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Old 11-01-2010, 12:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Scratching at bottom of cage.

Hey everyone, so I've had my hedgehog for just shy of two months now (she was 10 weeks old when I got her from a breeder), and she seems to have a big problem with scratching at the bottom of her cage. It's a plastic bottomed cage and I use pine shavings for bedding. I understand they like to dig, but she'll sit in the same spot just scratching at the plastic bottom compulsively for 15-30 minutes at a time. It seems to be happening more frequently lately, and is a bit of an issue since I keep her in my bedroom, and her scratching has woken me up more than once, and makes it a real pain to try and fall back asleep.

Has anyone else had this problem before? What would you recommend I do to discourage her from scratching at the bottom of the cage? Or, what would you recommend I do to reduce the noise it causes?

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Old 11-01-2010, 12:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scratching at bottom of cage.

Both of my hedgies have been doing a lot of scratching at the bottom of the cage this week, in my case it seems like it is coinciding with storms that are moving through the area. This may or may not be the case with your hedgie but wanted to share just in case it helped
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scratching at bottom of cage.

I don't have much to comment about the digging, because even if you made her a dig box, the scratching noise will still probably be loud.

However, take out the pine shavings. It's toxic to all small animals, as it reacts to urine and emits toxic fumes. Most people here use fleece liners, but if you must use shavings, switch to aspen.
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scratching at bottom of cage.

Fleece liners would also be quieter. Instead of nails scratching on plastic, it would be nails on fabric. Not to mention less expensive in the long run & safer.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scratching at bottom of cage.

@PJM: As long as you tack down the sides and make sure the hedgehog can't get under the liner. Hester spent the first month doing this to me, and the cage was basically next to my head and bed.

I use to just bump the side of the cage and say "Hey" at her. I'm just curious as to what the temperature is? She might be scratching down to get at the 'cool' plastic bottom of her cage, or she's just digging. The others are right about the pine, its no good at all, ASPEN if you still want to use wood shavings, is the only safe one. Everyone here uses fabric liners such as fleece, its a little more work since you got to spot clean everyday, but it helps out, as you can see urine color (in case of sickness) and its softer on their feets.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scratching at bottom of cage.

From a fleece perspective, I had a similar problem. I ended stuffing more and more fleece into her pigloo and that seemed to help, along with various mugs I have anchoring down the edges of the fleece. Either that or growth, there's less "digging" now. No matter, hope you find something that works for you.
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