The best hedgehog cage setup starts with the right cage size. Hedgehogs need at least six square feet of space (2 x 3 feet). Besides the cage, hedgehogs also need accessories, such as hideouts.
Cage setups are tricky. Each animal needs something different, so it’s difficult for new owners.
Hedgehogs have their own needs, from the ideal temperature to cage size.
In this blog post, we’ll go over the basic hedgehog cage requirements so you can set up your new pet’s home in the best way possible.
Hedgehog Cage Setup Overview
Hedgehogs need a cage measuring at least 2×3 feet. This allows them to move around. They also need bedding, water bottles, a food bowl, hideouts, and heating.
When it comes to setting up a cage for your new hedgehog, there are a few things you need to acquire.
Here are the must-haves that you need to prepare for your pet hedgehog, the basic requirements, and what it costs to set it up.
|Cage||2×3 feet||$50 to $150|
|Bedding||Soft and absorbent||$60 to $120|
|Water bottles||Keep two mounted to the side of the cage to avoid water shortages.||$10 to $20|
|Food||Protein-rich diet||$15 to $25 per month|
|Accessories||Small rubber balls, PVC pipes, tubes, exercise wheel, food bowl||$50 to $100|
|Heating lamp, heating pad, and thermometer||Keep temperatures around 75 to 85°F (23.5 to 29.5 °C).||$50 to $60|
Hedgehog Cage Setup Requirements
Hedgehogs have needs that you need to meet when setting up their cage. That’s why there are some requirements and supplies needed for the cage setup.
Here are the most important things about a hedgehog cage setup:
- Cage type
- Cage size
- Cage material
- Water bottle
- Food bowl
- Exercise equipment/Toys
The most important thing when choosing a cage type is that it is escape-proof.
Hedgehogs are notorious for being able to escape from their cages. Avoid this by buying a cage with a secure lid that can’t be pushed open from the inside.
The most common cages used for hedgehogs are:
- Metal cages with small gaps between the bars.
- Aquariums with holes in the lid for ventilation.
- Plastic bins with holes near the top for ventilation.
Hedgehog cages need to be a minimum of 2 x 3 feet (61 x 91cm).
Hedgehogs need space to move around and explore. It’s important to choose a cage that is large enough for them to do so.
Hedgehogs like to burrow and nest, so cages made of wire are not suitable unless the gaps are small.
Cages with solid walls allow hedgehogs to nest easily.
Many cages have one section with wire and another with solid walls. This allows hedgehogs to nest while providing proper airflow.
Your hedgehog’s cage needs to be lined with bedding for two reasons:
- To help keep your hedgehog warm.
- To provide them with a place to nest.
Choose a bedding material that is soft and absorbent, such as shredded paper or recycled fiber.
Hedgehogs need water. The best way to provide this is with water bottles.
You should always provide two bottles in case one of them breaks while you’re away from home.
Make sure the water bottle is made of durable glass or plastic so it isn’t knocked over easily.
Hedgehogs need food, and they need a food bowl to eat from.
Choose a bowl that is made of durable ceramic or glass so that it can’t be easily knocked over. It should be at least 4 inches in diameter.
Hedgehogs like to have a place to hide away from the world. This is why it’s important to provide them with a hiding place in their cage.
A small cardboard box or log tunnel will work perfectly for this.
Heat Lamp & Thermometer
Hedgehogs need a lamp, but not for light. They need it for heat.
Hedgehogs need a bulb that emits no light in their cage. This helps create a dark enclosure when it’s nighttime. White ceramic bulbs are a good choice for this.
This heating lamp should be paired up with a thermometer to achieve a cage temperature of 75-85°F.
Place the lamp in a corner of the cage. This allows the hedgehog to move closer to or farther away from the lamp depending on whether they’re cold or hot.
If you are unable to use a heating lamp for whatever reason, you can use a heating pad instead. These can be placed underneath the cage in one part of the cage to prevent your hedgehog from becoming cold.
Hedgehogs go to the heating pad when they are cold, allowing for temperature regulation.
Exercise Wheel & Toys
Last but not least, your hedgehog needs an exercise wheel. Hedgehogs need exercise, and as they love to run, this is often the best method.
Care must be taken when selecting a wheel. There is evidence that certain hedgehog exercise wheels cause back, leg, and foot injuries.
To avoid this, a quality wheel should have a diameter of 10.5 or 12 inches.
How to Set Up the Hedgehog Cage
When you’ve bought everything your hedgehog needs, it’s time to set it up.
Here’s a guide if you’re not sure how.
Assemble the Cage
The cage is a crucial part of your setup. After all, this is where your hedgehog lives.
