While it may seem unimportant, the type of litter you use in your Hedgehog’s box is essential. The wrong kind can end up causing health problems in Hedgehogs or, in some cases, make them avoid using the litter box altogether.
The best kind of litter for hedgehogs is paper-based, unscented litter. This has the best absorbency and odor control while also being safe for a hedgehog’s digestive and respiratory systems. Other safe options for hedgehogs include aspen shavings, wood pellets, shredded paper, and soft paper-based bedding material.
In addition to the type of litter, you also want to consider how much litter you use and how often you clean the litter box.
By considering all of this, you will be able to keep your Hedgehog comfortable and more likely to continue using the litter box.
What To Use For Your Hedgehog’s Litter
Each year it seems like there are more and more options for litter. There’s litter marketed for Hedgehogs and small animals, bedding, and a hundred different kinds of kitty litter. Finding the types of litter safe for your pet Hedgehog can be incredibly confusing.
Hedgehog-safe types of litter include:
- Paper-based pelleted litter: My preferred type is typically made of recycled paper compressed into absorptive pellets. These paper-based pellet litters are great at absorbing Hedgehog urine, so you don’t need to use them as much daily. Most brands also do a decent job at odor control.
- Aspen shavings: This type of wood shavings litter is safe for Hedgehogs. It usually does an excellent job at odor control. However, it’s not the most absorbent litter, so you’ll have to use a lot of it. Aspen shavings can have a strong scent too, which can deter some Hedgehogs from using the litter box.
- Compressed sawdust pelleted litter: This is leftover sawdust that has been compressed into absorptive pellets. You can often buy this in bulk for pretty cheap prices. It’s what’s commonly used at the animal rescue where I volunteer. This litter also does an excellent job at containing odors, but not as good as paper-based pelleted litter.
- Shredded paper: The cheapest option you can find is shredded paper. You can make this yourself if you have a shredder. While it’s safe to use around Hedgehogs, I generally don’t recommend it because it doesn’t absorb Hedgehog urine easily.
- Bedding: Paper-based bedding marketed for Hedgehogs is also a safe option. Since bedding is thinner and softer, it’s not as absorptive and pelleted litter. You will likely have to use more of this daily to make sure there is enough to soak up the urine.
Top Recommended Litter Brand For Your Hedgehog
Each type of bedding has its pros and cons. If you are in a hurry and want a quick list of the best Hedgehog bedding, then here you go:
- Clean and cozy bedding is safe for small pet including rabbits, hamsters, guinea...
- Absorbs 6x its weight in liquid
- Small Pet Bedding: Our clean, white natural paper fiber bedding blended with 25...
- Pillowy Soft: Comfyfluff natural paper bedding made from scratch is blended with 25...
- Small Pet Bedding: Our natural paper fiber bedding makes the softest, driest most...
- Pillowy Soft: Comfyfluff natural paper bedding made from scratch is gentle on...
- Hard wood bedding
- No aromatic oils or inks.
What Not To Use For Your Hedgehog’s Litter
Not all types of litter material are safe for Hedgehogs. Therefore, you must be careful when choosing the perfect bedding material for your little pet.
Here is a list of bedding that you must altogether avoid in your Hedgehog’s cage:
- Pine/Cedar Shavings: One must never use pine or cedar shavings in their Hedgehog’s cage. The pine and cedar shavings have lots of dust, oil, and fragrance. These might not be a great deal for us, but for Hedgehogs, it can be a deal-breaker.
- Straw/Hay/Leaves: All these bedding materials have nearly zero absorbent properties. While it doesn’t absorb any pee and debris, everything lies there like a pool of feces and urine, which creates a horrible environment for your Hedgehogs to live in.
- Corn-Cob Bedding: Although corn-cob bedding is inexpensive, it is not suitable for our Hedgehogs. Also, there are high chance that this bedding will turn moldy.
- Cat Litter: Cat litter should never be bedding material for Hedgehogs. It may seem like excellent bedding to you in terms of odor control, but it should be avoided at all costs. If your little pet ever gulps a part of the bedding, it may lead to severe health complications.
Is Kitty Litter Safe For Hedgehogs To Use?
Kitty litter is not an ideal choice for your Hedgehogs.
If your Hedgehog swallows the litter by any chance, it could lead to blockage in the stomach. It can further lead to severe health complications.
Also, several companies use clay in their kitty litter, which is toxic for Hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs have a sensitive respiratory system. Clay litters produce dust clouds, which can harm your Hedgehog’s lungs.
Besides this, kitty litter may even stick to the delicate areas of your Hedgehogs, causing irritation and infection.
How Much Litter To Use In Your Hedgehog’s Litter Box?
