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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

I am thinking about getting a liner for my hedgehogs cadge. I am sick of having hedgehog fluff (hedgehog fluff is what we all call CareFresh) all over. I also think that a liner would save me a lot of money because I won't have to buy bags of CareFresh every few weeks. I have so many reasons to switch but I'm still not sure if I want one.
Here are a few of my questions:
1. How often do you have to wash them?
2. Would a white fleece blanket folded to fit the cadge work as a liner?
3. Is there a way to make burrowing possible with out bedding like CareFresh?
4. I don't know if I like the idea of putting something covered in hedgehog crap in the washer; is there a different, easy way to wash a liner?
5. If I have to wash it in the washer would it be ok to put it with my whites and use bleach on it?
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

I think liners are the best and easiest bedding for hedgies. Good luck if you decide to use them!

1. I change mine every 3-4 days and wash them every 2 weeks. (Have a hamper dirty ones go in til then)

2. White fleece would be great. Fleece in light colors are best IMO.

3. If you cut fleece squares 2" by 2" and put them in the igloo/hidey place, he can burrow in those.

4. Don't know any better way, I shake them off outside and toss them in their own load, with vinegar.

5. Dunno, never have done that.

:)
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

Liners are awesome.

1- I change mine every 3-4 days as well. When I lived in a bigger space it could wait up to a week, but in my dorm room it starts to get a little smelly if I don't change them. I keep the dirty ones in a plastic bag so that they don't smell, and wash them in a load of their own every 3 weeks. (I have 6 liners, 3 hedgiebags, a blanket, and several cleaning-rags that get washed).

2- As LG said, light colors work best for liners because you can clearly see poop, pee, and blood if anything changes health-wise. Most liners are just a layer or two of fleece, if you want to fold a blanket it would still work, but isn't necessary.

3- if your hedgie is a burrower, cutting up fleece scraps is a great way to give him something to dig in. However, some will just burrow right underneath the liner, and that's usually fine and pretty hard to prevent. If you do decide to fold a blanket, he could probably burrow in between the folds. I also suggest getting a hedgiebag if you don't already have one, they're awesome.

4- Liners are surprisingly easy to put in the wash. In my limited experience, they are not "covered in hedgecrap" What I do is shake off all the pieces of dried whatever into a trash can and then just toss everything in the wash. Some people use disinfectant wipes on the washer after the load is done to prevent any transfer to other clothing, but I don't think its really necessary.

5- Putting hedgie liners in with other clothes is possible, and some people do it, but its much easier to just have enough on hand to do a load of their own whenever they get dirty. This prevents transfer of poo and any lingering smell.

Good luck!
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

On average at any given time I have 25-35 adult hedgehogs living here. All but 2 are on liners. My personal preference for liners is the ones I make in a flannel/fleece, flannel/cord or cord/cord combination. They absorb the best, are nice and cozy warm and last the longest. I'm still using the first ones I made 5.5 years ago.

Many of my hedgehogs have just cut up fleece as a liner. It works ok, does not absorb as well as proper liners, but is perfectly fine. Fleece does not show up odd coloured urine as well as flannel or corduroy does.

I wash them once a week in unscented laundry soap with vinegar in the rinse. Shake or pick off the poops and any quills. Don't use bleach as it weakens the fibers and is not necessary. Vinegar works great in the rinse. Wash by hand if you aren't comfortable with them in the washer. I will say that with one hedgie, changing the liners every couple of days is not a big deal to wash in the washer. Of course, I do numerous loads of nothing but hedgie laundry.

Depending on the individual hedgehog, I change liners anywhere from every second day to once a week. Those that are 100% litter trained get a liner change once a week even though the liner is not dirty.

Carefresh is far more messy than any liner every will be. I often have rehomes that come in on Carefresh and I HATE the darn stuff. :lol:
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

Lots are worried about putting dirty liners in the wash. If you make enough that you can wait to wash them all at once you won't have to mix and match. I have towels (used for drying wheels & hedgehogs), wash clothes and liners for my quill kids. They have their own laundry wash (even with only 1).

I hate the substrate type litters. We always had a mess on the floor and I've had a couple of rehomes now that were plain out filthy from carefresh dust.

