Shopping Guide | Cage Options | Bedding Choices | Accessories | Toys


Water Bottles

  • Our hedgehogs are accustomed to using water bottles.  We use eight ounce bottles for all of our hedgehogs.
  • The tip of the water bottle should hang at your hedgehog’s shoulder height.
  • We encourage you to always monitor your hedgehogs to make sure they are drinking freely from their bottle.
  • Online pet accessory stores carry inexpensive bottlebrushes that will help keep the bottle clean.  Baby bottlebrushes will also fit in many traditional water bottles. 
  • Both glass and plastic bottles are available.  Glass bottles are typically used for chinchillas and lab animals and are much more difficult to find than plastic bottles.
  • Advantages of bottles
  • Water bottles are typically much less messy than dishes. 
  • Water bottles are easy to clean.
  •  They typically mount on the side of the cage so that there is more floor space available for the hedgehog.
  • Water bottles come in a variety of shapes and styles and are relatively inexpensive.
  • Disadvantages of bottles
  • The water bottle should be checked every day to ensure the bottle is working properly and not plugged with bits of bedding or other debris.
  • You may consider switching to a water bowl if you notice your hedgehog chewing or jerking on the metal tip of the water bottle.  Hedgehog can damage their teeth on the tip of the bottle.
  • We have heard reports that plastic bottles should be replaced after one year of use because toxins can leach out as the bottles age.  I personally have not reviewed this report but replacing bottles on a regular basis is a simple and relatively inexpensive safety precaution.

Water Bottle Hangers

  • Our water bottles fit inside hangers that are attached inside the cage.
  • The hanger is sturdy and the water bottle is not easily pushed out of the hanger and the hanger is not easily knocked off the cage if attached properly.
  • Our experience with the “U” shaped wire clips that are often included in the package with the bottle is that they are not well suited for hedgehogs or their cages.
  • This type of hanger either doesn’t allow the bottle to hang low enough in the cage or it is knocked off easily.

Water Bowls

  • Baby hedgehogs or hedgehogs that have difficulty using a bottle may do better with a water bowl.
  • Some hedgehog owners prefer using glass or stainless steel bowls for drinking.
  • Water bowls will need to be checked frequently to make sure they are clean and full.  
  • Wood or paper bedding can make quite a mess in water bowls.
  • Hedgehogs lap water from the edge of a pool of water in the wild.  A hedgehog needs to put its long snout down into a bowl to drink.  This can present a problem for your hedgie because it can aspirate on the water (inhale water through its nose into its lungs). (Martin).

Bowl Tips

  • Food dishes should be heavy enough that they are not easily tipped and large enough to keep bedding from contaminating the food.
  • We recommend the four-inch crock style food dish.
  • One suggestion to prevent bedding from getting into the bowl is to put the bowl atop of a large garden stone (properly disinfected of course).  The stone will also naturally help to wear down the hedgehog’s nails and give additional exercise and stimulation. (Bartel).
  • Another way to prevent bowls from tipping is to glue your crock or food dish to a ceramic floor tile.  The bowls and tiles are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace should they become cracked. (Bartel).

Types of Bowls

  • Crocks

  • Crocks are the most common food and water dish in the pet industry.
  • The heavy ceramic crocks are preferred to the lightweight plastic crocks because they are not as easily tipped and used as a toy.
  • We sometimes use the 2 1/2” to 3” size crocks for babies and for treats.  The larger 4” crocks seem to work better for us for our adult hedgehogs.
  • The 4” crocks help to prevent bedding from contaminating the food.
  • Crocks can be easily sterilized in the dishwasher or sink.
  • In the past many crocks that had a blue glaze inside contained a lead base glaze.  Current production standards for many companies no longer allow lead in glazes used for pet products.  However, if you are in doubt about the safety of your crocks many other options are available.
  • Always replace the crocks if the interior glaze is chipped or any part of the crock itself is chipped.
  • The Bartel family gave us a great tip for keeping hedgehogs from tipping their crocks.  They glue the crock to a piece of ceramic flooring tile.  The tiles are inexpensive, easy to clean, and can be discarded with the crock if one should break.  Choose a tile that has smooth edges rather than one that has sharp sides that could injure your pet. 
  • Human Dishes

  • The advantage of using human grade dishes is that they are guaranteed to be safe for pets.
  • Some pet owners use small 3” ramekin dishes for their pets.
  • The restaurant style hard plastic ramekins are easy to clean and will not break.
  • Dessert bowls or small cooking dishes are similar in size to 4” crocks but they may not be as heavy as crocks and can be easily tipped.
  • Reptile Dishes

