Kute Kwills is located in the UK, so most information here is based on UK guidelines , much will apply wherever you are, but different countries will deem different things as "acceptable"

Average LOW COST start up for hedgehog home and gear is around £200, but can be cut down to £150 if your handy or resourceful. NEVER CUT CORNERS ON YOUR HEAT SOURCE, THIS CAN BE DANGEROUS FOR ALL CONCERNED.

Rough Guide To Things You Need

THIS IS JUST A ROUGH GUIDE AND NOT A COMPLETE LIST OF ITEMS YOUR HEDGEHOG MAY NEED.I HAVE INCLUDED THE BASICS WHICH ARE REQUIRED.YOU SHOULD ALWAYS DO THOROUGH RESEARCH INTO ANY PET YOU WISH TO TAKE ON, AND HEDGEHOGS ARE NO EXCEPTION. BE SURE TO TALK TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE OWNED HEDGEHOGS FOR YEARS AND HAVE A GOOD TRACK RECORD ON THEIR ANIMALS HEALTH AND LONGEVITY.


                          Safe, Suitable housing choices for your hedgehog 


Domestic Hedgehogs are solitary animals so it is important to house them separately. They are very territorial and will fight if competing for space or food. Never keep them together in the same home. This will almost certainly lead to fighting and they can fight to the death.

Housing should be placed in a quiet area away from drafts and direct sunlight. There are only two types of housing recommended by hedgehog keepers and breeders. Wooden Vivariums are the highly recommended choice of housing . The minimum size required is 3ft x 18" x 18". The other type of housing is a Zoozone2 or large Zoozone usually blue in colour. The measurements of the zoozone2 are 100cm (39.25") x 51cm (20") x 37cm (14.5").  It is very important that the cage does not have bars as hedgehogs like to climb,and cannot climb down, resulting in accidents which can lead to amputation and even death. I personally have found the 4ftX18X18  to be the best size for adults. The 4ft makes it easier to keep sleeping area, eating area and pooping area separate of each other.


Any set up should be at least 3ft x 2ft x 2ft, the bigger the better. Here at Kute Kwills ours all moms enjoy  4ft x2ftx2ft and our boys get 4ft x 1 1/2ft x 1 1/2ft !

CAGES WITH BARS ARE NOT CONSIDERED SUITABLE HOUSING DUE TO INJURY TO LIMBS AND DAMAGE FROM FALLS

Vivarium with glass doors MOST RECOMMENDED
These are safer and maintain temperatures required best.

Zoozone 2 , not always best due to limited heat sources for this item. Though acceptable
these don't provide much space and aren't efficient at holding the heat.

Homemade storage tub/bin house - ONLY RECOMMENDED FOR WARMER CLIMATES due to limited heat sources and only if your willing to purchase the 4ft tub.

Heating

Hedgehogs need a consistent 23-25° C (73-78°F) at all times for their health and comfort, with an absolute minimum and maximum of 18-28° C. Domestic hedgehogs are no longer able to safely hibernate, so if their temperature is not kept at the recommended temp. you risk hibernation attempts, which in most cases leads to the death of your pet.

Your hedgehog should be kept out of all drafts, and also never be exposed to direct constant sunlight.

It is important to remember just as a hedgehog can become too cold , it is also dangerous for them to become too hot. In warmer months be aware that your vivarium thermometer isn't reaching higher temps. You can help cool your hedgehog by including a bit of floor tile or a plastic bottle filled with cold water/ice water. Then when they become hot they can lay against these. Fresh cooler drinking water is important during these times as well.


Ceramic Heat Emitter

Ceramic Heat Emitter (CHE) These are  highly recommended because they are easy to use, heat well, and are less expensive to operate than a space heater. The CHE screws into a lamp holder just like a light bulb, but do not produce any light; they get very hot to the touch and need to be kept out of reach of you hedgehog, needs to be controlled by a thermostat. CHE heat the air well,  and can be individually controlled to suite the individual hedgehog needs, they last a long time, approximately 10,000 hours usage. Below you can see one of our CHE bulbs and the thermostat probe in placeIt is also recommended to have a digital thermometer for cages/vivarium to be sure inside is reaching the correct temps. Many hog owners also add a cage around the CHE bulb to prevent the hedgehog touching the bulb and being burnt.
Electric Heat Mats


Some cages aren't suited to use a CHE in, as they become very hot and can cause plastics to melt or some wood to burn, these cages would be where the appropriate heat source is an electric heat mat. Petnap brand Vinyl Pet Heat Pad tends to be the popular choice for this item. A heat mat is generally used to provide heat to a cages sleeping area, unless using one that covers most of the base of the cage.It will heat the floor but not the whole cage. The best use of these is under sleeping areas for additional heat. Most require a separate thermostat but some do contain internal pre-set thermostats, care should be taken when choosing your heat mat, as cheaper ones won't do a good job and could be a danger.Petnap  Vinyl Pet Heat Pad comes with built in thermostat, which why it is the more recommended heat pad/mat. HEAT MATS ARE NOT AN IDEAL HEAT SOURCE TO WARM THE ENTIRE HOME / VIV, THIS CAN LEAD TO HIBERNATION ATTEMPTS, WHICH ARE USUALLY FATAL. THE BEST HEAT SOURCES IF YOU LIVE IN A COOLER CLIMATE WILL BE THE ONES THAT HEAT THE ENTIRE CAGE/VIVARIUM.

