A Suitable Environment
While a pygmy hedgehog would fit in a shoebox, using a shoebox as its home would be a cruel thing to do. Hedgehogs can be quite active at times, and being natural hunters they like to scurry about. A glass aquarium-like cage is one option to consider, although you would need to keep a glass cage away from direct sunlight as an overheated hedgehog can easily have a fatal stroke. It’s best to keep your pet enclosure in a room that has decent air circulation, but be careful to keep it away from drafts. A wire mesh cage is preferable to glass, and while you may not see such a cage on the market advertised as a hedgehog cage, one that is advertised as a baby rabbit cage would fit the bill. No hedgehog is a particularly good climber, so you may not need a top, especially for a glass enclosure. A wire cage with a tray is easy to keep clean, especially if the tray is easily removable. In any event, the enclosure should have a solid floor in order to protect tender feet.
Suggested material for its living place
Pine chips make an excellent bedding material although hardwood chips are sometimes better, but try to get chips that are relatively dust-free. Cedar chips, or chips from any aromatic wood, need to be avoided. Pellets made from recycled paper are yet another option. When selecting a bedding material, bear in mind that hedgehogs love to burrow. Any hedgehog will soon learn to drink from a drip bottle mounted on the side of its cage. A water bowl will tend to get tipped over or waded through constantly, and the water would have to be changed frequently. A small, but sturdy plastic bowl will serve as a food bowl. It will more than likely also be tipped over, but your hedgehog won’t be fussy about eating spilled food.
You can reserve one corner of the enclosure for a litter pan or litter box. Most hedgehogs will catch on quickly, as they are by nature very clean little animals, and will choose a single place in their enclosure to take care of their bathroom chores.
A small cardboard box, like one end of a cereal box will serve as a house, as will a section of PVC pipe or a PVC connecter that is large enough for the hedgehog to enter. Hedgehogs prefer privacy at times. Some, in fact, will stay in their house much of the day and do their roaming at night. While hedgehogs are not squirrels, they will make excellent use of a squirrel-cage or exercise wheel that has been placed in their enclosure. They will get plenty of exercise and will seem to enjoy doing so.
Surrounding Lighting Of Their Living Places
You don’t have to cover the cage during the day or leave a nightlight on at night for your pet. Hedgehogs, as pets, do best in an environment featuring normal periods of light and darkness. They are also happiest at what you would consider being normal room temperature, which can be anywhere from 70 to 90 degrees. Whatever you do, don’t let your hedgehog get too cold for any period of time. If it does, it will likely decide to hibernate, which, for a hedgehog, can often be fatal.
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