It is crucial to fill a balancing amount of litter in your Hedgehog’s litter tray. If you over-fill the tray, your litter ones will struggle to identify between the tray and the general area. If you fill less, then your Hedgehogs might feel uncomfortable.
You can begin filling around 1 inch of litter, then see how your Hedgehogs react to it.
If you feel that your Hedgehogs are unsatisfied with their litter tray, add a little more litter, which should be around half an inch at a time.
It is also essential that you add some soiled litter or soiled hay in the beginning. The smell of the soiled litter will attract them. Hedgehogs always choose to stay in a familiar location.
Litter training is not an overnight process. Time and patience play an important role. You will have to execute the trial-and-error method. Once your Hedgehogs adopt the routine, maintain consistency.
- What Does Hedgehog Poop Look Like? (Normal & Abnormal Poop)
- What Does Hedgehog Pee Look Like? (Owner’s Guide)
- Why Does My Hedgehog Poop So Much? (Owners Guide)
- How To Potty Train A Hedgehog? (Complete Guide)
- How Often Should I Clean My Hedgehog’s Cage? : A Quick Guide
Cleaning A Hedgehog’s Litter Box
You can follow the steps listed below to clean your Hedgehog’s tray quickly:
- Empty the tray thoroughly. If you find any cracks in the tray, I would advise you to replace the tray as soon as possible.
- You can even use a jet spray to clean any stubborn litter or waste clinging to the tray.
- After this, scrub the litter tray properly with white vinegar. That will help to kill any bacteria in the grooves.
- You must also leave the litter tray to soak in water for approx 30-60 minutes. That will help to remove any particulars of toxic cleaning materials.
- Your last step is to dry the litter tray properly. If you can dry it in the sun, it will be more beneficial because its rays provide different antibacterial properties.
The process of cleaning the litter tray might take some time. Therefore, I would advise you to have at least two interchangeable litter trays for your Hedgehog.
So, when you clean one tray, you can use the other in your Hedgehog’s cage.
What Type Of Litter Box To Use For Your Hedgehogs?
Before training your Hedgehogs, you must be equipped with the correct tray. The litter tray itself is an essential item.
The size of the tray which you pick is another crucial aspect. Your Hedgehog will probably ignore the tray if it is too small. If the tray is too big, your Hedgehog may use it as a bed.
The litter tray should be big enough to hold your Hedgehog comfortably. The minimum size of the litter tray should be 12 x 10. If you have a long-haired Hedgehog, this must be taken into consideration.
The height of the litter tray plays an important role. If the tray is too low, your Hedgehog’s urine will dive down its leg, leading to scalding.
But there is an exception if your Hedgehog has any mobility issues, then a litter tray with heights can be a problem.
Also, older Hedgehogs may face many issues reaching the tray height to poop or pee. If this is the case with your Hedgehog, select a low-height tray.
You will find that the Hedgehog-specific litter tray does not follow these requirements. In such a scenario, you can use storage crates and plastic bowls to make a suitable litter tray for your little ones.
I love this fantastic Hedgehog litter box with a shovel. You can try this out, as these work like a charm for me.
Litter Training Hedgehogs
When you think about starting training your Hedgehog, the most important thing is to have adequate time and patience.
The process of litter training a Hedgehog is as follows:
- Begin by keeping an eye on your Hedgehog. Try to find out where your little pet urinates. You will see that he is peeing in the same place most of the time.
- Once you track your Hedgehog’s eliminating schedule, take your pet out of his cage and clean the cage properly. Make sure that the enclosure does not smell.
- Place a small piece of the urine-soaked bedding in the litter tray of your Hedgehog.
- Now you can let your Hedgehog inside the cage. Then, place the tray in your Hedgehog’s preferred location for urination.
- There are chances that your Hedgehog will get confused when they first discover the tray and aim to urinate at a different place.
- Now you can keep the tray wherever they urinate.
- If your Hedgehogs urinate outside the tray, clean up that portion of the bedding immediately. The urine of your Hedgehog holds a decent smell. If you do not clean, they might get encouraged and urinate in the same area again.
- The next step is to move the poop into the litter tray if your Hedgehogs continue to excrete outside the tray.
- On the other hand, if your Hedgehogs urinate in the tray, do not clean it up immediately. Leave it there for 24 hours. This way, your little pet will learn that a tray is a perfect place for them to urinate.
To build this habit in your Hedgehogs, I would advise you to repeat the above process.
You must remember that litter training a Hedgehog is a long process. Some Hedgehogs can be stubborn, making the process a challenging and frustrating experience.
Never punish your Hedgehog if they are not performing as per your expectations. Any kind of inappropriate scolding will scare your Hedgehog for life.
You must always appreciate your Hedgehog when they are performing well.