Hedgehogs are adorable, low-maintenance pets that have gained popularity in recent years. But before you bring one home, creating a comfortable and safe environment for your prickly friend is important. Choosing the perfect hedgehog cage is one of the most important aspects of their care. In this blog guide, we will discuss the importance of choosing the right and best hedgehog cage, factors to consider, types of cages, and more.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Hedgehog Cage
A hedgehog’s cage is more than just its living space; it’s essential to its overall health and well-being. The right cage provides a secure and comfortable environment for your pet, allowing it to feel safe, exercise, and engage in natural behavior. A poorly designed or inappropriate cage can lead to stress, injury, and illness.
What Kind of Cage Does a Hedgehog Need?
A hedgehog enclosure needs a cage that provides a safe, comfortable, and stimulating environment. Key features to consider when choosing a hedgehog cage include:
- Adequate Ventilation: Good airflow is crucial for maintaining a healthy environment. Wire cages offer the best ventilation, while plastic and glass tanks should have sufficient openings for air circulation.
- Escape-Proof Design: Hedgehogs are curious creatures and may attempt to escape if given the opportunity. Ensure the cage has secure latches, doors, and no gaps that could allow your hedgehog to escape.
- Appropriate Size: The minimum cage size for a hedgehog is 24 inches long by 18 inches wide by 12 inches high (61 cm x 46 cm x 30 cm). A larger cage, such as 30 inches long by 24 inches wide by 18 inches high (76 cm x 61 cm x 46 cm) or bigger, provides more space for exercise and accessories.
- Safe Materials: Choose a cage from safe materials, such as coated wire, hard plastic, or glass. Avoid untreated wood or wire mesh flooring, which can cause injury or harbor bacteria.
- Accessibility for Cleaning and Interaction: The cage should be easy to clean and accessible for regular maintenance and interaction with your hedgehog.
- Space for Accessories and Toys: Ensure there is enough room for essential accessories like a water bottle, food bowl, bedding, exercise wheel, and hideouts, as well as optional items like climbing toys, hammocks, and litter boxes.
When selecting a hedgehog cage, consider the different types of hedgehog enclosures available, such as wire cages, plastic cages, and glass tanks, and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each to find the best fit for your hedgehog’s needs.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hedgehog Cage
When selecting a hedgehog cage, there are several factors to consider, including:
- Type of cage
- Size and space
- Materials and Quality
- Maintenance and cleaning
- Accessories and toys
- Location and placement
We will discuss each and every of these factors in more detail below.
Types of Hedgehog Cages
There are three main hedgehog cages: wire, plastic, and glass tanks. Each type of hedgehog owners has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will explore below.
Wire cages can be a suitable housing option for hedgehogs, as they provide good ventilation and allow for easy cleaning. However, it’s important to choose a cage with a wire spacing that is appropriate for hedgehogs, as they can easily get their heads stuck in the gaps of cages with wider spacing.
A recommended wire spacing for hedgehog cages is 1 inch by 1 inch. The cage should also be at least 4 square feet in size to provide enough space for your hedgehog to move around and explore. Additionally, it’s recommended to have multiple levels and hiding places in the cage to create a stimulating environment for your hedgehog.
When choosing a wire cage, make sure it has a solid bottom to prevent your hedgehog from getting caught in the wire mesh or injuring its feet. You may also want to consider covering the wire flooring with a soft material, such as fleece or paper-based bedding, to provide your hedgehog with a comfortable surface to walk on.
Overall, a wire cage can be a suitable housing option for hedgehogs as long as it meets the appropriate size and spacing requirements and provides a safe and comfortable environment for your hedgehog to live in.
Advantages of Wire Cages
- Good ventilation
- Easy to accessorize with climbing toys and hammocks
- Lightweight and easy to move
- Available in various sizes
Disadvantages of Wire Cages
- Risk of injury from wire mesh
- Potential for escape
- Can be drafty
- May require additional modifications to make them suitable for hedgehogs
Plastic cages are a popular choice for hedgehog owners because they are easy to clean and maintain. However, it is important to choose a cage that is appropriate for your hedgehog’s size and needs.
When selecting a plastic cage, make sure it is large enough for your hedgehog to move around and explore. Hedgehogs are active creatures and need plenty of space to exercise and play. A cage that is too small can lead to stress and health problems for your pet.
Additionally, look for a cage with good ventilation to prevent the buildup of ammonia and other harmful gases. It should also have a secure lid or cover to prevent your hedgehog from escaping.
