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I'm hoping to get a hedgehog soon, but I'm wondering about the pros and cons of fabric liners and aspen/other kinds of shaving. Right now, I'm leaning towards the fabric liners since they are easier to clean and not as expensive, but exactly what kind of fabric should I use and how should it be cleaned? (and how often) If you have any other tips about fabric liners or shavings, that would help a lot! Thanks!
 

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(exerpt from my care manual)

Textile vs. Particulate Bedding

The debate of what bedding is best for pet hedgehogs has been ongoing since they were first imported. The general consensus is that fabric liners are the safest, most comfortable, and most cost effective choice. The extensive list of problems with shavings and paper products make them an unpopular choice with many hedgehog owners.

Liners: Cage liners are made from fabric to fit the bottom of the cage. These are changed twice a week or so, and are washable. Most fabrics are durable and the liners will last a very long time. You will likely only need to buy them once for your hedgie's life. They can be made of fleece (most popular), flannel, corduroy, or vellux. Vellux is more easily shredded if your hedgie decides to dig. Fleece also seems to like to make little “pills” of fluff which you may find caught on your hedgie's nails or in his quills. Fleece and vellux do not need to be hemmed at the edges because they will not fray. Flannel or corduroy should be hemmed so no loose threads can catch limbs. Light colored liners are great for monitoring a hedgie's health, because you can easily notice any blood or unusual changes in urine or feces. Some people don't like the idea of washing something covered in hedgie poop in the same washer that they do their clothes. That is a personal preference but if you shake off the liners, they should not be too bad.

Pros: Comfortable for hedgie, easy to change, cost effective, also, easy to notice health problems.
Cons: Can smell if not changed often, possible washing inconvenience.

Shavings: If you are using shavings, you will want a cage with a base several inches deep so they don't spill out everywhere. Aspen shavings are the safest to use, with kiln-dried pine in second as acceptable. Aspen shavings are the only phenol-free shavings available. This is the reason for not using cedar or any untreated pine or other type of shavings. The aromatic oils are toxic to small animals and cause awful respiratory problems. With kiln-dried pine, most of these phenols are removed, but some are still there after the treatment. Another effect of these oils is a rise in liver enzymes which *******? Shavings can be messy and dusty, but for someone more concerned for odor control this may be a popular choice. Remember that you shouldn't ever put off cleaning to the point where you are relying on the wood scent to keep the smell down. You should spot clean daily and completely clean the cage and replace shavings once a week or so.

Pros: Allows a hedgie to dig.
Cons: Messy, dusty, pieces can get caught in male parts, can harbor mites, can have harmful phenols.

Paper bedding: CareFresh and Yesterday's News are two popular recycled paper products. These beddings are similar to shavings, but without the phenols. They are often extremely dusty and can contribute to dry skin. Some hedgehogs decide that the bedding is tasty and will eat it. This is dangerous and can cause a potentially fatal blockage. If you notice your hedgie eating the bedding at all, switch to something that they decide doesn't taste good.

Pros: Less harsh on the respiratory system as shavings
Cons: Dusty

Other bedding: Corn cob is not recommended. It does not absorb urine, and molds easily. The pieces are also easy to get stuck uncomfortably in a male's penile sheath. Using no bedding at all is not a good idea because whatever surface that you would use instead would likely get cold and not be comfortable. As previously clarified, hedgehogs must not be kept on wire floors because their feet and nails are not made for them and is painful to walk on.
 

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i have been using Care fresh beding for the last week that i have had my lil'guy. gotta say..
its very messy..sticks to everything..and its hard to tell if theres poop in it or just kibble tossed around..
so i think im gonna make the move to fleece fabric,...whats a good place to buy it at?
I was looking in walmart, they wanted about $8-9 a yard...didnt know if thats a avg price or not..wanted to check with you guys 1st :roll:

what do you guys put in there to let them "dig".... i hear mine all the time trying to dig to the bottom
 

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8-9 dollars is a good price but sometimes you can pick up sales and get it for half that. I have noticed in the past that right around now when winter is ending that some stores will put it on sale to move it out for the spring merchandise. I don't know if you have some of these stores around you but some of the places I go are Han**** Fabric, Hobby Lobby, Walmart and JoAnn's. I've seen other members too say they have gotten great deals on fleece throws and blankets from Walmart and the Dollar Store and then just cut them to size :)
 

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Pyt said:
Why do they even sell Red Cedar shavings, if they are toxic to small animals?
Because they know uneducated people will buy it, and so long as there is money to be made, it will be on the market...
 

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Why do they sell garbage food to cats and dogs (and hedgehogs) that has about as much nutritional value as dirt? 'Cause people buy it, 'cause its cheap, or they don't know better.

