Pet hedgehogs are easy to care for provided you house them in a good enclosure. It is therefore important to find the right kind of cage that is best for your hedgehog.
In the wild, hedgehogs travel long distances in search of food and water unlike pet hedgehogs.
Pet hedgehogs on the other hand spend most of their time inside their enclosure. As a result, they require a lot of exercise and therefore need a cage that will allow this.
Therefore, there are a number of factors that make a cage good for hedgehogs that you should consider.
What kind of cage does a hedgehog need?
Size; hedgehogs need a large cage
Select a cage that is large enough to allow your pet hedgehog to move around.
We recommend a minimum floor space of about 6 sq. feet; 2 x 3 feet (61 x 91 cm).
The wall however has to be high enough to prevent escape. This is because hedgehogs are good climbers and can therefore easily escape from a low cage.
Base; hedgehogs require cages with a solid base/floor
Pet hedgehogs have very small feet. As a result, they can easily be trapped between small spaces which may potentially lead to injuries.
We therefore recommend using cages that have solid bases to avoid injuries.
Generally, you should avoid cages that have a wire bottom when selecting a cage for your pet hedgehog.
Choose a cage that has either a wood or plastic floor. If this is not available you can cover the mesh floor with a fleece or Velux blanket that is cut to fit.
Ventilation; hedgehogs require a cage with proper ventilation
Proper ventilation is important in any pet enclosure. This is because it controls humidity, ammonia (from urine) and odour from building up in the cage. Additionally, proper ventilation allows for gas exchange keeping your pet healthy and happy.
A good pet hedgehog cage should have proper ventilation. Wire cages have the best ventilation which makes them the most preferred for hedgehogs and many small mammals.
Choose a cage that has proper ventilation. For cages that do not have proper ventilation such as glass aquariums and plastic cages, you can improve ventilation by using mesh lids.
Material; hedgehogs can use either glass, plastic, wire or wooden cages
You can choose to use any material when selecting a cage for your pet hedgehog. It can either be made of glass, plastic, wire or wood.
Some hedgehog keepers use glass aquariums to house their pet hedgehogs.
Glass makes a good material for pet hedgehogs due to a number of reason.
One, the wall is smooth therefore the hedgehog cannot easily climb out of the cage.
Additionally, most glass aquariums are transparent which enables your pet hedgehog to observe its surroundings.
However, glass aquariums do not have proper ventilation and are hard to clean as they are fragile and can easily break.
If the glass aquarium is deep enough and does not have equipment that the hedgehog can use to climb out, you can leave the enclosure without a lid. Otherwise, you need to use a lid that provides for ventilation such as a wire mesh lid when using a glass aquarium.
When selecting a glass aquarium, choose one that is at least 30 gallons to allow your pet hedgehog enough room to move around.
Plastic also makes good material for pet hedgehogs. Some hedgehog owners convert plastic containers into good hedgehog cages.
There are a few reasons why plastic cages are the best kind of cages for hedgehogs.
First, plastic cages are light and easy to clean.
Secondly, plastic walls are smooth therefore hedgehogs cannot climb on them making them escape proof.
Additionally, plastic cages have solid flooring which cannot potentially harm your pet hedgehog.
Lastly, because plastic does not have good ventilation, you can easily drill holes on the plastic walls to allow for enough ventilation for your pet hedgehog.
When selecting a plastic cage, select one that is light in colour to allow light to pass through.
Wire cages are the most common type of cages that are easily available. They make the best type of cage for hedgehogs because of a number of reasons.
The first reason is that wire cages are very light and easy to assemble and disassemble. As such they are easy to clean and maintain.
Additionally, wire cages provide good ventilation which makes them superior to other type of cages.
Lastly, they allow light to pass and are therefore not dark for hedgehogs. Hedgehogs can be able to see their surrounding in wire cages.
However, wire cages are disadvantageous as they do not have solid bases. You can however cover the floor with either wood, plastic or a blanket cut to fit.
Furthermore, you need to be careful when selecting a wire cage for hedgehogs. Some cages that are large enough for hedgehogs have wire spacing that is too large. As a result hedgehogs can easily fit in between the wires and escape. We recommend wire spacing that is either 1 inch or less to prevent escape.
You can also easily make a homemade wooden cage for your pet hedgehog.
When constructing a wooden cage for your hedgehog ensure that you do not leave spaces on the floor. Hedgehogs can easily get stuck between the spaces and be injured.
Additionally, ensure that you provide for ventilation.
Secure; a good hedgehog cage should be secure and escape proof
Pet hedgehogs spend most of their time inside their cage. Which is why they need a cage that is not only comfortable but one that is also secure.
A secure cage is one where your pet hedgehog cannot easily escape from.
There are a number of things you can do to make a cage secure for your hedgehogs.
- Use a lid if the cage that you have has low walls. Hedgehogs are good climbers and can easily climb on objects within the cage and move out. In cages that do not have good ventilation such as a glass or plastic cage, use mesh lids.
- Ensure you use a cage with solid floor. Avoid cages with wire floors as hedgehogs can easily get stuck between the spaces and get injured. You can add wood, plastic or blankets on the floor to make the base solid.
- Use cages that have deep walls. Hedgehogs are good climbers and can climb out of any cage easily. Deep smooth walls discourage climbing. If you are using glass or plastic cages, select one with deep walls. Deep walls can allow you to leave the cage without a lid which will improve the ventilation of the cage.
- If you are using wire cages, ensure that the spacing between the wire is minimal (1 inch or below) to prevent escape. Hedgehogs can easily fit between wire spaces and escape.
Easy to clean; A good hedgehog cage should be easy to clean
Pet hedgehogs require minimal handling and do not need to be cleaned regularly. However, they need to live in a clean environment.
Which is why you need to clean their cage on a regular basis. It is therefore advantageous to have a cage that is easy to clean.
A cages that is light weight and one that is easy to assemble and disassemble is easy to clean and thus is preferred.
When selecting a cage for your pet hedgehog select one that will be easy to clean to make the process less stressful for both you and your pet hedgehog.