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Old 03-04-2010, 10:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Prospective Owner

Hi Everyone -
I've recently considered making a hedgehog a new addition. I currently own 4 rats and a cat. I probably wouldn't be for a while and I'm making sure I do my research before I decide. I have a couple concerns/questions.

1) I live in NH so the winters tend to be cold and the summers hot. I think my best bet for heating is to have the ceramic heating lamps because we live in an apartment so our living area is one big room (living room/dining room/office). We do keep our apartment pretty warm in the winter, but probably not enough for a hedgie (two of our rats are hairless so we try to keep it on the warm side). We have electric heat so I don't want to be cranking it up too much.
In the summer we do run the air conditioner because it gets unbearably hot. If we used the ceramic heaters, would they still give off enough heat even with our ACs running?

2) As I said I have 4 rats and a cat. We take the rats out for playtime every evening. In my brief research so far I've heard that they can be ok around other animals, rodents included? I'm certainly not going to house them together, but I figured if we could kill two birds with one stone with playtime that'd be great. Also, do they need special playtime outside of the cage daily like my rats do?

3) As I mentioned, the living area of my apartment is pretty much one big room so the cage would be by my rat cage and amongst the general "noise" (TV, computers, etc). Since hedgies tend to be timid, would this be too much for them to handle?

Thanks in advance for your help!

-Rachel
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am sorry that i can not be more help. But the light might not be enough..I can't be sure since a.) i'm new to hedgehogs myself, and b.) i'm planning to use a heating pad. you should read the post on heating on here for the pros and cons of each. ( link --> viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4579) (with the light being on, most of the time, you will eventually need to buy new light bulbs which i think can be pretty costly (again not sure). with a heading pad you don't have to worry bout getting new lights etc.

Many people use human heating pads (without shut offs. i have been told you can get them at Target for $9.99).

as for other pets, i don't see anything wrong with socializing hedgehogs with other pets as long as you are watching. That way if anything should go wrong you are there to butt in... Sometimes putting hedgehogs with other pets is good but sometimes very bad.

Make sure you have the cage so that your cat doesn't get into the cage and do harm to the poor hedgie. Thats about thing about sterilite bins is that they come with really good lids that you can remodel to your liking so that nothing gets into the cage (or out).
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Prospective Owner

1) Ceramic heat emitters would work well, I just got one for Lily and I'm loving it. I haven't gone through a summer with it yet, but I've read other posts where people recommend leaving them on in the summer, just in case the temperature would dip down. If the cage is warm enough anyway, it won't turn on. The one thing to be careful with with air conditioning is making sure the hedgehog's cage is not near any of the vents, or shutting vents near them. Either with heating or air conditioning, you don't want any drafts going into the cage or it could give them a chill and cause a hibernation attempt.

2) You will want to get your hedgehog out daily to socialize him or her. It takes time for them to adjust to a new owner and warm up to you, and getting them out for an hour or so each night will help them get to know you better. There's really no benefit to introducing the hedgehog to the rats, but I'm not sure if it'd be detrimental to either animal or not. I've heard that small rodents can transfer things (illnesses or parasites, etc.) to other species, so it may not be a good idea.

3) I think it would depend on the hedgehog, but if you buy from a breeder that keeps music on in their hedgehog room, the baby may be used to noise anyway. As long as nothing is turned up very loud, I would think it'd be okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgehogs4ever
b.) i'm planning to use a heating pad. you should read the post on heating on here for the pros and cons of each. ( link --> viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4579) (with the light being on, most of the time, you will eventually need to buy new light bulbs which i think can be pretty costly (again not sure). with a heading pad you don't have to worry bout getting new lights etc.
Hedgehogs, just wanted to make a note that you can't use just a heating pad for heating the cage. You'll still need to keep a thermometer in the cage, and be sure that the air temperature is warm enough. This may require either turning the heat of the house/room up to keep it warmer, or to use a space heater in that room.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Prospective Owner

1. CHEs IMO are the best along with space heaters for heating systems. They should be warm enough even with the AC, if not, you can get one with higher wattage or add another so you have two (or one more than you had) of the same wattage.

IMO you should never rely on a heating pad for all your hedgie's heat. They heat the floor just fine, but they'd have to be hot enough to burn your hedgie, to get the air temperature to what it's supposed to be.

2. Hedgies need routine handling, but it's not as mandatory to have constant interaction as it is with ferrets or rats. I would not let a hedgie out with rats, even if they are the most squishy loveable laid back ratties ever. There still is a good chance they will find something to disagree over and one or both can get seriously injured. Also it's quite possible for them to pass disease back and forth.

3. A hedgie should adjust to the activity of your apartment pretty quickly. Some are more easily stressed with a lot going on, but usually that's not a problem. Keep an eye on him/her to see if they seem extra stressed by anything.



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Old 03-04-2010, 12:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Prospective Owner

hedgehogs4ever, as lilysmommy has pointed out, a heating pad alone is not a suitable heating option for a hedgehog. The whole cage needs to be at a suitable temperature. The area over a heating pad is very warm so when the hedgehog gets out of bed to wheel or eat, the unheated cage is a huge drop in temperature so hedgie goes back to the warm bed. This constant warm/cool is not at all healthy. You need a heating source that will keep the entire cage at a suitable temperature.
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