Sometimes hedgehogs will start to climb the inside of the cage after you bring it home. If your baby is a climber, simply fasten 4-8-inch-tall panels of cardboard, acrylic sheets, or chloroplast (corrugated plastic sheets used for sign making) to the INSIDE of the cage. In the litter box corner, you will want to go all the way to the top of the cage. This will prevent them from scaling the litter box and reaching the bars. It is easy to fasten the panels with zip ties, cable ties or bread bag twist ties. You should be able to remove these sheets when your baby settles down from the big move in about 2 weeks.
All hedgehogs no matter how friendly, will fuss at you when woken up or disturbed. It’s important to be gentle with them. Remove their hiding place and allow them a few minutes to wake up on their own and perhaps go potty. When you are ready, you can gently scoop them up with your hand from under their belly (use your bonding bag to wrap around if you are intimidated by the quills). The more time you spend with your new hedgehog, the more sociable they will become. However, it is normal for it to take a couple of weeks for your new hedgehog to warm up to you. Keep in mind their nose is very sensitive and new smells can make them nervous.
Currently your hedgehog is eating 1 tablespoon daily of Kirkland Cat food (available at Costco) mixed with Wellness Complete Health Adult health Cat food. Once your 6 oz bag of food is gone, you can order more from our website (under the tab “order food”) or go straight onto Costco’s Kirkland Maintenance cat food.
It is also very important that you feed your hedgehogs daily. At Least 1 teaspoon or about 20 mealworms should be fed daily. A good online source for buying dried mealworms is at www.TastyWorms.com (click here for a 10% discount).
PLEASE DO NOT FEED YOUR HEDGEHOG FRUITS OR VEGETABLES.
Quilling In Juveniles:
Just like people lose their baby teeth, hedgehogs shed their “baby quills.” At about 3-4 months of age, the hedgehog's baby quills will fall out as their adult counterparts emerge from beneath the skin. This “quilling” is completely normal, although your hedgie might act a little temperamental when it’s taking place. Continue to gently hold your hedgehog during this time to keep him social. Try not to pet your hedgehog as it hurts. Be patient, it will be over soon.
Hedgehogs must be treated for mites on a monthly basis. You will need to visit your vet to obtain a prescription for Revolution (Selemectin). This parasite control is administered by placing a drop of the medicine on the back of the neck. Mites are everywhere in our environment and you MUST protect your hedgehog. Your hedgehog was treated before leaving our premises.
Setting Up Your Hedgehog Habitat:
•Heat Source: A hedgehog MUST be kept at 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend a 150-watt ceramic heat emitter. Make sure to monitor the heat source with a thermometer and always heat 1/2 of the cage so the hedgie can move away if he gets too warm.
The room temp side of the cage should never fall below 65 degrees. Hedgehogs will hibernate when the temperature drops below 65 degrees and could be fatal. Signs that a hedgehog is too cold and on the verge of hibernation: staggered "drunk-like" walking or loss of appetite loss. If a hedgehog exhibits these symptoms, warm its surroundings gradually, and consult a veterinarian. NEVER assume a staggering hedgehog has wobbly hedgehog syndrome. It takes months to develop WHS and it is a fairly uncommon disease.
•Bedding: Carefresh (recycled Paper Bedding) is the best choice for bedding. AVOID cedar and pine shavings as they are toxic to small animals. Using fleece or fabric liners will void your hedgehog’s health guarantee. Fleece or fabric liners are cruel as they don’t allow your hedgehog to forage, burrow and tunnel.
•Litter box: A ferret sized corner litter box works perfectly. We use Nature’s Bedding or Dry Den which is used in horse stalls and can be purchased at your local feed store.
•House/Igloo: A plastic Igloo (my preferred choice), or some other enclosed hiding place should be provided as a secure haven for your hedgehog.
•Exercise Wheel: After your baby is 14-16 weeks old you can introduce an exercise wheel. A wheel is helpful in preventing obesity. A solid surface wheel (12 in diameter) is necessary. We like the Giant Comfort wheel by Kaytee (available at PetSmart).
Hedgehogs poop on the wheel; this is NORMAL they will choose the wheel before the litter box. If you give your hedgehog time outside of his cage, it may be ok to just place the wheel in the cage 1-2 days a week.
•Toys: Hedgehogs like to amuse themselves, so toys should be included in their enclosures. Ping pong balls and hard other hard plastic balls are good toy choices -my favorite is plastic Easter eggs. Toys that can easily be chewed up into little pieces and ingested should be avoided.
•Water Bottle: We use a bird water bottle for hedgehogs in order to minimize damage to their teeth. Should you break your bottle, you can put the sipper tube (the important part of the bottle) onto an 8oz hamster bottle purchased at any pet store.
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