That's why we are so happy when newcomers ask questions and want the best for their hedgie, not every will do so. They get the pet, care for it without researching, then it dies.

Kudos to you for being so active here and trying to learn what's best for your baby. :)
 

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Pyt said:
Why do they even sell Red Cedar shavings, if they are toxic to small animals?
There are still a large number of people who use softwood shavings mostly because of their ignorance, but also because the shavings mask the stink of urine and feces better than other bedding materials, which translates to less work to clean the cage, or because the aroma from softwood shavings repels parasites and bugs such as fleas.

I'd like to think most of those people would stop using softwood shavings only if they knew that pine and cedar shavings are harmful to the health of our pets as the animals are forced to breathe all day long in the aromatic hydrocarbons (phenols) and acids that are toxic to them.:cry:

However, in reality, some people would not stop using them because convenience is more important to them than the welfare of their pets. Also, some would insist that their pets had never got sick from softwood shavings and, therefore, choose to ignore the warnings of adverse effects reported in various studies. In my opinion, they're being closed-minded and gambling on the welfare of their pets.:(

As long as there is enough demand in the marketplace and profits to be made, manufacturers are not going to pull the products out of the market unless some health and safety regulations are put in place to protect the health of our pets and violators of the law will be penalized.

Sad, isn't it? But this the cold reality of our society for now. I hope this will change in the near future.

[for a reference about the toxicity of pine and Cedar Shavings, click HERE]
 

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I live in a small apartment. I just got twixx a little over a week ago. When I originally got him I had a large bag of aspen shavings, after having it for about 4 days the majority of the apartment was covered in the shaving and sticking to the carpet. Before he was here a whole week I switched him out to fleece. I went to the petco by my work and got two fleece ferret towels for 10 bucks each >.< and he has liked them just fine, and my apt is slowing becoming bedding free :D. It also lets me see where he does his business ^ ^ (will now be looking into a litter pan/box).

SO just from my personal experience I would say go with fleece fabric. If your looking to order online I saw some patters I really liked and will be making liners from soon at Joann's.

Crabs
http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/prod ... _01994193a

Skulls!
http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/prod ... _02256543a
 

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Those fabric links were so cute, ty for sharing. I may be getting some now for my little guy :) Im starting to get a collection of sets going but I can always use another set lol :)
 

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I am housing my hedgie in a plastic sterilite bin and I want to switch him over to fleece (from carefresh) asap. What would the best way be to attach the fleece liner to the plastic bin so that my hedgie will not be able to burrow under it or rip it up off the bottom of the bin?
 

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EryBee said:
I am housing my hedgie in a plastic sterilite bin and I want to switch him over to fleece (from carefresh) asap. What would the best way be to attach the fleece liner to the plastic bin so that my hedgie will not be able to burrow under it or rip it up off the bottom of the bin?
I use landscaping rocks.
 

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Lots of good information in this thread... I got my hedghog about a month and a half ago or so and initially tried Aspen shavings. I didn't like the smell they caused, and they seemed like they'd be uncomfortable for him to walk around on, so I switched to the paper liner. Now, that's really dusty, it's expensive and it doesn't last as long as the aspen so, after having read this thread, I think I'll stop by Joanne's Fabrics today and get some fleece to line the cage with. Seems like it would be a lot cheaper and easier to deal with in the long run.
 

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I got one and half yards of fleece for a total of $4.50! I was looking for something lightly colored with a pleasant pattern and ended up with one that was striped and says "Baby", haha. I wrapped it around an old towel to soak up messes (Phinneus isn't potty trained yet) and placed his wheel, food dishes, and toys around the perimeter to hold the fleece down so he wouldn't burrow under it. I will have pictures soon, once I buy his new larger bin/home.
 

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are there any *natural* (non-synthetic) fabric options? i realize that synthetics is easy to wash and doesn't need to be sewn, but my mother is really against it. anyone tried, say, flannel?
 

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nikki said:
You could use flannel if you sewed two layers together...so that there isn't any exposed seams. My liners are flannel on top, diaper felting in the middle and fleece on the bottom.
sounds good to me. can i find diaper felting online? i just googled it, but the results were a bit confusing. so you just them in layers, no velcro or anything? (i do like the idea of using, like Larry suggested.)
 

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I sew all three layers together, and then turn it right side out so that the seams are inside. I haven't found diaper felting online, just in fabric stores. I don't use anything to hold it down, I only have one hedgie that goes underneath and he doesn't mess under there so I don't mind.
 

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nikki said:
I sew all three layers together, and then turn it right side out so that the seams are inside. I haven't found diaper felting online, just in fabric stores. I don't use anything to hold it down, I only have one hedgie that goes underneath and he doesn't mess under there so I don't mind.
are your hedgies litter-trained? if not and they do their business wherever, how often do you wash the liners?
 
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