Cleanliness

May 27, 2013 by

Cleanliness

Naturally Clean

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  • Some hedgehogs might be considered naturally clean and tidy. They use their litter pans faithfully, and leave their cage pretty much as the owner has arranged it.
  • Other hedgehogs are slobs!  They will try to defy every sense of cleanliness and make a complete mess of their cage.
  • Most hedgehogs are somewhere in the middle. Their cage will need to be tidied, but it would not take more than a minute or two each day.
  • Unfortunately, there is no way to look at a baby hedgehog and decide how its personality will grow and develop in this aspect.

Cage Trashing

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  • Some hedgehogs routinely rearrange their cage furniture by dragging, pushing, or shoving their wheel and other large accessories.
  • They drag their blankets and sleeping bags around their cage and scoot around their cage liner.
  • Other hedgehogs might turn over food dishes and knock off water bottles.  Having heavy food dishes and a quality water bottle hanger will certainly help this problem.

Litter Pan Use or Lack Thereof

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  • Some hedgehogs take to using the litter pan as if it is the most natural thing in the world.
  • Hedgehogs that use litter pans are obviously much neater and require less maintenance than hedgehogs that view the litter pan as something that merely shares their cage space.
  • Other hedgehogs just refuse to do their business in a designated spot.
  • The most common spot for hedgehogs to have “accidents” is on the wheel. Sometimes when they are on the go, they just have to go. So, wheel cleaning may be part of your daily or weekly routine. Lining the wheel with Glad Press’N Seal® will help cut down cleaning time on dirty wheels.
  • There have been some instances where hedgehogs use their food dish as a litter pan to express their disgust over an empty food bowl or some other hedgehog injustice.
  • More tips and tidbits on litter pans can be found in the Litter Pan article.

Need for Bathing

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  • Many hedgehogs seldom have a need for a bath. Bathing once or twice a year for these hedgehogs will suffice.
  • Other hedgehogs may insist on self-anointing with anything and everything. White or light-colored hedgehogs tend to self-anoint with food or poop in an attempt to blend in better with their environment.  Obviously, these hedgehogs may need more frequent baths than those that do not self-anoint.
  • Finally, some hedgehogs need their “poop boots” washed and cleaned from messy wheel habits.
  • Unfortunately, there is no way to determine if your hedgehog is going to be in the minority of hedgehogs that need baths on a regular basis.
  • The Bathing and Nail Trimming article has more details on this subject.

Primary Author: Gail Dick, Millermeade Farm’s Critter Connection
Contributor: Jamie Hand

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