David is a biotech engineer, animal lover, and hedgehog owner.
DIY Hedgehog Cage: 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 your pet's needs 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
- Beginner Model: A great first home for your pet
- Intermediate Model: An aesthetically pleasing option
- 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!
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:
- Nest: A wooden nest with fleece on the inside and sawdust on the floor will mimic their natural nesting habitat and provide optimal warmth.
- Bedding: UV-cleansed sawdust makes for a perfect lair. Fleece and synthetic grass make for a great variety in texture for your pet.
- Feeding Supplies: Stainless-steel water and food bowls are the easiest to keep clean.
- 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.)
- Toys: Keep your pet entertained with plastic toys, tubes, and little noisy balls.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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!
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.
- 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.
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).
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
Southern white-breasted hedgehog
Indian long-eared hedgehog
Northern white-breasted 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
Question: Is it safe for a female and male hedgehog to live together?
Answer: Yes, only be sure to give them enough space to live and be wary of the reproduction cycle after the second year.
Ana on April 28, 2020:
Liked you artivle very much! Keep'em coming!
David Zermeño (author) from Mexico on July 20, 2013:
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 from the wadi near the little river on July 20, 2013:
These are such cute animals! I often find them in my garden. I never knew they could be pets, though! Enjoyed and voted up.