Heating and Light

Light

Hedgehogs are nocturnal by nature, meaning they are awake at night and sleep most of the day. Please do NOT try to change their “inner clock” just to make it easier for you to interact with them. Despite the fact that they sleep during the day, they still should be situated in a bright room during the day and a dark room at night to mimic what they would have in the wild. It’s best to interact with them in the early to late evening or very early morning.

Temperature

We cannot stress this enough! KEEP YOUR HEDGEHOG WARM! Anything below 70 degrees can cause hibernation attempts, which will lead to lethargy, unwillingness to eat and/or drink, illness, and quite often death.  Equally important is that hedgies do not tolerate extremely high temperature either. There is always room for variance, but in general, a good range is a cage temperature between 72-78 degrees.

10" ceramic dome light100 Watt CHEThermostat

It is recommended to use a 10″ dome lamp with a 100 watt CHE (ceramic heat emitter) bulb and a thermostat, all of which are available in the reptile section of pet stores.

Some hedgehogs will require supplemental heat, especially in the winter, when air-conditioning is on, or when the hedgie is sick or old. You can use a human-type heating pad placed under the cage at one end (to allow room for your hedgie to move away from the heat source). Some heating pads have automatic shut-offs, so make sure to reset it to ON.  A small space heater can also be used. Please use any electrical heating device with extreme caution; they can short out or overheat causing burns or death to your pet. Check heat set up often for damage or issues.

For more help with heating the cage visit: Heating Your Hedgehog’s Cage-Simplified!

CAUTION: HIBERNATION ATTEMPTS CAN BE FATAL

If you ever pick up a hedgehog and he is limp, lethargic and feels cold to the touch, it is an emergency situation! This is a hibernation attempt and your pet needs to be warmed quickly, but not too quickly. The best way to do this is to put them under your shirt against your skin. This can take as much as an hour, but if your pet doesn’t start to come around in that amount of time, you MUST get him or her to a vet.