DIY Hedgehog House for Your Prickly Pal

Updated on June 27, 2019
Dvd Zermeno Perez profile image

David is a full-time Biotech Engineer and animal lover. He lives with his hedgehog, Erik, who inspires him to work on pet-friendly crafts.

This article includes all you need to know to build a dream house for your prickly pal.
This article includes all you need to know to build a dream house for your prickly pal. | Source

How to Build a Hedgehog House

Every hedgehog needs a proper living space to call its own. In this article, I will explain how to cater to the needs of your pet by constructing the perfect hedgehog house. I've also included my own personal account of tackling such a project, plenty of tips to point you in the right direction, and three DIY hedgehog-house models to choose from, depending on your skill level.

3 Models to Choose From

  1. Beginner Model: A great first home for your pet
  2. Intermediate Model: An aesthetically pleasing option
  3. Expert Model: For those with a knack for power tools

For those who want to go above and beyond, be on the lookout for bonus projects!

Hedgehogs that are on the defense may only unfurl and calm down when their trusty owner is nearby.
Hedgehogs that are on the defense may only unfurl and calm down when their trusty owner is nearby. | Source

Materials

After I purchased my hedgehog, Erik, I made a list that included all of all the things necessary to finish his house. Here are the basic materials you will need to get started:

  1. Nest: A wooden nest with fleece on the inside and sawdust on the floor will mimic their natural nesting habitat and provide optimal warmth.
  2. Bedding: UV-cleansed sawdust makes for a perfect lair. Fleece and synthetic grass make for a great variety in texture for your pet.
  3. Feeding Supplies: Stainless-steel water and food bowls are the easiest to keep clean.
  4. Wheel: Try to find one that is silent so as not to keep you up a night. (I suggest a Silent Spinner Wheel or Comfort Exercise Wheel.)
  5. Toys: Keep your pet entertained with plastic toys, tubes, and little noisy balls.
  6. Potty: A circular plate with a different type of bedding will help them distinguish the potty from their nest.

These things are a MUST for any hedgehog house. Without these elements, your hedgehog can become stressed—provoking mood changes, alterations in bathroom habits, and even worse, tantrums.

Hedgehog Tantrums

During a tantrum, hedgehogs tend to bite anything that moves and poop in their water bowl. So be sure that you are providing the best care possible!

It All Starts With a Sketch

The first thing you must do before building your hedgehog house is create a sketch so as not to lose track of your work.

My original idea included a house with three levels and plenty of room for my hedgehog to roam. This basic plan left me a lot of space for improvement and imaginative changes along the way.

Always have a sketch.
Always have a sketch. | Source

What Difficulty Level Will You Choose?

I will elaborate on three different model plans—ranging from beginner to expert level. Not everyone is super crafty, but with detailed descriptions and supplementary photos, you should be able to tackle at least one of these.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This was my first attempt at a hedgehog house. The open-air construction makes for easy cleaning.In this house, there is plenty of material for my hedgehog to burrow and hide in.
This was my first attempt at a hedgehog house. The open-air construction makes for easy cleaning.
This was my first attempt at a hedgehog house. The open-air construction makes for easy cleaning. | Source
In this house, there is plenty of material for my hedgehog to burrow and hide in.
In this house, there is plenty of material for my hedgehog to burrow and hide in. | Source

1. Beginner Model

A plan such as this can be adapted to your hedgehog's preferences along the way. If you are the type who likes to improvise, this is a great model to follow.

Basic Structure

  • A 30 x 12-inch hard plastic box

In the photos above, you can see that this house was really simple to build. I already had the hard, plastic box handy. I built a "fence" around the open area just in case Erik's curiosity led him to attempt an escape. (Thankfully, he doesn't have that tendency, but I leave it there just in case.)

Good Air Flow and Easy Cleanup

This model is easy to use because you don't have to worry about adding an air system. You also don't need to disturb your hedgehog when cleaning its house or switching out its food and water bowls.

Feeding Tip

Feeding your hedgehog cat food that is low in fat provides more nutrition than most hedgehog-specific food.