I highly recommend liners. The first time we found a tiny blood spot on a light colored liner it reaffirmed why I only use the lighter colors. You just cannot find these type of health problems in carefresh or dark colored liners nearly as easy.
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

Bedding all over is very annoying, but I don't know how much money liners save. You have to keep running to washer and dryer, which does cost money. Also, it's usually very difficult to use liners unless your hedgie is litter trained. Is yours? You might also need a dig box for your hedgie if it likes to dig. You can handwash liners. I use bedding because I find it easier and my hedgie likes it more. That's just my opinion, though.
Let us know what you decide!
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

Also, it's usually very difficult to use liners unless your hedgie is litter trained
Why would there be a problem with a hedgie who doesn't use a litter box, using a liner? Mine has never used a litter box and I've never found anything difficult about them. The poop you just shake off. Majority of hedgies aren't litter trained, and many people use liners, so I'm not sure what the problem would be?
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

I'm curious as to why as well. Maybe I'm missing something, but I have not used a litter box with a hedgehog since 2002. I had one hedgehog who would try to eat anything in a litter pan, and it just wasn't worth the hassle. I found it was easier to not use a litter pan.

For the most part all of my hedgehogs have chosen one spot in their cage to go potty and you just have to spot clean that spot. Really no different than spot cleaning a litter pan... plus, if you use a substrate litter in the pan spotting blood, abnormal color urine, etc. can be more difficult. I can see these discolorations very quickly on a light colored liner.
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

Using liners isn't all about saving money. Liners are a much healthier option than any type of shavings, Carefresh or loose bedding. All bedding materials are dusty and the hedgehogs whose nose is right down at this bedding level is breathing in that dust. Ingesting bedding such as Carefresh can cause blockages and have been the cause of at least a couple documented cases. Loose bedding also can carry mites which liners can't.

For a couple of hedgehogs the cost of laundering the liners is negligible, just pick off the poops, any stray quills and wash with your own laundry.

Hedgehogs do not need to be litter trained to use liners and there is more chance of hedgie becoming trained when using liners. I've taken in many rescues who have never seen a liner before in their life. Not one has had an issue with the liners and many are now very neat hedgehogs.

Over the past 5.5 years we have had on average 25-35 hedgehogs living here at any given time and the majority are on liners. Only the moms and babies are on shavings and on occasion a rescue will be on shavings or Carefresh for a while if that is what they are used to. If using shavings or Carefresh was cheaper and easier than using liners, you can bet I'd be doing it. I get the rescues onto liners as soon as possible because loose bedding is just plain messy. Liners are far easier. :)
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

I <3 liners. A) After the initial cost, they're not very expensive (you have to do laundry anyway!) B) they're a LOT healthier (See Nancy's post) and C) they're eco-friendly! You're reusing them and not throwing out non-recyclable shavings every other day!

1) We change our liners for everyone every night, unless someone hasn't been pooping properly or actually found the litter box... We do our laundry once a week and all hedgie paraphernalia (sacks, cuddle blankets, liners, etc.) goes in the last load. That being said, I'm not sure if you have like a Homegoods or a Marshalls or TJMaxx by you, but you can find a king size fleece blanket for like $20. We got a good 25 liners out of a cheap king size fleece blanket. And whenever someone in our family gets new bedding, they usually hand over their now old fleece blankets =)

2) The blanket would be fine-- you may want to cut it up though so you have some spare liners. Light colors/white are great because you can make sure there's nothing abnormal going on while you're not looking ;)

3) You can give him other things-- we use fleece purses intended for little girls or small fleece baby blankets that they love cuddling with. The purses are pretty handy as hedgehog-picker-uppers too!

4) I can't think of a different way to wash them... Just make sure you shake them out reeeaaalllyyyy well!

5) I wouldn't put it in with your whites (unless they're like socks or something you have enough of in case you have a reaction). As far as bleach goes, we bleach them every other week. The boys don't seem to mind the smell and it goes away as soon as they pee on it anyway :roll:

As far as the litter box thing goes, we have noooooo problems. I think I've noticed that our boys will use the litter box first, and when it gets too dirty for their liking (MAYBE 6 poops-- they're very prissy) they move on to the liner. And even with that, they're usually pooping in their wheel, so it's not like they're going out of their way to soil the liners and make everyone's life miserable. If anything, the liners make it easier when you have a litter box cause if they miss, you only have to shake out the liner and put it in a plastic bag (we do that too, but we put a dryer sheet in the bag to save our closets until laundry day), and get a fresh one without having to scrub down the bottom of the cage because of what the Carefresh crap (I haaattteeeeee that stuff almost as much as I hate packing peanuts!!) doesn't absorb.
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

I tried the liners, and was a bit confused as to why so many people like them. My hedgies would walk around in their cage and end up with POOPIE FEET all the time. By using shavings or pellets (we prefer Yesterday's News), they end up walking the poopie OFF their feet. I'd absolutely LOVE to use the liners, because they are less mess to clean up (around the cages). But I just couldn't stand seeing my little hedgies walking around with dried poopie on their feet all the time. I tried litter box training and no luck with any of them. When I would try to spot clean a liner, it would just smear and make things worse. When I spot clean litter, I take a tissue and grab up the poop and all the surrounding litter and throw it in the trash. I have absolutely no issues with washing the lines in our washing machine, so that thought never crossed my mind. I've also found that when I use litter, they will come out of their igloo and poop on the other side of their cage. When I was trying out the liners, I constantly found poopie inside the igloo where they were sleeping. Thus, I not only had poopie feet, but also had to deal with poop all over their quills. I'm open to suggestions and would love it, if I could resolve these issue and use liners instead of litter.

