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Do Hedgehogs Need Bedding?

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I love hedgehogs and I’m sure you do, too.

Hedgehogs make great pets and are popular in various homes.

How do you keep hedgehogs as pets? Can you raise hedgehogs like you raise other animals? For example, do hedgehogs need bedding?

Do hedgehogs need bedding? Yes, they do. Hedgehogs need bedding for various reasons and raising hedgehogs is much easier when you use bedding.

For example, hedgehogs poop a lot so without bedding, your hedgehog cage can become smelly quickly.

Two cute hedgehogs are sitting in basket

Here are some things to consider about choosing what bedding is right for your hedgehog.

Beddings for Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs need bedding and you should give them enough bedding to suit their needs.

Before you know the type of bedding material to give your hedgehogs, you should know the use of bedding in raising hedgehogs.

Some Reasons Hedgehogs Need Bedding

1. Bedding Can Prevent the Hedgehog Cage from Smelling

Most bedding materials are very dry.

This means that bedding can easily absorb the moisture in hedgehog urine and poop. Without moisture, hedgehog poop and urine will not smell.

This means that your hedgehogs can poop and urinate in their cage for a few days and you still won’t notice because the bedding acts as a drying agent.

You still need to be sure to keep your hedgehog’s cage clean, but this will give you a little more time between cleanings.

2. Beauty

Bedding can add extra color and beauty to the appearance of your hedgehog cage.

Sand and paper bedding for example can give your hedgehog cage a better aesthetic and natural feeling.

3. Bedding Insulates Your Hedgehog Cage During Winter

During winter, you need to protect your hedgehogs from the cold.

While there are other ways to protect your hedgehogs from the cold of the winter (such as using heat lamps), a more natural way to help your hedgehogs feel warm is to insulate the cage by using a thick layer of bedding.

Bedding can trap warm air and also prevent your hedgehog’s little feet from touching the cold ground.

4. Hedgehogs Can Hide or Feel Safe in Bedding

Hedgehogs, mice, guinea pigs, etc. all love to play in bedding. They do not just love to play, they can hide in the bedding when they feel threatened.

If you are using hay or straw as the bedding material, you should use five or more inches of bedding so that your hedgehogs can hide in it if they want.

If you’d want to always see your hedgehogs and do not want them to hide, use other type of bedding materials or reduce the height of the hay so that they cannot hide in it anymore.

Cute hedgehog holds ice cream cone toy in its paws

Great Bedding Material for Hedgehogs

Here is a list of options to choose from:

1. Dry Grass (Hay) or Straw

Hay and straw are very popular because they are cheap (or you can even make yours yourself).

Hay and Straw also double as a food source for hedgehogs and also little animals.

With hay or straw, your hedgehogs can hide in their bedding (when the layer of bedding is high enough).

2. Sawdust

Sawdust is also a popular bedding material because it absorbs more moisture than hay and straw.

With sawdust, your hedgehog cage will not develop a bad smell (caused by poop) for many days.

When searching for sawdust, use larger sized pieces instead of small sized ones because of dust. Hedgehogs do not like dust.

3. Wood Shavings

Wood shavings are a great bedding idea for hedgehogs. Wood shavings are simply shredded tree stem, bark, or branches.

Pine shavings (from pine trees) are a great example of wood shavings. Do not use cedar wood because it can be toxic for your hedgehogs.

Wood shavings in box at table background

4. Shredded Paper and Cartons

For pet hedgehogs and other little mammals, shredded paper is an awesome idea because the whiteness of paper adds a pretty appearance to the cage.

Hedgehogs love to hide in paper just as in hay or straw. Note that you will have to change paper bedding more often than you change other types of beddings.

5. Sand

Sand? Yes sand. Sharp sand. Sand is an awesome bedding idea for hedgehogs.

They will feel in a more natural environment with sand. Another great thing about sand is that sand can be reused.

Just sun-dry the sand and filter out the poop that is visible and you can reuse it. Just like paper, sand gives the appearance of your hedgehog cage more beauty.

Great Tips for Using Bedding in Your Hedgehog Cage

1. Use Unscented Bedding

Some commercial bedding materials are scented to allow you use the bedding for a much longer time (i.e. the scent will cover the smell of poop). D

o not use scented bedding because hedgehogs have a great sense of smell and the scent of the bedding can make them uncomfortable.

2. Know What Suits You

Bedding materials such as paper, sawdust, etc. are suitable for smaller cages while hay, straw, sand, etc. are best for larger and more accessible cages.

You should know the best bedding material for your hedgehogs.

3. Be Calm When Handling Your Hedgehogs

If you are using paper bedding, hay or straw and you have a high layer, remember that your hedgehogs might be hiding inside, so you need to be careful when handing the cage.

Always make some sounds and gently pack the bedding off when changing so that you do not mistakenly harm the unsuspecting hedgehog.

Related Questions and Their Answers

1. How Often Should You Change Your Hedgehog Bedding?

It depends on how much bedding you have and also the type of bedding used.

hedgehog in autumn in the forest close-up

For hay and straw, they will become a bit darker in color when they need to be changed.

For sand, you’ll see how unattractive it is when it needs to be hanged. Paper bedding will need to be changed every 2-4 days depending on the number of hedgehogs.

2. Can You Use Towels and Other Fabric as Bedding?

If you have raised chicks, you’d remember using towels as bedding.

For hedgehogs, using towels may be stressful for you because towels do not absorb as much moisture as other bedding materials.

Towels also will need to be washed to be reused. If, however, you prefer towel bedding, you are free to use it.

3. Does Bedding Attract Insects?

Hay, straw, and other similar bedding materials can attract some pests.

Before using the bedding material, properly examine it for insects and other pests outside your house.

You should be very careful when using hay from farms and barns because of ticks, lice, and other parasitic pests.

Final Thoughts

Hedgehogs are cute pets and they are also pretty easy to care for.

One great way to make your care of hedgehogs easier is by using bedding.

Using bedding is a great idea for hedgehogs.

Remember to follow all the tips in this article.