Nontraditional Cage Options

Jun 6, 2013 by

Nontraditional Cage Options

Glass Aquariums

  • Large aquariums can be used to house hedgehogs. 
  • Some hedgehog enthusiasts recommend, at minimum of, a 20-gallon-long size, but the larger sizes are much better. A 20-gallon aquarium will not accommodate an appropriate sized wheel. 
  • The main drawback of using a glass aquarium is that most aquariums are narrow and tall in order to best display fish or reptiles. Hedgehogs need lots of floor space and in order to have that, you will need a large aquarium.
  • The larger the aquarium, the more costly, heavier, cumbersome, and difficult to clean. For these reasons, they are not ideal unless you already have a large aquarium in your possession.
  • It is important to use a screen or wire top and not the glass covering used for fish. This will allow better ventilation into the aquarium.
  • Cages must be cleaned regularly so that the hedgehog can have fresh air and instead of soiled wood smells.
  • A tight fitting lid is necessary on a cage that is less than 18” high or any cage that has a hanging water bottle. Hedgehogs can climb right up to the water bottle or use accessories to boost them up and over the top.
  • Attaching or hanging a water bottle inside the cage may be very difficult.
  • Even large aquariums may have ventilation problems if not cleaned frequently.
  • Unless you already have an aquarium on hand, these can be quite costly to purchase.         

Wading Pools

Children’s plastic wading pools can be ideal housing if you have plenty of space and take a few precautions to prevent escape.

wading pools_Web800
  • These pools have plenty of room for hedgehog play and some people use these pools as a supervised play area.
  • You must make sure that there are no accessories that can be used as ladders to boost your hedgehog up and over the top of the pool. One way to make the sides taller is to cut out the bottom of a second pool and invert it over the top of the first one. The edges can be riveted, stapled, or screwed together.
  • Wading pools are inexpensive and can be hosed down outside to clean.
  • It is somewhat difficult to attach a water bottle so a water dish may be necessary.
  • The disadvantages of this style of housing are that they are cumbersome , take up a lot of space, difficult to attach a water bottle, and will block the view of your pet.

C & C Cages 

  • C & C cages (Cubes and Coroplast) are an easy do-it-yourself project that may work for an adult hedgehog.
  • The grid in the cubes may be too large and allow smaller and young animals to squeeze through, and escape, or to get stuck and possibly injure themselves.
  • These types of cages were initially intended for guinea pigs, which do not climb or jump great heights.
  • While hedgehogs do not jump, they can and will climb, so if you intend to use this type of caging, you may want to consider using a top.
  • Some of the benefits to this type of caging are that the ventilation is more than adequate, and you can make a very large and spacious cage in many different configurations accommodating a wheel, litter pan, and many toys.
  • If you have more than one hedgehog and are housed together, these cages can also be good since they allow the hedgehogs their own space, if desired.
  • Nicole from Prickly Pair Hedgehogs uses one of these cages for her retired females. These are older hedgehogs that are not so intent on escaping or climbing and so she doesn’t use a top. If you are going to attempt to go “topless,” it is recommended that you place the cage on the floor in a hedgehog safe room in case of an escape until you know for sure that your hedgehog will stay put.

Wood Built Cages

  • The advantage of a wood built cage is that they are completely customizable. Your imagination, talent, and pocketbook are the limits!
  • The cost of making a wood enclosure and the time required to build the cage should be considered when planning to build this type of cage.
  • One thing to keep in mind is that the wood must be waterproof. Marine paint can be used to coat the wood but it must be completely dry and aired out before you place your pet in it.
  • Antigone Means described putting linoleum flooring in the bottom of her cage. http://hedgehogvalley.com/
  • Wood cages can be quite bulky and hard to maneuver for cleaning, if not designed properly.
  • Good ventilation is a must, so again, one needs to have a good design plan.

Kennel Cabs

Kennel Cab_Web800
  • Kennel cabs have been suggested as a housing option for hedgehogs.
  • This recommendation came about many years ago when hedgehogs first became popular as pets. 
  • It was once believed that hedgehogs benefited from the darkness, but breeders have come to realize that a normal day and night cycle is important.
  • The advantages of these cages are that they are easy to obtain, used ones are rather inexpensive, and they are lightweight and easy to clean.

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