Climbing Objects & Multi-Level Cages

Jun 6, 2013 by

Climbing Objects & Multi-Level Cages
  • We feel that multi-level ferret or rabbit cages, climbing branches, ramps, and ladders may be a good idea, but only if you take several precautions. 
  • We recommend avoiding the above situations because providing more floor space with accessories or toys is a much safer alternative.
  • Hedgehogs are quite capable of climbing up, but they are not so graceful in the descent.
  • Their toes are fairly short and are not made for grasping and hanging on.
  • Their legs are relatively small in comparison to their body mass.  They simply do not have the strength to resist the pull of gravity. 
  • Their eyesight is very poor and so they have very little depth perception.
  • The most natural way for hedgehogs to get down from a high place is to curl themselves into a ball and free-fall.
  • Many claim that hedgehogs have naturally built in “shock absorbers” and that their spines will protect them in a fall. However, a hedgehog may still bruise himself or break a bone from an ill-fated fall.
  • It has also been reported that spines can actually puncture backward into the animal.
  • In order to provide a safe climbing experience some hedgehog owners use multi-level ferret or rabbit cages and line the ramps with plastic mesh or cover with an all-purpose carpet.  This keeps little feet from being injured but might be quite messy if the hedgehog is not litter-trained.
  • The bottom pan of multi-level cages should be padded with several inches of shock absorbing bedding.
  • Most hedgehog experts would agree that tree branches and ladders are NOT a good idea.
  • If you must use a cage with levels and ramps, the safest way to do so would be to completely enclose the levels and ramps. Keep in mind that even with a barrier, the hedgie may attempt to climb up and over leading to an even greater fall.  (Wikipedia)

Contributor:  Nicole Belval

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