Best Hedgehog Cages [+DIY Options & Safety Requirements]

A close-up shot of a hedgehog against a black background.

You’ll have no trouble finding gerbil, guinea pig, or hamster cages at the pet store, but there are few enclosures designed with hedgehogs in mind.

This has prompted some owners to adapt existing cages to their needs or to get creative and come up with alternatives to traditional cages.

What is a good cage for a hedgehog? A good hedgehog cage requires a solid base to prevent foot injury and should provide good ventilation. It should also measure 6 square feet at minimum to allow sufficient movement and feature tight bar spacing to prevent escape. Any ramps or platforms may need modification for safety.

There are a variety of designs on the market with the basic features that can keep your hedgehog safe, but a few personal touches can turn them from homes into havens.

We’ve reviewed the best commercial cages plus DIY ideas, FAQs, and more.

6 Best Hedgehog Cages

Hedgies appreciate ample roaming space to prevent boredom-induced climbing, which can easily lead to falls since their weak limbs and disproportionate body mass works against them.

To combat this, head of Hedgehog Central Julie Haynes recommends modifying smaller cages with “running wheels for entertainment and lining the walls with climb-proof plastic covering.”

Here’s our pick of the best hedgehog-friendly cages…

Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation

MidWest Homes for Pets Deluxe Critter Nation...
  • Includes one (1) pan, one (1) adjustable shelf, one (1) plastic ramp with cover & easily...
  • Full-width double doors on Critter Nation small animal cage and removeable shelf provide maximum...

This attractive design boasts a generous 36(L) x 24(W) x 39(H) inches to comfortably accommodate a pair of hedgehogs and features ½-inch bar spacing to keep escape artists secure!

An adjustable elevated platform provides greater exploration and designated areas for play, feeding, and rest with a ramp included (plus padded covering) for extra comfort.

Multiple attach points also allow you to securely add toys, wheels, and other accessories.

Pros:

  • Removable leak-proof floor pan
  • Large double doors
  • Removable shelf
  • Secure-grip ladder with padding
  • 4 lockable wheels
  • Storage tray at base

Cons:

  • Tricky to assemble solo

Prevue Universal Small Animal Home

Sale
Prevue Pet Products 528 Universal Small Animal...
  • Designed to home a wide variety of small animals
  • Tight 3/8'' wire spacing. Large tubby base offers room for exercise and accessories

At 32½ (L) x 19(W) x 17½(H) inches, this hedgehog home offers plenty of space to wander and fit in a running wheel.

It also features a removable ramp and adjustable platform, which makes a great feeding station and attaches securely to the cage walls with twist knob closures.

It also has a 6¼-inch deep base – making it perfect for burrowing and some added privacy – just ensure your cage lining fully covers the sides of the bare plastic base in case of sharp areas where the wire frame meets the bottom.

Pros:

  • Tight 3/8 inch bar spacing
  • Roof and side entry door
  • Adjustable platform and removable ramp
  • Easy assembly

Cons:

  • Must be taken apart to clean properly

Midwest Small Critter Habitat

Sale
Guinea Habitat Plus Guinea Pig Cage by MidWest w/...
  • Provides 8 square feet of living area for guinea pigs as recommended by veterinarians and breeders;...
  • Fully removable wire mesh top to protect your guinea pig from predators; The multi access folding...

This 8-square-foot cage allows your hedgehog to run around to its heart’s content and is fully lined with easy-to-clean PVC canvas to protect sensitive feet.

The best feature is the dividing panel with a retractable ramp, allowing you to clean their feeding area while they play.

To make this one-story cage more comfortable for two, the modular design lets you join another Critter Habitat for unlimited extension.

Pros:

  • Expansive living area
  • Durable, easy-to-clean lining
  • Simple setup
  • Divider panel and folding rooftop
  • Suitable for indoor/outdoor use

Cons:

  • Bedding can’t be tucked in easily

Living World Deluxe Habitat

Living World Deluxe Habitat, Rabbit, Guinea Pig...
  • Habitat that provides everything you need for safely housing a small animal such as a rabbit,...
  • Small animal cage is designed with an upper wire frame and a plastic bottom base, which provides a...

This elegant home features a stylish arched wire roof for great ventilation and style. One end includes a cozy hideout and balcony with a wide ramp.

The dimension are 46.9(L) x 22.8(W) x 24(H) inches.

Also included are a water bottle and tip-proof dish that is secured to the balcony floor to free up space for play. The base is slightly sloped so keep this in mind with cage lining.

Pros:

  • Balcony/ramp with crawl space
  • Mounted bottle, feeder, and bowl
  • Double panel roof access
  • Simple assembly

Cons:

  • Rounded roof cannot fully open when placed against a wall

Ferplast Krolik Extra Large Cage

Krolik Extra-Large Rabbit Cage w/ Wood Hutch...
  • Perfect Rabbit Cage Starter Kit w/ Wood Hutch Extension | Rabbit cage includes large water bottle,...
  • Extra-Extra-Large Living Space | Rabbit cage measures 55.9L x 23.62W x 19.7H inches & includes a...

