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Old 08-09-2019, 06:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default kitty litter?

Do any of you know about those cat litter pellets that are made of compressed wood. Many people use them for their hamsters, so.. what about hedgehogs?? They are supposed to be really absorbent of urine and odour and their pretty inexpensive. Does anyone have any experience with this particular substrate or any reason why I shouldn't be able to use this for my hedgehog, let me know please. xx 💞
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I’ve used aspen pellets before, both as a substrate and a litter without any issues. I didn’t care for it so much as a substrate because it didn’t seem very comfortable, but as long as you get a super low to almost non existent dust content, it’s not a bad substrate! Just be sure it’s aspen wood and no chemicals or dyes added.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The wood type doesn't matter; most cat litter is pine wood anyway. Unlike pine shavings, pine pellets are fine because its compressed, so it's little to no concern. I use pine pellets in my hogs litter tray, and I find them to work perfectly fine; they disintegrate when wet, but they're overall low mess (compared to something like shavings, for example). Theyre actually crap for hamsters, but they work perfectly fine for hedgehogs.

Personally, I would only use it in the litterbox. Theyre hard pellets and I cant imagine they'd be comfortable to be constnatly walking/sleeping on.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Compressed wood pellets work fine as a litter for a number of animals. I use them for my rabbits' litter box too (so I buy them in 40 lb bags for just $6). Whether they are sold as cat litter or as horse-stall bedding or as wood stove pellets (no accelerants) -- they are all the same.

I would agree that they probably wouldn't be great for the whole cage floor of a hedgehog just because they don't look easy to walk on. Any wood type is fine, actually, because the process used to compress them into pellets removes harmful phenols. That is why I can use them for my rabbits (they also have sensitive respiratory systems). Pine is common but other woods are available.

All that to say that some people (myself included) like to use the wood pellets for in the litter tray that I put under the wheel. Works well for me.
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don’t believe that the pelleting process removes absolutely all phenols; it lessens them, but I haven’t found anywhere stating that it absolutely removes them entirely. Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve actually looked into sources but as far as I’m aware, the reason that pine pellets are considered ‘safe’ is due to the fact that they’re solid pellets and thus the surface area is smaller, and so the phenols are lower and pose less of a risk that straight up kiln dried shavings. < like I said, been a while since I’ve really looked into it, but that’s the general consensus to my knowledge.

Thinking about it, I actually take back what I said earlier about all wood being safe; cedar just came to mind and although I don’t think it’s common to find in pelleted form, it’s a wood I would avoid entirely - pellet form or not. Pine is ‘safe’, but only pelleted and i’d Only use it as a litter material.
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Old 08-10-2019, 01:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This was from rabbit.org
" they are not toxic because the phenolic compounds are removed during their manufacture. Their wood composition helps control bacterial growth and odors. Wood stove fuel pellets and Feline Pine are two examples of this product."

I think I would avoid cedar too, but I don't recall ever seeing wood pellets made of cedar.
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The feline pine one on their website they say
"100% Chemical Free
We’re finicky when it comes to what we put in our litter. Harsh chemicals and synthetic perfumes just don’t make sense to us. Instead, we use the odor-fighting power of 100% natural pine.

Highly absorbent pine fibers work like thousands of tiny sponges to soak up liquid and lock away ammonia odors,*so kitty’s litter box stays fresh and dry"

All they state is they don't add any harsh chemicals. They can't say anything for the pine in that product.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Phenols are what gives pine that odor; it’s simply less intense because it’s in a pellet form vs shavings. Pine also contains abietic acid, which has a melting point of up to 155C - the kiln dried process is around 84C, so little is really known as to if kiln drying really has much effect on pine at all. Pine pellets are usually created the same way as pine shavings; they’re kiln dried, and turned to pellets - so the issue with abietic acid stands. It may possibly remove some of it, but it’s impossible to say how much of if or if it really has any affect at all.

Why so many people use it for animals with known sensitive respiratory systems is that because it’s a pellet, the surface area is smaller and additionally, they are using it in small areas (typically litter boxes) so the animal isn’t breathing it in constantly.
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your replies! I was very happy to come back to see so many replies so quickly! I will take your advice to hand and not use it as a substrate, because it wouldn't be comfortable, but as a litter for under his wheel and litter box. Probably try to find aspen to be safe. With as little dust as possible. Thanks! xx😘
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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To make pine pellets, much higher temps are needed -- up to 150C -- to bind the wood into pellets.

The overall consensus is that pelleted wood is safe. But there are those who disagree. Shavings, on the other hand, is still debated -- whether kiln-drying does enough.

The House Rabbit Society is not infallible but does bear a measure of respect. They don't go into detail, but do say, that wood pellets "are not toxic because the phenolic compounds are removed during their manufacture."

As with many things, each owner must make their own choices. My hedgehog isn't sleeping and living on a bed of pellets just because I prefer fleece. There are pellets in a tray under the wheel. I feel fine and safe with that.

I've seen other hedgehog care sites speak well of pellets, but that isn't the end-all either.

I imagine Hedgehog care will evolve as the community learns more about them as household pets.
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