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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm Gabi and I'm going to get my first hedgie soon. (In the next few months hopefully:)
I've been wanting a hedgehog for a while and I've done crazy amounts of research, I've stayed up for hours on end just reading about them, care, and browsing this forum, which is extraordinarily helpful! So now I just have a few questions.

First of all, I'm 15 years old. I know a lot of people say that you're not old enough to care for a hedgehog or even your own pet at all. But to each their own right? I'm certain that I'm responsible and can indeed care for a hedgie. This is not a chore that will be shoved off to a parent.
but seeing as I'm 15 and still in school, what are some just tips and thoughts you have about this situation? Do you suppose leaving him alone all day will be okay until I get home? And I do have 2 small dogs, but they usually stay downstairs and wont come up to my room upstairs, thoughts?

Next, I have made a shopping list for before I get my hedgehog so I can have his little house ready, but I've heard sooo many different opinions, all in all, it's quite overwhelming.
1) Aquarium vs. Cage?
For me the aquarium seems like a really nice idea, but it's not where I'm going to sleep so, would it really be bad for him if that was his cage? Would it make him uncomfortable and would a cage really be the best way to go?

2) Bedding?
The more I read the more fleece liners seem like the way to go, everyone says they're wonderful. I am planning on potty training him, but how often to the liners need to be changed in that case and would that add up to being more expensive then the aspen bedding or carefresh? (Both of which I've looked into.)

3) Water bowl or bottle?
I've heard different opinions, not quite sure on this one which is best?

4) I keep reading about people giving their hedgies a flowerpot to dig in? I'm not quite sure I understand this. :oops:

Alright, well thank you :D
 

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Hi Gabi and welcome to HHC!

First, congrats on getting a hedgie soon! It's really lovely to hear from prospective owners who have done lots of research and who want what's best for their (impending) hedgehog :)

Now, to answer some of your questions. First of all, I don't at all think that 15 is too young to own a hedgehog... breeding, perhaps, but not owning as a pet. We have owners on here that are that age and younger. As you said, it's a matter of the individual responsibility and preparedness. I know some 25-year-olds that I wouldn't trust to take care of a fruit fly, nevermind a hedgehog, so age has nothing to do with it :p

That being said, it does help if your parents are on board: you would need to make sure you have enough money for an emergency vet fund, that you have transportation to the vet (at any hour of day or night) should an emergency arise, etc.

As for leaving your hedgehog alone for the day - no problem. I work 9-5 and leave my hedgie alone all day. As they're nocturnal, they'd just as rather you weren't there, so that they can sleep in peace :lol: Just make sure you have the time to give him every evening to socialize him. On days when you're busy, even 15 minutes can be sufficient, but in general more is always nicer. As for the dogs, just make sure the hedgehog is well out of reach (by closing the door and making sure no one opens it while you're at school). There have been incidents of dogs attacking hedgehogs and even killing them, sadly. Better to be safe than sorry.

1). I would go for cage, because aquariums have less airflow in them. Also, if you try and get an aquarium that's large enough, it will cost a LOT. Those things are expensive. And hedgehogs do need a lot of room. The cheapest and best thing to do would be to build a C&C cage. There are many threads here talking about how to do it, how to find the materials, etc. Are you in a city where there is a Walmart and some art stores and maybe a construction store (like Home Depot)? If so, you can easily get C&C cage supplies there.

2). In my opinion fleece is not only better, but actually less messy. With shavings, there tend to be shavings allllll around the cage, no matter how careful you are, and cleaning is much more of a bother. I change my liners completely once a week, and every day I just do a quick poo pickup, incase Misha missed his litter tray. Litter tray can be lined with paper towels, so also cheap. Oh, and as for liners, you don't throw them away! You just launder them. They're not very messy, so it's not gross. So, once you have your liners (I have about 6, and that's more than plenty), that's it, you don't have to have any more expenses other than doing laundry every once in a while. Much cheaper in the long run.

3). Go for bowl. Water bottle isn't a natural drinking position for hedgies, they've been known to chip their teeth, etc. Bowl is best, I think.

4). Some people just put a large clean flowerpot in the cage for a hedgehog to hide in. Other people make them dig boxes - in my case it's a tissue box with one of the small sides completely cut away, filled with little fleece scraps for Misha to dig through.

Here are some great threads to help you:

Cage set up examples: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1860
and viewtopic.php?f=8&t=71

About cage heating: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4579

And a good thread about high-quality cat kibble that helped me a lot when I was deciding what to feed Misha: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15

Hope this helps! Welcome again to HHC and ask as many questions as you need to! :)
 

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Let me first start by saying that I have only had my Hedgehog for 3 and A half days. But I love the litter stinker so much!!