This enchanting cage is spacious enough for two and provides stylish shelter inside the 24-inch long wooden hutch.

Bear in mind that wood is less sanitary than plastic and may splinter, so you’ll need to be vigilant about sanitation and check frequently for signs of chewing.

At the opposite end is an elevated feeding area with an accessible ramp and cozy nook. Additionally, the deep base is ideal for containing loose pelleted bedding or thick blankets.

Pros:

  • Large front door opening
  • Stylish wooden hutch with separate roof
  • Collapsible knock-down design
  • Feeding area with mounted bowl and water bottle

Cons:

  • Wooden hutch is hard to sanitize
  • Difficult assembly

Midwest Wabbitat Deluxe

Sale
Midwest Homes for Pets Deluxe Rabbit & Guinea Pig...
  • Rabbit cage includes free hay feeder, water bottle, feeding bowl & elevated feeding area, Ideal for...
  • XL Rabbit Cage measures 47.16 L x 23.62 W x 19.68 H inches providing a large living space & maximum...

This XL cage is great for beginners as it comes with some essentials (feeding bowl and water bottle) and is perfect if you’re planning to increase your hedgehog numbers, since it’s compatible with Midwest’s wire extensions.

We love its 5½ -inch deep base tray that’s suited to a range of bedding styles and is fuss-free to clean if they burrow through.

Your hedgie will especially love the hidden cave beneath its feeding area.

Pros:

  • Spacious floor area
  • Side door opens fully
  • Simple setup
  • Elevated feeding area with hideout

Cons:

  • Roof hatch could be bigger
  • Clips locking cage to base seem flimsy

Large Plastic Bin

These make excellent, budget-friendly cages as they’re widely available in many lengths and have smooth, easy-to-clean floors. However, these can be dangerous without a few safety amendments.

Firstly, they provide naturally poor ventilation so unless the bin is tall enough for the lid to be removed, holes will need to be drilled into the sides for adequate airflow.

Veterinarian Dr. Lianne McLeod also advises “fashioning a screen lid cover from garden mesh.”

Secondly, the use of heat lamps can risk off-gassing (releasing harmful airborne chemicals) when placed too close.

Creator of the blog Hedgehog Advice Alexandria Brady advises “choosing bins with a 2, 4, or 5 rating as these are branded the safest plastics for repeated heating.”

Large Aquarium

Large 30-gallon aquariums make decent enclosures as this provides about a 36-inch length floor.

However, while aquariums provide sturdy construction with climb-proof walls, they are a big investment for a hedgehog home that lacks ventilation, is heavy to move around, and is tedious to clean.

Also, aquariums are designed with height in mind to display fish, but hedgehogs value roaming space, prompting you to buy imposing, costlier tanks for the sake of length.

DIY Wood Cage

DIY wooden cages are a good option as long as the wood has been sanded smooth and properly sealed so it is waterproof against urine and protected from wood mites.

Solid wooden walls will seriously impact airflow, so you’ll need to drill multiple holes or attach mesh screen walls. Sturdy, rust-resistant aluminum mesh would be ideal and wouldn’t be damaged by curious claws.

The following video shares how to waterproof a homemade wooden cage.

Hedgehog Cage Requirements

Whether you buy or DIY your hedgie cage, here are the non-negotiable needs when it comes to a safe home that’s easy to maintain:

Size

“The bigger the better”, advocates Veterinarian Dr. Rick Axelson, “but provide a minimum space of 24 inches tall by 35 inches long to allow them to move around and prevent escape.”

Ventilation

Good airflow reduces humidity levels to prevent the buildup of ammonia in the cage, which can risk damaging your hedgehog’s sensitive respiratory system.

Wire cages will provide ideal ventilation as will mesh walls and roofs.

Safety

Cage bars must always be spaced 1 inch apart to prevent escape.

As for two-story cages, pad bottom floor pans with 2-3 inches of shock-absorbent bedding. (See our bedding recommendations here.)

Additionally, consider enclosed ramps to guide them down safely as the owner of Millermeade Farm’s Critter Connection Gail Miller reminds us “hedgehogs have little depth perception and can’t descend as gracefully as they can climb.”

Easy To Clean and Sanitize

Cages with plastic bases are easiest to clean since they can be dismantled to sanitize specific areas.

Cages with removable shelving, ladders, and feeding accessories also make it easy to spot clean with your hedgehog still inside.

Placement

Gail Miller advises a “low-traffic, quiet area with special consideration for nearby electronic devices” as these may emit imperceptible noises that are disturbing to their ears.

Cages should neither be kept in direct sunlight nor dark, windowless rooms as hedgehogs need 12-hour day/night cycles.

Comfortable room temperatures (around 72-80°F) and a draft-free setting are also essential to their health.

What Type of Cage Is Best for a Hedgehog?

Find a cage at least 6 square feet (36 inches long x 24 inches wide) with a solid base that is within your budget.