It’s worth noting that plastic cages are not as durable as other materials such as metal or glass, and some hedgehogs may be able to chew through the plastic. Therefore, it’s important to regularly check the cage for signs of damage and replace it if necessary.
Overall, plastic cages can be a good choice for hedgehog owners, but make sure to choose a cage that is the right size and has good ventilation and security features.
Advantages of Plastic Cages
- Easy to clean
- Less risk of injury
- More secure, with fewer escape opportunities
- It can be less expensive than other types of cages
Disadvantages of Plastic Cages
- Less ventilation than wire cages
- Can retain odor
- Limited in size and design options
Glass tanks are a common housing option for pet hedgehogs. They provide a secure and sturdy environment for your pet, while also allowing for good visibility and easy cleaning.
When selecting a glass tank for your hedgehog, it’s important to consider the size. Hedgehogs need plenty of room to move around and explore. A tank that’s at least 2 feet long and 1.5 feet wide is recommended for one hedgehog, but larger is always better.
You’ll also want to make sure the tank has a secure lid or cover to prevent your hedgehog from escaping. It’s important to note that hedgehogs are skilled climbers and can easily escape from tanks with low sides or unsecured lids.
In addition to the size and security of the tank, you’ll also want to consider the bedding and accessories you’ll use to make the tank comfortable and enriching for your hedgehog. Some popular options include fleece liners or recycled paper bedding, as well as hiding places, toys, and a wheel for exercise.
Advantages of Glass Tanks
- Easy to clean
- Secure and escape-proof
- Good visibility for observing your hedgehog
- It can be aesthetically pleasing
Disadvantages of Glass Tanks
- Poor ventilation
- Heavy and difficult to move
- Limited in size and design options
- It can become too warm or humid
Size and Space Considerations
Minimum Cage Size for a Hedgehog
The minimum cage-size for a hedgehog is 24 inches or square feet long by 18 inches wide by 12 inches high (61 cmx 46 cm x 30 cm). This provides enough space for your hedgehog to move around and accommodate necessary accessories.
Ideal Cage Size for a Hedgehog
The ideal cage size for a hedgehog is 30 inches long by 24 inches wide by 18 inches high (76 cm x 61 cm x 46 cm) or larger. A larger cage allows more floor space for more exercise, enrichment, and comfort for your hedgehog.
Multi-Level Cages vs. Single-Level Cages
Multi-level cages provide more vertical space and opportunities for climbing and exploration. However, hedgehogs are not natural climbers, and falling from a significant height can cause injury. Single-level cages are generally safer and more suitable for hedgehogs.
Space Requirements for Accessories and Toys
When selecting a cage, ensure there is enough room for essential accessories for small animal like a water bottle, food bowl, bedding, exercise wheel, hideouts, and optional items like climbing toys, hammocks, and litter boxes.
Materials and Quality
Safe and Unsafe Materials for Hedgehog Cages
Safe materials for hedgehog cages include coated wire, hard plastic, and glass. Avoid using untreated wood, as it can harbor bacteria and be difficult to clean. Additionally, avoid using cages with wire mesh flooring, as it can cause injuries to your hedgehog’s feet.
Durability and Quality of Hedgehog Cages
Choose a cage that is made from high-quality materials and designed to last. Look for sturdy construction, secure latches, and doors that close tightly to prevent escape.
Maintaining and Cleaning Hedgehog Cages
Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential for your hedgehog’s health. Clean the cage and replace bedding at least once a week to minimize odor and maintain a healthy environment. Use mild, soap and warm-water to clean the cage floor and accessories, ensuring they are thoroughly rinsed before returning them to the cage.
Accessories and Toys
Essential Accessories for Hedgehog Cages
- Water Bottle or Bowl: Provide a constant fresh water supply for your hedgehog. Water bottles are preferable, as they are less likely to spill and become contaminated.
- Food Bowl: A shallow, heavy ceramic bowl prevents tipping and spilling.
- Bedding: Use a safe and comfortable material, such as paper-based bedding, aspen shavings, or fleece liners. Avoid using cedar or pine-shavings, as they can cause respiratory issues.
- Exercise Wheel: Choose a solid-surface wheel with a minimum diameter of 12 inches (30 cm) to prevent back injuries. Avoid using wire wheels, as they can cause injury.
- Hideouts: Provide at least one hideout for your hedgehog to retreat to when it feels stressed or wants to sleep.
Optional Accessories for Hedgehog Cages
- Climbing Toys: While not natural climbers, some hedgehogs enjoy exploring low-level climbing toys. Ensure they are secure and not too high to minimize the risk of injury.
