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Enclosures

There is a fair amount of debate regarding what is ideal and/or appropriate for hedgehogs when it comes to enclosures.
We will do our best to outline each type so that you can make an informed decision for yourself.

Plastic Storage Bins
Sterilite/Rubbermaid/Hefty, 105 quart - 120 quart size or larger.

Pros

  • Proper temperature is easily achieved
  • Widely available (Walmart, Target, etc.)
  • Variety of choices
  • Inexpensive ($10 - $18)
  • Easily modified
  • Lightweight and easy to clean
  • Solid sides to prevent climbing
  • Solid bottom prevents injuries to tiny feet
  • Lids can be modified to accommodate the heat source

Cons

  • Proper ventilation could be a problem if the lid is not
    properly modified
  • Height may not accommodate some exercise wheels
  • Measures must be taken to prevent escape when
    using traditional igloos
Wire Cages
Top required.  Solid bottom required.  Strongly recommend coroplast or equivalent on all sides.

Pros

  • Widely available (pet stores and online)
  • Variety of choices
  • Some mid-range prices available ($30 - $60)
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Can typically accommodate exercise wheel
  • Can typically accommodate heat source easily

Cons

  • Can be difficult to achieve ideal temperatures
  • Climbing the sides can lead to injuries or escaping
  • Climbing could provide hedgehog access to heat
    source, burn risk
  • Depending on type/style cleaning could be difficult
    or time-consuming
  • Some cages are quite expensive
Aquariums
20 gallon long or larger.

Pros

  • Proper temperature is easily achieved
  • Available in most pet shops and even some major retailers
  • Variety of choices
  • Solid sides to prevent climbing
  • Solid bottom to prevent injuries to tiny hedgehog feet
  • Some can accommodate exercise wheel
  • Lids can be modified to accommodate the heat source

Cons

  • Proper ventilation could be a problem with certain
    types of tops/lids
  • Heavy and cumbersome to clean
  • Fragile, hot/cold spots may cause the glass to shatter,
    any crack (even small) requires complete replacement
    to prevent cuts
  • All caulking must be removed before use with hedgehogs
Handmade Enclosures
Made using wood or wood furniture. 

These setups can be constructed very differently depending on the person.

  • Ensure that all wood is completely sealed with a pet-safe paint, lacquer, or shellac.
  • Ensure that there is adequate ventilation throughout the enclosure.
  • Ensure that the enclosure can reach and maintain the ideal temperature.
  • Ensure that there is adequate floor space for the hedgehog to roam.
  • Ensure that the enclosure is secure and there are no escape points.

Substrate

There are a few options when it comes to substrate or bedding for hedgehogs.  Some suitable choices are:

  • Fleece or flannel liners
  • Kiln-dried pine
  • Paper bedding

Never use cedar with any caged animal.  Cedar contains oils that are toxic and cause respiratory distress and urinary illness.
Aspen is one of the controversial beddings.  Many breeders discourage its use because of its tiny particles which can be an irritant to eyes or genital.

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