What is the best cage for my hedgehog

Hedgehogs are very cute little animals that do not exceed 20 cm in length. They can live alone or in small groups of females with or without a single male among them. If you place two males together it is very likely that they will end up fighting.

It is very difficult to find wire cages specially designed for hedgehogs, but those indicated for rabbits, guinea pigs or ferrets are usually adequate. The minimum space they need is 60×60 cm, but the bigger the better. If you allow them to do some exercise outside the cage every day, the size can be a little smaller. It does not need to have more than one level, so a ferret cage can be separated into 2 or 3 independent spaces by closing the communication between the floors. Vertical bars are preferred, so that the hedgehog cannot climb and fall. It is very important that the distance between bars does not exceed 2 cm. to prevent its head or paws from getting stuck. For the same reason the floor should not be made of wire, but smooth. The best is a plastic tray with high edges that is easy to clean and prevents litter and food from falling out of the cage.

Many prefer to keep their hedgehogs in glass aquariums. These are also appropriate, look great in any environment and provide a very good view of the interior. The drawback is that they do not allow good ventilation and at this size they are heavier and more expensive than cages. Small aquariums do not provide enough space for a hedgehog to move around comfortably.

Creative owners can make original habitats using large plastic containers. Several holes can be drilled to improve ventilation or even join two containers together using a large PVC pipe as a tunnel and double the space. If the container is high enough so that it cannot climb, you can leave it without a lid. This type of housing is inexpensive and you can design it to your liking, although it is not the most attractive or elegant.

The floor of the cage should be covered with some non-toxic, non-dusting, absorbent and hygienic litter. It must be light so that a litter of several centimeters deep can be placed. There are many suitable litters such as unscented pine shavings, corn litter, paper pellets or shredded newspaper. You can also use a piece of carpet or pieces of cloth as a base; they have the advantage of being soft and warm for their little paws, but they must be washed frequently.

It is important to keep in mind when choosing the cage that hedgehogs need a warm environment, where the temperature does not drop below 20ºC. A closed habitat is easier to heat if the room is cold. For those who only need to heat the cage during the night, microwavable heating pads are recommended and provide heat for several hours without risk of electrocution. You can find other options for heating the cage among the reptile products.

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