"Remodeling" cage at night? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default "Remodeling" cage at night?

Hi everyone, I have been lurking on the forum for a while as I prepared my setup for my new little guy (first ever hedgie experience, just got him 4 days ago, he's about 8 weeks). I set up a c&c cage with fleece liners, and for two nights everything was great--he did all of his pooping on the wheel, caught by a litter pan underneath, easy cleanup by rinsing the wheel and changing out paper towels in the pan. The last two nights, he has been throwing a hedgie party in there, and I don't mind some minor remodeling, except that he is pulling his whole litter pan (aluminum baking sheet with paper towels) to the other side of his cage, over by his igloo. It is a carolina storm wheel, so i have the pan kind of wedged between the two extending feet out front. It seems like he's doing some wheel running before moving the pan, because it still has some pee and poop in it when I find it on the other side of the cage, but then he is running again after moving the pan, and I'm sure you can imagine what that looks like on the fleece in front of the wheel...

So, I have been thinking about solutions so he can't move the pan, and I won't have to deal with "runoff" on the fleece liner, and won't have to change it out every single day (he is otherwise pretty neat, and doesn't seem to be making a mess anywhere else). Can anyone give me input on any of these ideas? Or suggest something better?

Idea 1- put sticky Velcro on the bottom of the pan, so it kind of grabs the fleece and he can't slide the pan very easily. Will that work? If he flips it over somehow, would the pointy Velcro hurt his feet?

Idea 2- get something heavier, like a ceramic dish/plate that is harder to push. Again, if he does manage to shove it, could it squish him? I can't imagine that he could flip it over and crush himself or something, but it does kind of seem like he's a little ninja-- so who knows...

If it turns out that nothing will work, I will cave and change the liner every day, just looking for simpler solutions first. Any input from all you experienced folks would be wonderful! Thank you!!

Liz
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Remodeling" cage at night?

Try a bigger tray that the wheel can sit fully inside of. The wheel will weigh it down.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Remodeling" cage at night?

Thanks for the idea! I feel like the base of the wheel (with the PVC arms) is quite big-- do you think something like a cookie sheet would work? I can do some experimenting with the bakeware in my kitchen
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Remodeling" cage at night?

A lot of people use aluminum foil cookie sheets, you should have no problem finding one large enough.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Remodeling" cage at night?

My Mimzy used to do that too. She didn't like the pan under the wheel. I just took it out and replaced it with a sheet of paper toweling. Works great. It catches the pee and poopy. She doesn't dive under it either. I put velcro strips on the pvc feet of my wheel so she wouldn't move it all around the cage. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Remodeling" cage at night?

This video might give you some ideas that translate to your situation. Though different issues, I had litter pan problems also.

If the hedgie is persistent in moving the pan, the setup that I use would easily accommodate the addition of an 'attachment'; say maybe a pair of 6" - 8" twist ties that 'lock' the pan to the wheel frame and make it one unit, yet disassembles quickly and easily.

Hedgies can be resourceful; just keep telling yourself that you will Outwit, Outlast, Outplay. I went with custom pans made from coroplast so that I could have a lot more control over size in every dimension: depth, width, height.

Another option because of the way I have her cage set up, would be to glue a couple of rare earth magnets (super powerful) to the bottom of the litter pan, and match them location-wise with a couple of magnets underneath her cage liner. ZERO chance she'd ever move the pan then, but it would still be easy for you remove. Sophie doesn't move her pan at all, so that's at least one problem she hasn't thrown at me, and she does probably 98% of her pooping and peeing on the wheel. Her cage is sooooo easy to keep clean.

litter-pans-12-12-17.mp4
http://youtu.be/dRWmHABCLrs
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Remodeling" cage at night?

I'm going to go ahead and agree with Erizo. We didn't want Reginald moving his litter tray around, so Maggie used a lighter and a nail to put holes in a plastic serving dish we got from Amazon, and then used zipties to attach it to the legs of the Storm Wheel. Now he can't get under it, and he has plenty of space for potty.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Remodeling" cage at night?

These are all awesome ideas--thanks so much guys!!!
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Remodeling" cage at night?

I'm wondering if he's moving stuff because they're in the "wrong" place to him or if he's moving it for the sake of moving stuff.

If he's moving it for the sake of moving it around, I'd probably try to pin it down and put things in his cage that are okay to move around. But if he's redecorating because, in his opinion, the litter box should be on the other side of the cage... then, fine, let him have it where he wants it. I mean, he's the one who's living in there... he should have a say about his own room, no? Perhaps, try starting off a few nights with things arranged in his cage in a way he seems to want it... put the litter box over by the igloo on purpose... and see if it stays there. You can always put down a wheel mat (ie, fleece remnant... like of like a doormat in human houses) or two to catch the stuff that's coming off the wheel.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Remodeling" cage at night?

Yeah, that's a good point, too. After I posted and heard back from a few of you, I changed out the litter pan for one that's a little bigger and a little heavier (harder to drag) and that night (2 nights ago) it seemed to work fine, I woke up to a very poopy wheel and litter pan still in place full of runoff. Last night though, I adjusted the wheel a little because it seemed like this new pan wasn't fitting as well under it, and he didn't run at all. I woke up to a spotlessly clean wheel and an empty litter pan (a few poos on the fleece behind the wheel) and near had a panic attack (I know I've only had him for a week but I am already so accustomed to a poo covered wheel!). Should I assume the wheel adjustment was confusing to him? Do you guys think I should adjust it back to how it was before? Or put the only litter pan back? I'm assuming I shouldn't flip out yet because its only been one night, and he still ate his food, but as a new hedge-mom I'm kind of ridiculously paranoid...thanks again for all your help, I'm SO glad I found you all!!
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