Pixie
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

That's interesting, Pixie-- Our poopie boots (as someone so eloquently put it on this forum ;) ) usually happen from wheel running, and not because of trampling through poop on the liners.. Have you tried it with a litter box? Maybe if they're so used to going somewhere else to poop when you use litter, they would poop in the litter box (where they used to poop when you weren't using liners)..

It never occurred to me that hedgehogs would step in poop on the liners, lol! D'uh! We've just lucked out and never had that problem I guess...
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

Pixie,

You might want to try putting a paper towel underneath their wheels. Not only does this absorb some of the urine that will drip off, it will also work at a poopy foot mat, so when they get off their wheels, they walk on the paper towel and a lot of the poop on their feet will just rub off on the mat, instead of the cloth liner.
It's what I do over here and find it works really well.
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

The only time I've had a problem with poop smearing on a liner is when someone has been having soft poop issues. Normal adult hedgie poop should pick right off a liner. I've also not had a problem with poop inside their bed except for just weaned babies and if someone is sick. Otherwise, they poop in their chosen corner, under the wheel, and of course, on the wheel.
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

Though severely outnumbered, i for one, like nice, good bedding. Don't get me wrong, average bedding is insufficiat to liners any day. But if you get good, non-scented bedding that is filtered for dust, and is either kiln dried pine or aspen, you should have no bedding-based health problems. Would'nt you think that it seems more natural to hedgies and they may have a preferance to it? It is more like them feeling at home in the wild. If you don't have a steralite contantainer as a cage and bedding and thus bedding gets everywhere, so u have to clean it, think, what is more convienient for the hedgie??? Plus, in bedding, hedgies can dig anywhere they want, whereas including fleece shreds or whatever in a liner may not satisfy that need for diggers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

I made two light blue liners yesterday. To my dismay I discovered that Herisson is not nearly as litter box trained as I thought. This morning the liner was filthy. I also found a bit of green on the liner, could this just be from the stress of the bedding change or could the diarrhea be indicating a health issue (again :().
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

I suspect that Spirit and liners will not be a good match, for pretty much the reasons imdbf, Pixie, and hedgie love mentioned . . . we've having some difficulties with litter training, and she loves to root and dig in her bedding.

Still, WTH, I'm willing to give it a shot . . .

My question at the moment is whether it's necessary to have all the layers of a liner sewn together. I'm thinking of using flannel baby receiving blankets layered with hand towels like this one (images are thumbnails--they enlarge if you click them):




(closeup of the weave)

The fabric it's made of is pretty much indistinguishable from diaper cloth--or at least the fabric store product that goes by the name "diaper cloth." It's also sometimes called "birdseye diaper cloth" or "birdseye pique diaper cloth." ("Pique" is pronounced PEE-kay, for anyone who wants to ask for it in a fabric store, but isn't familiar with that word.) It's obviously not a real cloth diaper, but I don't know that the absorbency is much worse. I've actually used the hand towel above and others like it to care for hedgehogs for years. The material sucks up a lot of water, has some "wicking away" ability, and I've never had a problem with a hedgie trying to eat one, or getting a toenail stuck in one.

Receiving blankets, of course, are one of the few non-disposable items specifically designed to be pooped and peed on. They also come already hemmed, and are comparatively cheap.

As far as I can tell, washing a pile of flannel receiving blankets and pique hand towels would be easier than washing a single thick liner, since the water and detergents don't have to get through a relatively non-absorbent material like fleece in order to get to the absorbent material--which is where all the pee is likely concentrated. A hedgehog could also burrow between the cloth layers if s/he chose--better than diving straight under a liner, and sleeping amid waste deposited directly on the cage floor.

Finally, towels and baby blankets are unlikely to terrify the neighbors if they dart into the laundry room and remove my laundry the second the washing machine stops spinning. I understand that it's possible to disinfect by pre-washing with vinegar and detergent, but I'm not sure everyone in the building would feel the same way. ;)

So . . . anybody ever try using a pile of ready-made cloth items instead of a single, multi-layered pad?
 

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Re: I'm thinking about getting a liner, but I'm still not sure.

I actually just use one layer- a piece of fleece cut to the size of the cage. Sometimes I fold it so it is double, but usually it's just one. :)
 
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