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Generally, hamster balls are not considered ideal for hedgies. Some have used them without incident, but the little slits can catch toenails and cause injury. The ventilation is also an issue. Since hedgies tend to pee and poo while running ( see wheel for evidence, hehe), I would worry that they would be breathing too much of the fumes from that while in the enclosed space of the hamster ball. Also, with the possible poo mess, knowing if they were doing okay may be difficult. The general consensus seems to be to set up a playpen or hedgie proof a space and allow them to run while supervised.
 

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I've heard they are bad because their toes can get caught in the little holes, so I would say don't try it. Better to just hedgie proof an area and let your hedgehog run around there supervised if you're looking for out of cage activities for your hedgie. Or make a fun playpen for them!
 

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It's personal preference. I've used one now and then as one method of containing a hedgehog out of the way while cleaning a cage. I personally don't think there's any real risk as far as the toenails getting caught goes, though that's speaking based on the design of the one I have, which is the Superpet brand (11" size). It may be different for mine, but the slits for air are at a sort of slant - you'd pretty much have to push a nail in there intentionally to get it caught - and they're not narrow enough to pinch a nail and catch it, it's more like a shallow groove that then slants sideways to open to the outside of the ball. (Hopefully that makes sense.)

They're annoying to clean. The issue of the urine fumes is more legitimate, but that can easily be solved by picking the ball up and cleaning the mess out as soon as it happens. It also is better for the person who has to do the cleaning - if you clean it right away it's easy, but if you let them run through their poop in there it gets all caked into the grooves and that's much more annoying and difficult to clean out.

Basically, they're fine as long as you're keeping an eye on them. They can be an interesting enrichment option and some hedgehogs will get very into it, whereas some will just sit there bewildered or stretch upward to try to get back out through the top. If you try it, and your hedgehog in particular seems to enjoy it, my main suggestion would be to try to clean the poop and pee out fairly - for the hedgehog's comfort and your own convenience. :)
 

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I just picked up the SuperPet 13" Giant ball for Pillsbury, and he seems to enjoy it. I got the biggest one because I think he's going to be a bigger boy (he's already 281g at 3 months and his father was a big 'hog) and I didn't want him flexing his back too much. The 11" probably would have been big enough, but I also wanted it to be a little more difficult to push since I don't want Pills whipping around too fast in it. But it's definitely something to only use with supervision.
 

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I had one of those when I had my mouse. I don't know what brand it was but the few times I used it the lid came open and she escaped from it. I think it happened when she would bang into something or it's possible she was able to push the lid off if it wasn't fitted very securely. After it happened a few times I knew I would never use one again. I was lucky that she didn't get very far just a foot or so from the ball when I found her but it could have been much worse. It was also really hard to tell when she peed in it and it just generally seemed gross that she was trapped in there with her pee until I noticed and cleaned it up. I would never use one of these again for any animal because of the escape risk and because they are just sort of icky and hard to clean.
 

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Hogzilla said:
I feel that since they run for hours in their wheels, which are covered in pee and poop, 30 minutes in a well ventilated ball with it isn't going to cause them any harm :lol:
The biggest problem I have with those is the ventilation. Unless they've changed the entire design lately, I know that when I used to put my hamster into one of those balls, it would ALWAYS fog up and the insides slick with condensation. And wasn't a big hamster either, one of those nasty russian hamsters lol who was actually quite friendly XD probably with the frequency I had it out.
 

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I wouldn't call them well ventilated either. They're ventilated enough that your hedgehog isn't going to suffocate from a lack of air - kind of like how putting a small animal in a plastic "shoebox"-sized container poked in the top is going to be fine as far as them being able to breathe. It's not nearly enough ventilation if you add poop and pee to the equation, which is why I emphasize to people who ask about them - cleaning it up right away is important to make the balls hedgehog-friendly. A wheel isn't enclosed, so even if they run through their own mess on a wheel, the "fumes" are dispersed into the air. In a ball those fumes are stuck inside. And it's better to clean it up right away, regardless, before it gets caked into the slits. I think I mentioned that already, but yeah - a huge pain to clean gunk when it gets in there.

