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Old 01-11-2013, 01:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy My hedgie keeps digging up his cage liner?

My hedgie, Boris, keeps digging up his fleece cage liner, and sleeping under it. He's 13 weeks old.
I recently bought him a litter tray to put his wheel in, and he even pokes his head under that and walks underneath it to get to the corner that he always burrows under!
Why does he always go to the same corner even when theres something in his way? and whats wrong with his sleeping place ontop of the cage liner? how can I stop him doing this? he knocks things over in his cage and makes a mess by doing so.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie keeps digging up his cage liner?

Maybe it just feels more secure to him under the liner, they do seem to love a tight spot. You could try weighing down the liner somehow, i've seen some people even try velcro. What kind of cage do you have? Maybe someone has a good fix for it
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie keeps digging up his cage liner?

The inclination to dig and burrow comes naturally to hedgehogs. Sometimes, you can attend to that need by creating a dig box (something the size of a kleenex box with fleece strips in it) for them to rifle through.

That doesn't work for all hedgies though. Some are just committed liner divers. I had one who was precisely that - a lifelong liner diver. She really like to get under her liner and wedge herself into the tightest spot she could get... usually close to where the wheel was holding the liner down most firmly. I think she just liked the pressure... feeling snuggled in. And that's not something that's easily replicatable above the liner. As she grew older... somewhere in her last year of life, she finally consented to more of a taco approach. I cut her liners (just single layer fleece cut to size) extra long so they could fold back on themselves... like a taco shell. She'd put herself in that envelope, right up next to where the fold was.

You could, of course, force him to live above the liner by velcro-ing it down or creating a liner that goes up the sides of the cage so it's impossible for him to get at the edge. But I prefer a bit more thoughtful approach: take a look at what benefits he's enjoying from liner diving and try and replicate the ones that are important to him in another way. Like if it's the digging - make a dig box; if it's feeling secure and snuggled in - try the taco approach; if it's the amount of lightness/darkness, replicate that in an igloo or hedgiebag that's the same fabric & thickness as the liner; if it's the feel of the cage bottom (I'm assuming plastic) underneath him, then stick a plastic or melamine plate in an igloo; if there's just something important to him about that corner (an who knows what that could possibly be), move the wheel & litter to another place in his cage so he can have his special corner; etc...
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie keeps digging up his cage liner?

What are you using for a sleeping spot? If it's a hard-sided hideaway like an igloo, especially a larger sized igloo, changing to something more cozy may help. They prefer to have something in close around them when they sleep, which is why I use sleeping bags. Even with bags, some of ours are still liner divers. I figure if that's what makes them happy, let them do it.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie keeps digging up his cage liner?

I think with some of the other people with the same liner diving problem, it often went away when the sleeping area was darker and more cosy. For instance, one girl had an igloo, but it was still kind of bright. She covered with some kind of cloth to make it darker and the hedgehog started using that instead.

For Poggles, he has a sleeping pouch (which he uses like a mattress). On top of that I have a small liner folded into quarters and he uses that as a blanket. On top of that he has a Living World dome, and on top of the dome is a dome cover. He has no issues with liner diving. Sometimes he will sleep under his wheel in his litter pan, but he will usually switch back to his dome a few hours later.

Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie keeps digging up his cage liner?

He used to sleep in my old t-shirts, and he has done for the whole 3 weeks ive had him up until now..he has a hedgie bag ordered though so i'm going to try him with that, and if not im gonna try him with an igloo..all else failed I'll just have to accept hes a liner diver :P Do you think its anything to do with the fact hes quilling really badly atm? I dont know, just wondering, hes my first hedgie so I dont really know much.
Thanks for all your suggestions
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie keeps digging up his cage liner?

Oh, I forgot one more thing. Sometimes hedgies go under the liner because they like the cool surface. If your cage is heated, you may want to provide a ceramic tile in a cooler area of the cage so that he can go there when he feels too hot and he can splat on that.

The fleece pouch might help. Try that. If it doesn't work add the igloo and put the pouch inside of it.