- Hammocks: Some hedgehogs may enjoy resting in a hammock, but ensure it is placed below to prevent falls.
- Litter Boxes: Hedgehogs can be litter trained, and a small litter box with a low entrance can help keep the cage clean.
Location and Placement
Ideal Location for Hedgehog Cages
Place the cage in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home, away from direct coming sunlight and drafts. Ensure the cage is not near heat sources, such as radiators or heaters, which could cause temperature fluctuations.
Temperature and Humidity Considerations
Hedgehogs require a consistent temperature of 72-80°F (22-27°C) and a humidity level between 30-50%. Use a digital-thermometer and hygrometer to monitor the cage’s environment and adjust as needed.
Placement and Accessibility of Hedgehog Cages
Place the cage on a sturdy, level surface, ensuring it is easily accessible for cleaning and interacting with your hedgehog. Avoid placing the cage directly on the floor, as it can be colder and more prone to drafts.
Budget-Friendly Hedgehog Cages
Many affordable cage options are available, such as either plastic storage containers and bins or modified rabbit cages. These options may require additional modifications to ensure safety and comfort for your hedgehog.
Mid-Range Hedgehog Cages
Mid-range cages offer a balance between affordability and quality. They often have more features and are made from higher-quality materials, providing a better overall environment for your hedgehog.
High-End Hedgehog Cages
High-end cages typically offer the best materials, design, and features, ensuring a safe, comfortable, and visually appealing environment for your hedgehog. These cages may also be more durable and easier to maintain.
Hidden Costs to Consider
Consider additional costs such as accessories, bedding, and cleaning supplies when budgeting for your hedgehog’s enclosure or cage. These items are necessary for your hedgehog’s care and can add up over time.
DIY Hedgehog Cages
Benefits of Building a DIY Hedgehog Cage
Building a DIY hedgehog cage allows you to customize the size, design, and features of cheapest cage to meet your needs and preferences. This option can also be more cost-effective than purchasing a pre-made cage.
Materials Needed for a DIY Hedgehog Cage
To build a DIY hedgehog cage, you’ll need materials such as:
- Plastic storage bins or coated wire mesh for the cage walls and base
- Safe bedding material
- Water bottle or bowl
- Food bowl
- Exercise wheel
- Optional accessories, such as climbing toys, hammocks, or litter boxes
Step-by-Step Guide to Building a DIY Hedgehog Cage
- Choose a base for your cage, such as a large plastic storage bin or a custom-built coated wire mesh base.
- If using a storage bin, cut a large opening in the lid for ventilation and cover it with a securely attached wire mesh.
- Add bedding to the base of the cage.
- Install a water bottle or place a water bowl in the cage.
- Add a food bowl to the cage.
- Place an exercise wheel in the cage, ensuring it is secure and has enough space for your hedgehog to use comfortably.
- Add a hideout for your hedgehog to retreat when it feels stressed or wants to sleep.
- Optional: Add additional accessories, such as climbing toys, hammocks, or litter boxes.
Monitor the temperature and humidity in the cage and adjust as needed.
When choosing a hedgehog cage, consider cage type, size, materials, accessories, and location factors. Providing a safe, smooth, comfortable, and stimulating environment for your hedgehog to thrive is important.
Investing in a high-quality, appropriately-sized hedgehog cage is crucial for your pet’s overall health and well-being. By carefully considering and checking the factors discussed in this guide and selecting the best cage for your hedgehog, you can help ensure your guinea pigs and pet friend’s happy, healthy life.
What type of cage should a hedgehog have?
A hedgehog should have a cage that provides adequate ventilation, is escape-proof, and has enough space for accessories and exercise. Common cage types for pet hedgehogs include wire cages, plastic cages, and glass tanks.
Do hedgehogs like multi-level cages?
Hedgehogs are not natural climbers, and multi-level cages can pose a risk of injury from falls. A single-level cage is generally safer and more suitable for hedgehogs.
Where is a good place to put a hedgehog cage?
The best place to put a hedgehog cage is in a quiet, low-traffic area of the house or your home, away from direct sunlight, drafts, and heat sources. And also check the head stuck in hedgehog’s cage.
Can hedgehogs live in a 20-gallon tank? A 20-gallon tank is generally too small for a hedgehog. The minimum cage-size for a hedgehog is 24 inches long by 18 inches wide by 12 inches-high (61 cm x 46 cm x 30 cm). A larger cage, such as a 30-gallon tank or bigger, wire floors cage is more suitable and will provide a more comfortable and stimulating environment for your hedgehog.