire cages particularly for hedgehogs. Some individuals propose multilevel ferret cages, although the height of these cages may cause falls from the platforms or climbing the cage's edges.

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 pet owners have come up with ingenious ways to make cages out of plastic storage boxes. Clear plastic storage containers may be used to build a huge cage for little money with some minor changes (choose clear because opaque containers would be quite dark for a hedgehog). The main disadvantage is, once again, ventilation. With a soldering iron or drill, you can cut holes in the sides and lid, but it's tough to produce enough holes to offer enough ventilation. You might be able to get away with having no lid if you obtain a deep enough container and don't have anything around the walls that the hedgehog can use for climbing (e.g., water bottles).

Alternatively, you may make a lid out of hardware wire mesh or screen cloth and connect it to a wide aperture cut in the storage container's lid. A clever concept for a two-container house with instructions may be seen on the Michigan Hedgehog Owners Group website. To help with airflow, Hedgehog Valley recommends cutting panels into the sides of the container and covering the apertures with wire mesh or plastic canvas. These houses may be fairly functional with a little imagination.

Additional Options

Other options include wading pools (solid plastic with high sides) and homemade wooden cages. Only your creativity is the limit as long as the cage is large enough, escape-proof, safe, ventilated, and easy to clean.

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