Make sure you have the right hedgehog supplies and accessories setup before just going and buying a hedgehog. Some of these supplies take some setup and research to properly setup the hedgehog habitat. If your hedgie goes into hibernation.. it could very well die.. That’s why we need to take all of these variables very seriously.
1. Cages & Housing
Your pet hedgehog is going to spend most of it’s life inside the cage you give it. That’s a big deal! Make sure you choose a good setup that gives your hedgie some space to move around when need be. If your looking to make your own DIY cage then click here. Or if you just want to buy one we have posted a best seller below!
- Advised 4 sq ft of Floor Space
- Large Sterilite Bins (100+ qts)
- General Wire Top Cages (2ft by 2ft min.)
- NO Glass Aquariums
- NO Muli-level cages
2. Heating Source
The most important factor to keeping hedgies is their light schedule and habitat temperature. When a hedgehog gets too cold they go into hibernation and than can sometimes cause death. Hedgehogs should be getting 10 to 12 hours of regular light everyday. The cage needs a CONSTANT temp between 73-80F. The most popular way of heating a cage is using a CHE (ceramic heat emitter). Other methods like space heaters, heat pads and other things can be used but the CHE setup is inexpensive to run and good for small cage setups like this.
- Cage must be 73-80 Fahrenheit
- “CHE” Heaters Work the Best
- Space Heaters, Head Pads Work Too
- A Thermostat is NEEDED
3. Bedding & Substrate
I have found that different types of cage liners work better than loose bedding. I use either vinyl cloth or velux cloth to line the cage floors. If they are litter trained, most hedgehogs do very well with this setup. If you prefer loose bedding, I recommend recycled paper or Aspen pellet’s. One kind I have had good luck with and is available in most areas is Carefresh. DO NOT ever use Cedar as it causes sores on their skin and burns their lungs. DO NOT ever use Pine, it carries high levels of mites that can irritate your hedgehog’s skin. Some people use Aspen Chips but you can experience mites with this also.
- Liners Work Great (Fleece, Flannel, Cotton)
- Wood Shavings are Good – (aspen or kiln-dried pine)
- Cedar Shavings are BAD!
4. Exercise Wheel
A wheel is a basic need, as hedgehogs require plenty of exercise and activities. However, using hamster wires and mouse wheel are extremely discouraged. They need to have that flat surface. There is a super popular company called “Kaytee” that makes a good large wheel. They are also very easy to clean (which is super important because you will be cleaning it very often).
- Solid Running Surface
- 12+ inches in Diameter
- 4 inch Width
5. Food & Nutrition
It is advised to feed hedgehogs with a variety of food to enhance health and avoid the occurrence of diet boredom. Companies and suppliers have formulated an insectivorous diet, or food specifically designed for hedgehog nourishment. Meats are also popular food options for hedgehog. Turkey and salmon are among the preferred meats. Grapes or raisins are noted to be unsuitable for hedgehogs, while melon is recommended. Exercise should be given after feeding fruits to burn the sugar derived from these sources.
6. Hiding Spots & Sleeping
Your pet hedgie needs a place to hide. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an “igloo” or dome as long as it gives your hedgehog the feeling of being concealed and protected. Some people find bigger plastic pipes at hardware stores.. or I’ve seen small cardboard boxes or small fleece snuggle bags.. The igloo like domes do work very well though. I have a bunch of them and they all love them.
- Cuddle Sacs Help Keep Warm
- Hedgehogs Need Hiding Spots
- Plastic Houses (Igloo) Work Too
7. Water Dish or Bottle
Not a huge deal on which you choose. I hear stories of lots of hedgies preferring bowls but then the same for bottles… The only pros to using a bottle is the water doesn’t get gross from feces and bedding. And the only pro to using a water dish is the idea of it being “more natural” or the hedgie hurting their teeth on the bottle dispenser.