In addition to your chosen heat source, you should locate your hedgehogs home away from drafts, include plenty of cut up fleece strips or a small fleece blanket to snuggle warmly into. ALL HEAT SOURCES MUST HAVE A THERMOSTAT TO BE SAFE.


Bedding And Liners

Many owners use fleece or fabric liners. You can find them available by people who make them to measure and with your choice in fabric with matching accessories. Facebook and Ebay would be a good starting place. Some choose inexpensive fleece blankets and remove any stitching that can cause potential dangers to little hog toes and limbs. The downside to fabric and fleece is required washing. If your hedgie is litter trained it may cut washing down to once a week changing a liner but messier hogs require frequent changes and washing. If doing laundry is not your thing, your going to want to look into Fincard, paper pellets, or KILN DRIED DUST EXTRACTED wood shavings (least recommended) as alternative options to fabric cage liners.Cedar and pine are not advised as the risks to hedgehogs include irritation and quill loss, some hogs have damaged eyes and paws in wooden shavings. Having said that I do know breeders and hog owners who swear by Aspen shavings, the proper shavings, not the stringy strips type. Whatever your bedding choice, be sure to research the pros and cons of each and decide for yourself what feels right to you for your baby.

Litter

For the litter a none clumping / low dust and non scented litters should be used. Also use rectangular low litter trays . Place the litter tray under  the wheel , as the running on the wheel gets thier bowels moving. Triangle corner tray are not suited for a hedgehog as the wheel needs to be added inside the litter box at 12weeks old.Some types of litter you can use are:

  • Recycled Paper Pellet Non Clumping Cat Litter such as Papelit 100% Paper Cat Litter
  • FinaCARD Animal Bedding,
  • Pillow Wad (Eco Nest) Cardboard Small Animal Bedding / Litter
  • Dust extracted wood pellet litter...only suitable if your doing DAILY clean of litter as when wet breaks down and dries as dusty fragments.
  • TumbleFresh Premium Pet Bedding
  • kitchen roll/paper towel
Bowls

There are many types of bowls out there , and over the years I have learned that with a hedgehog HEAVIER is better. These are very curious pets who know how to turn EVERYTHING into a game, tipping the water bowl over is a favorite.WATER BOTTLES should NEVER be used, as hedgehogs ARE NOT rodent, and as such their teeth once broken or lost don't regrow. Damage to teeth in a hedgehog leads to other health problems, so it isn't worth the risk of using a water bottle.Also tongues have been caught in them causing damage and distress.Finally, a water bottle DOES NOT provide the proper drinking position for a hedgehog, which can lead to aspiration of water, which in turn can lead to respiratory illness. Some like to use the self refill bowls, which is fine but I have found if not cleaned and changed daily it quickly fills with slimey germs and mess. Heavy crockery or ceramic bowls, which are low sided are the best choice for a hedgehog.

Hedgehog Sleeping Quarters

Your hedgehog is a nocturnal creature, therefore daylight hours he/she will be snuggled in sleeping. This means inside the vivarium/cage you need to have some sort of house or hut for them to do this. There are a few choices available to fulfill your hedgies need of sleeping quarters such as custom made hedgehog homes, fabric huts/caves, and snuggle sacks and fabric tunnels. Wood houses as well as plastic igloos are my favorites. I have found all of mine prefer different things, and being as hedgehogs are pretty set in their ways about stuff, no matter what you choose, they will ultimately decide what they want. Below I have included a few photos of different houses we have gotten for our herd.. The plastic hides are most recommended as easier to keep clean, and therefore most hygienic. 

Toys

Hedgehogs DO play, and are very curious, so be sure to provide either free roam time in a safe room of your house, OR Playpen time and no matter which you choose, give them plenty to play with, sniff, and explore! Generally cat toys are good, as are infant safe soft toys and empty boxes or empty toilet roll tubes! Foraging trays are good for hiding little mealworm snacks, and other such delicious finds. A bored hedgehog becomes a constantly sleeping hedgehog, and that's no fun for either of you.


Free Roaming


Some people choose to allow their hedgehog to free roam in a chosen room. This requires a certain amount of planning before you do so. The area you choose needs to be free of ANY type of debris on the floor, NOT be carpeted, have access to a heated area for them  or their vivarium and finally not contain any hard to reach or access areas for you. The reason for theses are all safety related.Free roaming can be fun for your hedgehog so long as measures to keep them safe are followed. It is advisable to supervise a free roam hog, but not required if all safety measures have been put into place.

IT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO FREE ROAM MORE THAN ONE HEDGEHOG IN AN AREA. IT IS NOT ADVISABLE To FREEROAM A HEDGEHOG IN A ROOM WITH ANY OTHER PETS. THIS IS ALSO FOR SAFETY.

Bucket Wheel

A hedgehog MUST have a bucket wheel for many reasons. The first being it helps them stimulate their toileting, this is why you will see our wheels inside the litter tray, the wheel IS their loo! Second the shape and size of the bucket wheel accommodates the hedgehogs spine,running gait and body mass as an adult. The bucket wheel is SAFEST for a hedgehog, no holes or openings to catch feet  or toes. The bucket wheel also allows your hedgehog to run all night, which uses the pent up energy in your little friend, hedgehogs naturally travel miles each night, and the bucket wheel gives them the ability to cover that kind of ground in the vivarium. There are other types or styles of wheel, but I WOULD NEVER recommend them for a hedgehog. The bucket wheel will be one of your DAILY cleaning chores. A wheel is NOT introduced until your hedgehog is 12 weeks or older, as before this it is unsafe to do so.

NEVER USE THESE WITH A HEDGEHOG