Use Plastic

Although some tutorials suggest using a cardboard box to build a beginner house, I recommend using a plastic container as it is easy to clean with soap and water. You also won't need to worry about your hedgehog biting through the walls and running away in the middle of the night.

This medium house design is sleek and aesthetically pleasing.
This medium house design is sleek and aesthetically pleasing. | Source

2. Intermediate Model

If you already have a wooden box or cage, this house should be fairly simple to construct. This model is both stylish and of better quality.

Basic Structure

  • A pre-fabricated wooden box (not treated with harsh chemicals)

You can either make a wooden box or buy one—whatever is best for you. If you choose to buy one, all you really have to do is add toys, a wheel, bedding, and a nest.

Did You Know?

Although hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, they still need a good dose of sunshine every day. Therefore, your pet's cage shouldn't be placed in complete darkness.

Let There Be Light

The structure of this house makes it necessary to install an artificial light. A hedgehog needs to be kept in an environment with a temperature of 75–80 degrees F; so if using a wooden box with a lid, they will need a supplementary light source.

Bonus Project: Get Cozy

As seen in the example image, adding a cozy igloo to your hedgehog house can really make it look like home. Your pet would surely appreciate a little handmade hideaway, and they are pretty simple to craft (if you know the basics of sewing). Follow the tutorial video above if you're feeling crafty!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is a more elaborate hedgehog house that I designed from scratch.This is a close up of the "stairs" I built leading up to the second level.Each piece of wood is perfectly angled for my hedgehog's convenience.
This is a more elaborate hedgehog house that I designed from scratch.
This is a more elaborate hedgehog house that I designed from scratch. | Source
This is a close up of the "stairs" I built leading up to the second level.
This is a close up of the "stairs" I built leading up to the second level. | Source
Each piece of wood is perfectly angled for my hedgehog's convenience.
Each piece of wood is perfectly angled for my hedgehog's convenience. | Source

3. Expert Model

This house was based on my own design. I made it in a week and all of the materials were fairly cheap. I cherish this house because I transformed a basic sketch into a successful final product.

Note: I recommend this project only for those with experience using heavy-duty tools.

Basic Structure

  • A hand-built mansion of 10 x 30 x 50-inches

I treated the wood with a sealer and waterproof liquid, making the wood durable enough to support a potty-trained hedgehog.

Designated Floors

The bottom and middle level can be used for bedding or a wooden nest (interchangeable). The upper level can be utilized for the potty and exercise equipment, with easy-to-clean synthetic grass (to be replaced every six months).

Let's Get Physical

If constructing a multi-level house, your hedgehog will definitely get some extra exercise from climbing all of those stairs!

Bonus Project: Build Your Own Wheel

If you think you can handle an even greater challenge, try building your own hedgehog wheel! This is a cheap (but challenging) substitute for most commercial wheels.

Check out the tutorial video below if you're up to it. If you are able to craft the expert-level home with ease, it shouldn't take much time at all.

Now, Let Your Imagination Run Wild!

With the basics down, you can truly let your imagination run wild. Follow a basic plan, but don't be afraid to deviate from it to add some personal flair and accents that your hedgehog will surely love and appreciate.

Are You Ready to House One of These Cuties?

Hedgehog Species Around the Globe

Erinaceus
Paraechinus
Mesechinus
Hemiechinus
Amur hedgehog
Desert hedgehog
Daurian hedgehog
Long-eared hedgehog
Southern white-breasted hedgehog
Brandt's hedgehog
Hugh's hedgehog
Indian long-eared hedgehog
European hedgehog
Indian hedgehog
Gaoligong hedgehog
Northern white-breasted hedgehog
Bare-bellied hedgehog

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Comments

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    • Dvd Zermeno Perez profile imageAUTHOR

      David Zermeño 

      6 years ago from Mexico

      Yes, the hedgehog can be a really cute pet, but be careful there is another type of hedgehog called "european hedgehog" and they're illegal to keep as pets, but you can feed them and give them some water, and later let them continue. Thanks for reading my articles.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      6 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      These are such cute animals! I often find them in my garden. I never knew they could be pets, though! Enjoyed and voted up.

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