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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.
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Welcome :) For the itching it might be the bedding, the preferred seems to be fleece liners. I use them with my guy and they work great. A lot of bedding can be drying to their skin so a bedding switch and the Aveeno bath like you did can sometimes do the trick. Plus wood bedding can harbor mites so using the fleece cuts that out too :)

For the wheel I use a homemade cake cover wheel that I made. There is alot of good diy information on the web for bucket wheels that you can substitute the bucket for a cake cover. The important points being solid bottom so they can't catch their toenails and to make sure its big enough so they don't have to curve to run.

Sounds like your hedgie has a great home and that he's lucky to have such a great hedgie parent :)
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