Here are the requirements for the cage:
- 2×3 feet
- Solid walls (or very small gaps between bars)
- Proper ventilation
If you’ve bought an aquarium or a plastic bin, here’s what you need to do:
- Test if the lid is secure (turn the cage upside down and shake it).
- Make sure the air holes in the top aren’t blocked.
- Make holes near the top of the container if there are none.
If you’ve bought a wire cage, place down some linoleum or tile. Hedgehogs have delicate feet and don’t like walking on bars or wire.
Pick The Right Room to Place Your Cage In
When your cage is assembled, it’s time to pick the right room for it,
Here’s what to keep in mind when choosing a spot for your hedgehog cage:
- The room should be warm. Hedgehogs are sensitive to temperature changes. Avoid placing their cage in a room that’s too cold or too hot.
- The room should be quiet. Hedgehogs are sensitive to noise. Avoid placing their cage in a room that’s too loud.
- The type of room. Some hedgehogs are more active than others, so you’ll want to choose a room that’s appropriate for your pet’s activity level.
Place The Heating Lamp Correctly
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect spot for your hedgehog cage, it’s time to set up the heating lamp.
Hedgehogs are sensitive to temperature changes, so it’s important to make sure the heating lamp is placed correctly:
- The lamp should be placed on the side of the cage. This prevents your hedgehog from getting too hot.
- Place it at an appropriate distance. Hedgehogs are sensitive to heat, so make sure the lamp is not too close to their cage.
- The type of bulb you use. Hedgehogs are sensitive to light, so a ceramic lightbulb is great.
Place the Best Hedgehog Bedding
The next thing you need to do is get the right bedding for your hedgehog. Hedgehogs are small creatures, so they need a bedding that’s soft and comfortable.
Here’s what to keep in mind:
- Hedgehogs have a tendency to burrow, so you’ll want to avoid bedding that’s small enough to be swallowed.
- The bedding should be comfortable. Hedgehogs need a bedding that’s soft and cozy, so you’ll want to choose a material that’s gentle on their skin.
- Some hedgehogs are more active than others, so choose bedding that’s appropriate for your pet’s activity level.
Buy the Food & Set up the Water
When the cage is ready for accessories, you can set up the water bottles and food bowl. Place the food bowl on top of the bedding, and hang the water bottles on the side of the cage.
You can also place a water bowl if you don’t have space for water bottles.
Hedgehogs are omnivores and need a diet high in protein. The best way to ensure your hedgehog gets enough protein is to feed them a commercially-prepared hedgehog food.
You can also feed them a mix of hedgehog food and high-quality cat food.
The food should also be low in fat. Hedgehogs are prone to obesity, so you’ll want to avoid foods that are high in fat.
Set up the Hedgehog Toys & Hideouts
When everything else is done, there’s nothing left than to place the toys and hideouts in the cage.
Hedgehog DIY cage
If you’re working on a budget, or like building things, you can easily make your own homemade hedgehog cage:
- Start with a sturdy base. A wire mesh bottom is ideal, as it allows for good airflow and won’t rust.
- Add some height. Hedgehogs like to climb, so consider adding some shelves or ledges to your cage.
- Make it cozy. Line the bottom of your cage with a soft bedding material like fleece or towels.
- Add toys. Hedgehogs love to play, so add some toys and hiding places to your cage.
- Finish it off with a lid. A wire mesh lid will allow for good ventilation while keeping your hedgehog safe.
4 Different Pet Hedgehog Habitats
There are generally four hedgehog cage types to choose from: glass, wire, plastic, or a custom enclose. It’s common to use a combination of these, as hedgehogs need both solid walls for nesting and holes for ventilation.
1. Glass Enclosure
A glass enclosure is a great option for those who want to be able to see their hedgehogs while they play. They also have solid walls, great for nesting.
These enclosures come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose one that will fit comfortably in your home.
2. Wire Cage
Wire cages are another popular option for pet hedgehogs. They offer good ventilation and plenty of room for your hedgehog to move around. They are also cheap.
You need to be careful with using wire cages as they can injure your pet’s feet. Place a bed of towels directly on top of the wire, followed by the substrate.
3. Plastic Enclosure
Plastic enclosures are a good budget-friendly option for those who want to keep their hedgehogs safe and secure.
These enclosures are typically lightweight and easy to clean.
4. Custom Enclosure
For those who want something unique, you can opt for a custom-built enclosure. This way, you can design an enclosure that is specifically tailored to your hedgehog’s needs.
The best hedgehog cage setup depends on a variety of factors, including how many hedgehogs you have, their size and age, and what you can afford.
Hedgehogs need a few things in their cage to thrive, such as space, bedding, water bottles, a food bowl, hideouts, and more.