Hi there, Hedge-heads! (I hope that's the right term... and if not, missed oppertunity, people!)
I am considering a pet hedgehog, but before I do anything like run out and buy one, I'm looking to get some information that I think is best answered by keepers.
First of all, I have a rat cage that I thought might work, but it has levels that a hedgie could fall from. I'm not a handy person so I don't want to alter it- are there any comercially available cages suitable to a hedgehog's needs? What came to mind first is one of those guinea pig starter cages that are all one level, and have more floor space. Would this be appropriate for a hedgehog?
The breeder is sending with them a hedgie 'starter kit', a 1 sterelite tub tank, som
Second, and importantly for me, as it would be living in my room, would there be a strong odor associated with a hedgehog when the cage is cleaned weekly and a litter box is offered? For instance... I personally love the natural musk/odor that ferrets carry with them, so natural odors aren't my worry. My worry is that ammonia/poop smell... I've had rats and mice and I know it can get pretty bad pretty quick if you don't stay on top if it. Is there a difference in male/female odor?
For reference's sake, I plan on using aspen shavings for bedding out of conveience- I use them for my blue tongue skink.
As far as temperment goes, hedgehogs get the grumpy end of the stick from what I hear... but the one I handled at the pet store which was professed to be the grumpiest of all settled down in my hands once I had him in them, spread out so he'd feel comfortable sitting. The hedgehog I am planning on buying if I get one is hand raised from a local breeder (she is having a litter in 4 weeks and another in 6) and I am curious if this will affect temperment- being hand raised? Will it be more comfortable, or even seek out human affection? My reason for buying a mammal pet is because I want a pet that is snuggly and would like interaction... My skink gets plenty, but she only likes so much. I'd like an animal that, when Misha is in her cage, can come out, sit with me while I work on art or play video games, or will sit with me while I watch the tele. Can I expect this from a hedgehog- the actual enjoyment of human interaction? Or are they the sort of pet who like to be left alone? Keeping in mind each one is an individual, of course.
What are the CONS of owning a hedgehog? I see a lot of pros, but I want to know the bad before I get one, to make sure I can provide the best possible home for my potential pet! What would you tell a potential hedgehog owner to make sure they are ready? Stuff like "they bite really hard and will draw blood", or "they smell terrible and need a room to themselves", stuff like that! Basically, if you were writing a website called "what they don't tell you about hedgehogs!" what would you include!!
(For the curious, the breeder I found through a local online classifieds, something like craigslist: http://saintjohn.kijiji.ca/c-pets-other ... Z425832432