As to hedgielover's comment about the escape risk, I haven't found that to be an issue. If anything the "door" part is a bit stubborn. It needs to be twisted to open, and I have to give it a kind of hard twist to do it. But, again, mine is the Super Pet brand, and that's something that might differ depending on the maker. Even if the door came off easily, escaping the ball isn't going to be a "lost hedgehog" risk if it's being supervised - and these things really shouldn't be used unsupervised, in my opinion.

The other thing not mentioned yet, which I've been asked by some potential hedgie parents recently, is how they are as an exercise option. Some hedgehogs can get pretty into it, but even then it doesn't compare to a wheel. A ball can be okay as an out-of-cage option if you don't have room for a decent sized playpen, and don't want to worry about your hedgehog getting into small spaces while walking around on the floor. (Again, as if I haven't said it enough: with supervision.) Just like how exploring or running around in a playpen or the backyard, even for a few hours, isn't a substitute for a wheel in the cage, a ball doesn't take a wheel's place either.
 

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Christemo said:
Are they running for fun in the ball, or are they running because they're terrified? That was always the question on the hamster forum.
Yes that concern has been mentioned in the past here as well. Since they only have two options in the ball, run or sit still and they have no control over when they get out. Also with my mouse when I watched her run in it it didn't look natural. She had trouble controlling her turns and stopping, she smashed into the wall more than once and mice have better depth perception than hedgehogs.
 

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If you know your hedgehog, you can tell the difference. :) For those I've used it with, if they want out, they make it clear, including stretching up to the opening after being put in, or "searching" around for a way out. The ones who like it trot happily around or get into a comfortable running pattern similar to wheeling.
 

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Well, Pills doesn't "run" anywhere. He acts exactly the same in his ball that he does if I have him on the floor or wandering on me: nose going, interested in everything around him. He isn't spiky, and he isn't dropping into a defensive hedgie ball, either. Here's a vid of him in his ball: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151169607737514

As you can see, he is absolutely not terrified, even when the dog comes by and sniffs. If he was, he'd have dropped into a defensive ball of spikes, and he did not. He didn't even raise his head spikes.

Obviously, some people on here don't like the balls. And that's fine. It's also fine to tell people why you dislike the balls. But I have also noticed on here that it seems that some people try to drop "bombs" and/or make comments that are designed to cause the greatest amount of drama over stuff that really doesn't need drama. I don't think it adds much to the conversation except to confuse some people and annoy others.

It would seem to me that a terrified hedgie has certain behaviors and they'd be pretty obvious, and a hedgie that is exploring and wandering around in a ball is not terrified, as terrified hedgies are generally rolled up and not moving at all. Comparing a hedgie fear response to a mouse is kind of a stretch, since hedgies have a defense system that mice do not: a ball of spikes.

That said, there ARE going to be hedgies that are not going to do well in a ball. Pills is a very laid back, mellow, and exploring guy. I am sure that a more timid, less confident 'hog won't be as thrilled to be in a big plastic globe, but you need to know your own 'hog and make the decision for yourself as long as it's an educated decision.
 

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Hamster ball are just not good for hedgies, thoguh some have no problem with it, many get terrfied in them. And since hedgies poop and pee on the run, you could be dealing with that flung out everywhere, not to mention the fumes. Also hedgie nails dont cope well with the tiny slits. The main question to ask yourself is if your hedgie is trying to run in the ball and have fun or is it trying to find a way out? Large hamster balls can be tempting to buy as you always see hamsters and guineas pigs having fun it them, but most hedgies just dont like them, plain and simple! I got an adorable pink and sparkly one just to see how layla would react... :) ...........she was terrified as i tried to put her in it. just to see how she'd be after a minute i DID NOT put the lid on and held her in it in my lap and then on the floor, to see if her aditude about it would change. Nope, she hated it and i immediatly took it back before she could poop in it ;)
Hope this helps!
 

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You know the little balls people put their hamsters in? Can you get a larger one like the ones for guinea pigs and put your hedgehog in it? Is it safe?
Definitely no, they tend to really get their bowls moving when they are on the hamster wheel...
Unless you're planning on bathing the hedgie every time, it's going to be covered in it's own defecation.
 
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