Water and Food Dishes
Water bowls should be heavy and shallow so your hedgie can get to it and not tip it over. Wash thoroughly every day and replenish with fresh water. If you use a water bottle, it too must be scrubbed frequently, and water should be changed daily to prevent bacteria from building up. There have been some instances where hedgehogs have injured their teeth or tongue using a water bottle. Don’t use pottery or ceramic bowls from an oriental store, since they may contain lead-based paint or glaze.
Many, but not all, hedgehogs will use them. A flat plastic pan or cookie sheet can be used. You can also use commercially sold litter boxes for small animals. As for litter, you can use Carefresh, Yesterday’s News, Aspen Supreme (pelletted Aspen), paper towels or puppy pads. DO NOT use clay or clumping cat litter! This can stick to their genitals, and some hedgies have been known to eat it. To “encourage” your hedgie to use the litter box, when he poops, place the droppings in the litter pan so he will see where it is supposed to go. Also, if you notice that your hedgehog prefers one corner of the cage, you may wish to move the litter box there.
Cat balls, ferret treat balls, Beanie Babies, or toilet paper tubes cut in half lengthwise all make good toys for your hedgie. Hedgies also like things to crawl in. You might want to get some 4″ diameter white PVC pipe for your little one. They can be found at any hardware store, come in a variety of shapes, are easy to clean and safe for your pet. (Do not use black as the material they’re made from has been reported to be toxic.)
Many hedgehogs love to run freely around the house in a large plastic critter ball. It will keep him/her safe and keep you entertained. They’re found in many pet stores as “Run- About Balls”. You’ll need the Giant or Mega size. Some people disagree with the use of these because their toes can catch in the openings and they will certainly poop while running in it. Some hedgies will refuse to use it. They may be better off with a safe, monitored, hedgie-proof area of the house sectioned off for them to run freely.
Beds and Hides
A plastic pet igloo makes an excellent hideaway and place to sleep for your hedgie. Most pet stores carry them. Just place nice warm fleece pieces inside, and he or she will stay nice and cozy. You can also use hedgie bags or just a pile of fleece blankets. Just remember that hedgies want to be covered, so they have to have a secure place to sleep. Once again, don’t use anything with loose threads.