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Old 05-13-2015, 12:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My new hedgie pees in her cave/house?!

So I just got my hedgie about a week ago. She is one year old and I got her in a rehoming because her previous owners didn't have the time for her. She's pretty shy and doesn't care to be handled a lot (her previous owners "tried to handle her at least once a week"?!), but she is showing great potential and can be calmed down and brought out of her ball of quills with mealies So I have a lot of hope for her, personality wise. I currently have her in a little kiddy pool in my room, which gives her a lot of room to run around (more than the cage she was in before), and I put a litter box in there and put her poops in the litter box. The problem is that she won't go in the litter box, she goes all over the pool (mostly behind her cave). I wish that she went poo in her litter box, but the real thing that worries me in that she pees in her cave/house where she sleeps! I am seriously worried, why would she do this?
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There are a couple possible reasons I can think of - she's too shy to leave her hut to pee, she prefers to pee in a covered area, or she has a health issue going on to where she can't hold it until she gets out of bed.

What temperature is it in the room? I'm guessing you don't have any kind of heating set up for the kiddy pool as it would be difficult to heat. She needs to be kept between 73-78*F and it needs to stay steady. It would really be best for you to get or make her a larger cage that's completely enclosed. She can get out of the kiddy pool easily if she wanted to and could get lost or stuck/injured somewhere in your room. The kiddy pool would be great for supervised play time instead!

Make sure she's warm enough so she's not staying in her bed because of that. Then try giving her a second covered area & see if maybe she'll use one for pottying, one for bed. If you're finding after you make changes to her living area that she's still peeing where she sleeps, make a vet appointment to have her checked for a UTI & such.

As far as pooping everywhere, that's pretty normal as far as hedgies go. Some will learn to use a litterbox, but many won't. It does help to have the litterbox underneath her wheel, since most hedgehogs potty on their wheel anyway. So if you don't have it set up that way, that might help. But you may just have to live with it if she refuses to litter train.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Lilysmommy covered pretty much everything but I just wanted to add that you have to be careful using a kiddie pool as a cage. I used to use one as a playpen and had lots of hedgehogs escape from it.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lilysmommy View Post
There are a couple possible reasons I can think of - she's too shy to leave her hut to pee, she prefers to pee in a covered area, or she has a health issue going on to where she can't hold it until she gets out of bed.

What temperature is it in the room? I'm guessing you don't have any kind of heating set up for the kiddy pool as it would be difficult to heat. She needs to be kept between 73-78*F and it needs to stay steady. It would really be best for you to get or make her a larger cage that's completely enclosed. She can get out of the kiddy pool easily if she wanted to and could get lost or stuck/injured somewhere in your room. The kiddy pool would be great for supervised play time instead!

Make sure she's warm enough so she's not staying in her bed because of that. Then try giving her a second covered area & see if maybe she'll use one for pottying, one for bed. If you're finding after you make changes to her living area that she's still peeing where she sleeps, make a vet appointment to have her checked for a UTI & such.

As far as pooping everywhere, that's pretty normal as far as hedgies go. Some will learn to use a litterbox, but many won't. It does help to have the litterbox underneath her wheel, since most hedgehogs potty on their wheel anyway. So if you don't have it set up that way, that might help. But you may just have to live with it if she refuses to litter train.
Yeah I'm currently planning on making her a C&C cage once school gets out in about a week and the summer starts. I live in AZ so my house stays at about 73-78 all the time lol I was starting to think that it was because she wanted privacy so I made her a little litter box out of a cardboard box that is fully enclosed. I put it in her pool last night. But when I checked on her in the morning she had only made a few dribbles of pee in different parts of the pool, and hadn't used the litter box at all. I'm going to the vet to get a weight on her this week so I can ask the vet about a UTI. I also think it might be because her previous owners kept her in a very very small cage (like a cat travel crate) and she was essentially forced to pee in her bed area. :/
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A steady temperature is just as important as the correct temperature range. 73-78 is the acceptable range, but you need to get her at a temperature that only changes by 1 or 2 degrees either direction. So if you're shooting for say 75, it should only go up to 77 or down to 73. If the fluctuation in temperature is too large it can cause a hibernation attempt. Also, keep in mind that heat rises, so the floor will be cooler. You can't rely on what your house thermostat says it is. Be sure to get a thermometer for her cage as well a proper heating setup with it's own thermostat so you can keep the temperature stable.

Does she have any other places to hide in her home? She may be more at ease if she has several places to hide in. PVC pipes are cheap solution, or shoe boxes with a hole in the side. Really anything that will let her feel like she's hidden.
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds a lot like my little beast when I got her, my girl was also a very shy re home and was going to the bathroom in her house. I put lots of toys and things for her to hide in a kept her out of her cage with me a lot, on the bed to play while I was working or watching tv. I always keep the tv on low so she got used to noise and I talk and sing silly songs to her all the time. As her shyness got less and we bonded her she stopped going to the BR anywhere but one corner of her cage. Give her time, spend lots of time with her so her trust and confidence grows. She has a felt pineapple, ferret tunnel & small coffee can to hide in as well as her cave
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