Hedgehog Central banner

My hedgie is going crazy at night?

10584 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Ahava
Hello everyone, I am a second-time hedgie owner. Sadly, my first one was bought from a pet store and was not friendly. My new one, Freckles, I got from a local breeder and she is very friendly and wonderful!

Everything has been going well, except every so often, at night, she will seem to get very restless and looks like she is trying to 'escape' her cage. This has only happened a couple of times, but it was especially noticeable last night/this morning...at 5am (not good timing for me!). She was climbing the sides of the wire cage and poking her nose out...somewhat frantically. Sometimes she would climb up and then fall (the cage isn't very tall and there is plenty of soft bedding and no hard stuff for her to land on, and I checked to make sure she has no injuries...she seems happy and fine today). She actually seems to enjoy the falling, or at least isn't upset by it. It's actually kind of amusing, although it does worry me.

What worries me more though is the fact that she is sticking her nose through the cage wires very hard/ aggressively, it's like there's a fire in her cage and she's trying to get out, but shes also sniffing the air like there's something she wants...but there haven't been any new smells. My previous hedgie never did this (but she was a grump). Is this normal? Is there something I can/should do? I know she loves climbing. I have a wheel too, which she loves (squeak squeak squeak...thank goodness for ear plugs)! But the wheel broke (came off the hinges...it's a finely meshed wheel given to me by the breeder) about two days ago and I haven't been able to get to the pet store yet. So that is one reason I can think she might be acting this way, but she did it when the wheel was in the cage as well. She also has some small cat toys (mice) that she likes to grab by the tail (if anyone else has any other toy recommendations please let me know).

I also let her run around in an enclosed hallway (no holes to escape) every evening after she 'wakes up'. I sit there with her and she really seems to enjoy it. So she does get what I think is enough exercise. Also the scurrying is very cute. So does anyone have any idea what is going on? She is 3 months old now and I think she just finished her 'quilling' phase (I am noticing a lot less). Her cage is clean and warm and dry and she has fresh food and water (she loves the water in a bowl...does not use the canteen, though I have both available.

But her climbing and running is very noisy and, moreover, I am worried she will injure herself. Also, she has recently started to 'burrow' in her little house (she kicks out all the shavings), and I have noticed her scratching herself more often (like she is itchy). I gave her a bath not too long ago (tearless Aveeno oatmeal bath), which she seemed to appreciate.

So I guess my questions are: Is this normal behavior? What should I do about it (if anything)? And what could be causing it?

P.S. Sorry for the 'essay' I just thought the more info the better! And I love my baby girl and want her to be happy.
See less See more
1 - 2 of 10 Posts

Just a few things come to mind. They do need a wheel, and the mesh one you described isn't recommended as they can get their little toes and nails caught in it. I'd replace the wheel right away with a solid-surface one.

Itchiness brings to mind "mites". Which I'm guessing would cause her to be uncomfortable. You mention shavings, and occasionally those can have mites. (from what I've learned here) I'd have her tested for that.

I'm guessing a good, sturdy, non-squeaking wheel would help her expend some of that nervous energy.
Hopefully others will chime in but I had another thought: I looked up the bedding you use and it is made of pine. Just in case it could be causing the itchiness, I would suggest you try fleece liners, if only for a few weeks to see if she gets any better. Maybe she is being irritated by the pellet bedding? With the fleece liner you can put one down as a base, then pile some smaller ones or strips of fleece so she can still enjoy the burrowing experience that she does with the pellet bedding. Fleece is really nice, in my opinion, because you can have several liners on hand, change them out as needed, pick up the little poopies off the base liner with a piece of tp during the week, then wash them at the end of the week. Economical once you buy the initial amount and fleece can be found on sale really cheap sometimes.
1 - 2 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.