Miscellaneous Bedding Options
- Corncob is relatively inexpensive, but care must be taken to keep the cage clean and dry.
- Corncob bedding has a tendency to retain liquids and it molds very quickly. Many molds are respiratory toxins. Frequent cleaning can decrease the potential of this problem.
- The corncob can stick onto the genitalia of male hedgehogs.
- It can get caught in the penile sheath and be dragged (drawn) up inside, and cause great irritation, raw sores, urinary tract infections, and an inability to urinate, which if not addressed promptly, can be fatal.
- Some believe that corncob bedding is not as comfortable for the hedgehogs as other bedding options.
Pelleted Straw or Wheat Grasses
- Oxbow Hay’s Eco-Straw is made out of 100% wheat straw.
- Critter Country is made from Western Red Winter Wheat Grass and several other fibers.
- Critter Country is safe if ingested, as it contains no chemicals or additives that could be harmful.
- These products are highly absorbent, relatively dust free, and are heat treated to eliminate mites and other pests.
- Both are biodegradable and can be composted or flushed down the toilet.
- Veterinarians highly recommend these products over wood pellets based on the qualities mentioned above.
- Mountain Meadows Pet Products, Inc. http://www.mtnmeadowspet.com/ was gracious enough to allow us to try Critter Country.
- We were very happy with this product but cages did need to be cleaned more frequently than with pelleted pine.
- Since we are maintaining multiple animals, this product is not a feasible option for us but we highly recommend it for pet use.
- Some customers have had success using this indoor/outdoor carpet as a cage liner.
- These liners can be easily cleaned but this type of bedding works best with pets that are litter box trained.
- There are two types of Astroturf. One is the older “plastic grass” and there is a newer and softer, carpet style Astroturf.
- The newer Astroturf tends to be better because the grass style has loose edges that ravel and can be dangerous for your hedgehog.
- One must be very careful that the edges don’t ravel. Loose strings can easily wrap around a leg and cut off circulation.
- You can use a soldering gun or iron to melt the edges to help prevent unraveling.
- Precut liners are also available in reptile sections of most pet stores or supply catalogs. These are usually made for aquarium dimensions though you may need to purchase several to completely cover your cage.
Disposable Cage Liners
- Pooch pads that are used for housebreaking puppies
- Human bed liners and can be found at home healthcare stores or Pooch Pads are wonderful for some purposes.
- They are designed to combat odor and germs but it essential to make sure your hedgehog doesn’t scratch and chew them.
- Although this seems like a good idea but the fact that they can be torn apart easily limits what they can do for pet hedgies.
- Tortoise, bearded dragon, and other herp (reptile and amphibian) owners frequently use rabbit or guinea pig pellets as bedding. The trend has carried over to other pet owners.
- If the hedgehog should eat the pellets, there is less chance of impaction than with other bedding.
- Soiled bedding is great compost and environmentally friendly.
- Bedding must be kept dry because mold, mildew, and bacteria can become a dangerous problem with damp or wet bedding.
This confetti-like product is commonly used in laboratories.
- This is a high quality product, but it is more expensive than other bedding options.
- You can call 1-800-881-1930.
Some owners use clay litters. Do not use the ones with odor control “crystals” or chemical additives.
- Cheap depending on the brand.
- Absorbs urine and can keep odor to a minimum.
- Some hedgehogs may enjoy digging in it.
- Readily available.
- Possible intestinal impaction.
- Some brands/types are dusty, which can be irritating to the respiratory system.
- Chemical additives are commonly used and must be watched for.
- Irritation to a male hedgehog’s genitals.
- Uncomfortable – may not be the best choice for sleeping comfortably.
- Clumping litter – especially bad for sticking to the genital areas, and therefore should not be used.
- See our Urogential Health Issues Article for more information on this topic.
Contributors: Nicole Belval, formerly of Prickly Pair Hedgehogs;
Alexandra Davis, Forrest Vinson, and Shelly Fowler of Beach Bum Hedgehogs