Anyways. I am sure that you will get lots of different answers, but here are my two cents from all the research I did before getting Joy.

My only consern about you being 15 is how are you going to deal with the costs of owning a hedgehog. My set up was just over $400. That does no include the enclosure. You need a light, heating elements, a wheel, a thermostat, thermometer, food and fleece.
I personlly went a little nuts on the fleece. I spent $150 on liners…. she is spoiled. :p

I work all day and many do, just spending time with your little one when you get home has been working well for me so far.

Recently one of the members on here had their roommate's little dog attacked her hedgehog. Remember they are bread to hunt little things. I would keep your door closed. To keep your little one safe.

I have a unique setup for Joy. We made a cage but I hear that The C and C is the best option for cost and space. Here is a link for making one of them. http://www.guineapigcages.com/cubes.htm

If get a guinea pig cage, they work to, you just want to make sure that the bottom is solid. They are climbers and so the sides need to be solid for a about 8 inches.

As I said before I use fleece, it was a great debate in my house about aspine bedding or fleece we went with fleece because it was easier to clean. I made liners that had fleece on one side, terry cloth in the middle, and flannel on the other side.

I let Joy chose bowl or bottle, Joy likes the bowl better. The bowl is easy to knock over, if you have a digger/ burrower. but if you use wood bedding then you will get stuff in their water.

I use a flower pot for my gerbils and my hedgehog Joy likes to dig in it, and push it around. It helps keep their nails nice and short. (really only the front but every little bit helps.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The cheapest and best thing to do would be to build a C&C cage. There are many threads here talking about how to do it, how to find the materials, etc. Are you in a city where there is a Walmart and some art stores and maybe a construction store (like Home Depot)? If so, you can easily get C&C cage supplies there.
Yeah, I live within access of all of these things, I wouldn't have a problem with that cage. Is it alright to be without a top? He won't be able to get it out will he?
So, C&C is the best for a hedgehog?


I'm definately going to go with the fleece lining and the bowl now. Thank you so much!

And I've found the right Cat Kibble for him, Blue Buffalo Adult Weight Control. Less then 10% fat and at least 30% protein with no by-products or corn or any of that stuff.
Is it necessary for it to be mixed with another kind of food? or would just that be okay?

My only consern about you being 15 is how are you going to deal with the costs of owning a hedgehog.
My parents are totally on board, the only deal is that I have to keep my room clean and they'll help me get everything I need by Christmas. :mrgreen:
 

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Yay for hedgiepets!! :D

Okay. My advice for you.

First off, 15 is not too young as long as you continue to be a responsible owner. I know some kids want a hedgehog for the "coolness" factor, get bored or scared of it, and then pawn it off to someone else. HOWEVER, the fact that you are actually doing the research and asking these questions speaks volumes to me. I think you'll be fine as long as you remember that your hedgie is not short-lived, so you will need to plan for him being with you when you go off to college. I personally don't think moving is a very good excuse to rehome a pet except in extenuating circumstances-- you can always find affordable housing that allows pets if you look. In all likelihood, due to your hedgie, you won't be able to live in campus dorms when you go to university, you'll need to find an off-campus housing option. In summary, just be sure to include your hedgehog in your life planning.
As far as the dogs, I do not trust little dogs around hedgies for anything. My big dog, a dobie, is very very well trained and behaves herself like an angel around my hedgies. She gives them space and doesn't even look at them unless I invite her to come over. She spends time in my room with them when I'm gone, but of course, the cages are always closed and up, not accessible to her. She's never allowed around them out of cage unsupervised, but during cuddle time, Igel has taken to seeking her out while we watch movies and snuggling against her back (again, that's WITH supervision, and the two are an unusual pair, dogs and hedgies typically don't mesh). My room-mate's little pomeranian on the other hand is a little minion of ****, and sneak attacked one of my babies WHILE I WAS HOLDING HER. As a result, she got punted across the room, and she is now no longer allowed to be out of her kennel if my hedgies are out or if her owner is not able to be paying full attention to her. My suggestion, because they are little dogs (and typically little dogs have more prey drive and less training), keep your hedgehog in a room that you can have it enclosed, up, and the door to the room shut.

My vote is cage. Preferably C & C, but certain types of guinea pig/ferret cages are also acceptable. The problem with aquariums are these: Firstly, space. Not enough of it in most cases, you need floorspace for these little dudes. Secondly, air flow. Aquariums don't get any circulation unless you have a mesh top or no top at all, and even then, in my opinion it's just not enough. Thirdly, it's hard to get to and maintain the right temperature. Fourthly, it's cumbersome, heavy, and basically just difficult to move or clean. All in all, it's just better to go with a cage!! It does need to have a top-- hedgies are masters of escape, and also because you have dogs, it's for their own safety-- dogs could get into the cage if there is no top.