As a side comment, if you have Living World domes where you live, get that instead of the igloo. I have both and the Living World dome is better because the entrance is wider. It won't seem like a big deal now since he's small, but when he becomes a big fatso, you'll wish you had gotten the Living World dome. Get the 12 inch version. Also, the dome is not see-through so it is darker.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie keeps digging up his cage liner?

With Sonic I tuck the his fleece blanket(liner) under the chloroplast so he can not dig it up. I sometimes use small binder clips to keep the liner in place. that is what I am using to keep his fabric in his litter pan in place.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie keeps digging up his cage liner?

Quote:
". . . they do seem to love a tight spot. . . ."
They surely do. Take advantage of that trait.
.................................................. ...................

Quote:
". . . I sometimes use small binder clips to keep the liner in place. . . ."
I use binder clips all over the place. They are incredibly useful for many things. Long twist ties also. (8" - 12" lengths that can be cut to a specific length if needed.)
.................................................. ...................


My girl has never been a liner diver, but the topic comes up a lot. It may just not be ' in her nature'. It may also be due to cage conditions, so it doesn't occur to her that liner diving is a thing to do. 1) She has a LOT of space. 2) She has a house and three tunnels to hide in. Being hidden away and out of sight is tremendously important to her. Because she has so many options 'designed in', she's never had reason to go looking for something better. 3) Her house and one of her tunnels have burrows of fleece strips and squares already built for her.

Her first cage (2 grid x 4 grid C&C adaption) has a coroplast box. It has worked very well. Her wheel and litter pan sit in one corner. Her house sits in another corner. One of her tunnels takes up most of one long wall. In other words, I have located her stuff so that there aren't a lot of 'edges' for her to investigate.

The downside of the coroplast box is that the liner size is a key factor. I have a couple that have shrunk a bit and are too small. I've made 'cage liner shims' to make up the difference and they work exceptionally well. (Despite multiple pre-washes before the liners were made, they have still shrunk over time. This despite that I air-dry almost all of her stuff, so it isn't from heat from the dryer.) A couple of her liners are deliberately 'too big', eliminating the possibility of the first problem. I do have to 'turn under' the oversize amount, and that works pretty well. Better too big than too small I believe, though all of her cage liners for the first cage remain in rotation.
.................................................. ...................

Her 'expansion cage', doubling the size of her empire, is another C&C adaption. This cage does not have a one-piece C&C cage. It is modular; it comes apart into a 'front half' and a 'back half'. It also does not use a coroplast box. The entire cage sits on an oversize liner; that is, the liner is 'too big' in all dimensions, making liner diving an absolute impossibility. (I went overboard on 'too big' with these liners, but it don't make no nevermind.)

Though there are significant differences in design, I am very pleased with both cages and love them both.
.................................................. ...................

This video may or may not be helpful to your specific situation. It depends on the type of cage you are using or on what your long-term housing plans are.

new-liner-expansion-cage-12-9-27.mp4
(14:20)
http://youtu.be/8bIi1PY_wFA
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Her YouTube channel has another video showing assembly of the expansion cage before I made cage liners specifically for it. I was still tweaking the design and testing efficiency at this point. This other video covers a lot of the same material, but you can see how the 'temporary liners' were just barely big enough to get by with. It also shows installation of the sky bridge connecting the two cages. (I've got one or two videos talking only about the bridge design / installation as well.)

expansion-cage-setup-12-9-6
(11:08)
http://youtu.be/TJxcQ_fEO44
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie keeps digging up his cage liner?

unless you are able to completely secure the liner somehow and add lots of options for burrowing then liner diving is just something that happens. I keep the food and water dishes off the main liner if they are constantly being tipped over (just fold back a corner of your liner and put the food and water dishes in that corner). If it's the wheel that is tipping it may be possible to secure the wheel to the cage sides (many people do this with twist ties). Some people add rocks to the corners of the cage to weigh down the liners I personally prefer to let them liner dive if they want although I've never had a huge cage so it's pretty easy for me to change the liner daily if i need to, so the mess is not a big deal.
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