  • This style of dish is sold for reptiles but it has low sides which is especially nice for young hedgehogs.
  • The corner dish fits nice and tight into an aquarium which saves limited floor space.
  • The dishes are relatively heavy and not easily tipped.
  • Some hedgehogs may choose to use this dish as a litter pan because it is easy for them to climb in and out of the dish.
  • They have a rough texture and may be a little more difficult to clean than dishes with smooth surfaces.
  • This style of dish is also quite costly.
  • Coop-Cups

  • This style of dish is sold for birds, rabbits, or other animals that are able to eat up off the ground.
  • Brackets attach the cup or dish to the sides of the wire cage.
  • This type of dish will require giving your hedgehog a boost up to the appropriate height.  The garden stone mentioned above will work quite nicely.
  • One concern with using this type of dish is that boosting your hedgehog up to the wire level of the cage may encourage climbing which is not always a good idea.
  • Refer to our Behavioral Characteristics guide for more information about hedgehog’s agility and climbing abilities.

Environmental Enrichment

  • Numerous studies have shown that almost all animals benefit from environmental enrichment.
  • Stimulation sparks activity which is essential to animal health and well being.
  • Healthy, happy, active animals (and humans) tend to live longer and have more full filling lives.
  • We encourage you to provide a variety of cages items to enrich the life of your pet.


  • Wheels are an excellent addition to any cage since most hedgehogs love to run in a wheel.  Our customers have measured their hedgehog’s wheel activity and reported up to 12 miles logged on a pedometer in one night!!
  • Make sure you use the 11” or 12” diameter wheels with approximately 5” of running width.   Most wheels need a 16” cage height clearance.
  • These wheels are generally the largest sizes available in any brand.  Hamster wheels are only large enough for young babies.
  • We suggest only using a solid bottom wheel with no spokes because little feet have a tendency to get caught in wire wheels.  Hedgehogs have been known to break legs and feet in wheels with spokes.  Mesh wheels are a little less dangerous but nails can still get caught.  
  • Giant Comfort Wheels are economically priced, easy to clean, and readily available.  Their tread provides traction for the hedgehogs and our hedgehogs tend to favor them over the bucket wheels.  Hedgehog Wheel-a-holics will wear out the plastic pin so they are not as durable as other options.
  • Bucket wheels are popular because of their durability, easiness to clean, and reasonably price.  Most bucket wheels are far less squeaky than other wheels.  They are somewhat difficult to find.  Our bucket wheels have ball bearings and therefore do not have spinning bars or axles and have far less squeaking than other types of wheels. 
  • Giant Wodent Wheels are popular because they are somewhat enclosed and some hedgehogs prefer to wheel in private.  These wheels are quite difficult to clean and this may become quite a burden if your hedgehog chooses to use the wheel as the litter pan.
  • Wire and mesh wheels may be covered with craft plastic or craft foam.  These wheels are much safer than wire wheels but can be a difficult to clean.
  • Be prepared to clean your hedgie’s feet because some hedgehogs have a tendency to potty while wheeling and may develop what are lovingly referred to as “poop boots”. 
  • Sand Paper
    • Some hedgehog owners put a sandpaper liner in their wheels to trim their hedgehog’s nails. 
    • You can make your own liner with extra fine sandpaper or buy wheels with sandpaper already on them. 
    • You must pay close attention to the hedgehog’s feet when using a nail liner. 
    • Some hedgehogs can wear down their nails very quickly (overnight) and cause injury to their feet.
    • Since hedgehogs can injure their feet in a relatively short period of time many hedgehog owners do not think sand paper is a good idea even for the hedgehog that is the most uncooperative at nail trimming time.
    • One serious problem to consider with using sandpaper in the wheels that the combination of pooping on the wheels and possible damage to delicate feet is a very bad combination.  Serious infections can result from poop being essentially ground into a wound.

Litter pans

  • Usage
    • Litter pans are included in our combination packages because we believe it is well worth your effort to try and litter train your hedgie. 

    • I once heard that it was a “Crap Shoot” whether or not your hedgehog would use the litter pan.  I tend to agree!!
    • Some hedgehogs take to the litter pan and use it right away with little or no coaxing.  Other hedgehogs refuse to use their litter pan despite any attempts on your part to try to teach your hedgehog the purpose of the litter pan.
    • Refer to our Litter Training guide for more information on training.
  • Placement and Style
    • The litter pan should have a front low enough for the hedgehog to easily climb in and they should be large enough for the hedgehog to climb in and turn around.
    • We prefer ferret corner litter pans because they are high on the sides and back and low in the front.  They also tend to take up less space than other styles.
    • We have found the ferret litter pan works well.
    • We strongly suggest using a different substrate in the litter pan than what is used in the rest of the cage.
    • Refer to the Bedding Guide for substrate ideas.