More In Depth Info:
Hedgehogs are Hypo-allergenic
Handling Hedgehog Pets
Hedgehogs may have huge differences in personalities. Some may tolerate being cuddled and touched. Some may love to hang around close to their human companions. Others may prefer exploring their environment by themselves. Some may be shy and would like to be in a secluded corner to retreat. So get to know your hedgehog pets.
Should be about 2 inches high and large enough that the hedgehog’s wheel fits in it and the Hedgehog still has room to use other areas to do it’s business.
For litter, I have found Aspen Supreme Pellet litter to be the best. Cat litters tend to be too dusty (even the dust free) and clumping cat litter can stick to the hedgehog’s rear end.
Facts on Hedgehogs
1) Hedgehogs usually live 3-5 yrs
2) Hedgehogs require a high protein/low fat diet
3) Hedgehogs must be maintained at a minimum of 70 degrees
4) Hedgehogs are nocturnal
5) Hedgehogs are insectivores by nature
6) Hedgehogs can swim (they are not pet fish).
7) Hedgehogs need daily socialization
8) Males can not be housed together, females can be housed together.
9) Vet bills for hedgehogs can be astronomical
10) Hedgehogs are WONDERFUL
11) The cost and prices of hedgies might surprise you
Exercise, Maintenance, & Bathing
ALL of my hedgehogs have an exercise wheel. In the wild, hedgehogs roam several miles daily.
There are a few options for wheels. I recommend the Ferret Wheel with a plastic canvas liner that can be easily removed and cleaned. Some hedgehog owners use a solid wheel. With some hedgehogs, using these wheels will require daily foot baths.
I also use an exercise ball to let them run around the house and outside in the yard. I have found the Rat size ball works best. The actual hedgehog size is almost to big for some hedgehogs to move easily.
Mites: Always a Popular Topic
Probably the most controversial topic in hedgehogs. There are mites in the environment just like fleas and ticks. A lot of hedgehogs have trouble with contracting mites through certain types of bedding. Even the most maticulously cleaned hedgehogs can contract mites.
In my opinion, prevention is the best cure. Once every three months I use Adams Flea and Tick Powder for Cats and Kittens.
If your hedgehog would get mites, you will see it scratching a lot and it’s skin will look flaky. Bad cases will have sores on their skin and bald spots where the quills fell out.
If your hedgehog is showing signs if mites, consult your Veterinarian.
Nail Clipping: A Necessity
Hedgehogs require regular nail clipping. To clip their nails, I usually have someone hold the hedgehog in the palm of their hand. I then reach under and fold the leg back gently and clip with a small human nail clipper.
Most nails are clear so you can see the pink vein, which provides blood supply to the nail. Clip just above this. If a nail is clipped too short and bleeds, you can pack flour or corn starch on the tip to stop the bleeding.
Yes, you can bathe your hedgehog! For most hedgehogs you will only need to use a few inches of warm water in the sink and a toothbrush to brush the quills. If you must use a shampoo, use a kitten shampoo with an oatmeal base and dilute it. Be absolutely sure to rinse thoroughly!
Have a towel warmed up in the dryer to wrap around the hedgehog. I usually put the wrapped hedgehog in a laundry basket in a warm spot for an hour or so.
Be sure the hedgehog is completely dry before putting it back in it’s cage.
Article Sources: hedgehogpet.net (dead link) , hedgehognaround.com
About Us & What We Do:
Our name is “Cloud Hedgehog” and we breed hedgehogs. This site is meant to serve as a resource and community for hedgie owners. We sell hedgies of all different ages (view inventory). Our years of great service have made for quite a reputation. We aim at educating new customers looking to own these awesome pets.
Updated News: WAITING LIST is 1 Year Wait Time
We have currently filled so many orders that we are over a year out in selling babies. So if your not willing to wait over a year (which is expected) to recieve your baby, we have to turn down your business. We had no idea business would bloom this fast. We are expected to make upgrades to our setup for upcoming years. WE DO APOLOGIZE.