Hedgehog Care
Looking for a complete
hedgehog care sheet you
can download and print?  
Click link below for an
excellent one published by
the Hedgehog Breeders
An adequate-sized, safe cage is key to the health and happiness
of your hedgehog.  A MINIMUM of 2.5 square feet of cage space
per hedgehog is recommended, but bigger is always better.

A hedgehog cage needs to be escape-proof with a solid floor
surface.  Wire or mesh floors are dangerous to your hedgehog-
delicate feet and toes can easily be ensnared and injured.  Cage
sides should be either a solid surface or a smooth wire surface
narrow enough to prevent your hedgehog from escaping.

At Lilac City Hedgehogs, we use large (110 qt) storage tubs for
cages.  We find these tubs to be roomy, easy to clean and
difficult to damage.  The clear walls allow visibility for the
hedgehogs, and the lids, when modified with a wire mesh panel
or drilled holes and a cut out, provide adequate ventilation.

A hedgehog cage should always be placed in a warm,
well-ventilated room, away from drafts and loud noises.  The
ideal temperature for a hedgehog is between 75 and 80 degrees
Kiln-dried pine shavings, aspen shavings or Kaytee Clean and
fresh all make excellent bedding choices.  Flannel/cloth liners
are also an excellent choice for those looking for an
environmentally-friendly, reusable option.  NEVER use cedar
shavings, even if sold in the small animal section of the pet
store- cedar has aromatic oils harmful to small animals.
Your hedgehog will need a food dish and water bottle/ water
dish.  A ceramic crock is recommended for food- they are easy
to clean and difficult for the hedgehog to tip over.  

Either a dish or a bottle can be used as a water source, but we
recommend a bottle. We find bottles easier to keep clean, as they
do not get bedding, food or waste kicked into them.  Some
hedgehogs may take a bit to learn to use a water bottle, so if
your hedgehog previously used a water dish, be sure to provide
both a water dish and a water bottle until you see that your
hedgehog has learned to use the bottle.

Most hedgehogs greatly enjoy having an exercise wheel to run
on.  At Lilac City Hedgehogs, we have several "wheel
enthusiasts" who run for miles each night!  It is important to
choose your hedgehog's wheel carefully, as there are several
models on the market that are unsafe for hedgehogs.  A
hedgehog wheel needs to have a solid surface- no wire, mesh or
bars.  We like the Silent Spinner brand wheel, large size,
available at pet stores, or the homemade "bucket wheels"
available for purchase on many websites.

All of our Hedgehogs have a litter box in their bins and we use
Natures Miracle Natural Care Litter  
A quality dry cat food should be the staple of your hedgehog's
diet.  Although there are some hedgehog foods available
commercially, most are poorly researched and not nutritionally
complete.  At Lilac City Hedgehogs, we use  a mixture of Blue
Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice,  Halo Grain-Free Spot's Stew
Hearty Chicken, and Spikes Delite Ultra Diet (found at
pet-pro.com) for our hedgehogs.

It is important to supplement your hedgehog's diet with a
variety other foods.  Cooked (unseasoned) meat, cooked egg
and live insects are all good choices.  Most hedgehogs are
particularly fond of live mealworms and crickets.
As with most other pets, regular grooming is necessary to keep
your hedgehog looking and feeling it's best.

The skin between a hedgehog's quills can become dry and dirty,
so occasional bathing is necessary.  We like to bathe our
hedgehogs at least once a month.  Bathing can be done in a sink
or bathtub.  Fill the sink or tub with a small amount of lukewarm
water (never hot) and place the hedgehog inside.  The water
should be shallow enough that the hedgehog can easily raise
it's head above water (usually one inch deep, at most).  Squirt a
small amount of tear-free pet shampoo on the hedgehog's back
and massage it between the quills with an old toothbrush.  Rinse
the hedgehog thoroughly and cuddle the hedgehog in a towel
until completely dry.

A hedgehog's toenails need to be trimmed when they become
long.  Bath time is a great time for nail clipping.  Grip the foot you
are trimming firmly between your fingers and use a small human
nail clipper to trim the nails above the bloodline.  On
dark-colored hedgehogs, it may be necessary to shine a
flashlight on the nail to see the bloodline.
recommends local vets:

Dr Ponti
Ponti Veterinary Hospital
25007 E. Wellesley Ave.
Otis Orchards, WA  99027
(509) 922-7465

Spokane Valley Animal
14306 E Sprague Ave
Spokane Wa 99216

Hunter Veterinary Clinic
933 N Washington
Spokane Wa 99201
I make liners made to fit your
hedgies home