Types of Cages
The type of cage you choose for your new baby depends on a variety of factors – cost, ease of heating, availability, visual appeal, safety… Regardless of which type of cage you use, the absolute minimum size for a hedgehog cage is 4 square feet, but I like 6 square feet or more. This allows enough room to add the wheel, hide, and dishes, with some extra space for toys and room to move. Hedgehogs generally like clutter, they feel safer running through tunnels and toys rather than lots of wide open spaces.
General points to consider:
Ease of heating
Larger cages may require more than one heat source.
Cages that are more enclosed (ie plastic bins) are a better option if you will be keeping your hedgehog in a cooler area. This allows you to heat the cage efficiently since the heat won’t dissipate as quickly. Wired cages can be modified with corrugated plastic to help retain heat better.
Cages that are more enclosed will also be less drafty.
Wire bottoms should always be avoided, wire is very hard on their little feet!
Any ramps or lofts should be modified to make sure the hedgehog can’t fall off the side. They have poor eyesight and depth perception, so they may fall off and injure themselves. Some hedgehogs may not be interested in using a second level.
Cages with wire sides have the potential to be climbed, your hedgehog may fall and injure themselves or get caught in the bars, potentially causing death. It can be safer to either get a cage that can’t be climbed, or modify your cage with corrugated plastic around the sides. Many people use wire cages with no issues, but you should always monitor for interest in climbing.
Corrugated plastic sides should be at least 10” high to prevent climbing
Lids are good to prevent escapes – and unwanted visitors in the cage (like my cats every time I have one open to clean!)
These cages have wire sides (vertical bars) with full sized doors on the front,
making them very easy to access and clean. They can be stacked on top of each
other to house multiple hedgehogs separately. I use these cages for my hedgehogs
and have been happy with them. They are tall enough to set up a CHE inside the
cage without it being too close to the hedgehog. They do come with a ramp and
loft, but it would have to have walls added to make it safe. The ramp is also quite
steep so it would be better to either replace it, I have seen people add in a dryer
vent tube instead, or move the second level lower so the ramp can be a gradual
Similar to ferret nations except the bars run horizontally. This is a problem if
your hedgehog likes to climb, but the sides can be modified for safety.
The ramp/loft would need to be modified the same as the ferret nation if
you plan on using it, or it can be used to keep a CHE on like shown in the picture.
If buying new, I would go with a Ferret Nation instead.
These are cages made from wire storage cubes and corrugated plastic, made to
whatever size you’d like. The wire grids must be in 9x9 sections, or smaller
hedgehogs may be able to fit through them. Cheaper cubes have larger sections
and can be more flimsy, I wouldn’t trust a heat lamp on them.
They can be made with a top to set a heat lamp on and prevent escapes. The corrugated
plastic should be placed at least 10 inches up the sides to prevent climbing. Supplies for
making a C&C cage can be found at places like Walmart and Home Depot, but local stores
may also have extra corrugated plastic signs around you can recycle!
For more information on assembling C&C cages, see
C&C cages used to be much cheaper than a wire cage, but now seem to be more on par with
the wire cages available online on places like Amazon.
You can now get solid cubes, which are great to use to prevent climbing!
Plastic bins are great, easy to set up, cost effective cages - these are your cheapest option when looking for a cage. They hold heat well, are safe, easy to clean, and can be modified to fit your needs.
Bins should be 105 quarts or larger to have adequate floor space, and
bins can be attached together via PVC tunnels for extra space. I very much
suggest connecting two smaller bins together or adding on a smaller box/tub as a
hide, I find a single bin 105 quart bin is small for a cage. Christmas tree storage bins
are the perfect size though!
Metal racks or shelving can be used on top to set a CHE on, or they can be
attached right into the lid. Building into the lids gives the cover security,
ventilation, and a safe surface to set a heat source on.
Plastic bottomed wire cages are an easy option for housing. They can be
modified with corrugated plastic to keep heat in better and prevent
climbing. There are many brands available, you may find some advertised
under guinea pig or rabbit cages. Some brands have benefits over others,
some may be larger, easier to clean, sturdier…
These cages would work well with the loft removed:
Large or Jumbo:
Wooden cages can be homemade or purchased as a vivarium. They do a
good job holding in heat. Wood can soak up urine and harbour mites though,
so the wood used must be sealed. Dressers, TV stands, and other recycled
furniture can be made into vivariums for your hedgehog that look very nice,
but it is a lot more work to make it habitable.
Aquariums can be used but it can be difficult to find one that meets the size requirements for a cage, and they are quite heavy. They are designed to retain moisture so the cover needs to be replaced with a wire top for adequate ventilation. They also have to be monitored so that the glass doesn’t get too hot and cause burns when using with a heat source.