Hedgehogs are popular pets because they’re easy to care for and work for people with allergies. But if you’re planning to keep a hedgehog, you need to think carefully about the housing setup to guarantee that your little pet is safe and comfortable.
These cute animals are low-maintenance but have special needs when it comes to choosing the appropriate housing.
So, what size cage does a hedgehog need? Do you have to keep a hedgehog in a cage?
The answers to these questions will be found in this article, so keep on reading.
What size cage does a hedgehog need?
A hedgehog needs enough room to roam freely, so a cage that measures at least 2 X 3 feet is the minimum you can get for your pet to keep it comfortable.
However, if you can afford to get a bigger cage, you should definitely consider doing so. A hedgehog will be happier and healthier if it can move around freely.
When thinking about the right cage type, you should think about the hedgehog’s safety.
A cage with a wire bottom should be avoided entirely because the hedgehog’s small feet can get entangled in the wire, leading to a serious and painful injury. Instead, you should consider getting a cage with a smooth bottom that’s made of plastic or metal.
The walls should be made of clear plastic, glass, or any other smooth surface, and they should be high enough to prevent your pet from escaping. If the walls are made of wires, there should be a space of an inch or less to prevent the hedgehog from escaping.
If you want to keep another hedgehog in the same enclosure, you need to make sure that both animals are able to tolerate each other.
Hedgehogs aren’t aggressive or territorial, but they’re solitary and prefer to live alone. However, there are cases when pairing hedgehogs can work, even if it’s not for mating purposes.
In this case, you have to double the size of the cage to make sure that hedgehogs are comfortable and safe. This will guarantee that there will be enough room for both animals to live without feeling stressed.
You should also consider a bigger cage for a pregnant hedgehog. When the mother gives birth, she and her litter will have an appropriate living space so she can nurse them until they’re mature.
How can I decide on the appropriate size for my hedgehog’s cage?
The comfort and safety of your pet hedgehog should be your first priority, but there are other factors that you should also consider when you’re thinking about the size of your pet’s cage.
Available space in your house
For a hedgehog, bigger will always be better, but this might not be accessible due to the setup in your house. In this case, you should think about the spot where you’re planning to set up the cage.
Evaluate the space you’ve devoted to the cage because it will determine how big you can go. The cage should be set up so it can allow the hedgehog to live and sleep peacefully without being continuously irritated or disturbed.
Think of the cage’s height as well as the horizontal space you have. And if you’re planning to put it on a shelf, you should be able to reach it for regular cleaning.
You should also think about the height of the cage if you’re planning to put tunnels, ramps, and other objects that allow your hedgehog to climb, hide, and explore.
You might choose a cage that’s too big, and it fits in your space but with no room to open and close the door comfortably. This means that although the cage might seem comfortable, it won’t be suitable for your hedgehog.
You need to make sure that you still have enough space to open and close the pet’s cage for cleaning or providing and removing food and water.
The cage size should be big enough to accommodate all the accessories that you might want to add to make your hedgehog happier and more comfortable.
This includes a cave where it can hide, a pipe, balls, toys, food, and water trays, in addition to anything that you think might appeal to your little pet.
Do you have to keep a hedgehog in a cage?
You don’t have to keep the hedgehog in a cage. An aquarium can be a suitable enclosure for your pet, as long as you make it comfortable and cozy.
The aquarium should have a capacity of at least 30 gallons, but going for a 50-gallon aquarium will guarantee that your hedgehog will be more comfortable. It has smooth walls, so there’s no way your little pet will be able to run away.
Just like a cage, you should make the aquarium cozy and warm for your pet. This means that you should pick suitable bedding material and provide the enclosure with all the accessories that the hedgehog needs to stay healthy and happy.
You should also make sure that the aquarium has a wire mesh top to prevent the hedgehog from escaping while providing good ventilation.
A clear plastic container can be a better alternative since a glass aquarium can be too heavy and difficult to clean. Clear plastic works best because an opaque container will be too dark for your little pet.
You should drill holes using a soldering iron and keep a mesh wire lid on top to provide better ventilation.
Can I let the hedgehog out of its enclosure?
Your hedgehog doesn’t have to be kept in its enclosure all day long. As a matter of fact, letting the hedgehog out is actually good for its physical and mental health as it feels that it’s free to explore its surroundings.
You can let it out of the cage or enclosure and let it roam freely in your house, as long as your house is hedgehog-proofed. Here are some tips to room-proof the house for your little pet’s safety.
- Choose a smaller room to release your hedgehog when you want to let it roam freely. Also, a smaller room is easier to search in case you want to locate your pet since hedgehogs are fond of hiding.
- Make sure there are no hidden holes or cracks where your little pet can hide. Hedgehogs feel safe when they hide and will try to squeeze themselves into the tiniest cracks, so you might not be able to find your pet.
If the gaps are too big, fill them with socks or pieces of cloth to protect your hedgehog from getting trapped.
- Clean the floor of any food particles, cables, or wires. The food might not be suitable for your pet, and the hedgehog’s feet can get trapped in wires and cables.
- Remove the rugs and carpets from the room. The hedgehog’s tiny feet can get trapped in the fibers, which might lead to a painful injury.
- Avoid cleaning the floors with toxic chemicals. A hedgehog might be curious if there’s a strange smell, and it will lick the floor.
These harsh chemicals will harm and might even kill your little pet.
- If the room is too big or you’re worried about your pet getting stuck under a closet or a couch, use a playpen. This will restrict your hedgehog to a safe corner in the room where you can keep an eye on it.
Can you use a hamster cage for a hedgehog?
As long as the hamster cage is big enough for the hedgehog, it can work. However, you should never keep a hamster and a hedgehog together in the same enclosure.
You can keep a hamster in a smaller cage that measures about 2 X 1 feet, so it might work for a hedgehog, but it won’t be that comfortable. A hedgehog will feel comfortable if the cage is at least 2 X 3 feet.
Since both animals are nocturnal, they’ll be active during the same time of the day, and this will lead to fighting and aggression.
Moreover, hamsters are known to be territorial and solitary, so you should avoid putting these pets together in the same enclosure.
In addition, a hedgehog prefers its cage to be a little bit warm, usually between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is usually too hot for a hamster that prefers to live in a cooler cage, where the temperature is somewhere between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
A hedgehog needs a cage that measures at least 2 X 3 feet to have more room to explore its surroundings and live comfortably. If you can go bigger, your pet will definitely be happier about it.
You need to consider a few things while picking the cage, including the design to prevent it from escaping and protect it from getting hurt. You should also think about all the other stuff that you want to add to the cage to make it as comfortable as possible.
You can also keep your pet hedgehog in an aquarium or transparent plastic container. Letting it out of the enclosure to roam your house also works, as long as the room is hedgehog-proofed.
A hamster’s cage will probably be too small for a hedgehog. Moreover, you should never think about keeping these two animals together in the same enclosure.