I know some who've kept their hedgies on bottles their whole lives and not had problems, but I also know people who've had hedgies' teeth break, or in one case catch their tongue and rip it up pretty badly. My vote there is definitely for bowl. The reptile kinds, with a small shallow dish and the bottle that screws onto the top, is the best contender for favorite in my eyes. That way it's not messy and it's small enough that hedgie can't stumble into it and get a cold from standing in a dish full of water!

As far as food, I do think you need to mix foods. One food is just not complete enough. I've started mixing three foods personally, just to ensure they're getting as many nutritional aspects taken care of as possible.

Keep us updated with your new addition, when you bring the baby home... WE LOVE PICTURES HERE!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know some kids want a hedgehog for the "coolness" factor, get bored or scared of it, and then pawn it off to someone else.
That is certainly not the case here and I'm certainly not afraid of it. My mom's friend had one when we went to visit her and I picked it right up and played with it, my goodness I fell in love with the little creatures.

My suggestion, because they are little dogs (and typically little dogs have more prey drive and less training), keep your hedgehog in a room that you can have it enclosed, up, and the door to the room shut
Yes. I have a miniature pinscher and a terrier/pug mix. And by golly I don't really trust them either. However, my room is the only room upstairs, so you open the door go up the stairs and into my room. I figured I could put a baby gate at the top of the stairs to keep the dogs out and shut the door. Just for extra protection in case my mom or someone leaves the door open while I'm at school.

And I'm still a little bit unsure of the C&C cages. Everyone says they're fantastic but they concern me a bit, especially with the holes in the wall pieces, couldn't they get their heads stuck or something? and how should I top it so my hedgie doesn't get out and my dogs stay out?

I'll definitely go with the bowl, but what else should I mix the food with?

Sorry for all the questions! But you guys are all oh so helpful! :)

Pictures will definitely be up once I get my hedgie, you guys want to know what name I have planned? :)
 
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C & C cages stands for Cage and Coroplast the Coroplast goes inside the cage you build with the grids and you want the walls to be around 10 inches high because hedgehogs love to climb. Each hedgehog varies but its best not to risk any falls. If you review the linked cage topics mentioned you'll see the coroplast which prevents the hedgehog from getting near those holes.

Also there are currently 3 types of grids I have found and you want

The grids that are 9 small squares across

Avoid 8 small squares or 5 medium squares grids across they don't work well for hedgehogs
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh well alright! Yes, thank you. I'm sure I'll be referring back to this often for the next few months while I get everything arranged for him!

Also, I suppose I shouldn't put the cage on the floor, this might seem like a wierd questions but any thoughts on how or what would be best to put the cage on?
I have an extra table in my room that's 24"wide x 20"long x 21"high, would that not be stable for the hedgie if he moves on his cage too much? Especially the C&C one, which doesn't appear to be heavy enough to not budge on this.
 

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I don't think you are too young, just the amount of your research you said you've been doing shows that you are thinking on how to best provide for your pet :)

For your questions above these are the things I use:
I use a Ferret Nation cage but if I didn't have the option I would probably go with a plastic bottomed wire top cage that was around 4 sq feet or a C & C. I'd definitely have a top on it because they are masters at being so darn cute that you wouldn't imagine how easy it is for them to get out when they try lol

I use fleece for my liners and bedding and for sewn things I will use Flannel as well because Flannel has to be finished correctly so it won't fray.

I use a water bowl to avoid the possibility of tooth injury, I feel they drink easier out of them as well, I've also read accounts where they have got their tongue stuck/cut and also that at times the bearings can stick making either no water come out or for it to make a mess. This is just my personal preference though.

I haven't done the flower pot before but I think the people that do use it sometimes for a nice cool place for them to lay down in the heat (tipped sideways). You can also fill with fleece pieces and stuff too for them to dig through it.

I think it's great you are researching and can't wait for pics when you end up getting your new bundle of joy in the future :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You guys are all so wonderful! Thank you all!
I've looked into the ferret nation, I simply do not think that would work for me. Too tall really.
I'm looking into the C&C now, I have a space for a 3'x2' cage and want to take advantage of that to give him the the best cage possible!
However, I can't seem to find coroplast in my area but I do know I can get the squares here.
Could I use something else instead of coroplast?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nevermind, it appears I can get some off Amazon that's cheap and the right size!
Now, how can I put the fabric liners on the coroplast?

Sorry for all the questions! :oops:
 

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Also, not sure where you're located, but call some art stores! That's where I got my coroplast... except here they called it Plasticore or corrugated plastic.
 
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