That could be a traditional wire cage or a DIY plastic or wooden box that provides decent ventilation.

Do Hedgehogs Like Multilevel Cages?

Multilevel cages provide greater exploration space, which may make them less likely to climb the walls.

However, keep in mind that they have poor eyesight so ramps with an easy-grip or enclosed design will be necessary.

Are Two-Story Cages Good for Hedgehogs?

Two-story cages provide for additional floor space and allow you to set up designated areas to separate their litter tray, bedding, and feeding corner from their play area.

However, if this is unimportant to you, the risk of injury from a fall may not be worth the extra level.

Hedgehog Cage Ideas

Large plastic bins are very popular, but beginners on a budget can start with blanket-lined cardboard boxes that meet the height and ventilation needs.

An old dresser with the drawers removed can also make a safe multilevel enclosure like the construction below by Jillian Marie Cooper.

What Size Cage Does an African Pygmy Hedgehog Need?

African pygmy hedgehogs require a cage measuring at least 47 inches long x 24 inches wide/tall as they can roam for easily 5 kilometers nightly (often more) in the wild and thus require as much floor space as possible.

Can You Keep Two Hedgehogs Together?

Hedgehogs are solitary animals by nature, and it is generally not advised to house two or more together. However, it is possible in some instances.

Dr. Lianne McLeod advocates pairing “two females together or one young and one adult as two adult males will compete for dominance.”

If breeding is not your goal, avoid male-female pairings and introduce hedgehogs to each other in separate cages to gauge compatibility.

What Do You Put in a Hedgehog Cage?

Cages should include a water bottle, food dishes, bedding, litter pan and litter, sleeping hut, thermometer, and a heat lamp.

Additionally, include an exercise wheel and other interactive items like tunnels and dig boxes (check out our full guide on dig boxes) to feed their burrowing habit.

You’ll find a complete breakdown of each item as well as recommendations in our article here about hedgehog cage setup.

What Should I Line My Hedgehog’s Cage With?

Combine 2-3 inches of aspen shaving with lightly colored fabric bedding to help you observe changes in their urine or stool if you are not using a litter pan.

If you are using a litter pan, covering the rest of the cage with a base layer of towels topped with fleece fabric is perfect. Alternatively, AstroTurf, shredded newspaper, or mounds of fleece strips may used too.

Before using fleece lining for a hedgehog cage, wash new fleece fabric repeatedly (don’t use fabric softener) until water, when poured on top, runs through the fabric immediately, leaving the fleece dry. 

Should I Cover My Hedgehog Cage?

You can cover your hedgehog’s cage at night with a light, thin fabric to make them feel secure, but you can also cover a portion of the cage in the day for added insulation.

What Is the Best Bedding for a Hedgehog?

Fleece fabric over a layer of towels is ideal for hedgehogs trained to use a litter pan, though aspen or pine shavings, fleece strips, or shredded newspaper can work too.

For the litter pan, pelleted litter made with natural, nontoxic materials is recommended.

Oxbow Animal Health Eco-Straw Litter, 8 Pound Bag
  • All-natural wheat straw litter
  • Clumpable and Scoopable

Can Hedgehogs Use a Litter Box?

Yes, hedgehogs can be trained to use a litter box if they start young.

Begin by gradually swapping out your existing cage lining with half fleece bedding/half shavings before designating a litter corner in their cage and placing them there when they need to go.

Can I Use Cat Litter for My Hedgehog?

Most cat litter can be clumpy and contain sharp particles which may become stuck in a hedgehog’s sensitive area.

Pelleted litter options, like this wheat-straw pellet litter, are a better choice. They are more absorbent and are free of dust to protect your pet’s lungs.

Why Does My Hedgehog Keep Trying To Escape His Cage?

Bored and restless hedgehogs will attempt to escape their cage, so keep them stimulated with a running wheel and toys to help them work off energy.

Also, ensure their cage is big enough to allow adequate roaming.

Conclusion

In summary, wire cages with a solid plastic base are a safe bet for your hedgehog, as long as they meet the recommended bar spacing and square footage requirements and are modified for safety.

Large, clear plastic bins are another great choice, and you can easily connect two or more together using PVC pipes as passageways.

Aquariums and DIY box cages can also make decent alternative homes – just be wary that these may be harder to clean and provide poor ventilation.

Sources:

https://www.hedgehogcentral.com

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/hedgehogs—housing

https://www.thesprucepets.com/hedgehog-housing-1239054

https://hedgehogadvice.com/best-hedgehog-cage/

https://africanpygmyhedgehogs.com/2021/04/21/19-frequently-asked-questions-faqs-about-hedgehog-cages/

https://www.exoticnutrition.com/hedgehog-cage-requirements.aspx

https://heavenlyhedgies.com/how-to-litter-train-a-hedgehog/

https://exopetguides.com/hedgehog/hedgehog-cage-setup-guide/

Last update on 2021-12-02 at 22:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API